‘ Ado-Awaye’ The Suspended Lake In Oyo State
Last week Friday, I attended a fashion business summit and one of the speakers asked ‘Who has heard about a suspended lake in Oyo state known as the Ado-Awaye Lake’? No one signified and thank God my smartphone was close by, I went straight up to Google to confirm what the speaker said and there it was on my screen.
We have only two suspended lakes in the world which are: The hanging lake in Colorado, U.S.A and Ado- Awaye suspended lake in Oyo State, Nigeria. Ado Awaye lake is called a suspended lake because it is a body of stagnant water on the mountains and not that the lake is suspended in air (LOL) just in case you were deceived by the word “suspended”.
Ado- Awaye Lake also known as “Iyake Lake” is located at Ado- Awaye town,20 kilometres out of Iseyin on the Oke Ado mountains in Oyo State and the mountain is surrounded by various natural attractions such as the Ishage rock which is regarded as one of the most powerful gods on the mountain, Iya-Alaro Lake, The Elephant Tree Lake etc.History has it there are 16 powerful gods on the mountain which represents different landmarks on the mountain.
It is believed that Ado- Awaye town were two settlements ‘ Ado and Awaye’ that existed separately in the ancient times.It is also said that the ancestors at that time had to leave a land known as ‘Awori’ because of a war that broke out known as the ‘Dahomey war’ and settle at the top of the Oke Ado mountain. These refugees, who became known as the Ado dwellers, later relocated to the foot of the mountain and met the Awaye dwellers. The Awaye dwellers decided to live with the Ado people, hence the name Ado-Awaye.
Ado-Awaye Lake is the most prominent and revered lake on the mountain.It is known as the god of fertility and there is a history of barren women who have visited the lake for prayers.It is also highly esteemed for its spiritual significance as people who had visited the lake to get its water to treat various health problems. It is believed to be a taboo for anyone to swim or bathe in the lake, and anyone who does it will never be seen again. Legend also has it that a white man who once challenged this lake disappeared and his body was never found again.
It is also said that across Ado-Awaye Lake is a small hole with water which can draw anyone who puts his/her feet into it and the hole is referred to as ‘Agbomofunyake’ which people believe leads to Ado-Awaye lake.I believe if more people and foreign tourists know more about this lake and its related tourists’ attractions, it will generate more revenue in the tourism sector of the state.