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AYANAGALU 2024: Ooni set to host AyanAgalu drum festival

The Ooni of Ife is set to host this year AyanAgalu Traditional Drum Festival 2024 this month July 17th and 18th.

The event will be held on July 17th and 18th, 2024 at the palace and Ife Grand Resort in Ile-Ife, the ancient city and traditional headquarters of the Oduduwa race.

Following the success of its inaugural edition last year, this year’s festival is highly anticipated.

The Paramount Ruler of Ife, Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Custodian of Yoruba culture and traditions, alongside Olori Aderonke Ademiluyi-Ogunwusi, cultural ambassador of the AyanAgalu Traditional Drum Festival, will grace the event.

The main celebrations will occur at the Ojaja Arena within Ife Grand Resort, where the vibrant sounds of drums will create an electrifying atmosphere.

AyanAgalu, revered as one of the deities sent by Olodumare to the earth for the progress, development, and happiness of mankind, holds a significant place in the cultural identity of the Oduduwa race.

Seeking divine guidance, AyanAgalu consulted the Oracle through Orunmila, the deity of divination, to receive blessings for honor, wealth, and celebration among people and other deities.

Ifa divination revealed the sacred drumming tools and materials, such as sticks, skin, and drum belts, used for AyanAgalu’s revered sacrifices—a tradition that remains central to drumming ceremonies to this day.

The Oduduwa race, renowned as pioneers of drumming and music, shares an extraordinary connection with AyanAgalu. As deities call upon AyanAgalu to grace their ceremonies, the rhythmic beats and soul-stirring melodies bring joy and illumination to these auspicious occasions, in harmony with the ancient prophecies divined by Ifa.

In an effort to foster cultural exchange and global appreciation for traditional rhythms, the Ooni has extended an invitation to drummers and cultural enthusiasts from Nigeria and beyond to join in the Annual AyanAgalu Festival on July 17th and 18th, 2024, at Ife Grand Resort in Ile-Ife.

The world awaits an enchanting display of culture and heritage as the AyanAgalu Drums Festival draws near, promising an unforgettable experience that will resonate with the hearts of attendees and pay homage to the rich tapestry of traditions woven through time.

In a move to ensure the success of one of Nigeria’s most iconic cultural events, the House of Oduduwa has appointed Prince Adewale Laoye as the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the upcoming Ayan Agalu Festival 2024.

The prestigious two-day festival, slated for July 17th and 18th in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, celebrates the rich drumming heritage of the Yoruba people. As a respected personality and CEO of Aafin Ilu, Prince Laoye’s leadership is expected to elevate the festival’s significance and promote unity.

In a statement, Prince Laoye expressed his deep honour at the appointment, stating, “The Ayan Agalu Festival is a cherished event that promotes peace, harmony, and pride in our cultural identity. I look forward to working with the talented organizing committee to curate an exceptional experience showcasing our drumming traditions to the world. I also thank His Imperial Majesty and Her Royal Majesty for their trust in my capabilities.”

Under his guidance, the 2024 festival will feature performances by master drummers, expert-led workshops, displays of various Yoruba drumming styles, and a grand finale uniting all participants in a powerful show of unity.

The sacred Ayan Agalu drum has historically served as an instrument for communicating the message of peaceful coexistence globally. This year’s event aims to amplify that message through rhythmic celebrations and competitions drawing talent from across Africa.

Her Royal Majesty Olori Aderonke Ademiluyi Ogunwusi voiced confidence in Prince Laoye’s abilities, saying, “His wisdom and commitment will make the Ayan Agalu 2024 Festival a resounding success. His leadership will ensure this sacred tradition uplifts our community while radiating our values of unity and harmony worldwide.”

Festival Overview:
The Ayan Agalu Festival 2024 will take place over two days, 17th and 18th July, 2024 in the historic city of Ile-Ife, the spiritual homeland of the Yoruba people.

Day 1:

●Arrival and registration of participants
●Accommodation and meals provided
●Traditional homage and offerings to Ayan Agalu
●Auditions for the drumming competition
●Rehearsal for general performance

Day 2:

●Performances and competitions by various drumming groups, including the Association of Professional Drummers of Nigeria (APDON).
●Workshops and lectures by experts on stage presence, costuming, and drumming techniques, with a speaker from the Dramatic Arts department at Obafemi Awolowo University.
●Introduction and showcasing of various Yoruba drumming rhythms, including Dundun, Bata, Bembe, Aran Ifa, Agogo, Sekere, Gangan, Agidigbo, Igbin drum, Dundun drum, Agere, and Apinti.
●Performances dedicated to the rhythms and oriki (praise poetry) of the Ooni of Ife and also Yoruba deities such as Obatala, Sango, Oya, Sanponna, Ogun, Esu, Aje Olokun, and Osun.
●Danceable rhythms for youth and elders.
●Grand finale with all drummers playing together in a powerful display of unity (general performance).

Special Highlights:

●A specially commissioned “Mother Drum” of Dundun (Iyaalu Dundun) with full saworoide (beaded adornments) and the drum belt with the logo and colors of the House of Oduduwa/Ayan Agalu Festival, to be played by the Kaabiyesi (the Ooni of Ife). This special drum with a stand will be placed in front of the Kaabiyesi every year.
●Decorated drum belts of Dundun and Bata with the logo and colors of the House of Oduduwa/Ayan Agalu Festival alongside cash prizes, will be presented to the top three winners of the competition.
●Drum hangers and cabinets showcasing various drums, including the Kaabiyesi’s drum.
●All performances by the participants (individual or groups) will have a title related to the theme of the edition. This will encourage meaningful and well-curated performances and also document them for generations to come.

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