To the maiden that communes with Osun.
When the moon rises again,
the seventh night will be here –
seventh night that I have written a letter to the gods –
that the witches embrace my sacrifice –
and Arugba, be the woman in my domicile..
Now, I have come to you – Arugba,
for I can wait no longer.
And who are you?
For hoping I did come into your domicile –
I ridicule your courage –
For your letter to gods are mere imagination..
I am Arugba Osun.
And my making is for no common man-
For I reign in the power of a goddess.
I am Alabi,
the hunter that commune with Odidere,
Ordinary women don’t touch my spittle,
it’s reserved for a woman like you –
whose footprints inhibits that of Osun Olomo-yoyo,
come to me and dwell in bounties of bush meat.
Hunters are for women at home,
Damsel like I don’t fall for the touch of your spittle,
I dwell in the bounties of Olodumare-
Needless should I consider your your bounties of bush meat…
For I am the beloved of Osun Olomo-yoyo
And to my feet is the need of world,
So wait no more –
For your hope for me will never be alive.
Hunters are warriors,
haven’t you heard of Akara-Ogun,
that one that treads in the mystical jungle ?
Should I bring cowries to the riverside,
or ten folds of unblemished garment would attract you ?
For I shall wait till Osun heed my cries,
perchance she might appease Arugba on my behalf.
Ohh…Akara-ogun, the one that treads in the mystical jungle-
His power held my heart,
I owe myself to someone like him,
So I think about giving myself to Alabi the great hunter..
To quench his thirst for Arugba-
But you must promise me..
That I will never suffer in your cube,
For I am the eye of Osun…
The ever living mother of children
Men like me don’t make promises,
for we are of no tongues..
we only murmur –
and our murmurs become echoes,
echoes that beam throughout the four junctures of our land,
that Ogun is about to wed Osun,
I have found a woman in Arugba.
And I cry to the riverine,
For Ogun had won my heart-
Eyin oju osun-olomo weere-
Ejiwere niwaju eledumare…
Not for his tons for cloth,
Or sound of cowries..
But his defiance and stubborn ness,
And for being the arole Ogun ,
For that I give the whole of myself to him..
For I am ARUGBA,
The arole OSUN
And I shall gulp a barrel of emu oguro,
after sprinkling epo pupa to the god of iron,
Ogun had not forsaken me –
I would summon the omo-ode in the Ibarapa forest,
to beat to our ears the drums of victory,
for the whole of Arugba is mine –
and like a whale, I now swim in her wholeness.
Synopsis: In Yoruba culture, the Arugba (calabash carrier) is the key feature of Osun festival. She is a votary virgin (a cultural version of the Virgin Mary) who bears the Osun calabash on her head. In this beautiful piece, we see the display of culture in full glare between two people whose lives have been devoted to the gods–one to Osun the other to Ogun. As customary to arugba, her love entanglement can’t be with mere mortals hence, Odedire presents himself as the best candidate and suitor.
Authors: Folashade Taofeeqah Abdussalam and Balogun Alabi Yusuf,
Profile: Folashade is popularly known as Folableeds and is currently a student of Federal College of Education, Oyo where she is studying Theatre Arts. Balogu Yusuf a.k.a Gemini is a novelist, playwright and a poet. In December 2016, he authored a pamphlet ‘Days of Infirmity’. He is also the convener of Ardent Writers and the editor of iTalkCulture. He’s currently working on his upcoming books ‘When a Snake Sheds its Skin and Smiling Carcass