Notes on the Geography of Nigeria: Oshogbo: Photo 11
The grove was sacred because it sheaths the Osun River, which was sacred because the river is understood to symbolize Osun, one of the most important Yoruba deities or orishas. Why there should be this association is unclear, but the devotion to Osun has an explanation once accepted by many. Timoyin, the legendary founder of Oshogbo, had made an agreement with the goddess. She would protect his people, and they in turn would hold an annual festival in her honor. She, it was said, had kept up her side of the bargain when she had repelled the Fulani army that destroyed Oyo Ile. The festival would be and is even now held alongside the river.
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