The Sacred Groves of Osogbo

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:

  1. The Sculptures and Monuments created by Susan Wenger and the New Sacred Art Movement that reinforce the special sacred qualities of the Groves;
  2. The role of the Groves in sustaining cultural traditions, particularly through their hosting of the annual Osun festival;
  3. Its importance for the identity of Yoruba people, both in Nigeria and around the world.


An article by Lesley Lababidi (, specialist in Nigerian and Egyptian culture and history-Obelisque magazine

Today, the Sacred Groves attract tens of thousands of visitors each year who come to appreciate this natural, artistic and spiritual haven.

With the support of the Adunni Olorisha Trust- Adunni Osun Foundation (AOTF) and the guiding hand of the remaining members of the Sacred Art Movement and the Restoration Team who they trained, the magnificent art in the Sacred Groves is being preserved for future generations.

Check the Photo Gallery for details
on the Restoration projects

The Groves of Osogbo are unique in the world combining artistic interpretation of a living
religion in the surrounding of integrated but undisturbed and highly respected nature.
 Augustine Mezedner, 1990