Barakat Adedimeji suffered a trance in the beere neighborhood of Ibadan where she collapsed, her actions was a shocker both to the young and old people who were present for the festival.
When she was revived and regained consciousness, she delivered what they professed to be a heavenly message to one of the visitors. However, It was discovered that Barakat is the daughter of Mrs. Salamo Ogunrinde, who happens to be the festival’s host.
She, (Salamo) is a mother of twins, and Taiwo, one of the twins, is Barakat’s mother. The older woman came to Ibadan to perform the Twins ritual in honor of her daughter (Taiwo) which families and well-wishers joined them in celebrating, variety of special a d local delicacies were classically made and distributed to the guests.
When Taiwo Adedimeji learned about her daughter’s trance and the kind of message she conveyed to the intended recipient, she became very emotional. While rolling over and sobbing, she was also receiving prayers from the elders present at the festival.
Morountodun Faponle, a witness at the festival and close friend of Taiwo Adedimeji, revealed that the Orisa Ibeji festival is one of several celebrations held in Yoruba land in honor of the twins. ‘A festival during which the god of the twins, known as ‘ere Ibeji’ (a wooden carving), was worshipped and fed with sacrificed food.
“I’m here to join in the celebration with my friend. Everyone else is here to celebrate, as you can see. She visited the shrine before the ceremony started to worship the god, and make any requests she desires.
“Barakat, her daughter, is the one who went into a trance and nobody anticipated that she (Barakat) would be one to convey the message delivered”, she added.
Birthing Twins in Nigeria Society
Twins are often regarded as magical creatures and a deity in the Yoruba culture which the Sango deity is believed to bestow protection upon them.
If one of the twins should in any way passes away, things will fall into improper fractions such will lead to disasters for the parents and the community they reside in. Aside from that, sacrifices will be made to honor the deceased twin, and the parents will also consult a diviner to help them carve a wooden image for the twins, which they often treat much like a real person.
Society recognizes twins by their common names, Taiwo and Kehinde. After consulting with the oracle, the society learns the mothers’ recommended occupations. The typical occupations of twins are trading in goods like garments, beans, or oil or begging for alms. The twins and the orisa ibeji were credited with having rainmaking, avenging, fertility, wealth, and avenger powers.
As part of their rites, the twins’ festival is always well celebrated, and in some locations, shrines are established to worship the twins’ spirits. This celebration is usually done weekly, biweekly, or monthly. It is presented alongside things including beans, red palm oil, vegetables, pumpkins, sugarcane, and ekuru as a sacrifice to the ibeji god. Everyone in the community is also usually welcome to participate in this sacrificial feast, especially young children.
When the festival is being observed, the spirit of the god will enter any of the young people present to deliver messages of what will happen to whom it concerns in a month from that point. This was explained by an elderly man who simply identified himself as Baba Oosa Osun’e’daran.
According to him, “The celebration is for the twins and the two other children that followed them (Idowu and Alaba). There is nothing you ask from the twins that won’t be given during this moment.
“To satisfy the individual who asked, they will offer anything they can. Each of these children (Taiwo, Kehinde, Idowu, and Alaba) worships a different wooden carved image (ere), and each of them chooses a specific date for their celebration after carefully consulting with their respective gods if the date can be chosen. They do this by using bitter kola as a form of communication.
“Despite civilization taking over, many families still observe the celebration. If a family of twins includes an Alhaji or pastor and they feel they can’t participate in the celebration with us, it is their responsibility to fulfill the requirements by contributing whatever they have to fund the festival, and the twins will pray for them.”
He added that as long as the ritual has a history in their family, it must be done regardless of civilization.
“Some families usually come to our place to have the celebration, and that is if they don’t want people in their environment to know that they practice rituals like that. They would also invite us to their locations if it were the other way around.”
A mother of grown-up twins who have already moved to their respective husbands’ homes, Mrs. Memunat Oyediran, clarified that although the ‘orisa Ibeji festival’ is a real tradition, it only existed in earlier times and neither her family nor her husband’s family practiced it.
She claimed that other than making beans for their twins on their birthdays, there are categories to it.
“In Yoruba land du old times, if twins are born, the family would consult a diviner to know their “akosejaye” and the type of twins they are. The diviner would reveal it, whether they are the dancing ones (onijo), or the ones that beg for alms, etc.
“Nowadays, the twins only get beans on their birthdays or when they are ill; otherwise, their parents would buy fruit and distribute it to everyone, and the twins would be well. If they are the onijos, they would carry the twins dancing around in comparison to earlier times,” she added.
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