Tuesday, April 07, 2009

On the Osu 2

Another story on the Osu, this time on the BBC website today. Click here for an earlier post (and very interesting comments) on the topic. It is I think clear that a) there are many more 'descendants of Osu' communities than is generally recognised among the Igbo, that b) the Osu were simply the guardians of the temples/shrines in pre-colonial times and c) that with the advent of the missionaries, the Osu were turned into outcasts, and became confused with Oru. Ancient spiritualised forms of authority and divine mediation were destroyed in the process, leading to a identity-disorientation that lasts until today.

The time is ripe for being Osu or a descendant of Osu to become a badge of pride, and for there to be a re-thinking of what it might be to be a follower of Idemili and the other Igbo deities, especially from an eco-poetic perspective, just as paganism has been re-worked in the West to be a celebration of the elementality of nature..


Chxta 12:29 pm  

I was once talking with someone about the Osu thing, and her responses suggest that the discrimination would go on way beyond the time that my generation is dead and buried.

plastiQ 5:17 pm  

I'm still a lil' confused about this Osu thing. In this age and time, such a heavy cultural bias still carries on. And don't let anyone lie to you, it is very heavy and strong in the eastern parts of Nigeria.

Thisgirl 9:37 pm  

People need to realize that it is not practiced in all parts of Igbo land

MsMak,  5:38 pm  

My take is this: it will eventually die a very slow but natural death.

I'm Igbo from my mother's side, and i know how strong the sentiment is. But the fact is that many in our generation have grown up in the city, and are not as conversant with the long family histories of others. How will a 10 yr old today know whose family was Osu, 20 yrs down the line?

It will die a natural death.

Kpakpando 9:20 pm  

eco-poe gini? Jeremy abeg mind yourself, badge of honor indeed. As "Christian" as Igbo people are, you want them to celebrate animism? Obala Jisos, e ga sikwa!

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