Town Where The Dead Wake To Eat


This may sound like a tale to most Christians and Muslims but to a core traditionalist, it is true.

In the ancient city of Ile-Ife, some traditional believers believe that many of the human antiquities found in the museums today were their ancestors who had only come to eat but were kidnapped by archaeologists.

A traditionalist in the ancient town who simply identified himself as Pa Fakowajo told our correspondent that the early men who found Ile-Ife did not die but transfigured to what an archaeologist refers to as “Figurine”.

“Have you ever visited “Agbole Baba Sigidi”, this traditionalist asked our correspondent. He narrated how an ancient man grew so old in “Baba sigidi” compound and later transformed into a mortar.

“Till date, if you visit Baba Sigidi’s Grove, you will hear silent breath of a creature, if you can listen very well,” Fakowajo said.

He said that there is no compound in the ancient town that does not have relics of those who had lived in the past and each time they feel like eating new food, they rise from their tombs.

According to him, some of these figurines are lower deities compared to “Ogun, Sango, Obatala and Osun but they are being worshiped by some people because they see them as gods.

“What we have in many museums today are mere artworks. Then it was difficult to find these artifacts. The original ones had been stolen by the western world,” he said.

According to him, most of our black people worship these objects but the white people who came here knew the value more than Africans.

“They gave us Bible and took away the artifacts, which according to them is an idol. Today they used it to decorate their own museums while we make fake resemblance here.”

A few months ago, Fakowajo said that some archaeologists came to Ile-Ife and went to Oduduwa College to excavate sand. “I don’t know what they want to use the sand for anyway,” he said.

Speaking to our correspondent, a staff at the National Museum and Monuments, Enuwa Ile-Ife confirmed the visit of some archaeologists from Europe to Ile –Ife last year.

He said that they spent about a month and did some sand excavation around the ancient city, much of which was carried out inside Oduduwa College.

“I was among those who worked with them. I think their mission is actually to know how long Ile-Ife had been existing and perhaps those who first lived there. This museum staff, however noted that there are still authentic artifacts but they are not on display at the gallery for security purpose.

Speaking on how the original artifacts got to the museum, he said that archaeologists brought them. On whether the artifact came to eat as being insinuated by some traditionalists, the staff who is also a curator laughed and said, ‘To eat what, food. Some traditionalists believe in that of course but I don’t think so.”



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