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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Ogboni




Ogboni have esoteric rites, rituals, and ceremonies and access to certain knowledge is hierarchically ordered, making secrecy more than merely pragmatism. Therefore, in the context of contemporary anthropological and religious studies, Theory and Practice of Secrecy:Focus on Okonko and Ogboni in Africa: Inquiries in African Religion (Afrel) work examines the practice of secrecy as a strategy of continuity. It attempts to differentiate the ancestral societies and their mysteries from other exclusive societies drawn by the allure of access to secret knowledge.

 
There is a practical connection between conceptions of the sacred mysteries associated with ancestral societies and the imperative of secrecy with regard to those same mysteries and rites. The mysteries and rites are precisely that which is preserved and jealously guarded by silence from the ordinary but revealed to those properly initiated. Thus, secrecy is perhaps most associated with ancestral societies like Ogboni in Africa. Theory and Practice of Secrecy:Focus on Okonko and Ogboni in Africa: Inquiries in African Religion (Afrel)  work stressed the importance and significance of secrecy in traditional Africa.


Ogboni: The birth and growth of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity  Ogboni (also known as Osugbo in Ijèbú) is a fraternal institution indigenous to the Yoruba language-speaking polities of NigeriaRepublic of Bénin and Togo. A similar group in Igbo-speaking areas is called Okonko. The society performs a range of political and religious functions, including exercising a profound influence on regents and serving as high courts of jurisprudence in capital offenses. Its members are generally considered to be part of the nobility of the various Yoruba kingdoms of The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria

 fraternity or fraternal organization is an organized society of men associated together in an environment of companionship and brotherhood; dedicated to the intellectual, physical, and social development of its members. Various fraternities in Nigeria have incorporated references and insignia from the original Ogboni, including the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, the Indigenous Ogboni, and various others. Many of these contemporary societies combine elements of Ogboni’s historical functions with superficially similar institutions like Freemasonry and Ogboni: The birth and growth of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity


Earth and the ancestors: Ogboni iconography The most recognizable of these symbols was a pair of Ogboni initiates, one male and one female, attached by a chain and worn around the neck. The pair are thought to symbolize the attachment of the sexes in procreation and balanced society. Generally, one or both figures will hold a thumb in the grip of the opposite hand, demonstrating the paramount Ogboni handsign denoting initiation and membership.


 While membership in the Ogboni generally signified a high level of power and prestige, the society held pre-eminent political authority among decentralized groups like the Ègbá, where they were intimately involved in the selection of rulers that served as little other than figureheads in practice. In contemporary Yorubaland, Ogboni members still command great power and influence in the affairs of their societies, although this is largely due to the history of their respective chieftainships and not to any official authority.


Lodges of this fraternal group are found among the various types of Yoruba polities - from highly-centralized kingdoms and empires like Oyo, to the independent towns and villages of the Ègbá and the Èkiti and benin city - the Ogboni are recognizable for their veneration of the personified earth (Ilè or Odua) and their emphasis on both gerontological authority and benevolent service to the community.

 
Ogboni lodges were one of the main commissioners of brass jewelry and sculpture in pre-colonial Yorubaland, using the metal's rust-resistant qualities as an aptmetaphor for the immortal functions and beliefs of Ogboni adepts. The most recognizable of these symbols was a pair of Ogboni initiates, one male and one female, attached by a chain and worn around the neck. The pair are thought to symbolize the attachment of the sexes in procreation and balanced society. Generally, one or both figures will hold a thumb in the grip of the opposite hand, demonstrating the paramount Ogboni handsign denoting initiation and  membership with Earth and the ancestors: Ogboni iconography



The Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria offers detailed descriptions of the elaborate economic, political, and social structures of the Yoruba, their complex set of religious beliefs, and their world-famous art forms.The Yoruba, with other West African groups, represent a high level of cultural achievement in sub-Saharan Africa and are one of the most interesting and important peoples of the continent. 
Ogboni is dedicated to the intellectual, physical, and social development of its society with Ogboni: The birth and growth of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity