Orosun, Orosun, powerful, yet humble; beautiful, yet with a barren womb. Instead of babies, the heights of Idanre land she mothered in her womb till she was laid in her tomb. Forever, like a crown, her name is worn on the highest peaks of Idanre’s great mounds.
At that time when the Idanre people settled at a hill-locked area called Utaja- a vantage point high up on the gigantic inselbergs of Idanre which overlooks a beautiful valley bedecked with a mosaic of thick forest vegetation and canopies of different shades of verdure, and the powerful Arun River winding in rapids down the narrow valley floors; there lived a very beautiful and powerful woman called Òrósùn. Till date, the village of Utaja is is still at its location.
Òrósùn was married to Olófin, one of the sons of Oduduwa and the first traditional ruler of the enclave. Orosun’s family migrated from Ile-Ife and resettled in Akoko land (present day north-east regions of Ondo State). She had only one breast. She met Olofin on one of his hunting expeditions and they fell so deep in love with each other. It was a world of bliss and pleasure for the duo.
Òrósùn went back to Akoko to finally move her belongings down to her new home, only to return to Idanre to meet the death of Olofin. She was distraught for a long time and later remarried in Idanre land. By this time, the people of Idanre has moved to another location on the hills called Ufe-Oke (discovered by a great hunter called Egberun). Oral history has it that she changed husbands several times. It was also said that she married among others, Agboogun and Ojomu- two of the greatest hunters in the history of Idanre land.
She was said to possess great spiritual powers and had a pot called ”Ikoko Aremo” which she gave barren women to drink from and they concieved. She never had a child, but helped others bring forth children.
A time came in the land when Some people, for a reason or another, wanted Orosun dead. She got wind of the news and she fled into the forests of Idanre hills. When Agboogun heard of the what was happening, he got enraged and slammed his right foot on the ground he was standing on. In an instant, the rock beneath him melted and the impression of his foot was engraved on the rock till this day- one of the most popular tourist attractions on Idanre Hills, called Agboogun Footprint.
Egberun, who at that time was the chief-hunter in the land, was assigned the task of carrying out the assassination. Although Egberun was very old, he took up the mission and employed the assistance of another brave hunter called Gbene.
They found Orosun hiding somewhere in the forest beneath a massive inselberg and they launched a ferocious attack on her. The assault on Orosun was vicious but despite the injuries she sustained from arrows shot at her, she pursued her attackers. She caught up with Egberun- who, being old couldn’t run as fast as Gbene, and she killed him. Gbene escaped.
Orosun bled for a while before she finally died at the present site of Orosun Shrine, located at the foot of Orosun Inselberg, Idanre hills. Orosun peak is the highest peak in Idanre Hills and the entire southwestern Nigeria. Till this day, the people of Idanre worship Orosun inselberg in honour of the great and powerful woman that died at its foot.
- Orosun festival is a week long annual festival in Idanre land often involves the relocation of the villagers from the present foothill Idanre town to their pre-existing family houses/compounds at Old-Oke idanre far up in the hills, where they are expected to stay through out the period of the festival.
Related Posts: Idanre Hills- The City of Caves and Inselbergs