For eight days in the month of August every year the people of the town of Osogbo in Oyo state, Nigeria, celebrate the Osun festival.
GV Crowds assembling before parade (2 shots)
GV Nigerian calabash carrier in middle of crowd (2 shots)
GV Crowd marching towards river (2 shots)
GV Crowd dancing
CU Chief and wives watching
CU & GV People drinking from river Osun (2 shots)
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Background: For eight days in the month of August every year the people of the town of Osogbo in Oyo state, Nigeria, celebrate the Osun festival.
SYNOPSIS: It attracts a large number of people from all over Nigeria, as well as tourists from many different parts of the world. The celebrations are held as a thanksgiving to the goddess of the river, Osun -- an appreciation of the kindness and protection she affords the citizens of Osogbo. The Arugba, the carrier of the ritual calabash, plays an important role in the celebrations and is traditionally a virgin.
During the climax of the festival the Ataoja -- or chief -- of Osogbo leaves his palace for Osun's shrine by the river, receives the homage of his chiefs and people, and offers a sacrifice to Osun. Drumming, dancing, singing feasting and other forms of entertainment are also features of the celebrations.
After the feeding of the traditional fish the Ataoja and his wives leave the Shrine and return to their palace, where invited guests are entertained. The elders of Osogbo also offer hospitality to guests, while others continue with the Osun rituals--one of which involves drinking water from the river. Osun's present day adherents claim that one of her greatest attributes is the power to make barren women fertile.