Have you ever read about the Anlugbua festival? It is a celebration of bravery, tenacity, and courage. This celebration, which is held every year in one of the old towns, commemorates the mysterious and shocking exit of Kuta’s founder and one of the greatest Yoruba warriors, who left behind unmistakable marks.
One of Yorubaland’s historic cities, KUTA is situated in Osun State’s Ayedire local government. The town of “brown” roofs and “mud” homes has two main distinctive features, including a particularly robust road network (tarred key roads) and a deeply ingrained wealth of traditions.
WITHIN NIGERIA on December 24, 2022 traveled to Kuta, one of the ancient villages in the Ayedire local government, to celebrate the historical festival Anlugbua and learn crucial information about the yearly celebration that is cherished by the Kuta community.
Anlugbua is an annual celebration that often takes place in August to honor and remember Akindele Anlugbua, the founder of Kuta and a fearless, gallant, and brave warrior.
If we want to talk about the specifics of the Anlugbua festival, we must first talk about Akindele Anlugbua, the man who founded Kuta, including how the old town came to existence.
How Ajibosin adopted Anlugbua’s son, Akindele?
Ajibosin, a grandson of Oduduwa, founded Owu-Iponle, where Akindele Anlugbua was born. The veteran Anlugbua who traveled with Ajibosin to Owu-Iponle was a notable warrior and man of valor. People regarded him as Eledumare’s second in command because of his immense strength. After Ajibosin passed away, Anlugbua survived.
Despite the fact that Anlugbua is childless, he adopted Akindele as a son following Ajibosin’s death and gave him power. Akindele Anlugbua stood apart from other Anlugbuas in Owu because of this. There is no Owu town without an Anlugbua shrine, and every town commemorates Anlugbua.
How did Akindele Anlugbua establish Kuta?
Following the chieftaincy dispute between him and his brothers after the passing of their father, Ajibosin, Akindele Anlugbua departed Owu-Iponle in 1426.
Oral tradition states that Akindele Anlugbua left Owu-Iponle with all royal accoutrements when the oracle chose his younger brother to be enthroned as the next king.
Remember that the Owu empire was destroyed in 1826 as a result of protracted internal warfare. Before the empire fell because of a chieftaincy dispute, Akindele Anlugbua had departed and founded the Kuta kingdom.
Akindele Anlugbua continued on his divine path as a warrior and combatant after leaving the Owu-Iponle kingdom, and some individuals who believed in him followed him. Akindele Anlugbua, however, did not go from Owu in peace since he removed all regal adornments.
His adversaries and people who were offended by his action continued to set traps for him or to pursue him. Every time he made the decision to settle down, another of his supporters would pass away or become very ill.
The ifa diviner (Babalawo) of the genuine Anlugbua, also known as Atorunmoopele, reportedly followed his principal’s adopted son, Akindele Anlugbua.
The ifa diviner had a peculiar spirit of divination and was extremely strong. When the gods wanted to establish a dominion, he was the one who would consult their advice. They remained steadfast. Despite obstacles and traps set up for them, they kept moving forward until they arrived at this location in Kuta.
Hours, days, weeks, and months were all spent. They noticed that they neither died nor fell ill. Akindele Anlugbua, who was exuberant, is quoted as saying, “Ikutamiti” (End of sudden deaths). The name was shortened to Kuta over time. After that, they carried on with their happy lives.
How did Kuta’s four royal houses come to be?
After getting married, Akindele Anlugbua’s wife had to wait a few years before becoming pregnant. Despite a delay due to his strength and power, he did not turn out like his adopted father. A girl by the name of Morolanihun was born to his wife.
Morolanihun gave birth to four sons, according to tracable oral history. Due to the strong gender isolation that predated the Yoruba culture, girls in those early times sometimes received little to no care.
The four royal dynasties in the Kuta community are represented by these four sons. The Tegbosun, Delumo, Adeyi, and Lanloye royal houses are the four that make up this group.
Akindele Anlugbua: A warrior who rides a horse through the air or through the ground
Being a valiant warrior, Akindele Anlugbua permitted the chiefs he nominated to handle administrative tasks while he continued to fight to support other cities.
Oral tradition states that Akindele Anlugbua was so strong while going into conflicts that he would simply hit his leg on the ground and vanish to his desired position.
With a horse and hound he utilized in battle, he was so strong that he could either walk beneath the ground or vanish into thin air.
Akindele Anlugbua, unlike his adopted father, did not pass away. He did not also vanish. He survived for a while before deciding to end his life like an immortal by entering the ground.
Why do people in Kuta annually revere or celebrate Akindele Anlugbua?
Akindele Anlugbua reportedly contacted each of his children on a specific day and informed them that it was time for him to depart. He made it clear that he would show them where and how to contact him in case of war.
Findings showed that Akindele Anlugbua, his wife, a herbalist who practices ifa, a horse, and a dog entered the ground below, leaving behind a stone stool and the remains of a chain that had been fastened around his waist.
There are rumors that the area may include the horse footprints of Akindele Anlugbua, whose mount crashed into a large tree. The footsteps may still be seen now as they could 30 years ago before destruction began.
Visitors to the Osun community in Kuta are forbidden from eating groundnuts and pounded yam;
His sons started to have fun when Akindele Anlugbua vanished into the earth and were entirely engulfed in it. While having fun, they questioned whether their father would really emerge if called upon.
They got to the location and yelled at him as he instructed them. Akindele Anlugbua charged out with ferocity and was unstoppable. He started shooting erratically and began slicing off people’s heads.
He was swift, fierce, and savage. A woman was just completed peeling yam tubers intended for pounding as this was going on. She placed these yam peels in such a way that the fierce-appearing Akindele Anlugbua fell when he stepped on them.
The horse fought to stand up before tripping over a groundnut husk that was still on the ground and falling back down. Akindele Anlugbua was able to witness the situation after this action cooled him down and helped him realize that he had slaughtered his people. He was depressed, sorrowful, and suffering greatly. He grew furious and promised never to answer the call of duty again, but he agreed to let them hold an annual festival in his honor.
Akindele Anlugbua further ordered that no native of the Kuta community be involved in the sale of groundnuts or pounded yam. As a sign of respect and dignity, this was done. No eatery in the town offers groundnuts or pounded yam as of the time of reporting.
Prince Oyelayo, Sobaloju, one of the community’s renowned leaders, told WITHIN NIGERIA that they had had instances of people who were obstinate and engaged in the business of selling groundnuts and pounded yam, but the incidents did not turn out well.
A woman from Ilorin once had a groundnut stand. She conceived later than expected and had to leave Kuta before giving birth. The well-known chief said, “Another Christian who claimed to be selling ‘Iyan Jesu – Pounded yam of Jesus’ lost almost all of his followers.
According to another chief who went by the name Chief Akanni, the Balogun of Kuta village, Anlugbua’s dog used to arrive and convey messages for former kings and chiefs, and these people in turn sent these messages to Akindele Anlugbua.
Although we sacrifice rams to pacify Anlugbua for taking the lives of those he attacked and worship Ogun, the god of iron, during the annual Anlugbua festival, it is not an act of idolatry.
Anlugbua’s dog used to come and deliver messages for previous kings and chiefs in the olden days, and these people in turn would bring messages and sometimes gifts (Aasa – snoofs) to Anlugbua, according to another chief simply known as Chief Akanni, the Balogun of Kuta village.
Even though the yearly Anlugbua’s festival is not an act of idolatry, we sacrifice rams to Ogun, the god of iron, in order to satisfy him for taking the lives of those who had been attacked by them.
Additionally, many attend the celebration to give thanks to Anlugbua for his blessings and protection.
The chief said, “However, we do not view the Anlugbua festival as a type of idol worshiping rather than a form of recollection.”
The high chief stated that Anlugbua had close ties to Obatala and many other deities while alive, which is why people also worship Ogun and other gods during the event.
Anlugbua was close with a number of people, including Ogun and Ibayin. Before they may celebrate Anlugbua as the last rite, the inhabitants of Kuta must satisfy these deities, and the masqueraders are not left out either.
Why do some Kuta natives not attend the Anlugbua festival?
It’s true that mistakes made by the dads might be passed on to the children. Because they are now experiencing the consequences of their ancestors’ punishment, some Kuta natives share the same fate. The creator excuses them from the festivity due to the transgressions of their ancestors.
Recall how several intoxicated individuals went to the location where Akindele Anlugbua vanished into the earth to confront him, which resulted in the deaths of numerous native people.
Upon inspecting the dead victims after Akindele Anlugbua’s horse fell, he noticed Ila-Keke marks on their faces. Akindele Anlugbua has four sons, and one of them has an Ila-Keke mark, meaning that all of his descendants have the same facial mark.
Any Kuta native with an Ila-keke mark on his or her face was told not to attend the celebration, according to Akindele Anlugbua. Any Kuta native who has the Ila-keke mark is forbidden from visiting the location.
According to research by WITHIN NIGERIA, indigenous people who have Ila-Keke marks on their faces are still exempt from the festival as of right now. It was made known that any Keke family descendant who does not have the facial scars can take part in the celebration.
The Omo-Mimi of the Kuta village, another well-known chief who went by the name Segun Ajeigbe, informed this reporter that the historic city needs the support of foreign groups that advance culture and customs.
The present ruling house will serve as the custodian of the celebration, which is open to all Kuta natives with the exception of those who have Ila-keke. Each royal house likewise makes their respective contributions.
The chief described the festival as amusing and revealed that the “place” is only a short two kilometers from the palace.
The Kuta community’s founder, Akindele Anlugbua, would receive tributes from the king, his chiefs, locals without the Ile-Keke mark on their faces, and visitors.
When they arrived to the location, prayers were said and broken kolanuts were flung to determine whether Anlugbua had accepted their sacrifice or not.
As the monarch, his chiefs, and natives return to the town’s roundabout, they would chant “Inu Oja la n lo, ero oja para mo” to keep the audience’s minds sharp.
During this event, if they come upon any indigenous people wandering around aimlessly or trading items, they will trash their goods. Except for Ila-Keke, every indigenous person is required to take part in this festival.
Without a doubt, Kuta is a place full with traditions and culture. The ancient town is full of historical tales that are still relevant today. People in Kuta are still aware of their traditions and connected to them. The Kuta people would never forget the brave warrior Akindele Anlugbua.
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