On Friday, 11th April, 2014, the people of the ancient Oyo town in south-western Nigeria, trooped out in their hundreds to commemorate the annual Agidan Festival, which is also regarded as the official annual festival of Ifa in Yoruba land.
During the festival, the people of Oyo leave their homes and trek into the forest to climb the massive and extremely steep Oke-Agidan Hill upon which the festival is celebrated. This is because it is believed that in the times of old, the Irúnmọlẹ̀ landed on Oke-Agidan Hill when they first visited the earth. In Yoruba land, Irúnmọlẹ̀ are known to be the primordial creatures. These were the first beings given specific tasks to complete by Olódùmarè (God). Irúnmọlẹ̀ are not human beings, but they are pure spirit/energy and each Irúnmọlẹ̀ was assigned a specific duty by the Creator. The people believe in only one Creator God and the Irúnmọlẹ̀ are His assistants/earthly manifestations. This is the heritage the people of Oyo seek to commemorate on Oke-Agidan Hill every year. As a custom, participants in the festival must approach and ascend the Oke-Agidan Hill from the south, and descend on its northern side, following the believed direction of descent the Irúnmọlẹ̀ took in ancient times. While at the hill top, everyone sits down on the rock while an elderly person who is well learned in Yoruba culture and ifa religion retells the story of the Oke-Agidan Hill and the descent of the Irúnmọlẹ in order to remind the people to always uphold a blameless life as the Irúnmọlẹ has laid great examples for man to follow before they left the earth. This exhortation is often followed by series of prayers being made for the people before they depart from the hill.
Oke-Agidan Hill is located a few kilometers from Isale-Oyo area of the old Oyo town, in Oyo State. However, although, the journey from Oyo is about fifteen minutes drive and forty-five minutes trek to the foot of the hill, the climb up the steep hill takes about thirty minutes to reach its zenith.
See below video of last year’s Agidan Festival in Oyo:
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials. 'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.