Òrìshà (deity)

Yèyè o, yèyè oooo”

A Live Art piece that tackles Gender Inequality. It unpacks the archetypes of the Divine Feminine while addressing the audience with irony and exaggeration using storytelling, sattire and Exhibition to critique patriarchal mindset.

“Women are deities that deserve to be honored and appreciated

The performance embodies Osun; a riverine goddess of beauty, love, flowing joy, purity and fertility from the southwestern Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. Osun is a goddess that is rooted in fresh water such as rivers and streams and draws all her essence from fresh water.

Image: Lara Rose

Osun encompasses the entirety of womanhood, the Feminine body, and more. In this piece, she is used as a metaphor to explore the archetypes of the divine feminine, and the appeal of the goddess as a symbol of female empowerment. Women are deities that deserve to be honoured and appreciated.

Inequality has been an issue in existence since the beginning of the world even in the spiritual realm, where goddesses (women) are seen as lesser beings than the gods (male figures) .

Osun reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Ifá and Yoruba traditional religions. She is believed to be the fountain of fertility and the first bearer of multiple births. The Osun priestesses play a major role in the process of baby making concoctions and water-based mixtures to aid pregnancy and childbirth, also to keep a child strong and well nurtured throughout growing up. This is the major reason Osun is depicted in images- topless and bare on the upper body with her breasts hanging out, because the breasts symbolise life such that it nourishes and feeds offspring and there is no life without reproduction.

For Osun, the breast is also the representation of the alluring and attractive essence of the feminine body.

She carries herself with poise such that she is highly seductive and charms all the male gods. ”Sensuality that feeds Life”.

I agree, the breasts are sensual!

The supporting exhibition is an oportunity for discussion and reflection around the themes of Patriarchy and Female oppression/emancipation

In the book ‘’The Holy Odu’’ by Awo Fategbe Fatunmbi Fasola – there is a chant in Odù Ifá; (patterns of binary code) up facing and closed nodes, that represent the energies contained in divination (a kind of coded reference to ritual magic). The chant clearly states that when Olodumare (God) created his subjects, he created all male and just one female which is Osun. And whenever Olodumare gives them tasks, they are never able to complete it, they just pack it aside and move on to the next. After several attempts as such, they decided to report back to Olodumare to let him know of their struggles and find out if all of the tasks are just tests and they are not exactly supposed to be able to accomplish them. Olodumare asked ‘’what is Osun’s opinion about all these?’’ and they responded looking confused erm…Osun? We don’t even ever involve her, I mean she’s a woman! Olodumare said ‘’now I know the root of the problems you’ve been facing’’. ‘’You will now go and find Osun and invite her in and be kind to her, she doesn’t even need to touch anything, just her presence will cushion the blow of whatever life may throw at you’’.

It is proven, that it is unarguably beneficial if a woman’s rights are protected. 

I decided to perform this piece as an Osun priestess rather than Osun herself because, Nobody ever remembers the priestesses. The sanctified women that have dedicated their existence to the calling of Osun. The priestesses that have gone through rigorous initiation process to create the avenue for us all to be able to experience and receive the good tidings from Osun.

She often carries a mirror so that she can admire her beauty and she is fond of complex hair styles and fecundity. 

The performance part of the event, incorporates an Osun priestess performing libations to her Orisha. Supported by joyous exciting dancing with a soundtrack consisting of spoken words by the artist and women who have been involved in associated workshops as well as traditional and comtemporary folklore and percussion music.