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The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti - Culture - Nairaland

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The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti by toyinakomolafe(m): 1:44pm On Jan 10, 2016
Ha ve you ever visited a city called IKERE in Ekiti State? If you have not, try to schedule a date for that. This is the only town in Ekiti that is dotted and surrounded by different kinds of historically significant ancient hills. The three most publicized among the hills are:
1. OROLE HILLS
2. OLOSUNTA HILLS and
3. UGELE HILLS


OLOSUNTA ROCK

The Olosunta Rock is a sacred rock worshipped every year for nine days in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The festival draws tourists from far and near. Beside it is the Ugele hill which has a big cave that has the capacity to contain over 1,000 people. Centuries ago, the cave provided refuge for people who sought shelter there in war time. The cave also served as a venue for traditional wrestling in the past.

Every year a festival of remembrance called Jona-Olosunta takes place in Ikere land to celebrate the Ikere warriors who fell in the battle against the Oyo Kingdom.

As part of the rites, palm fronds are tied together and lit up in what is known as Otifon. Only the Olu-Ikere is allowed to make sacrifices to the rock.

Oral history traced the origin of Olosunta to Ile-Ife, Osun State. The rock is said to have been in existence before Ojo (Olosunta) came into the town.

Olosunta came in a human form from Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of the Yoruba,but later transformed into a spirit. He and the Olu-Ikere Oloje came from Ogbon-Ilode in Obaloran quarters in Ile-Ife.

He came after Olu-Ikere arrived because they were friends. Olosunta’s real name was Ojo. He came after he was disappointed by his people who refused to appoint him successor to the then Chief Priest of Ife (Agidimalaja) who died. He believed he would be installed successor but he was eventually denied.

Ojo got angry and traced his friend, Olukere Oloje, who had arrived in Ikere. Olosunta was a great herbalist who rescued Ikere from her adversaries. He also fought many wars to defend the people.

“But there came a time when the people became envious of him for wielding such enormous power and influence. And so they plotted to kill him. But he got wind of the plot as it was being hatched. Hence, he fled his home before the people could arrive. He ran into the forest to escape but the people ambushed him.

Olosunta was, however, lucky to escape as he turned into a whirlwind which suddenly started blowing. With that, he drove the people away.

The whirlwind was tough. They (aggressors) retreated but regrouped and returned the next day for a hot pursuit. They, however, had difficulties locating him. Out of desperation, they set fire to the hill in order to choke him thinking he would either run out of the rock or die after inhaling smoke.

They returned to the hill the third day only to hear his voice saying he would never die. He cursed the people that, they would continue to set fire to the hill yearly. There was widespread chicken pox after the attack, which resulted in many deaths, the problem became unbearable for the people and they decided to consult for solutions.

After consultations, they went to Olosunta’s friend Olukere Oloje who was not part of the plot, for intervention. It was revealed that he must be appeased with a very big cow. That is how it became compulsory to host the festival yearly.

The hill has spiritual powers for healing and solving problems of those who worship and make pledges to it.

However, the Olosunta Rock is unlike other rocks that tourists throng for relaxation. People cannot go there on their own because it has grave consequences. People gather there only during the festive period after performing some rites.

The Olosunta yearly celebration lasts for nine days. It is on the night of the eighth day that the sacrifice is performed. People will come in the morning of the ninth day to receive the priests who will be returning from the hill.

The celebration alternates between July and August of every year depending on the season. A very big cow is usually used as a sacrifice to Olosunta rock, there is no specific colour for the cow, but it must be very big in size. It is offered as a sacrifice. People don’t eat from the cow but there are provisions for food.

Another account has it that:

“Olósùnta òrun Ìkéré”: Olosunta, the heavens of Ikere Land:

Sometimes in the past, when the people of Ikere worshipped the massive Olosunta Inselberg as a god, another conflict took place again between the kingdoms of Oyo Alaafin and Ikere, in which the soldiers of Ikere fled before the Oyos and their leader ran into a cave. Since capturing a leader during war meant the end of a battle, the Oyo warriors found the cave but feared to enter the stygian hole. They even tried setting the cave on fire by using dried palm fronds, but their efforts were in vain. This was how the war ended.

Every year a festival of remembrance called “Jóná Olosunta”” takes place in Ikere land to commemorate the Ikere warriors who died in the battle against Oyo kingdom.

As part of the sacrificial rites, palm fronds are tied together and lit up- this is known as Òtifon. Snails, chicken and goat are also served as sacrifice to Olosunta rock.

Only the "Olúkéré" is allowed to make sacrifices to the rock.
NB: OLUKERE is the traditional chief priest of Ikere who is responsible for traditional rites of worshiping Olosunta while OGOGA is the paramount ruler of Ikere Kingdom.



ABOUT OROLE

History has it that, a long time ago, when Orole (“Oro-Ile” meaning “story of the land”) was known to be a low-lying rock outcrop, the people of Oyo Kingdom rose up to attack Ikere Kingdom. The people of Oyo Alaafin wanted to capture and sell the people of Ikere to White men as slaves.

Just before the Oyo soldiers gained entry into Ikere’ enclave, they became very tired and hungry and decided to stop and take some rest on a small yam plantation where Orole was located.

They dug out yam tubers they found on the farm and feasted on them. As they stood up to attack the enclave of Ikere, the Orole began to rise out of the ground(while they were still on it) and before they realised what was happening, the were carried up to a height of about 1000 ft. Orole rose into a gigantic inselberg, so big and steep they couldn’t descend it.

It was told that they tried escaping from the trap by tying their clothes together in pieces to use as ropes, but it amounted to futility. They decided to commit suicide by jumping off the inselberg.

Every year, the people of Ikere-Ekiti offer sacrifices to Orole Inselberg in order to continue enjoying its protection.

UGELE HILLS

Beside Olosunta Rock is the Ugele hill which has a big cave that has the capacity to contain over 1,000 people. Centuries ago, the cave provided refuge for people who sought shelter there in war time. The cave also served as a venue for traditional wrestling in the past during a festival known as "OGUN OYE" How is OGUN OYE celebrated? Try to find out by visiting the scenic and beautiful city called IKERE.

1 Like

Re: The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti by RealAdewole(m): 2:04pm On Jan 10, 2016
it looks like a rock formed by a volcano
Re: The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti by tattesco(m): 6:02am On Jul 22, 2016
Can people stay on vocano?
Re: The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti by absoluteSuccess: 7:59am On Jul 22, 2016
Who will make this great places a tourist destinations?

Good photographs and promotion of relaxation and holidaying will go a long way to help.

Life is not all about endless work for material things and whatnot, just to proof better than the other man,

But time and again, serenity and sightseeing is spiritual part of life.

He that does not appreciate the finger of God will not live to behold his glory.
Re: The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti by gatiano(m): 11:53am On Jul 22, 2016
Nice one op. But the true history of the hills and mountains were broken down in the form of myths. 1 years can mean 1000 years or even one cycle = 1461 years.
The hills are many thousand years, if not millions years older than the white man buying slaves which is merely 700 years.

It shows us that the hill were made by intelligent mind, coming from a people or person.

It would be beautiful, If we get the true legend of the Kings and Priests, And the scientific ways of how the hills were made from The Custodians of the hills.
Re: The Gigantic Rocks Of Ikere Ekiti by absoluteSuccess: 7:59pm On Jul 22, 2016
gatiano:
Nice one op. But the true history of the hills and mountains were broken down in the form of myths. 1 years can mean 1000 years or even one cycle = 1461 years.
The hills are many thousand years, if not millions years older than the white man buying slaves which is merely 700 years.

It shows us that the hill were made by intelligent mind, coming from a people or person.

It would be beautiful, If we get the true legend of the Kings and Priests, And the scientific ways of how the hills were made from The Custodians of the hills.

In fact I was thinking you will say we created the rock. I have to stop here so you can continue.

Much love.

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