In Yoruba-land in south western Nigeria, each village used to have its sacred grove, an area reserved for the traditional deities. Today, the 75 hectare Sacred Groves located in the town of Osogbo on the banks of the Osun River is the last example of its kind.
In 2005, UNESCO recognised its outstanding universal value by designating the Sacred Groves a World Heritage site in honour of:
- The Sculptures and Monuments created by Susan Wenger and the New Sacred Art Movement that reinforce the special sacred qualities of the Groves;
- The role of the Groves in sustaining cultural traditions, particularly through their hosting of the annual Osun festival;
- Its importance for the identity of Yoruba people, both in Nigeria and around the world.