Mystery and history of Agemo cult in Ijebu land


 Agemo cult is a highly regarded diety and god among the Ijebu people of Yoruba land, South western, Nigeria. The existence of some priests brought the Agemo cult into being in Ijebu land during the ante-obanta period. 

History has it that the diety migrated from Waddai in Sudan. Sixteen(16) priests that were involved in the formation of the cult formed the sixteen towns in the Ijebu kingdom. 

During Agemo festivals, the costumes worn by the cult represent the power of the Agemo as a god with the believe that the cult wears any color that pleases him. 

Chameleon is the English translation of Agemo. The chameleon is an animal that wears colors of human beings and any objects close to the animal. Though, the natural color of the animal is green before it changes to any color it wishes.

Agemo on display

The Agemo diety has had so much influence and charisma on the Ijebus to the extent that prayers and sacrifices are offered to him to ensure peace and harmony on the land. It also issues instructions to its custodians which are Oloja and Olugbo Ase to relay to other people. 

The cult’s festivals is celebrated around the 7th and 8th(July and August) months of every year and the months are called “Oṣù Agemo(The months of Agemo)”. People converge at Ijebu-Ode to celebrate the festival yearly and offer prayers of success and prosperity and to witness more of it on earth. However, women are not allowed to witness the festival to forbid evil occurrences. 

The existence of Agemo cult/diety has been with the Ijebus a very long time ago. 

According to history, 16 Agemo priests accompanied the monarch(Awujale) from where he had a short stay back to his palace in Ijebu centuries ago. 

The Agemo festival is one of the festivals the Ijebu people are well known for because of its rich cultural heritage which unites every Ijebu indigenes. However, the cult gave birth to the appellation Ijebu omo alagemo, which means Ijebu the son of Agemo.

Among the very sacrosanct Agemo priests, Oliwo Agbadagbodo is said to be the very prominent one because it has a great influence on the cult than other priests. 

The Agemo represents continuity, and survival in the Ijebu communities. It is highly regarded by all and sundry. 

People are warned to avoid confrontation with the cult.

PHOTOS SOURCE: vanguardngr

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