Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived

View Gallery
6 Photos
Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived
02

Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived
16

Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived
14

Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived
12

Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived
11

Before the “Busy” Goddess Arrived
17

Days before the event that climaxes Osun-Osogbo Festival 2016, popularly called Arugba day, I visited the town that yearly hosts thousands of spectators, tourists and Osun worshippers. The late Susan Wenger had rescued the Osun Grove from desecrators thereby protecting the shrine and making it come alive again.

Usually, the day the Arugba—which literally means “calabash carrier”—comes out  is the busiest day of the two-week long festival.  I was there the first week of the festival.

I went through the town to document moments before the “goddess” got busy. It was also the day the popular atupa oloju mejidinlogun—the lamp with eighteen eyes—the sacred lamp was lit. This is an highlight of  every Osun Osogbo festival, a favourite for many attendees.

Femi Amogunla

Femi Amogunla is an Ibadan-based photographer whose area of specialisation spans documentary, commercial, and portrait photography. In 2016, he won the Nigerian Energy Forum Award for his photography. Enjoy more of his works on Instagram, @femiclicks, and Tumblr.

Saraba is a literary magazine focused on the work of new writers in Nigeria and other parts of the African continent. Since 2009, we have published several issues of a magazine, editions of poetry chapbooks, and online-only work.
Our ongoing Manuscript Project supports the publication of long-form fiction and nonfiction by ten new Nigerian writers.
Registered as a non-profit in Nigeria, we depend on the support of readers like you to publish new writing. Please donate.