Nigeria is blessed with diverse cultures and traditions. The people from the south-western part celebrate festivals than any other ethnic group.
Obitun is one of the famous festival celebrated by the south-west. It is a ceremony held to celebrate the girl child most especially into womanhood. Young girls are transitioned into beautiful maidens fit for marriage. The origin of Obitun goes way back to a time when a sudden outbreak caused the death of many young girls and boys at their puberty stage. The chief priest and other elders in council inquired about the outbreaks and found possible solutions to prevent such impending danger in the future.Image Credit: Google
A 9-day set sacred rites was made to appease the spiritual mates "Ogba" and ward off all evils surrounding the community. An edible sacrifice was made and the sudden death stopped. The sacred rites became permanent and every child within the age of 12 and 17 must undergo the process to be fully accepted in the community.Image Credit: Google
The girl's rite was therefore called "Obitun", which in the Ondo dialect, literally means "maiden" while the boy's rite was called "Aapon" (shaved head) because boys' heads were usually shaved for the rite.
During the festival, the girls are beautifully dressed with horsetails, hand fans and beaded bags which are worn across the shoulders. Different types of food are shared to celebrate the special festival. The girls also receive praises and gifts from family and relatives and give final thanks in the shrine.Image Credit: Google
Image Credit: Google
Due to the rapid civilization in the country, all traditional aspects of Obitun has been scrapped except the dance session only performed by cultural dance troops just to entertain people at ceremonies.
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