The Ooni of Ife Arole Oduduwa, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has declared Quilombola, an Afro-Brazilian settlement in Brazil, as a Yoruba territory.
The Monarch who was on a visit to the South American country for days for his “Back to Home” project, also presented a certificate of Territory to the people in a ceremony that took place in the Quingoma community, located in Lauro de Freitas in the metropolitan region of Salvador.
Quilombola is popular for housing Yoruba people, who were enslaved and forcibly removed from their base in Nigeria during the era of the slave trade in Africa.
Addressing Brazil’s Federal House of Assembly on Tuesday where he officially inaugurated the first-ever National Orisa Day in the country, the Ooni said the recognition of Quilombola as Yoruba territory is yet another step in the fight for respect for African history and a move to further preserve the rich and robust history of the Brazilians and the Yoruba people.
“This event is a very big one for me because I am passionate about preserving the Yorubas culture and its deep-rooted values. this event will lay precedence for the Yoruba language and its culture to be more acceptable globally,” he said.
“You can see the excitement on their faces. Their Babalawos are well grounded in the teachings of Ifa and can render the Odu-Ifa and its panegyrics like our Ifa priest do in Nigeria,” the Ooni said.
He said further: “They hold our gods like Sango, Ogun, Yemoja, and Obatala in high esteem. They have designated days to celebrate these gods with colorful displays infused with plenty of aesthetics. They also speak Yoruba which is one thing I love about them”.
According to him, it was essential to harmonize and show solidarity with the people of the community as a way of fostering good bilateral trade between Brazil and Nigeria, as well as advancing the cause of the Yoruba race.