Once upon a time there lived an AFRICAN GODDESS, named YEMOJA who dwell in the OGUN RIVER, with HAIR that was BLACK as MIDNIGHT and SKIN DARK BROWN like MOLASSES that pour from OAK TREE’S on a hot summer’s day. Around her neck she wore a beautifully strung necklace made with RIVER STONES. YEMOJA had come to live in the RIVER after her husband, KING OGUN, went on a journey, never to return. In despair, she climbed to the top of the tallest tree, on the top of the tallest mountain and reached her arms up to the HEAVEN’S above; seeking comfort from OLODUMARE (God), Consumed by her own tears, she rolled down the mountain just as morning dew rolls off a blade of grass, filling the empty RIVER BED below.
YEMOJA had many, CHILDREN and she gave them all such beautiful names, some of which were ORISA, MAN, WOMAN and CHILD. YEMOJA loved all of her CHILDREN very dearly. However, there was one other thing that YEMOJA loved just as much and that was the SWEET taste of MOLASSES. One of her FAVORITE FOODS! The CHILDREN who lived near the OGUN RIVER would bring YEMOJA, MOLASSES everyday, pouring it into the RIVER as they sang her song of praise…..
“YEMOJA MAYE ‘LE ‘WO MAYE ‘LE ‘WO,
YEMOJA, YEMOJA MAYE ‘LE W\’WO
MAYE ‘LE ‘OW YEMOJA”
This PLEASED YEMOJA, and as a token of HER appreciation, she would leave gifts of COLORFUL RIVER STONES for ALL of HER CHILDREN, at the base of OLD BAOBAB TREES, that stood along the river edge.
During the Festival of “THE MOTHER Villages would come to the OGUN RIVER where they placed special offerings of FRUIT, MOLASSES and WHITE YAMS. Every one would then would gather to recite a special prayer, in Honor of “THE MOTHER OF FISHES”
It is the BIRD that takes GOOD FORTUNE to the SPIRIT of the “MOTHER OF FISHES” The GODDESS of the OGUN RIVER.
It is the bird ALUKO that takes GOOD FORTUNE to the SPIRIT of the LAGOON.
The assistant to the GODDESS of the OGUN RIVER.
It is the PARROT that takes GOOD FORTUNE to the Chief of Iwo.
It is CHILDREN who bring GOOD FORTUNE from HEAVEN to EARTH.
The GREAT ONE who gives GOOD THINGS, give me GOOD THINGS from the GREAT ONE who gives GOOD THINGS. May it be so!
ABEOKUTA was the VILLAGE in which the OGUN RIVER was located, and many of the Villages went there to collect water so that they could wash their clothes, cook their meals and bathe their skin.
During the day, the Sun’s rays could be seen rising harmoniously off of the surface water……..