Obatala is an Orisha of creativity, purity, moral and ethical rightness political power and authority and is associated with the shaping and transformation of the Earth from a watery abode to terra firma. In Alkebu – lan, and in Yoruba land particularly, the energy,cosmic influence/intelligence designated OBATALA by Yoruba people have been interfaced with and honourably treated.
Among the Orisha that were retained in the Diaspora after the infamous and inhuman Trans Atlantic Slave Experience, is OBATALA.
Republic Trinidad & Tobago is one of the places where ritual knowledge of this Orisha has been kept.
Among persons of repute that hosted OBATALA was former Yeye Gbogbo Melvina Rodney.
Yeye Gbogbo was a component of twinned offspring born in Ile Iere – Trinidad – Republic Trinidad & Tobago. On Ooni Ife’s formal visit to Republic Trinidad & Tobago her role as lead Iyalorisa of the Trinbagonian Orisha community became public knowledge.
Every fourth year on the leap year Yeye Gbogbo Melvina Rodney hosted her ELEFON FEAST.
Today the tradition is going through transformation as Republic Trinidad & Tobago is among the Diaspora Africans regrouping and reclaiming the traditions of our forebears as it was before our encounter with the Arab and White Slave Traders who imposed foreign spiritualities. and religious doctrines on us .
Obatala Festival in Woodbrook hosted by Ojise Obatala Edena – Chief Oriyomi Orisagbemi marks the ongoing victory of the upthrust in the reclaim of African spirituality that was a direct consequence of the 1970 Black Power Uprising.
Ojise Obatal Edena – Chief Oriyomi Orisagbemi ( Irwin Doyle ) had been resident in. U.S.A where he contributed to the positive aspects of the social and spiritual/political transformation that took place in the Black/ African communities wherever he resided.
On returning to Republic Trinidad & Tobago he became an integral part of Mau Mau School of Drums led by Jah Jah Oga Onilu, now resident in the Great Beyond. There Ojise Obatala Edena – Chief Oriyomi Orisagbemi met with Oloye Orawale Oranfe then known as Oludari. Ojise became initiated into EGBE ONISIN ELEDUMARE, during which time he visited Ile Ife and initiated at the World Holy Temple of Obatala and became a Chief.
Ojise Obatala Chief Oriyomi has laboured consistently with the support of his wife Olori Yemoo Iretiola, children and the parent body Egbe Onisin Eledumare in collaboration with the Elders of The World Obatala Temple Ile Ife to build what is now the current success of OBATALA FESTIVAL.
Among other organizations giving their support over the years have been Ile Isokan of Nile Trace, Febeau Village, Ile Ijosin Otura Meji – Awon Osun, Iya Eguna, Osuna Motivational Center, all of who had their foundational experiences in reclaimed and revolutionary African/ Yoruba Sacred Science at EGBE ONISIN ELEDUMARE.
Further support has come from Eniyan Wa , Kenny Cyrus Alkebu – lan Ijuba, Ajo Ofuwa – Council of Traditional Afrikan Chiefs of Trinidad & Tobago.
The Editors of this site wish to thank for and behalf of Ojise Obatala Edena – Chief Oriyomi Orisagbemi , Olori Yemoo Iretiola and members of ITA OOSA all other shrines and Orisha devotees, friends and supporters of ITA OOSA who gave of their efforts, contributions and sacrifices to make the Festival in grand success.
This year we missed Agba La Croix, Awise Olusino – Fred Mitchell and Agba Ray Brathwaithe among others.
We take this opportunity to all extend our heartfelt condolences to Agba Ray Braithwaite whose daughter Raychelle Brathwaite left the Earth on transition to her next world abode just at the time of the conclusion of the Festival.
Acknowledgements is also due to The Iyalode Awo Agbaiye Ifakorede Oyayemi Aworeni, Agba Pearl Jones, Queen Mother Marilyn Grant, Awo Ifalade, Oluwasoga, Sangolari Adelekan, Efundeji Olaosebikan,AwoIfasoyin, Chief Baba Mokun Awo, members of Egbe Onisin Eledumare, Chif Sangosegun, Oluseso Elegun Sango, Chief Aina Olukayode, Agba Kambiri Olukayode, and the many others persons of prominence and good character that were in our midst for the Festival.
Next year by the Power of Eledumare we know that the Festival will be even greater and better.