AYEKA KINGDOM CELEBRATES IWO, THE FESTIVAL OF PURIFICATION.
Written by awawa on July 18, 2021
The Regent of Ayeka kingdom, Princess Oluyemi Bajowa has offered traditional prayers and the best wishes of the palace of the Lumure of Ayeka to all the sons and daughters of the land both at home and in The Diaspora as IWO festival , the 2021 edition is celebrated. Offering the traditional prayers on Thursday evening at the vigil that customarily precedes the main festivity of cleansing and purification, the Regent of Ayeka expressed her gratitude to the gods of the land for providing Ayeka kingdom yet another opportunity to observe and celebrate IWO.
” We want to thank the gods of our forefathers for giving us peace in Ayekaland the year round. We are grateful ! I am particularly grateful because the community is committed to sustaining mutual cooperation and communal peace , knowing full well that development comes only to places peaceful enough to accommodate economic growth,” regent of Ayeka, Princess Oluyemi Bajowa stressed.
She said Iwo is an annual festival with significant spiritual undertone as it allows the gods of Ayeka to interface with the indigenes by blessing them and washing the community clean during the festival.
Traditional chant songs, pouring of libations to the gods, dancing and traditional offertories were major highlight of the vigil at the palace of the Lumure of Ayeka kingdom Thursday night.
In the course of the revelry at the palace, thepolity.net interacted with Ayeka High Chiefs and prominent stakeholders who expressed their opinion.
Prince Babatunde Ayeyowa, the Liha of Ayeka noted with delight that Iwo is a prominent traditional celebration in Ayeka , adding that other Ikale communities also celebrate Iwo. He said it is the celebration that is meant for the men of Ayeka, noting that it’s not an all comers’ celebration.
“When we celebrate Iwo, our females are asked to stay indoors and non natives equally don’t go out. During the celebration, we offer prayers to the gods of the land and they visit to wash the town clean and release blessing on the land,” Prince Ayeyowa said.
Prince Barr. Adeolu Adegboyega, the Petu of Ayeka while describing the celebration has this to say, “Iwo is an ancient tradition. It is a visitation of the gods to the town for cleansing and for blessing . The ‘Oluweri’ and ‘ Eminale’ will go through the town and they will visit the nooks and crannies of Ayeka , cleansing and blessing the indigenes of the town at the same time.
” Where there are impurities, the gods ensure cleansing in the course of the visit. That is the more reason all the farm roads are cleared in preparation for Iwo so that the ‘Oluweris’ can have unfettered access to the town. The path leading to the river side are also cleared to pave way for their movement. It’s an annual interaction with the gods here in Ayeka and the gods actually come to the community and interact with the people.
” That is the more reason women and non indigenes are forbidden from coming out on this special day because of the level of sacredness of this legendary interaction between the people and their gods. Iwo is quite significant because it wards off evil in our land and it brings about high yields in our farms and of course , it is the laid down tradition of our forefathers,” Prince Adeolu enthused.
Barr. Obolo, an Ayeka indigene maintained that Iwo festival is celebrated annually in honour of The Lumure of Ayeka kingdom. He said the celebration is connected to what the people of the town refer to as ‘ Eminale.’ ” It is a festival that has been known for and has been identified with the pouring of blessing on the town from the gods. Women are not allowed to participate and visitors are not entertained,” Barr. Obolo added.
The traditional activities went on into the night.
On Friday morning, the town had gone calm and quiet as only the priests and ‘ the initiates’ went to the ‘ Ogwa’ for spiritual sacrifices, libations and prayers after which there was a walk round the town by the priests offering prayers for cleansing the community of ills, evil and ill luck.