Jan 5, 2013 – Yoruba Culture Symbol, Ori Olokun Unveiled In Ile Ife Osun State
Osun state Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Saturday in Ile-Ife unveiled an Ife ancestral monument, popularly called Ori-olokun, as part of activities marking the inauguration of Ori-olokun Garden.
The governor performed the unveiling of the huge Ori-Olokun sculpture at the Ori-Olokun Roundabout, formerly Mayfair Roundabout in Ile-Ife.
He described the monument as a precious heritage of the Yoruba race, and urged the people to protect and preserve it.
Mr Taiwo Olaiya, the Executive Secretary, Ife Central Local Government, under whose jurisdiction the garden is situated, also described the monument as the most famous in history.
According to him, Ori-Olokun monument was discovered in the early 20th century by German explorer Leo Frobenius. “Frobenius could not imagine that such works were of African origin and came up with the theory that this great art was evidence of the lost Atlantis of the Greeks. “He further declared that the Yoruba deity, Olokun, was the same god as the Greek Poseidon. “The monument was further identified as a modern sand casting of a brass, which comprises copper and zinc.
“The name, Olokun, attached to this head refers to the fact that it was dug up in the late 19th century in the Olokun Grove and used in annual rites to honour Olokun ,’’ he said.
An Ife priest, Chief Faloba Fagbenro, described Olokun as the goddess of the sea and patronage of bead making, which makes glass bead working an important industry in Ile-Ife.
He recalled that the head of Olokun (Ori Olokun) remained in the hands of the family responsible for the Olokun cult until Oni brought it to the palace for safekeeping in 1934.
The the terra-cotta head of Olokun has been replicated in strategic places of the world, including Latin America, and Europe. The image always brings back to memory the civilisation in the areas of art and technology that took place in Nigeria and Africa before the British invasion.
Sen. Jide Omoworare, the senator representing Ife-Ijesa Senatorial District, was among the dignitaries that attended the occasion. [Source]