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OLUMO ROCK


Encyclopedia » Places
Ogun

Olumo rock is located in Abeokuta the Ogun state capital. The rock dates back to the  days when songs of war dominated the airwaves in Yoruba land, that’s was in the first quarter of 19th century when Oyo empire was falling apart from pressure of Fulani attacks from outside and fraternal conflicts from within.

In 1830, shoeke, a hunter and leader of Egba refugees from Ibadan area founded the town of Abeokuta which means “beneath the rock”. The rock was later named “Olumo” which had two levels of meaning. The first is “Olu” (God) “Mo” (Molded) the second is “Oluwa fi mo” (God has put an end to our wandering and suffering).

Historically, Olumo rock was discovered by a hunter famer named Adagba and he found the rock to be a natural place of refuge from wars and threat of wars. Adagba retreated with his wife to the safety of the rock whenever the need arise. Egba reconnaissance men (consisting of three hunters) who met with Adagba where brought to the rock and were convinced that their search for a new secure home base is over. With the surrounding fertile wooded savannah and the presence of Ogun River, they believe that they have arrived at the promise land. Confirmation of the suitability of the site by Ifa divination was needed to seal of approval.

 Olumo rock is natures massive monuments made of indigenous material, with the highest point at 137 meters from the base of the rock. From a perspective angle, it looks like “behemoth” in a sitting position; it also appears as a female mammoth guarding her brood. In metaphysics, the fact of its indigenous formation can be said to be its strength as a refuge, a hideout during the process of sitting in their new settlement which is the present day Abeokuta.

In addition, the rock functioned as a tower of strength for Egba in their wars to defend the new settlement. Symbolically Olumo is the single most important representation of Egba nationalism, it is the unique monument inseparably associated with their heroism and freedom. It is to them what status of Liberty is to Americans, it never fails to fascinate both the young and the old with its sheer size, configuration and several chambers located inside the belly of the “behemoth” in which its brood was hidden from the danger of incessant assault in the past. However Olumo rock became the symbol of unity, freedom of the Egba’s and all the residents of Abeokuta.

Domestic and international tourist now explore the special features of the rock which include the gardens on the rock, the natural tunnels and cleft path ways, the natural cantilevers and overhangs, the unusual trees, relics of the belief system of the early settlers on the rock. There is also three heavy escalators now installed at the 3 natural heights of the rock, covering a total of about 20 floor of a high rise building, tourist also experience a scenic and panoramic views of the ancient city from the highest peak of the rock.

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Updated 4 Years ago
 

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