“When the prince of Orangun Ila is poised to ascend the throne, he must first endure a hardship along the way. He goes before the Obaale, with whom he swears an oath to govern with wisdom and, if necessary, sacrifice his life for the well-being of the kingdom. Next, he journeys to the shrine of the Ebora (deities) of Ila, where is installed as the ALANWO, which connotes something forbidden, that which is taboo, or a place that cannot be entered. To be ALANWO is to be devoid of certain identity. Still, it is a prelude to the next three months, during which he will be gradually prepared for kingship.
He will travel to a new house by night and become a stranger to his kin.’ Once he is formally installed as the Orangun of Ila, he will never be allowed to return to it. It is an experience that must be suffered, for ‘The head of the elephant is not a load to be carried by a child’. (Atari ajanaku kiise eru omode). Later on, he will meet in the house of ALASAN, where he will pledge allegiance to the unified royal houses of the kingdom, thereby identifying himself with the dynasty. Next, the ALANWO, along with the other heads of the royal houses of Orangun will proceed to the front of the palace to prostrate themselves before the town’s chiefs. This will be the last time the ALANWO will ever kneel for anyone. But the chiefs respond to his obeisance with hostility and abuse. The ALANWO and the other princes are insulted and harassed.
Now, the twenty or thirty princes, along with the ALANWO are made to kneel before the crowd of townspeople. A chief, called Ejemu approaches each prince and asks the crowd ‘Se ohun ni?’ (Is this the one?). The crowd responds, ‘Hun hun! O nko!’ (No! He is not the one!’) The Ejemu repeats the process twice, each time skipping the ALANWO. Finally, he strikes the ALANWO hard upon the head and asks, ‘Se ohun ni?’ and the crowd roars a response, ‘Ohun ni! Ohun la yan!!!’ (Yes! He is the one! He is our choice!!!). Immediately, the princes lift the ALANWO onto their shoulders and carry him into the palace, where he is dressed in regal attire. The crown is placed upon his head. He reappears before the assembly, carrying the royal horsetail switch in one hand and the beaded staff of the Orangun in the other. The hunter fire shots into the air. Everyone bows, touching their heads to the ground and there are a thunderous cry, ‘Kabiyesi! Oba alaiye luwa!’ (Your highness! Ruler who owns the world and its wealth!). The Alanwo has ascended the throne and is transformed into the ORANGUN ILA!*
May you endure the hardships that prepare you for great compassion and understanding. Ase! May you strengthen the strategic alliances between you and your supporters. Ase! May your head allow you to ascend the throne of your own destiny! Ase!”
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | Ifa Divination (Dafa/ATS)
Like & Share
*John Pemberton. Yoruba Sacred Kingship
Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.