WISDOM FROM THE CROWN.
"Get up, get out and build our villages"
It's been an amazing journey as we reflect on the past 9 years of sitting on the throne of Adefunmi. Part of this amazement stems from working with a small but elite group of elders and young people who are passionate about the forward progression of our land and movement worldwide. Those who have contributed are vast in numbers and we thank each and every one of you, male or female. The work has been daunting, however there are a small few whose shoulders remain at the wheel. This innovative coalition rely on relevant input and contributions from you but nevertheless are still willing to stay the course indefinitely. We have built roads, built public restrooms, constructed a new Oyo Horseman, bed and breakfast and kitchen for the comfort of our visitors and guests. Also during this 9 years of service we have re-created the Great Benin Films studios which produces countless videos pertaining to Oyotunji and the cultural movement at large (see YouTube/Oyotunji) so that the world can tune in and be a part of the development in the oldest African town in North America. As we near the completion of the first decade of our reign, we have given immense focus and priority to various initiatives as it pertains to farming, eco building, and recycling. Sadly the last three mentioned above did not sell to well with our community. We believe that we are not ready to fully accept the Earth as the pinnacle of our religion and culture.
Coming from the original ancient indigenous people, we have a duty to clean the earth and live in cohesion with the environment. Our religion is our land and natural resources. This is why we have been pushing this movement towards the earth and it's care. If you pollute the lakes, rivers, streams, ocean, forest, and air you have disrespected Orisa.
While we highlight the successes and the shortcomings of the King’s reign and community, we must at the same time note the areas where we have not yet reached our full potential.
As the king works, the Crown needs the strong support of all egbes. The egbes have been lacking terribly in their duties and responsibilities to the community as well as to the Crown. The egbes are almost non existent. Ifa reminds us daily that the egbes are the King’s chiefs; men and women that work closely with the King to keep things running smoothly. To ensure that the school, temples, farm and safety of the local, state and national community, Egbe’s apply their knowledge of Orisa or discipline towards the peaceful evolution of the world. As we see it, we must continually re dedicate ourselves to the institution of Egbe, ancient African societies .
The ancient African proverb says, “It is our deeds that enter us into heaven , not our words”. The verbiage pandemic has become an epidemic in our community. More to the point, the King should never be left to walk alone. We challenge all omo oduduwa to live up to the King’s example as to longevity and innovation in creating spaces where you are and allow those who are seeing enlightenment to receive abundantly the wisdom of the ancients. The Village has a new spirit that revolves around it and that did not just happen by coincidence. There has been countless hours and programs that contributed to the up serge in attention.
A major area that we are still striving to reach our full potential in is the mentor, shadow, apprentice training programs between the elders and the youth. The elders are still working in their respective positions with no relief in sight. As they age, so does their approach to the innovation of the emerging leadership. Any African village in which the youth do not take up the jobs of the elders will not be as healthy as it can be. New ideas come with fresh and seasoned minds alike.
The King deeply values the advice, input and full participation of the leadership of cultural communities across the country in building solidarity toward a more sustainable future. Building the unity in our community not only keeps “hope” alive, it deters the King from becoming “weary in the well-doing”. It is the Yoruba people’s blessing to respectfully support the Crown, demonstrate their loyalty, dedication, and longevity to the ancestors.
While the majority of our people deal in street politics or the internet court of opinions, the King continues to seek those that affect and implement change from a position of title. Failure to do this renders one view or “opinions” on any given situation null and void. Opinions are not needed, however we do value/reverence science and facts. The future of social design depends upon it.
The Crown and the Kingdom are best served and supported as Egbes are faithful to their oaths, actions and tributes that are paid to the King from every initiation into Orisa and Egungun. Those in good standing with all levels of cultural leadership are the faithful, loyal and true. Loyalty such as this always has the ear of the Crown and bring their advice from a deeper place then opinion. Failure to send tributes to the King/dom in honor of the Source from which the ase received, flows… makes obvious persons that do not have the sustainability of the Kingdom in heart or pocket. Such individuals should be known as spiritual bandits who never give back to the source. If a river forgets it's source it dries up. We have given every night and day working for Kingdom and community, loving the Legacy that we inherited. Many times we have neglected visitation with family and children to see to it that duties are carried out .
Work for the Kingdom as the King does.
The King is a:
These hats we wear interchangeably between the hours of sunrise and sunset daily. The entire community needs to examine its self, redefining self determination as the means by which our individual and ancestral gifts/talents are shared with the whole. We as a community must re dedicate ourselves to the land and move back to the land. The land needs it's people. Too many black families move away from the land to the bustle of the cities only to find later that the land has been lost or in terrible disrepair when they return. As we witness the over growth of our ancestral lands we know that it's people have abandoned her.
Recently, there have been “wolves moving among us in sheep’s wool”, women that expose their cultural ignorance at every turn and opportunity. The authority of the elders and chiefs by their oath to the Crown has been grossly disrespected or outright ignored. The sacred laws, customs and traditions shall not be polluted by those that seek to abuse a false sense of power. If ever the foreign police are called into the Kingdom’s perimeter our national and personal ancestors are grieved and embarrassed. We have our own methods of conflict resolution and relevant codes of conduct. We call on our elders to resolve conflict because the foreign authorities have no compassion nor care for our cultural laws. Our sovereignty should be protected and not molested when we feel egoist enough to summon the European masters to solve our conflicts we render ourselves to the plantation once again.
In conclusion, we as the OBA are the brother to the Orisa. We are approachable and will always be among the people we serve. At your service 24/7. (Phone#843 846 email@example.com)
We beg that you uphold and modernize tradition in this turbulent time. Utilize the wisdom of the ancients and apply it to a modern time. Become a student of the Earth, apply its lessons and laws relevantly to social design.
Odua a gbe wa oooo
HRM Oba Adefunmi II
Eku Igba Odun. Odun Kan ni ooo!! Aseyi samodun o! Oba wa ki gbo gbo omo Oduduwa ni le, ni loko le l'odi!
Ifa teaches us that it is noble for one to celebrate during another's anniversary. Ifa says, "Eni odun ba ba l'aye / Ki o se odun, ki o yo sese" (when one witnesses another anniversary, one should rejoice greatly).
Prescribing to such, we greet the great ancestors and spirit guides, Osagiyan Palace, Ogboni, Council of Iyas and Babas, Chiefs and community members of the Kingdom of Oyotunji Village, the multiplicity of Yoruba culture and west African influenced temples and communities across the United States and the greater North America and Diaspora in this new Gregorian year of 2014. This date, marking the space in time where Western propaganda leads us to believe, the Christian lord arrived some 2,000 plus years ago. This "holiday" is but the opening ceremony to the New Year of our ancestors of the Yoruba culture and tradition that we recognize annually on the day of March, 21st. The Ifa New Year prescriptions from Ile-Ife, the Oriate of Cuba, Oke Tase and the forest of Oyotunji have been cast. We employ all to heed the ebo required and allow the wisdom of Ifa to carry us all through this year’s blessings.
Living Culture: Be a good student.
This year, we are all reminded to be good students of Yoruba and African culture in its antiquity; thus finding ourselves pupils to traditional ways of living, raising families, marriage, socializing, eating, praying, building, and overall – just being. History teaches us, that to attempt to assimilate, or suggest that we adjust to an oppressive culture; to fit those lowest on the totem pole – is psychotic. Instead, we must bury ourselves in the ways of our ancestors so that we may levitate with what our ancestral DNA calls for. Burying oneself in ancestral tradition gives a source to pull from when confronted with conflict resolution. We must all be reminded to be the good students of our collective ase and organize it, accordingly. Prior to the telephone, airplane, train, automobile or internet, our ancestors knew how to communicate and organize. Ifa's catch-word for this year for African cultural nationalist is – ORGANIZE.
Feeding Community: Channel the energy.
As regular practitioners and participants of the ancestral tradition, we must apply ourselves to using the ways of our ancestors to address the issues of our community. For example, if within our community we are planning to have an Ogun Bembe or celebration in honor of Ogun or the divine masculine energy of the universe, would it not make equal sense to include a men's roundtable or talk-back with the men of the temple or community; this way allowing the Ogun invoked energy and anointed space to bless the healing and solution developing for the men within that particular community? And the same can be had for the women within the community, utilizing the divine feminine energy of Yemonja, Moremi, Osun Queen Taiye and the Candace Queens to invoke an impenetrable sisterhood that collectively creates a womb ignited gravitational pull so transformational, that woman by woman, our mothers, daughters, sisters and wives are restored to our primordial standard. Primordial standard – simply implies that her disposition or world view, for Africa and it's Diaspora, is one that loves, supports, cares for, and goes forth to create a climate that is conducive to the further growth and development of the healing and restoration of African people – WORLDWIDE.
Feeding Community: Learning the ways of our ancestors.
Laws and rules that govern a traditional African culturally based community have always existed. If it is conflict you find yourself in, one must investigate the ancestral resolve and peace-making process. The answers are not hidden but written clearly in the innumerable Odu of Ifa. In many cases, Ifa in the west has taken on the "fortune telling" role or glass ball reader. However, the practicality of the Odu stories and proverbs is to be taken as a live-ity; a lifestyle or a way of life. This is learned by watching and observing the ways of our ancestors. Ifa is the wealth of the ancestors’ wisdom.
Celebrating Tradition: Protecting the children.
When we think as Europeans do when it comes to children, then we will only think of the living children. Our ancestors teach us to consider the unborn while we live out our lives. Wherever Africans are, all Children MUST be protected. Our African families today have the grim task of teaching their children about sexual molesters, predators, and pedophiles. [And unfortunately, in the past Oyotunji’s immediate and extended communities have experienced bouts of the macro-induced, micro-emulation of pedophilia and molestation. Our council of elders in both cases chose to handle each situation as traditionally as possible. Because prisons and institutions of confinement were introduced to us through European interfacing, African peoples, the Yoruba, did not have such within their villages. If there was an infraction to the greater society, physical punishment such as lashes or body part removal, and even exile or beheading were sought. We’d also like to extract that mass pedophilia as experienced in the African-American community is a result of the European induced psychotic sexual deviance influence.]
Reaffirming Osun as the mother of culture and deity of art rather then sex could help further secure our children’s community.
As Africans, we must not create an atmosphere of fear but one of education and enlightenment. As young men and women reach puberty and begin to attract the opposite sex, the family must know the culture of our ancestors in order to cope. In the culture of the Yoruba, puberty is celebrated and marks a time of rites of passage. As a Prince, I and fellow school mates participated in a number of tests and challenges to earn the right to be in Egbe Akinkonju (name of Oyotunji men’s society). And not so that we could wear nice sneakers or drive cars with shiny paint, but because the entrance into the men’s society was validation to the community that we were then able, obligated and responsible for the posts of Asolu (village guard), Ilari (the King’s guard), Dokpwe (the village’s men’s building collective) etc.
To hit puberty in a traditional Yoruba community for young men wasn’t followed by a promiscuous behavior pattern as seen in our communities, but meant more responsibility to one’s bloodline, family name or ancestors, one’s immediate family and extended community. It means that you answer to more people while experiencing the ever evolving pressure to follow one’s culturally-born destiny.
And relatable to the male rites, is that of the female. Egbe Moremi is the women’s society that women at puberty are positioned to cross over into. It’s necessary to mention as a sort of disclaimer, that because we are not of the female gender we have received counsel from our mothers, wives and sisters as it pertains to this society. And so per the women of the Aafin, our daughters in a traditional Yoruba community are held very close by the women within that community.
Coming into as a young woman allows the receiving of the divine-feminine-power-lifestyle-teachings. The tests and challenges a young lady at puberty would encounter would be the basic behavioral and habitual teachings that a mother passes down to her young daughters. From prayers, to market skills, to caring for her younger siblings, how to properly dress and how to make her and her family’s clothing if need be, cooking, creating furniture, hygiene, how to befriend other women, cutting wood, pick mariwo, amongst a number of other things. To hit puberty in a traditional Yoruba community for young women wasn’t followed by a promiscuous or risky behavior pattern as seen in our communities, but meant more responsibility to one’s bloodline, family name or ancestors, one’s immediate family and extended community. It means that you answer to more people while experiencing the ever evolving pressure to follow one’s culturally-born destiny.
Protecting our children must equate to TEACHING our children the TRADITION! If at any point a Yoruba becomes disgruntled or begins sinking in life, s/he is encouraged to ascertain a prescription from Ifa, orisa or ancestors – our roadmap our guide.
Celebrating Tradition: Key word, CELEBRATE!
This year Ifa tells men to be good to their wives and wives to be good to their husbands. Let us be reminded to celebrate, show appreciation and, however you best define it, and love one another in excess. This year in the Kingdom, we have plans to build; celebrating our ability to simply – man the land – if nothing else. In 2014, we welcome our Yoruba constituents, near and far, to join us as we celebrate during our 14 annual festivals, one of which will be a Royal Wedding, in which we, the Oba, will take on another wife. 2014 marks us being festive in our culture! We hope to join the assorted Ile and Temples across North America during their perspective odun and celebration as well. So be certain to contact us directly should you be interested in inviting us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, as we have heard the disgruntled comments from many who’s disposition is one that “traditional African culture is too old" or "we don't need chiefs, Queens and Kings because that’s too old". We hear the people who often cite the fact that "I want the Religion and not the culture". In response to those comments we say this… We have not attempted to live our ancestral culture long enough, with meticulous detail enough or broad enough to harp on its short comings and/or so-called out dated thinking. All the while, we live European doctrine in our daily lives; European, Western culture is in our speech, thoughts, family patterns, social hierarchy, diet and cuisine, marriages, conflict resolution, dress and just about everything else we are made of. We have all of the characteristics of SLAVES who were reprogrammed by some foreign master. Are we FREE yet? History teaches us that the true emancipation of a people didn’t come from the colonial, oppressive culture that enslaved them in the first damn place. No. Historical reference teaches us that the true emancipation of a people comes directly from the willingness to shed the imperialistic influence and trade that in whole heartedly for the indigenous ways of their people. Let’s collectively make it a point to celebrate and be festive in our indigenous Yoruba culture in 2014.
Oba nki e,
HRM Oba Adejuyigbe E. A. O. Adefunmi II
HRM Oba Adejuyigbe Egundjobi Alladahonu Oyewole Adefunmi II, Oloyotunji of Oyotunji