What is Olumo Rock?
Olumo rock today is a tourist attraction in the South Western part of Nigeria. Its attraction is traced to the significance of the rock, in that the rock provided shelter and a competitive advantage to the people of Egba land during an inter-civil war which took place in the pre-colonial times estimated to be in the 19th Century. The war was between the people of Egba land and the people from Dahomey. The Olumo rock was discovered by the Egba people, a sub-ethnic group among the Yoruba people. “Olumo” is interpreted to mean a shorten form for “Troubles and suffering are all over”. The rock stands at 137 meters above sea level.
Where is Olumo Rock?
Getting to Olumo rock from any location is quite easy with the advent of a very accurate google map. Olumo rock is located in a community called Sodeke, off Muhammadu Jega road, just a few steps away from the Sodeke Cenotaph. A notable landmark on the path to Olumo Rock is the popular Itoku market which is distinguished for its local production and sales of handmade Aso Adire and Batik in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Historic Significance of Olumo Rock
This cannot be understated as it was the Olumo Rock that gave the people of Egba the competitive advantage over their enemies in that they could climb the peak of the mountain to see where their enemies were hiding, thus giving them the ability to detect quickly any war strategies of their enemies so they could conquer it.
The rock also provided shelter for the Egba people during the years of the war. The shelter it provided ensured the continuous propagation of the people of the land. Till date the Egba people are still very much in existence and found in their historic land. The shelter and protection provided by the rock helped to save a lineage from being extinct or scattered in various part.
The first paramount ruler of the Egba land the Alake of Ake was among the warriors on the mountain, the descendant of the first Alake still occupies the position till date.
Most importantly the Olumo rock is credited for the establishment of the modern-day Abeokuta city.
Seven Things You Did Not Know About The Olumo Rock.
Object of Worship
The first being that, the rock is being worshipped by some people right from the pre-colonial times till date. There is a shrine on the mountain and on a certain day every year (even till now), the Paramount ruler of the Egba land enters the shrine to render prayers, supplications and thanks to the “Olumo Rock” for the sustenance of the people of the land, development of the land and for peace to continue to reign in the land. The Alake is the only individual permitted to enter the shrine and this is limited to once a year.
The Second is that the Olumo is said to have healing powers and that during the stay of the people during the war no individual died from any sickness of any sort, as when they fell ill they drank the water gotten from the rock. The healing power is still being sought after until now.
The rock had a total of 5 rooms built in by the ancestors of the Egba people while they lived in it, however, three of the rooms had demolished due to lack of care and preservation. Nevertheless, the rock is being taken care of and preserved currently. Visible in the living quarters on the rock are holes in the ground which is believed to be evidence of how of the women grounded ingredients for cooking.
During the restoration of the rock, man-made steps were carved to the mountain to make it accessible and easier to climb, for those who do not wish to climb the stairs an elevator was fitted to the side of the mountain that goes straight up to the topmost part of the mountain. Also, a museum, restaurant and a water fountain were also erected to give more vivacity to the venue as a tourist attraction.
No Death Records
In addition, the rock also has no single record of death among those who had climbed it, either indigenes or visitors to the land, since the end of the war in the 19th century.
E******n of Monuments
Right on the path to the peak of the mountain is a monument for the warriors who fought in the course of the war, both male and female. Those who died were immortalized lying down, while those who lived through the war were immortalized in a sitting position.
The peak of the Mountain
The peak of the rock is the icing on the cake, it is a place of rest. Personally, the top of the mountain for me is a place for picnics, hanging out and playing with friends, it makes it possible to have an aerial view of the city. It is also the best place to touch the sky.
The Price List to Visit Olumo Rock
The Olumo rock is opened every day of the week. The price list varies, it is 700 naira for all serving corps members, 1000 naira for adults, 500 naira for children, 2000 naira for the use of the elevator. A specific amount is charged for photography, cinematographers and Models.
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