Asabari – Where Non Indigenes Don’t Go In And Return

01 Jun

Asabari hill by the imagination of a visitor can be seen ordinarily as another nature’s symbolic edifice but it is where the people of Saki derived their distinctive historical significance.  Located in the midst of a unique landscape comprising of the hilly section interfaced with rocky ranges, Asabari is the ancestral settlement of the ancient people of Saki and the living sacred Museum of the mystic past.  The historic hill, which is within the perimeters of Okoto, Keli, Ogidigbo Ile and Ilua, has been the symbol of unity, perseverance and a monument of faith and patriotism for the people of Saki. It serves as the sacred traditional religious center, a monument of history and a testimony of the military prowess of Saki founding fathers.  The hill, which derived its name from the expression, Asa-bori which means sanctuary, is where the history of Saki arguably began. The natives of Saki are referred to as (Omo Asabari) meaning sons and daughters of Asabari the sacred hill being the single most important representation in Saki local nationalism. It is a unique monument inseparably associated with the people’s heroism and liberty.  It is against this background that the people of Saki have a cultural and ancestral claim to it amidst the turbulent Dahomey wars.  The hill had functioned as a tower of strength for the people of Saki to defend their ancient settlement. The bravery and valour attributed to the people of Saki in the prosecution of wars is seen by most people as the handiwork of Asabari.  The hill never fails to fascinate the people not because of its sheer size, configuration and several chambers and apartments located inside the belly of the behemoth but because it has been the spiritual guiding angel and the war commander for the people of Saki in the ancient times.   No true indigene of Saki would toy with Asabari whose affluence and spiritual powers is believed to have caught across all the faith groups.

Another salient point in the historical trajectories of the town is the connectivity between Asabari and Ogun.  In the Yoruba common parlance often associated with the veneration of Ogun, the praise singers used to say ”Ni jo ti Ogun ti ori oke bo aso ina lomu bora ewu eje lowo sorun”.  Meaning when Ogun was coming down from the hilltop he wore a cloth made of fire and blood.  This hilltop been referred to is probably the Asabari hill where Ogun had settled after leaving Otu Ife.  The hill is so personified by the worshippers that sacrifices are usually made annually to venerate the symbolic hill amidst celebrations of feasting and dancing by the worshippers.

The Baale of Okoto who is responsible for all traditional activities concerning the sacred hill indicated that the hill as an enclave comprising of the old living caves used as sanctuary by the ancient people of Saki during the wars.  The people of Okoto who had lived very close to Asabari worship the hill every year with Onisaki.   The festival, which is mainly for thanksgiving and offering of prayers, is always accompanied with dancing to the tune of local musical instruments of Sakaa and Ibembe.   During the festival people are only allowed to get to what is referred to as the boundary, which is near the hill.  This boundary is where people could offer prayers, but visitors are forbidden to visit the sacred places. This restriction gives credence to the common saying: “Ajeji ki i bawa de Asabari teru tomo ni bawa re Ologun” meaning: Strangers or non-natives are banned from coming to Asabari but all and sundry can partake in the celebration of Ologun festival.


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Precious Olawumi
Precious Olawumi

.. .. .. CEO Symplypreshblog Founder of The Olawumi Precious foundation Has a ton of experiences in various industries from food to insurance to fashion. He's an introvert with a vision to one day preside over the most populous black nation on the planet. He's quite innovative and driven. In a bid to make a difference and to motivate people to become better, He chose a path that helps him relate with more people. He was a partner at the Icons Fashion Show 2019. He recently bagged a Bachelor's of Technology degree in food science and engineering.

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