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Built in the late 1960’s and early 1970s on the site of an abandoned school, Ilédì Oǹtótóo is the assembly point for the Ògbóni, Yorùbá traditionalists associated with the Earth deity. This remarkable structure is composed of three enormous roofs which rise against the sky like giant lizards, representing the forces of the earth before mankind.

Beneath the sloping roof of the left wing of the Ògbói Shrine is a sculpture of the unique greeting gesture of the society’s members. Arms are extended placing the left (feminine) fist on top of the right (masculine) fist. In Yorùbá culture the left-hand side stands for the feminine, and the right-hand side for the masculine aspects of life. The Ògbóni salute each other and the earth by bringing their clenched fists together three times, with the thumb concealed in the palm of the hand. Next to it on the left is the alluring sculpture of a waterlily.
This building has had many restorations over the decades but had nearly completely collapsed when the New Sacred Art Movement artists, led by Adebisi Akanji, Susanne’s artistic collaborator on all her major monuments, and Sangodare Ajala, the leader of the New Sacred Art Movement, rescued and rebuilt it in 2012.

Details

  • Title: Ilédì Oǹtótóo: left wing after restoration
  • Creator: Susanne Wenger, Adebisi Akanji
  • Date Created: 1968/1975
  • Photographer: AOT collection
  • Date of photography: 2014

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