In a first-of-its-kind move, the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi declared the Quilombola territory in Brazil as a Yoruba heritage. The revered monarch made this known during a visit to the South American country where he and his entourage were received warmly in Bahia.
As a custodian of Yoruba culture, the Ooni is keen on bridging the gap between the Yoruba race and the rest of the world through cultural integration.
The history of the Quilombo dates back to the 17th century. Currently, around 580 families live in the area covering approximately 1,200 hectares. Quingoma has been recognized as a Quilombola territory by the Palmares Foundation since 2013.
Given the history of Quilombola and the iconic role it played during the slave trade by recognizing and embracing Yoruba people, who were enslaved and forcefully removed from their base in Nigeria, the recognition of Quilombola as Yoruba territory is another step in preserving African history.
The epoch-making ceremony took place in the Quingoma community, in Lauro de Freitas, in the Metropolitan Region of Salvador, Brazil.
In his address, the Ooni highlighted the similarities between the Yoruba culture and that of Quilombola while noting his passion and drive to preserve the African culture.
“This event is a very big one for me because I am passionate about preserving the Yorubas culture and its deep-rooted values. This event will lay precedence for the Yoruba language and its culture to be more acceptable globally,” he concluded.