Adekunle Akangbe Ogun
Adekunle Akangbe is heir to a rich cultural heritage of Indigenous artisans and skilled journey –men from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, West Africa. Born into a traditional family of Yoruba spiritualist, Adekunle was able to preserve his families’ spiritual lineage of Ogun the Orisa of Hunting, Craftsmanship, Tool Making and Construction and a working Ifa priest,Ifa the Orisha that advises and care for one more than a loved one can.
Learning from his father Master Wood Carver Kasali Akangbe he was able to learn the art of Woodcarving which later was the foundation of his contemporary style of traditional art works that have been sold worldwide. Adekunle has had the rare opportunity as a distinguished young artisan to assist in the architectural design and cultural landscaping of one of the world’s most prestigious World Heritage sites the Osun Osogbo Grove.
His family’s artistic trademark features are unique to the expression and spiritual worldviews of his tribal clan and represent the variable totems of the Yoruba spiritual pantheon which is a very intricate part of the families experience and their cultural ties to the Diaspora. Adekunle has had the opportunity to showcase his family artworks and teach his traditional style of craftsmanship throughout various countries and is a highly anticipated lecturer to journey-men and construction developers who wish to study the art of African Urban Planning, Traditional Architecture, Community Development and Cultural Landscaping. As a grassroots organizer, Adekunle Akangbe has been advocating around the world for the Human Rights Protection of Traditional Education and Sustainable Tourism within the Yoruba culture and community. His training in Human Rights advocacy has allowed him to represent his country and tribe at multiple lectures and symposiums in association with International organizations seeking to preserve the essence of the Traditional training and Education in which Adekunle and his family both receive and give to local Nigerian traditional youth as well as International students who wish to reconnect with the Ancestral Heritage.
Kasali Akangbe Ogun comes from a long line of Yoruba woodcarvers in the Osogbo area of Osun State, Nigeria. In the Yoruba culture, he is called Arelagbayi, which is similar to a guild or group of ancestral woodcarvers. This is handed down from family member to family member, with each son or daughter learning their craft from the hands and mouths of their revered parents and ancestors in the spiritual realms. His Yoruba ancestors have walked for centuries in the forests of Osogbo in Osun State, Nigeria, searching for the wood which speaks to them, that will become a religious object for use in their traditions and rituals. Every city has its King (Alaiyeluwa, Oba, Kabiyesi ) and traditionally every King has his own sculptors, metalworkers, beaders etc., to produce and furnish objects for his needs and for the needs of his court. You are cordially invited to explore the picture galleries which exhibits such works.
Osogbo is a Yoruba town that was founded by a hunter, Larooye and later joined by farmer, Timanhin. With the help and blessing of Osun, the double-figure grew up in a speedy count to be millions now. People of Osogbo are predominantly farmer and Adire maker. Osogbo is a town that has produced many international artists. The art of tie and die (Adire) is an occupation that the people of Osogbo inculcate from Osun herself. Osogbo is unique and known for the quietness and peaceful atmosphere that had made numbers of people to continue to relocate to Osogbo. The name Osogbo came from an incident that happened at the early age of evolution of the town. One day, somebody fell a big tree in the sacred grove and the tree fell over the river Osun, not quite a minute that this happened when the loud noise of "oso igbo e ti fo koko aro mi o o o' was coming from the deep down of the river.
Oso = wizard, igbo =Forest e = you, ti fo = have broken, ikoko aro = dye pot mi = me
The shouting from the Osun river was so strong that it was it vibrating in the head of the people for many days that whenever the people want to describe their settlement to other people, they will say, I'm from the settlement of baba Oso Igbo.(wizard of the forest).As the time went on, the name was shortened for easy pronunciation to what is now called Osogbo. The pilgrimage to Osogbo is also undertaken by the people in the Diaspora whose families cherish the tradition but did not have the opportunity to experience it fully out of their spiritual home. The pilgrimage has become a new tradition and it's extremely authentic in the sense that it is a highly spiritual and fulfilling experience for those who attend the annual event. The new pilgrimage has broadened the scope of the Osun-Osogbo festival but has not changed its character and aim. The festival remains first and foremost the tradition of Osogbo community. The rituals that they undertake have not changed. Therefore, the Osun-Osogbo festival remains fully authentic.
We cannot talk of Osogbo without talking about Osun grove. also speaking of Osun grove of today without the mentioning of that Late Austrian woman and her sacred Artists member that make it possible with their works of structural arts and designs for UNECO to see Osun grove and put it on the map of world heritage site. Adunni Olorisa as she was called in her days proofed and showed the world that we can be different in color of our skin but we are still one and the same human being when she left her country to come to Nigeria to live and died here. She used her talent to recreate and beautify Osun grove, she also helped many natives to know their call in life by giving them support and care to live their dream.