Each July, a three day festival known as Ogun takes place in Nigeria, where two live dogs are torn in half from limb to limb, and other animals sacrificed, to pay homage to the God of Iron. Party goers cheer wildly at this traditional religious event, held by the Yoruba people, in the city of Ife, Nigeria.
At the start of the festival, war chiefs are seen dancing in their full regalia to tradition songs as locals play drums and bell-gongs. The chief then leads a procession to the shrine, where a ram is slaughtered.
Two dogs are removed from tiny cages and prepared for slaughter by several men positioning themselves on either end of the dogs, to help rip the live dogs in half.
With several men on each end of the dog, the men pull as hard as possible in different directions. The dogs try desperately to scream as they writhe violently in agony, as their limbs are being slowly torn apart.
The crowd’s excitement goes into overdrive when the dog’s head is ripped off its body and flung through the air, as those closest are covered in blood splatter! Wild cheers go up and screams of delight, from men and women alike.
When the dogs are dead, people start singing and dancing in shrill excitement. This marks the three day festival has begun and the dogs are cooked and eaten.
The High Priest collects the dog’s blood and mixes it with palm oil, palm wine, salt and kola nuts, and pours it over the symbols of the metal workers trades; ie: keys, spanners and other tools which have already been collected and placed in a metal barrel, decorated with palm fronds.
Ogun is a religious holiday which is heavily patronized by blacksmiths, panel beaters and mechanics, as well as all others who work with metal. Led by the High Priest, animal sacrifices are made to the God of Iron’s deity, to beg for a successful new year. The practice is completely legal in Nigeria.
Ogun is the patron saint of blacksmiths and hunters and said to preside over circumcisions and tribal markings, as well as drivers, surgeons and operating rooms!
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