Key players in the conservation of the Osogbo forest (grove) and its diverse cultural legacy convened for the first private screening of the “Ancestry Documentary Film,” recently held in Osogbo, the Osun State capital. Ancestry is a documentary on Osun grove that focuses on the harmonious interface among man, nature and his culture. The ancestry team got the blessing of the traditional ruler of Osogbo and the custodian of the grove, the Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Abidemi Oyetunji.

In this meeting, the documentary film, its relevance, and production progress in the community were discussed. The king himself, having approved the film screening at his palace invited kingmakers and Osogbo women who are the protectors of the Osogbo forest to be in attendance.

The principal protectors of the sacred Osun Osogbo forest; Osun women led by Yeyerisa Abimbola, chiefs, and kingmakers were present at this special screening.

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This meeting served two purposes of first getting the input of respected members of the community, and second, to guarantee that the documentary is accurate and representative of the community and their culture. From the beginning of filming to the end, the Osun women, led by Yeyerisa Abimbola, provided invaluable contributions to the creation of the documentary.

“Ancestry Documentary Film” explores the relationship between environmental conservation, indigenous cultural practices, and the enduring bond between humanity and nature. It digs into these rich traditions. The film challenges viewers to re-evaluate the strength of indigenous Nigerian cultures and their vital role in environmental preservation, particularly in a nation vying for international recognition for its work on climate change mitigation.

“The film was well done, and more of such stories must be created to spread the good work of the women at the Osogbo forest,” said Yeye Orisa Abimbola, the leader of the women in the Osogbo palace.

Three National Geographic Explorers are the project’s lead team members: lead researcher Dr. Daniel Mwamidi, First director and project lead Jubilian Ngaruwa, and second director Tessa Barlin. Their combined knowledge has produced a realistic and engaging story for the screen.

The group is aware that the indigenous community’s ongoing participation in the filmmaking process is essential to producing truly representative narratives. It guarantees that the narratives conveyed are truthful, courteous, and supported by the people who experience them. Through this procedure, filmmakers and indigenous communities can build mutual trust and collaboration while also validating the cultural heritage being portrayed. This approval opens the door for more projects of this kind in the future and represents to the Osogbo community an acknowledgment and validation of their cultural practices and environmental conservation efforts.

Through cultural practices, the indigenous people of Osogbo, in southwest Nigeria, have long served their land, worshipped it, and protected its wildlife and forest. The holy Osun river, which represents the goddess Osun, is the centre of this practice. This in-depth documentary delves deeply into the Osogbo community, showcasing the tenacity of its members in protecting their environment and cultural legacy in the face of mounting extinction threats. Priests, priestesses, and oral historians committed to preserving their natural and cultural legacy are presented to the audience.

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