Days before the event that climaxes Osun-Osogbo Festival 2016, popularly called Arugba day, I visited the town that yearly hosts thousands of spectators, tourists and Osun worshippers. The late Susan Wenger had rescued the Osun Grove from desecrators thereby protecting the shrine and making it come alive again.
Usually, the day the Arugba—which literally means “calabash carrier”—comes out is the busiest day of the two-week long festival. I was there the first week of the festival.
I went through the town to document moments before the “goddess” got busy. It was also the day the popular atupa oloju mejidinlogun—the lamp with eighteen eyes—the sacred lamp was lit. This is an highlight of every Osun Osogbo festival, a favourite for many attendees.