OYAN is wonderfully endowed in terms of natural mysterious sites and historical artifacts. All these are waiting to be exploited for the purpose the Almighty Creator crate them. That purpose is for the greatness of Oyan Town as a testimony to the awesome power of the Almighty Olodumare.
1.Natural Mysterious Sites.
Abga hill: – This is one of the hill of the famous Yoruba chain of hills. It is located towards the Eastern part of Oyan and is about 5 kilometers away. No body can say exactly how the wonderful house within this hill was formed or constracted, Except that Oduwuyi and his people discovered it Oduwuyi and his people used to worship the spirit of the hill in the expansive cave inside the hill. The entrance to the cave is located towards the eastern part of the hill and about 9 meters (30 feet) from the foot of the hill. According to people who had entered the cave during Agba festivals. There is an expansive space that can accommodate up to 500 adults at a time. Towards the end of expensive space is an opening that looks like a door. This opening leads to adarkened room where nobody has ventured to enter. Worshipers of the hill belive that the spirit of the hill lives inside that room. On the floor of the expansive space is something that looks like a dungeon in which a large number of pigeons birds nest. At the ceiling level, there is a long narrow opening to the sky. This opening lightens and ventilates the cave. This is a wonderful and awesome worh of the Creator to behold.
2. Otadu and Otasuku Hill. This hill is situated about 3kilometers behid Agba Hill. There is no mystery attached to this hill, except that it is another wonder which is beautiful to behold. There is a very big stone or rock sitting comfortably on the hill. The rock is called Otadu and the hill Otasuku. How the mighty rock got to the top of the hill and who placed it there remain a mystery. The hill has no known worshiper.
3. Adan (Bat) Hill: About a kilometer away from Otasuku hill lies another high hill called Adan hill. It is named Adan hill because there is a cave inside it that houses thousands of Adhan (bats). At the right side and about 3 meters from the base of the hill, is an opening that leads to the cave inside this hill. There is big river and tunnel within the hill. There are some few steps that lead to the floor of the cave. Down inside the large cave, there are big clusters of bat birds that welcome visitors to the cave. There is a tunnel that exits at the back of Catholic Church in Ota-Aiyegbaju, a neighboring town. This turnel runs along a big river or lake that is in this cave. The end of the lake cannot be ascertained or seen because it vanishes into the darkness of the cave. Some believe that the river flows into the sea because it looks like one. Midway along the turnel is a big clay pot with some kind of reptiles inscribed on it. The pot sits comfortable on hips of very white sand.
The cave houses many typesof animals and snakes. Hunter from Oyan used to go and hunt for animals in the cave. When the Oyan Hunters found out that hunters from Otan used to sneak in and hunt, Oyan hunters rolled a big stone to block the exit to Otan-Aiyegbaju. Legend has it that the spirit of the hill instructed hunters to hunt only animals that they would consume. It also warned them that they must never sell any animal killed from the cave. Mr Joel Okebisi (a.k.a Arugba) whose father was an Aworo Agba used to accompany his senior brother to hunt in this cave. On one occasion, his brother somehow violated the law of the spirit of the cave by selling part of the animals killed in the cave. So, the next time they went to hunt, as soon as his brother fired at an animal, his gun exploded and splinted into four pieces. He immediately fell sick. He never recovered from the sickness. Mr Joel Okebisi on his part was emotionally sick for a long time. After recovery, he vowed never to go near the hill again.
4.Egun Hill. This hill is the sacred hill of Oloyan. People believe that it is through this hill that the spirits of the departed Oloyans, princes and Princesses travel back to the next world. Because of this belief, there is a ceremonial rite of way for the departed Oloyans. This ceremony is called Oloye Dance.
Rock Avalanche. This incident occurred on the left slope of Egun hill on 4th September 2008 after two days of persistent rainfall. This is the first avalanche in the history of Oyan. People were scared because the avalanche opened up a hole in the hill from which streams of spring water gushed out for a very long period. Osun State Government Geological Survey Agency visited and conducted a research as to the age and causes of the avalanche. The avalanche was the separation of sedimentary rock formed on the hill by the gradual accumulation of sand through a process known as Lithification. They reported that the sediments that formed the rock dated back to around 1225AD. They recommended that buildings should not be erected within 500 meters of the base of the hill and that bush burning should be regulated or stopped as heat exposes the rock to denudation and exploitation.
5.The Great Sacred Baoba Tree (Igi Ose): This is a very old tree situated in the center of Oyan (Oba’s market square). Nobody is sure of the origin of the tree or who planted it except that Oduwuyi, the first man in the place now called Oyan, met it there and lived under it. I served as resting place for Oduwuyi after his daily hunting expeditions. This ancestral tree used to be an object of reverence and awe. People believed that there was a kind of village inside the tree. Mr firend, Mr Peter Adekunle Oyeleke, whose father’s house is very close to the tree, claimed that they used to hear noises like heavy crushing of metals three times occasionally in the night. When they heard this noise, they would say that the spirit of the tree was pounding yam. It was generally believed that the tree had a very motherly and friendly spirit and as such Sango worshipers used to worship the spirit of the tree during the Egungun and Agba festivals. During these ceremonies, people, especially the barren ones would bring water to be blessed by the spirit of the tree with a firm belief that the spirit, whom they believed was a female would give tem children of their own.This belief was further strengthened by the fact that the exposed roots of the tree used to serve as seats for market women and men on market days, and for spectators on special occasions and festivals that used to take place in the market square. Remarkably enough never did the fruit or branch of the tree had been reported to have fallen or anybody sitting around the tree. The estimated dimensions of the tree are as follows:- (1) 8 meters in diameter (2) 25 meters in circumference (3) 23 meters in height. The tree has a lot of exposed root spread around it at about 0.45 meters above the ground level.
B Manmade Mysterious Sites
1.Odu Oja (Market Shrine): This is situated around the marketsquare close to Idiagba Compound and is believed to be the spot where Epe and Oduwuyi dueled for the control of what is now known as Oyan town, as such, the spot is regarded as the craqdle of the town. It was believed that the spot used to be an entrance Mto a mysterious underground passage. Some believed that the passage linked Oyan to Ila-Orangun, while some said it was an escaperouteto Otan-Aiyegbaju or Ilew Ife. It was a one-way traffic. Those who entered it never returned. The spot became a revered and sacred place traditional medicine men and diviners of the olden days. The entrance to the passage was finally sealed up with a human sacrifice for some reasons. The man who offered his slave to be sacrified for this purpose was later honoured by the Oloyan with the title of Osolo.
2 .Odu Osolo (Osolo Shrine: This shrine is located at the backyard of the man who offered his slave to be sacrified for the sealing of Odu Oja. Mr. Noah Amoo had since builthis house on the spot with the shrine still carefully preserved.The shrine is no longer used in any form. This Odu was the meeting point for the very powerful medicine men of the time. The Odu was also known as ‘Odu Oti Orun meaning ‘the shrine for serving the srink of the other world’. It was so nicknamed because the magical power of the medicine men were used to be tested at the shrine by drinking a special palm wine which could lead to the death of the no-so-powerful ones among them . Cane trees called ‘atorin’ are still planted around the Odu. People believed that if anybody was beaten with the cane from this shrine, the persone would be afflicted with a mysterious disease and if care was not taken, the person may die. Like the Odu Oja, this shrine was sealed up with human sacrifice to put an end to the practice of drinking the deadly special palm wine for testing supernatural powers.
1.Osanyinta: Thus is a small rustproof of metallic idol given to Epe as a prime of Life Ife to guide and protect him in his quest for his own domain. It was believed to be the pathfinder or compass that guided Epe and his fellow immigrants throughout their search for a settlement. This artifact, finally became an object of worship and reverence by Epe and his Ifa priest, mae Ajibopelesoro, because of its power in solving problems. It is forbidden by any woman to set eyes on Osanyinta. Any woman who dares to look Osanyinta will become barren for life. This artifact had ever been incutoms of Onile Ruling House. There are still some remnants of ded worshipers of Osanyinta whom they call ‘Baba’. It is still consulted by worshipers for advice whenever there is need to. It is traditionally mandatory for all newly installed Oloyan to worship at the shrine of Osanyinta for a peaceful and long reign on the throne of Epe, and as a mark of respect for him. This used to be part of the Ipebi program of the Oloyan Osanyinta was also the key used to declare open the secret masquerade grove Igbo Igbale before the commencement of Egungun festivals.
2.Opaga: This is the traditional staff office of Oloyan. This is a metallic rustproof staff that Epe used to carry along with him as a symbol of Ife prince. The Opaga was given to him together with the Osanyinta for the purpose of warding off evils, dangerous animals, human beings and conquering his enemies, Opaga meant to Epe what Ida Ase- “Victory sword” meant to Oduduwa, and what OPa Orere meant to Orangun of Ila-Orangun.
Tourism is a gold mine anywhere in the world. The creator, in his wisdom has endowed Oyan with natural tourist attractions in Agba festival, Agba, adan, Otasuku and Egun Hills. These are gold mines waiting to be mined for the people of Oyan in particular and Osun State in general. If these natural sites, manmade sites and the corresponding festivals can be received, modernized and developed , it will surpass the fame of Osun, Osogbo, Lagos, Abuja festivals and attractions offered by Idanre cultural heritage and waterfalls of Onda State and Olumo Rocks of the State.
Therefore, I look ahead to the day that the Oloyan and his chiefs, in collaboration with the authorities and business minded Oyan indigenes, will take actions in the nearest future to get these hills and Agba festival recognized as a world heritage by Unesco. If Ile Ife, in this modern era can stil continue to re-enact the usurpation of the glory of the creation from Obatala by Oduduwa annually during the Itapa New Year festival, I don’t see any reason why Oloyan, who is supposed to be a descendant of Oduduwa shold not continue to re-enact the duel Epe and Oduwuyi in celebrating Agba festival which is an annual remembrance of founding Oyan. This memorable festival must not be allowed to go intooblivion. If the Oloyan and the people of Idi Agba are not ready to actively take part in the celebration, actors can be engaged to represent them with all fethish activities modernized or deleted.
Our attitude to our cultural and natural heritage remind me of the address of Lord Macaulay to the British Parliament on February 2nd 1835AD. “I have not seen a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in the country, such high values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this ation which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education sysem, her culture, for if the Africans think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation: He was speaking on how the English people would dominate Nigeria. S far, he has been proved right because we all pride ourselves in things foreign and shame ourselves in our culture and ancient educational system.
GOD BLESS OYAN