“A sacred Yoruba voodoo village.. in the United States!”
Oyotunji African Village is the first intentional community based on the culture of the Yoruba and Dahomey tribes of West Africa; founded, (1970) in the Americas. Now in 2013, after over 40 years of sustaining the only Kingdom based on traditional Yoruba sociology and values, OAV brings to the Low-country and greater global community the depth of culture, beautiful art, grandeur of customs and resilient history of the New World Yoruba. Oyotunji is a sacred Yoruba voodoo village, where the leaders insist that you are leaving the sovereignty of the United States and stepping onto foreign soil. The sign at the gate reads: "NOTICE: You are leaving the US. You are Entering the Yoruba Kingdom In the name of High Highness Efuntola, peace welcome to the sacred village of Oyotunji, the only village in North America built by priests of the Vodun cults as a tribute to our ancestors. These priests preserve the customs, laws, and religion of the African race. WELCOME TO OUR LAND!" OAV is positioned as the pinnacle center for learning, exploring and celebrating the ancient traditions and culture of the Yoruba people of present day West Africa. The vision of this unprecedented institution lends itself to flowering into a national and international ethnic, cultural, resource and service based community. With goals to cultivate media production (print and audio visual) facilities, ongoing sustainable agriculture/mari-culture initiatives, as well as import/export and entertainment conglomerate business ventures. The Kingdom of Oyotunji African Village's core business is to serve in the elevation of humanity's understanding and appreciation of the genius, highly technical, social and Royal hierarchy of African people. The institution of OAV serves as a real-time reminder of the sociology and African world view contribution made to society by African ancestors of antiquity. Oyotunji African Village is a village located near Sheldon, Beaufort County, South Carolina that was founded by Oba Efuntola Oseijeman Adelabu Adefunmi I in 1970, as part of a "New World Yoruba" initiative. Oyotunji Village covers 27 miles. During the 1970s, the era of greatest population growth at the village, the number of inhabitants grew from 5 to between 200 and 250. The population is rumored to fluctuate between 5 and 9 families as of the last 10 years. It is promoted as an authentic Yoruba village and as a successful example of Pan-Africanism in the New World, and receives tourists from time to time, many of whom are African-American. It was originally intended to be located in Savannah, Georgia, but was eventually settled into its current position after disputes with neighbors in Sheldon proper over drumming and tourists. Historically, residents of Oyotunji Village joined twentieth-century black nationalist ideology with aspects of Yoruba and Fon cultures to form an innovative community. It can be asserted that Oyotunji villagers consciously excised “European” characteristics from certain Cuban and Haitian traditions. In turn, they intertwined elements of the Yoruba and Fon cultures upon which these traditions were based with black nationalist ideology. In this way, the villagers helped to develop a unique brand of Orisa (or deity) worship, rich with black nationalist concepts. The villagers also made an effort to build an independent nation based on West African cultural values.
I recommend going in warmer weather, and it's better if they know you're coming. Tours are 10/head and the community needs it. It like an American commune focusing on African culture. Good road trip stop. Not sure how historically or culturally accurate any of their 'temples' or shrines are. Ask about the history of the king. When we got there we waited a bit as no one came for at least 5plus minutes, we honked eventually and someone came out.
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Oyotunji African Village
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 12:00 pm
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