The Land of Oyotunji

On our way from Charleston to Savannah we stumbled outside of America and found ourselves in a small village that has been trying to succeed from the Union since the 1970s (for those familiar with the area its near Sheldon, S. Carolina).

This 27 acre nation was found by  late Oba Efuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi I in 1970. While your highness has since”gone up the ceiling” and has been replaced by a new King, we were still able to tour this land and even interview our tour guide Ayungeti. Oyotunji is a community of African-American people  living a traditional Yoruban lifestyle in America (think of Amish communities, not Polygamist ranches).  What was most inspiring about this village was the people and their strength. They are trying to gain back some of the cultural traditions that were lost during enslavement and while they’re efforts may be laughed at by some, who can imagine being completely uprooted from your own culture. If someone told an Italian Catholic that they could not practice their religion or eat pasta for centuries, you would expect their offspring to eventually want to rediscover their lost culture. To want to learn how to pray to their own God and practice their own way of life.

Ayungeti told us about her own struggles growing up as a black women in the South and how she was able to find herself after her mothers death by reconnecting with her ancestors and joining the village in the late 70s. She told us to follow our hearts in life, and to always do what we felt was right. She took quite the risk when she stepped outside the American norm and completely immersed herself in something she felt was right for her and for that (and her quick wit, humor and kindness) she made the land of Oyotunji most memorable. 

We can only hope that we are invited back for one of their festivals, which sound like more fun than Mardi Gras.

 

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    missmays said,

    It sounds like a great place!


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