Susan Wenger; The White Woman  That Joined The Ogboni And Ifa Worshippers

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She was popularly known as Adunni Olorisha. Sarah Wenger was born in Austria, in the year 1915. Her quest was to understand the primary concern of all religions, and how it affects the communication between the divine and humans. This was what pushed her towards the path of the Yoruba religion that brought her to Nigeria in year 1950.

For someone that was born and trained in Europe, someone that has exhibited her works in so many countries like Paris and Zurich, it is rare to see her type take the path that she took.

Susan was initiated into some Yoruba religious groups, including Osun and Ogboni after she lived in Nigeria for a very long time. It was Ajagemo, who was the high priest of Obatala, that initiated her and also introduced her to the Orisha religion in Ede, Osun State. She died after spending almost 60 years in Oshogbo.

In Oshogbo, Susan dedicated her life to coming up with artistic works for the gods. She worked with some artists and strict worshippers of Ifa. With the company of her assistants, Susan started to repair some of the shrines in Osun State. She described the shrines of the god as ceremonial homes of the gods.

Aside from her organisation of famous Osogbo workshops in the 1960s, she also produced some famous sculptures. Some of the most notable sculptures that were produced by Susan, include Ontotoo, Obatala (the god of purity/whiteness), Iya Moopo (the protector of all women crafts and trade) and many others.

Susan spoke German, English and Yoruba. Though she has passed away in the year 2009, she is remembered by her immense contributions to the restoration of the shrines for the Sacred Osun Grove, that has become a world heritage. She helped in the preservation of Yoruba culture.

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