Bounce Exclusive: Umbrellas Are Forbidden In Iwoye Ketu
The rainy season is upon us.
So, it is not uncommon to find people walking with umbrellas to avoid getting wet.
But in Iwoye-Ketu, a border community in Imeko/Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, people don’t bother carrying an umbrella “just in case”.
The use of umbrella is a taboo in this community and the consequences could be dire.
The tradition dates back hundreds of years when its first settlers discovered the land. Since then, the belief has been passed down from one generation to the other.
Most of the community members were born into the cumbersome tradition; groomed in it and have become accustomed to it despite western education.
In the absence of umbrellas, residents are accustomed to the use of polythene bags, rain coats, boots, trays, hoods and traditional woven hats (akete), depending on their suitability to the sun or rain.
The community, which is mostly inhabited by Yoruba people, has a mixture of other tribes including Egun, Hausa, Igbo, Fulani, Igede and Ohoi.
The indigenes and settlers are highly industrious with farming as their major occupation.
History has it that one man named Olumu, believed to be one of the many sons of Oduduwa and a great hunter, had journeyed from Ile-Ife and after passing many towns finally settled in the place that is today known as Iwoye-Ketu.
He was accompanied by his family members and other well-wishers that with him.
Olumu was said to have migrated to Iwoye Ketu with three major items: a crown, a staff called "Opa Ogbo" and his deity called "Orisa Oluwa".
The deity according to the tradition was said to have forbidden Olumu and his descendants from using umbrellas during their stay on earth.
Our curiosity to ascertain the veracity of the taboo led Bounce News to visit the community.
Though the head of Iwoye- Ketu kingdom, Oba Joek Ademolaw was not available to comment, Bounce News, met a man whose voice on such issue could not be discarded.
Chief Olasunkanmi Oke, the Otun Bale of Jabata, Iwoyeland described the use of umbrella within the community as an affront on the Orisa Oluwa deity.
His words: “The use of umbrella as a cover, during the rainy or dry season or any occasion for that matter is forbidden in the community.
“The use of umbrella is not just a big offence, but an abomination and effrontery against one of our revered deities.”
Joel Ademola Asipa, another elder in the community, corroborated Oke 's claim that the use of umbrella is forbidden in the town. He said the norm is still in vogue.
Ashipa said for as long as the town exists, the taboo will subsist. He also admitted that attempts made in the past to break the taboo came with great consequences.
“There was a particular time wild animals invaded the town and when Orisa Oluwa was consulted, it said an individual in the community that has gone against its wish by using an umbrella.
Ashipa added that Orisa Oluwa has been the protector of the town and is known to have ward off lots of evil things from the people.
The umbrella is the logo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and politicians from the opposition parties, have not missed the opportunity to use the taboo to their benefit during political campaigns.
Oludare Ogundiran Joseph, a PDP stalwart confirmed the situation, saying his party can’t come to Iwoye-Ketu during its campaign and spread its symbol.
Joseph, a former elected councilor said as a result, his party members have to explain to residents that they are not dishonouring tradition.
During Bounce News’ visit to the community, there was a heavy downpour and it was observed that the tradition was followed to the letter.
Some elders of the community still visit the shrine of Orisa Oluwa to perform the required annual rites.
The shrine is considered to be the holiest place and essential core of the community.
Our correspondent’s visit to the shrine showed that the place is undergoing renovation.
Uniquely, rearing or the presence of pigs in the community for any reason is also a taboo. Orisa Oluwa forbids pig farming because pigs are dirty.
Our correspondent did not sight a pig during his visit to the community.
Oke clarified that eating of pork was not forbidden in the village but said what was a taboo was for anyone to rear the animal.
“Residents are allowed to eat it at home. They can also buy it in other villages and sell. The order is; don’t rear pig in the village,” Oke said.
Aare Ona Kakanfo is similar to a field marshal and is conferred upon the greatest soldier and tactician of that era.
We also noticed that both the Nigerian currency, Naira and CFA, the legal tender of the Republic of Benin are freely exchanged in Iwoye-Ketu.
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