Ogboni fraternity is an indigenous fraternal institution of the Yoruba language-speaking polities. They are spread in Togo, Republic of Benin, Nigeria and Edo. This society performs a range of various political, cultural, religious and economic functions. They are very close and exercise major influence to monarchs, presidents and community leaders. How to become one of them and who are they actually? Read the article to find out!
In this article, the following aspects are covered:
- Ogboni Secret Society: overview
- Reformed Ogboni Fraternity
- Aborigine Ogboni Fraternity
- What is the difference?
- Ogboni initiation
- Ogboni human sacrifice
- Ogboni rituals
- Ogboni signs and symbols
- Ogboni hand sign
- How to identify an Ogboni man?
Go ahead and learn some interesting details in our comprehensive article.
1. Ogboni Secret Society: overview
What is Ogboni? For today, it’s considered to be a secret society or even cult that appeared amongst the Yoruba people a long time ago. This organization has always been a part of the mystery for the government. Therefore, it’s unclear to understand what the date of launch for this organization is. The earliest mention about the Ogboni was in 1884. For that time, they started to perform religious, political and judicial functions.
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In the early days, they served to be the link between Gods and humans. They worshipped the goddess of Earth as she gave them the real power of unity. Ogboni used to be the highest court in Yorubaland. No person was punished without their judgment or consent. They were so powerful, that had the ability to choose or remove kings.
When it comes to the different rituals performed by Ogboni, scientists still can’t get clear answers on that! There is not enough information about the Ogboni fraternity symbols, rituals and initiation process. It’s even a secret whether only men are allowed to become a part of Ogboni big family! Ogboni Lodges also were a part of this secrecy as people who tried to show off and open their secret locations were doomed to be expelled from life!
What is more interesting about Ogboni is their undesired to open up to the society. It seems that people who are part of this secret society have no permission to tell anybody about the affiliation to the society. Nevertheless, even if women are permitted to be part of the society, the highest position is still to be occupied by the elder and most powerful man.
Ogboni secret society existed through the ages, but their power is still to be relevant today with the newest technologies of influence. They seem to have their parts in politics all around Africa. Who knows? Maybe they are the people who decide the fate of the whole Africa continent and people who live there!
2. Reformed Ogboni Fraternity
Reformed Ogboni Fraternity is also referred as ROF. It shares the same principles and organization like the Ogboni Fraternity. Nevertheless, they still have some differences that you should know if you don’t want to misunderstand them.
The ROF is the offspring of Ogboni Fraternity. According to the Facebook page of ROF, the organization was founded in 1918. The ROF do not consider themselves a part of any secret society! They are not associated with any political party.
The main objective of ROF is to launch a network that can spread the ideas through their supporters economically, politically and socially. They want to uphold the ideas of serving people and abide laws of the country and God. Therefore, they promote charity, benevolence, chastity and provide help to people in distress regardless of their nation, religion, colour of skin or membership status.
It’s interesting that this organization accepts men and women to be their members. Nevertheless, there are some rules that both sexes have to follow when they enter the organization. They should abide laws, be honest and believe in God.
Men have to be at least 21 years old to be acceptable for the organization. At the same time, women are allowed to become part of this society only if they are 40 years old. Nevertheless, if a woman is married to a man who is a member of ROF, then she can also become a member of the society. Still, it only drops the age of this woman to 30 years old. Moreover, if a woman is married – she needs permission from her husband to become a member of the society.
3. Aborigine Ogboni Fraternity
There is also another type of Ogboni Fraternity that can be traced back to the era of the primordial civilization of humans. It can be traced back to 4500 BC in Ife-OOdaye. It’s the period of the legendary Oduduwa himself that lies between 4th and 5th centuries A.D. What is known about Oduduwa? He was the acclaimed father of all Yoruba people. In the beginning, there was Ife-Oodaye. Therefore, it was Ife language and not Yoruba.
Therefore, for today, all descendants of Oduduwa can generally be called Yoruba. The colonial era provided new ways of identification of Yoruba. The British Empire desired to distinguish various tribes and divide the country.
Nobody could precisely say what motivated Ogboni cult to become a secret society. Aborigine Ogboni could exist during the pre-colonial era as part of chieftains. Odudawa is considered to be a person who came to the lands of Ile-Ife communities. Therefore, Ile-Ife tried to protest against his coming to their land. Nevertheless, they couldn’t provide any adequate resistance to the invaders.
That’s why they decided to become a part of the society of Odudawa. Ile-Ife started the cover activities that could help to restore the order in their communities. Moreover, it worked really well against Odudawa people as they had to follow the ideas of Ile-Ife people. They provided terrorist attacks that spread the fear of invaders.
The most prominent terrorist attacks were in the lifetime of Queen Moremi. She was married to Oranmiyan who was one of the Ife Kings. Moremi was a paragon of beauty and wittiness. She tried to fight the terrorist attacks and especially the group called “Omo Iya,” which we now can call Ogboni. She even discovered their hidden base in Ondo State. It was a small, but a well-fortified village.
With the distraction of Ile-Ife and their settlements, Ogboni became a part of new society. For this time, they were masters of their own fates. For a lot of people in Yorubaland today, Ogboni became a symbol of the Traditional Religion and beliefs.
The Aborigine Ogboni Fraternity for today is the traditional religion which is spread not only amongst Yoruba people, but other tribes in Africa. It can also be called one of the traditional religions in Africa and Worldwide. It represents the importance of good faith and resistance of people.
The Aborigine Ogboni also played a major part during the colonial era. They provided a real help in saving the traditions of Yoruba people. Moreover, they provided real assistance in terms of creating the resistance against the colonial regime. It helped to promote the ideas of the indigenous society of Nigeria.
4. What is the difference?
What is the difference between the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, Ogboni Society and Aborigine Ogboni Society? It’s quite a difficult task to understand the difference because of the secrecy of these societies.
The first thing you should know about the Aborigine Ogboni Society and Ogboni Fraternity is their secrecy. Aborigine Ogboni Society existed long before the creation of Nigeria and their cultic abilities were seen even in the old ages. They tried to resist invaders of their lands, but they had no opportunity to do that. That’s why they become a part of a new society which they later started to protect.
Ogboni Fraternity might have appeared as a result of fighting against the colonial regime. Their main task for that time was to save the traditions of Yoruba people and provide the real resistance against invaders.
What can be said about Reformed Ogboni Fraternity? Compare to other two groups, the ROF holds no secrets. The members of this group are free to disclose their personalities. Nobody is going to punish them for this, and they can also share the ideas of their community to other people.
Ogboni Fraternity and ROF are still active for today. What can be said about Aborigine Ogboni Fraternity? They seem to be a part of the history right now. There is no strong evidence of their existence today. However, it was, or it’s a secret society! No one can tell the very date when this society was created or when it was destroyed. It’s also possible that modern secret societies get some ideas from the origin Aborigine Ogboni People.
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Well, for now, it’s clear to you the difference between all of these societies. All of them may share the same symbols and traditions. Still, the most interesting society here is Ogboni Secret Society.
5. Ogboni initiation
Here is not enough information about the whole process of Ogbon initiation. What is really known is that you can’t become a member of this society just because you want to. There are certain steps where you should follow to take the interest of this organization. Do not forget that you are not the one who chooses Ogboni – they choose you.
How can you make this society to choose you and go through the initiation process? Well, first of all, you have to be Yoruba. The second thing is that you should be a very successful Yoruba. You should add the value to the society, and that’s the reason why you can become a part of it.
The information of initiation process may vary. The only thing you may need to know is that you have to get rid of something that is the most valuable to you. That’s why it may include human sacrifice. Still, it’s only a rumour that has no real prof.
6. Ogboni human sacrifice
Human sacrifice has been practiced in various religions throughout the world. There is only some controversial information about Ogboni human sacrifices. You may meet this information in your local news, like “Young Man Kill For Refusal To Join Cult Group,” “My Son Was Killed By Cult Group” and so on.
There is no strong evidence that this cult is killing people. What is known for today is the idea that this cult might be accustomed to human sacrifices.
7. Ogboni rituals
Ogboni rituals are similar to Yoruba rituals provided in the modern society. Nevertheless, there is not enough information about the precise nature of the rituals. First of all, the organization hides its secrets very efficient. What is known is that their rituals include some sort of physical transformation and can be very mysterious.
8. Ogboni signs and symbols
Ogboni signs and symbols are usually connected with the idea of great mother Earth. They may be similar to other fraternities’ signs, like pyramids or eyes of God. Nevertheless, there is no certain information about that.
The breast milk may symbolize the welcome sign for Ogboni organization. Moreover, they seem to like the idea of a woman to be a part of everything. That’s the reason why they worship the Goddess of Earth.
9. Ogboni hand sign
What is known about Ogboni hands is their famous handshake. When they handshake, they use their left hand to do this. You should also say the following words: Ta ba fe bowo Ogboni, Owo osi la na, Anakan siwaju, A nakan sadarin.
Why do they use left hand? It’s simple! According to their belief – the left hand is for gods, and the right hand is for humans.
10. How to identify an Ogboni man?
It’s easier said than done. They do not wear any special clothes and they are quite discreet when it comes to hiding their identity. Do not forget that if they fail to keep everything secret, then it can be punishable by death.
What can be concluded about Ogboni Fraternity Symbols and Society? They do their work quite well! There is almost no information about them. It’s hoped that they will reveal their secrets to all people one day! Right now, you can only enjoy the part of the information which is still available!
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