With spiritual hands across the ocean, two cultures blessed their rivers and the goddess Osun, drawing Asheville a little closer to its sister city Osogbo, Nigeria, on Aug. 27, at Woodfin Riverside Park.
The event was sponsored by the Zamani Refuge African Culture Center, which was founded by Valeria Watson-Doost, otherwise known as Yeye Siju Osunyemi. It was Yeye Osunyemi who forged the Asheville-Osogbo sister city relationship.
The event featured Byron Ballard of the Asheville Mother Grove Temple, who set out Orisa altars. Yeye Osunyemi spoke about the river-goddess-blessing Osun festival in Nigeria, which takes place every August in the sacred groves of Osogbo and draws tens of thousands of believers and tourists.The festival honors and rekindles the mystical bonds between the river goddess and the people of Osogbo, who represent all of humanity, according to kadmusarts.com
The Asheville festival featured the Sahara Peace Choir and the Wild Bodema Drummers. Music was by Annelinde Metzner.
Three videos from osunpriestess capture the event as well as the Osun river grove and festivities in Osogbo, Nigeria.
The photos below are by Patty Levesque and Meg Kelly.