Ode Festival

Cultural Expression, Identity and Social Solidarity in Oye-Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria


  • Kayode Joseph Onipede Ladoke Akintola University of Technology
  • O. F. Phillips Ladoke Akintola University of Technology




citizenship, communitarian, identity, Oye people, Ode festival, solidarity


This article examines the role of traditional festivals in citizens’ consciousness of identity, solidarity and integration, with particular attention to the Ode festival, which is dedicated to the worship of the Obalatan deity in Oye-Ekiti. It supplements the scant literature on traditional festivals that have fostered social solidarity and intergroup relations through cultural identity among the Yorùbá people of southwest Nigeria. The study harnesses sociology, cultural anthropology and historical research methodology resources, including oral interviews, participant observation, photography, and video and tape recordings to document and interpret its data. The article investigates how the Ode festival fosters identity and solidarity among the people. It identifies the roles of religious festival performance, liturgy and rituals in terms of socio-cultural values, integration, and engaging identity. It is noted that the festival is the core of Oye people’s life, as it promotes solidarity, values, cooperation, relationships, and has functioned as a primary marker of the social and cultural identity of the people over time. It is a traditional and long-established festival that renews and expresses Oye kinship values and identity, and could be employed in significant new initiatives to promote national value, integration and unity.


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Author Biographies

Kayode Joseph Onipede, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology

Kayode Joseph Onipede is currently a staff member of the Department of General Studies, History Unit, at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria. His area of research is African history and culture, with an emphasis on African culture and national development. He has written over twenty academic papers as part of his contribution to humanistic scholarship and Africa’s development. His present research focus is on decolonizing African historical research.

O. F. Phillips, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology

O. F. Phillips is currently a lecturer in the Department of General Studies, Sociology Unit, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso and is also a doctoral student of the Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan. Her research areas include culture and gender studies; she has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals.


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How to Cite

Onipede, K. J. ., & Phillips, O. F. . (2021). Ode Festival: Cultural Expression, Identity and Social Solidarity in Oye-Ekiti, Southwest Nigeria. Fieldwork in Religion, 16(2), 210–230. https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.21293