Saturday, October 31, 2009

The 194th good thing about Lagos: Visiting an authentic Yoruba traditional religion shrine

The shrines we visited in the groves were authentic Yoruba shrines, but they had been augmented by an artist. So I was pleased that after our visit to Chief Muraina's compound in Irigbiji, we were given the opportunity to view the site of a traditional shrine and place of ceremony of initiation.

We drove to an area outside the city, where there were some large boulders.

We had a brief walk in between the boulders and over a little stream.

The elder that led us there told us that when a man felt called to be a priest in the Yoruba religion he would be brought here for a ceremony of initiation. He said that no women would be brought to this place (but Wenger had been initiated as a High Priest in the Yoruba religion, so it was possible for women to attain that rank, but maybe she was a special case). The initiate would be back behind this palm screen for 3-7 days doing ceremony and receiving instruction. We were not allowed to look behind the screen, and he didn't fill us in on what would happen behind it.

So we didn't leave with a lot of insight into the process, but it was interesting to see that these places still exist in their natural state and are used. It was a pretty place.

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