Download 76834532 Osun LIBRO AFRICANO Ajidabe Negotiating Performance PDF

Title76834532 Osun LIBRO AFRICANO Ajidabe Negotiating Performance
TagsHermeneutics Semiotics Theory Martin Heidegger Phenomenology (Philosophy)
File Size2.5 MB
Total Pages167
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Page 1

Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers

(October 2005)

George Olúsolá Ajíbádé

Negotiating Performance:

Òsun in the verbal and visual




No. 4No. 4

Page 2

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Page 83


4.6. The Beauty and the Elegance of Òşun

Beauty is in various forms. Òşun is a pretty woman. In Yorùbá society, it is
the tradition of their women to use different cosmetics to adorn themselves.
Either a lady going into marriage or a married woman, all of them try to
adorn themselves and appear charming, neatly and attractive to men. At
times, it is a politics of appearance by using different cosmetics for
adornment. There is an adage in Yorùbá that, “ a lady who is painting her
feet, is an activity of beauty; the one who is using eyes lashes, it is also an
act of beauty. "Ọmọge tí ń lé làálì aájò ẹwà nì, Èyí tó sì ń tó tìróò aájò ẹwà
náà ni".

This is corroborating the fact that Yorùbá women use different types of
cosmetics to adorn themselves so that they can appear beautiful. Among
these cosmetics and make-ups are: beads, bangles, traditional marks,
weaving and plaiting of hair, painting of feet and eyes lashes etc. Apart from
using these artificial make-ups, some of them are usually blessed by God
with beauty from heaven (natural beauty). In such cases, whatever kind of
dress they put on, the beauty and the glory of God their creator will just
shine on them.

If we examine the poetry of Òşun, chants, recitation or songs, if we use
our imagery potentials, we will be able to decipher the depth of the beauty
of Òşun as a goddess. One of the oríkì of Òşun goes thus:

Aşadẹ bí ẹ ń şagbá
Mo torí ìlèkè ẹfóntè
Mo bá wọn mórùn gígùn wáyé
Mo torí idẹ móbó
Mo bá wọn lówó gbọgbọrọ
Èjìgbà ìlèkè ní ń şa mi lórùn ní Ìjùmú
Idẹ wéréwéré ń şa mi lówó eré abó
Mo şudẹ mo i lérí idẹ
Èjìgbà ìlèkè ni mo i tàkìtì lókè Èfòn
Òşun Şèègèsí Olóòyà iyùn.
(The one who gathers brass as if gathering calabash,
Because of ẹfóntè beads,
I was created with a long neck.
I was created with long hands,
Because of brass bangles.
I put plenty coral beads on my neck in Ìjùmú
My wrists are filled with brass bangles
I added brass to brass

Page 84


I used plenty coral beads during my performance at Èfòn.
Ò un èègèsí the owner of coral beaded comb

The above oríkì Ò un shows her as a woman that was created by God as a
beautiful woman. The second to the fifth lines are revealing Ò un as a
woman with a neck that her use of beads is very fitting and moderate. It is
true that she used cosmetics like fóntè beads and coral beads, but the nature
of her neck made it possible for the beads to be moderate on her neck. As
earlier said, necklaces is part of cosmetics which women use to beautify
themselves. It means that Ò un is a pioneer among women who uses
necklace to adorn herself.

Apart from necklaces, they make use of bangles. We can deduce from the
above oríkì of Ò un that God gave her good hands that make the use of
bangles fitting and corporate. The bangles she was using are not ordinary
ones, they are bangles made of brass. That is why, in order to look like
mother Ò un, her devotees do put on the similar necklaces and bangles
today. The beaded comb of Ò un is also an indication that she plaits hair for
the people. Therefore, she mends people’s head so that they become
beautiful. The outer beautification of head that Ò un does cannot be
unconnected with her power to mend and rectify people’s head (destiny) at
the metaphysical level. Apart from this, she has different articles of beauty,
elegance and glory.

Ò un is called “The mother who has fans of coral beads”. This connotes
that Ò un’s fan was made of coral beads; this makes the fan colourful,
beautiful and fanciful. In most cases, coral beads are an emblem of beauty
and elegance. Another oríkì of Ò un says:

Ò un èègèsí
Olóòyà iyùn
A fi-dídá-gòjó-gòjó-fàjàngbòn
(Ò un èègèsí,
The owner of beaded comb
The one who walks elegantly to cause trouble).

Part of what they use in plaiting women hair is comb, which is usually made
of wood. But, the comb of Ò un was made of bead to show that she is
sociable and elegant. The third line of her oríkì above shows that she is
naturally beautiful among women. “The trouble” she causes with her
walking style is nothing more than attraction she creates for men when they
see her beauty. This is normal for some men when they see a beautiful lady
walking in their presence, they cannot but feed the visual domain. The
moment the men see the beauty of Ò un especially while she walks, they
will be attracted to her. The beauty and the elegance of Ò un could be the

Page 166


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