Alagemo Merindinlogun – The 16 deities of the Ijebus

The Ijebus of the southwest region of the Yoruba people of Nigeria is referred to as omo Alagemo, (Children of Agemo).

Agemo is believed to be so powerful that young adults and women fear it and plays an essential role in keeping and unifying the Ijebu people.It is one of their significant traditions.

So What is Agemo?

Agemo is a spiritual concept and traditional practice of the Ijebu people; it unites the Kingdom of Ijebu during the pre-colonial era and even to date.

It is widely believed that during the Atlantic-Slave trade, The Ijebu Kingdom was feared, and the impact of the slave trade on Ijebu land was minimal.

Alagemos protection was one of the things attributed to their defense against invasion.

However, the peace in the Ijebu Kingdom didn’t last as by the late eighteenth century; the British took over the kingdom. The Ijebu Kingdom was one of the last territories to collapse.

The collapse of the domain didn’t happen until the destruction of other cities and empires surrounding Ijebu- land.

Lord Frederick Lugard led thousands of British troops and mercenaries to take over the kingdom in 1892, leading to decay of vital cultural practices.

Alagemo Merindinlogun – When Does Agemo Comes Out?

“Ireku” must be performed by the “Oloja Agemo” (Agemo priests), For the Agemo to come out.

It involves atonement and sacrifices in which must yield positive results before the “Idojo,” (The day Ifa will be consulted to know when the Alagemo can come out), This is also when it would be determined how long the ceremony is going to take.

The festival usually lasts between seven and nine days.

It is worthy to note that majority of Orishas worshiped in Yoruba land are spirits of their ancestors who once lived and walked on earth.

The way of their survival from hunting to curing illness embedded in the form of practice for generations to come, which gave birth to many traditional methods like Egun ceremony, Alagemo, Ifa and many more.

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