Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Cultures, Traditions And Festivals

Iye Ekiti is very rich in culture and traditions. We shall discuss a few of them here.

• IRO or AGBA IYE

This group comprises elderly men from each of the houses/compounds usually clad in white robes with a long goad and a small handbag. They parade the entire town on three different occasions before the New Yam Festival. This takes place triennially. People can see them, but are not allowed to meet them on the way.

• ADO IYE

This group is a mixture of old and young women. They usually graduate to "imoles." The only man among them is called ABA ADO. Their head is the OSOKIA. Osokia was thought to be a powerful deity in the past. The deity comes, takes over and inhabits the body of a man at a particular point in time, especially when the land needs spiritual cleansing against an epidemic or evil spiritual forces.

• OGUN IGBEDE & IGUN (OBE EDE –EGUSI SOUP)

Ogun Igbede is a festival peculiar to Igbede compound in Isapa. It is the time the people of this compound sacrifice to Ogun, the god of iron, which is their family deity. The ogun Igbede usually precedes, with nine days, the Igun festival.

The Igun Festival is an interesting one. During this festival, every house in Iye Ekiti must cook special egusi soup. The younger folks will now take containers and be going from house to house to collect the soup.
It is the belief of the people that it is Ogun that will pave way for them and facilitate the easy celebration of the Igun festival, hence, the essence of celebrating the Ogun Igbede before the Igun Festival.

• AGERE AND AJAJA FESTIVAL

Perhaps, the Agere festival is the most popular festival in Iye Ekiti. The Agere Festival is celebrated on the second day of the Igun festival. The Agere comprises two long sticks tied to either legs of the person who wants to ride it. There are usually many people who partake in this festival. The festival, which is usually among the male folks in the town normally, turns out to be somewhat a competition in terms of whose agere is the longest. The longest agere is called the Kng's Agere. So, the competitors always want theirs to be the King's.

AJAJA, usually celebrated on the second day of the Agere Festival, is another interesting dimension to the Agere Festival. This day is usually dedicated to correcting all anti-social behaviours of the people over the past year. Earlier the "Egbe group" in the town will first dance round the town singing:

Solo: E olole

All: Ajaja

Solo: E e olole

All: ajaja

Solo: Okuru olole

All: ajaja, etc

Later, the youth of the town, led by some of them, will take over, with the aim of going to the houses of people who have done one "bad thing" or the other during the past year. These bad or anti-social behaviour do include stealing, witchcraft, untimely pregnancy among school ages, etc. They will start by saying:

Solo: Piri m'odudan iye o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o (Oh, you youth of Iye)

All: E e o o o o o o o o o o o (Yeeeeeeees ssss)

Solo: Sin e yoo se abi in ke e yoo se? (Will you be able to do it or not?)

All: Sise ni
godogodooooooooooooo (We are ready and sure going to do it)

They will all start singing:

All: Godogodo a e se, o omo Iye oni oju i ro e momo a o o o

(Totally and relentlessly we will do it, indigenes of Iye, let the cowards stay at home).

This is the music they will sing round the town. On getting to the house of each erring citizen where they will then change their song to suit the offence committed by that person.

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