Goddess is asked to bless Wilmington

Ceremony is practiced in Nigerian sister city
The News Journal (Delaware), Aug. 11, 2002
Staff reporter

To the sounds of tribal drums, whistles and chants, a man and woman in flowing white clothes waded into the Brandywine on Saturday to ask the river goddess Osun to bless Wilmington and its people.

They offered honey, gin and flowers in return for the blessings of Osun, just as people in Osogbo, Nigeria, do every August.

The ceremony is supposed to bring wealth and prosperity to the city and its residents.

The event, attended by about 75 people, was sponsored by the Wilmington Friends of Africa, who hope to make it a regular observation.

Organizers hope the ceremony will help area African Americans rediscover their cultural heritage and strengthen the bonds between Osogbo (pronounced “Oshogbo”), Nigeria, and Wilmington, which recently became sister cities.

And while the ceremony is part of the Ifa faith, the Rev. Lawrence Livingston of the Mother African Union Church said participating was not a conflict for African-American Christians.

“I think it is a great event,” said Livingston, who attended and helped organize the ceremony.
He said it was a way for area African Americans to get in touch with the spiritual part of their cultural heritage.

While the ceremony was designed to ask for protection and blessings for the city, it was not designed to help the ailing Brandywine itself. The river and other waterways in New Castle County are experiencing record low flows because of the ongoing drought.

In order to aid the river itself, Walker and others said there would have to be a ceremony to the god of oceans and rain, Yemonja.


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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday August 12, 2002.
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