THE Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has officially presented a Certificate of Yoruba Territory to Quilombola territory in Brazil, making the city the first outside Africa to receive the title.
Ogunwusi, while addressing the Brazil’s Federal House of Assembly on Tuesday, officially inaugurated the first-ever National Orisa Day in the South American country.
A statement from Ooni’s Media Aide, Otunba Moses Olafare, said Ogunwusi addressed the Brazilian Parliament on the special session for Isese Practitioners marking the national day for Orisa religion in Brazil.
Olafare said the royal visit was undertook to bridge the gap between the Yoruba race and the rest of the world through cultural integration and globalising Yoruba culture in the diaspora.
According to him, Ooni and his entourage from Nigeria arrived in the Brazilian city of Bahia on Sunday and met with President Lula da Silva in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, on Monday.
The monarch delivered the title in the Quingoma community, in Lauro de Freitas, in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador.
Residents of Quilombola celebrated the delivery of the title of Yoruba territory which would further strengthen and preserve the Yoruba history, culture and language in the community.
The Quilombola was recognised for having received and welcomed Yoruba people who were enslaved and forcibly removed from their base in Nigeria during the era of the slave trade in Africa.
“The recognition of Quilombola as Yoruba territory is another step in the fight for respect for African history; for the history of the Quilombola dates back to the 17th century.
“Currently, around 580 families live in the area covering approximately 1,200 hectares. Quingoma has been recognised as a Quilombola territory by the Palmares Foundation since 2013,” the statement read.
It added: “Ooni disclosed that the rich and robust history of the Brazilians and the Yoruba people have dated back time in memorial.
“The royal father said that the steps taken would not only preserve the history via cultural preservation, but would also give Brazilians a sense of belonging which would help to foster improvement in strengthening the heritage of Yoruba globally.
“He asserted that the event was a very personal one for him as he is passionate about preserving the Yorubas culture and its deep-rooted values.
“According to him, the Brazilians hold their gods like Sango, Ogun, Yemoja, and Obatala in high esteem and have designated days to celebrate these gods with colorful displays infused with plenty aesthetics.
“They also speak Yoruba which is one thing I love about them; It is very essential to harmonise them and also show solidarity that we are part of them and they are part of us.
“This will foster good bilateral trade between Brazil and Nigeria and it will also put the Yoruba culture at an advantage.”