The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, put on the sacred Aare crown on Saturday in Ile-Ife, Osun State for the first time amidst jubilations and local gun salute by the natives.
Oba Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, performed the symbolic trip from Ile Oodua, his palace, to Oke Mogun shrine, to mark this year’s Olojo Festival, being the first time he would participate in the festival as Ooni.
Olojo Festival holds annually in Ile Ife to mark the creation of the universe.
The “Aare crown” is a special crown made of 151 items.
It is worn only during the celebration of the festival and was adorned by the Ooni during Saturday’s celebration.
Decked in all white apparel, Oba Ogunwusi had been in seclusion for five days.
He left his residence for Oke Mogun around 4:30pm for the final rites before he wore mystic “Are” crown.
At exactly 5pm, Oba Ogunwusi emerged with the Aare crown holding a white dove, amidst prayers and several gunshots, which began with the journey to Oke Mogun and Idi Aje.
Aare crown, according to sources in Ooni’s palace, weighs 100kg.
It last made the trip to Oke Mogun several years ago.
Sources said: “Because the late Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuade, owing to his advanced age in the last three years of his reign, did not wear Are crown, even during the celebration of Olojo.”
On the procession of the Ooni to Oke Mogun were Ife chiefs, priests and members of Oodua People’s Congress, as well as indigenes and tourists from different parts of world.
Before the Ooni commenced the trip, his messengers, who wore only shorts, wielding cane, performed the symbolic sprint to Oke Mogun three times to clear the route the monarch would take.
The festival was peaceful, as all and sundry were in celebration mood, praying for the progress and development of the Yoruba race and the country at large.