History of Egungun and Oro in Yoruba land


Egungun(masquerades) and Oro are brothers and two great beings in Yoruba land which may be considered as deities because of their nature, power and their closeness to both Eledumare(God) and folks. 

Oro is a fearful being that everyone in Yoruba kingdom are fearful of because they believe it would harm them. Oro isn’t accommodative like Egungun. 

Egungun festivals in Yoruba land are yearly, and are mostly being celebrated during festive seasons. The Egungun name in every household differs from each other and their mode of celebration also.

Masquerades (called Egungun in Yoruba land) is a deity with a very vibrant and gorgeous dress, it is amongst the divinities in Yoruba land. Egungun festival is a component of the Yoruba religious system, sometimes noted as Orisa(a diety) which is being celebrated during festive seasons.

Egungun is otherwise referred to as the masked ancestors of the Yoruba kingdom which gives the assurance that there are dead people among the human beings. 

According to history and what Ifa had told the forefathers, it was learnt that a person called Kujenra who turned the fabric of Oro to Egungun, which attracted people’s adoration said, cloth led to the thing of worship. And, EGUNGUN and ORO are of the same family.

History explained further that both ORO and EGUNGUN were good merchants. They took their trades to neighbouring villages to exercise buying and selling that season. Oro was so lavish in his spending to the fact that he don’t care about saving money for future purposes and to resolve unforeseen circumstances. 

While Egungun usually pleases himself with various good things, exquisite clothes and meticulously dressing himself to taste. When it had been time to travel back to their town after the trade, Egungun placed on beautiful, elegant and flamboyant dresses, while Oro couldn’t have any presentable dress to put on his body because he had spent all his money on something else that’s not supposed of him.

Unfortunately, this brought shame to him and  he was defied to enter into a forest very near to their city, while his brother Egungun entered the town with exotic and beauteous dresses that befitted the glory of Eledumare(God) and his statues as a revered deity. 

However, Oro lived within the forest nearby but designed a method to intimidate people along the market place whenever he wanted to shop for food along with his strange weird noise. 

This unusual attitude was to bully and frighten the people within the market to run and leave their goods and valuables behind. When people ran helter-skelter for their  dear lives, he(oro) would cease the advantage to pack all what he wanted and therefore, the food to support his stay in the forest. 

Since then, Oro had became a very scary being that eventually turned to a deity worshipped by the Yorubas. While his brother, Egungun became a pretty deity in the land.

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