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Culture Attacks God-Looking Women Belinda Marathasim August 2022

A culture that forbids women from seeing God

Photo of the Oro Festival (Photo credit: Daily Trust)

T.T.The ancient Oro Festival is an annual gender-specific festival of the Yoruba people in Nigeria, West Africa, celebrated by worshiping their god Orisha Oro, the god of bulls and justice. They practice this as a purification ceremony after the death of a monarch or king, but in other regions they celebrate it for other reasons, as festival celebrations differ from region to region among the Yoruba.

Apart from functioning as a well-regarded form of worship, the Oro Festival is celebrated to commemorate several important events in Yoruba culture. Festivals are celebrated as children introduce them to family principles, core values, and belief systems, where they undergo several rituals. Celebrate Oro with Some families have adopted or as the beginning of their children’s names. A person whose name begins with Oro indicates that the person belongs to a family that serves Oro as a family deity. .

Another major event at which the Oro festival is celebrated among the Yoruba is in the aspect of kingship and chiefdom. The Oro ceremony is performed first before the king or chief assumes the throne and stool respectively, with chiefs flanking the king in order of inauguration. Rituals form bonds between the monarch, his advisors, chieftains, deities and ancestors, mandate them to act in the best interests of the community and minimize tyranny.

Oro ceremonies are gender-specific and patriarchal in nature as they are male-only celebrations/ceremonies performed only by the paternal descendants of the indigenous people. Oro is called by different names by different regions within the Yoruba people such as Ita, Argube, Ajara and Ma. The duration of the festival also varies from his 3rd to his 3rd lunar month, and remains veiled, unveiled only for the duration of the festival, and then covered up until the next festival.

As a form of worship that involves paying homage to the deity Orisha Oro to cleanse the land after the passage of a monarch, it is often practiced by only those involved in the parade to worship the deity indoors with everyone else around the community. It is done by parading, especially women who are forbidden to see the face of God. On the other hand, if a man who was not appointed to meet God is accidentally seen outside during a parade, he will not face dire consequences (unlike when women are involved), but will pass by. However, women were often attacked by Oro followers if they went outside during the ceremony.

However, it gives the native enough time to notify the next event so that it can plan the move. There is a lot of speculation that the festival is anti-feminine because they are not allowed to see the gods and they are forced to stay indoors for the duration of the festival, yet some of them has gone missing from their homes, and people are awed and confused… Feelings about a ritual that is supposed to be for their common good.

Oro’s presence is heralded by a high-pitched swish/growl said to be made by his wife known as Majou. According to their traditional belief, the sound brings blessings to all who hear it, wherever they are indoors. Come to think of it, will this practice, preserved by word of mouth and adoption, erode over time? Only time will reveal and clarify or confirm this suspicion.