by Diedre Badejo
What does our sophisticated, technically advanced society have to learn from a venerable African goddess? That is the question Dr. Diedre Badejo set out to answer a decade ago, armed only with a tape recorder, a working knowledge of Yoruba language, literature, and culture, and a mental "image" of the African Motherland molded as much by her great grandmother's character as by her own experience of the Black Power and Black Studies movements of the '60s and '70s. The answers the author found as she immersed herself in the ritual orature, sacred songs, and festival drama of the Yoruba goddess, Osun Seegesi, at the diety's principal shrine in the city of Osogbo, Nigeria, are shared with the world in this detailed documentary/analysis that presents a startling view of human relationships that is powerful in its practicality and revolutionary in its civility. What Osun (pronounced "Oh-Shoon") offers to a civilization standing "at the crossroads" and poised on the "abyss of transition," says the author, is nothing less than "an African feminist theory that challenges the hegemony of the Western social order" with a holistic sociocultural vision that recognizes and affirms the reciprocal role of women and men in building and sustaining a truly civil society.
An authoritative introduction to the ritual orature, sacred songs, and festival drama of Osun Seegesi, and the urgent, contemporary meaning behind her mythology.
Dr. Diedre Badejo is Professor of African World Literatures and Cultural history at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.
Paperback: 217 pages