Last Updated On October 29, 2020.
Who was Mama Susanne Wenger?
For those who may not know, Mama Susanne Wenger was the mastermind behind New Sacred Art Movement, a team of committed individuals who singlehandedly restored Osun-Osogbo Grove – a UNESCO World Heritage Site to its somewhat current state.
What makes Susanne Wenger more fascinating is that she was a foreigner, an Austrian living on Nigerian soil and she had this keen interest in recovering the treasures our forefathers had taken for granted.
Simply put, she was one of the big reasons if not the only reason why Osun-Osogbo Grove stands today.
In this follow up to my endless Osogbo musings, I picked a couple of comments from Chris’s IG post and hehe… I think I curated colorful magic too.
Kinda awesome right? Well, let’s kick off with the first comment…
#1. [@oiza_collection] says…
I stay in Osogbo and I know the real story of this woman.
What we heard from our fathers is that Mama Susanne Wenger was a tourist who came to Osogbo with her husband to capture the Osun Mermaid.
She was hypnotised and as such, couldn’t follow her husband back to their country. Susanne became a true worshipper of Osun and later a High Priestess…
She adopted some people here including my friend’s parents and she was given a yoruba name “Adunni Olorisa” meaning Adunni the idol worshipper.
The house where she lived before passing on still exists along Osun State University Road today and it was named after her.
#2. [@ms.cocofudge] says…
Okurrrrr. So we should turn to babalawo and mamalawo. Abi beeko!
#3. [@arayemi] says…
She was friends with Picasso, and they were both artists together.
Susanne Wenger left her husband to fully embrace her Osogboland calling and there’s a whole lot more to her story.
She did what she was called to do, embraced who she was meant to be, lived to ninety-three years (wow), and adopted two young kids while learning a language and culture she was not born into.
I’m off to read more!
#4. [@holeryedeh] says…
And here we are trying to forgo everything traditional, while foreigners embrace it to a fault.
Related Readings: FORGET THE BIG NAMES, VISIT THIS ART GALLERY IN OSOGBO
#5. [@chisimdi_ndu] says…
Am I the only one still stuck at the cure for tuberculosis part? Till today we still need foreign aid to cure tuberculosis… how did this local cure come about and how is it not being utilized?
#6. [@dayotage] says…
She was very instrumental in the crafting and naming of several artifacts in the Osun-Osogbo groove.
I remember I had a whole section of my final year project talking about her accomplishments in Osun-Osogbo and how she influenced the Tourism Perspective in Nigeria decades ago.
Related Readings: OSUN-OSOGBO GROVE: 10 MUST-READ TIPS FOR EVERYONE
#7. And [@ericotrips 🙂] says…
She was so amazing! I visited Susanne Wenger’s House in Osogbo days ago and I sincerely think I’ll hardly forget that experience.
And when [@ugo_chi] replies with, “gist us more.” I continue the narrative…
First off, her house isn’t on Google Maps (tried adding it recently) so you may have some hitches getting there without a local guide.
What I recommend is you locate Ataoja Palace or Osogbo Central Mosque, and from there you can ask people around for descriptions.
On arrival, my friend and I were welcomed by a guy and he asked if we wanted a tour or an interview session. Ask for both!
Her home/museum features works from New Sacred Art Movement which Mama Susanne Wenger founded and it’s very much kept in the natural state with wooden floors, windows and doors.
Indoors, there are wood carvings, stone carvings and many other artworks.
The building as a whole gives an in depth perspective of how the Art Maestro lived.
See Instagram post! 👇
Mama Susanne Wenger, our Adunni Olorisa could have been over a 100 years old today.
It’s evident that she lives on in the hearts of many art, culture and yoruba cosmology patrons including myself.
Mama was and is still a national treasure, an emblem of the indigenous people of Osogboland and a gift from Graz, Austria.
Over to you. What’s your favourite comment? Kindly share below.
Psst, make sure you follow everyone featured in this article, they’re awesome!
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Pin Image Credit: achtzig