Oshun Festival at Oyotunji African Village - Atlas Obscura
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Sheldon, South Carolina

Oshun Festival at Oyotunji African Village

Enter North America's oldest authentic African Village for a full day of parades, dancing, and reverence.

Join the Kingdom of Oyotunji Village for the main day of celebration for the River Goddess Oshun.

Inside Sheldon, South Carolina, stands Oyotunji African Village: an authentic Yoruba village founded in the 1970s by Oba Oseijeman Adefunmi I. His followers came from New York, Chicago, and Indiana to establish the Kingdom of Oyotunji, now the oldest genuine African Village in North America, with the aim of reigniting African culture.

The residents of the village follow a mixture of the customs and traditions of Yoruba and Fon cultures, living in simple shacks, wearing traditional West African garments, and following religious counseling and training. The entire village is over 10 acres and holds assorted structures such as open air shrines, courtyards, and a traditional bazaar that sells handmade artwork, jewelry, herbs, and clothing made by the residents.

According to the Yoruba elders, Oshun is the "unseen mother present at every gathering." She is a force of harmony, bringing beauty, love, and experience. In this festival for the River Goddess Oshun, the village rejoices with prayer, parades, and parties.

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