Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Ogboni society is an institution indigenous to southwestern Nigeria, where it emerged among the Yoruba-speaking people. It is also found within the Yoruba community of the eastern part of the Republic of Benin. It is a society of secrets (often referred to as a “secret society”). Many similar organizations have sprung up throughout Africa, such as the Porro society among the Temne people of Sierra Leone or the Okonko society among the Igbo people. The Obgoni society fulfills many functions of a religious, political, and judicial nature. Members of the society are distinguished and bound by their veneration of the Earth goddess, Uè (also known as Odudua), the mother of all life. As such, they commonly present Uè with offerings of food and drinks. Thought of as privileged intermediaries between the living and the ancestors, whose primary abode is the Earth, priests of the Obgoni society are often called ...