In the variety and quality of it's traditional sculptures and cultural ceremonies, Ondo State is rich and well endowed. The people are lovers of arts, music and literature. The arts and crafts of the state are dependent on the products of its luxuriant vegetation for the raw materials: wood, bamboo, calabash carvings etc. The ivory carving, bronze and brass work and wood carving from Owo is basically Yoruba and sculptures excavated at Egberin Street in the town in 1971 showed the naturalistic art of classical life. The carved house posts and decorated doors from Owo and Idanre are among the best known internationally. Small-scale museums of antiquities are to be found in parts of the state, mostly in the palaces of traditional rulers who are the custodians of the people's rich culture and ancient traditions. The palace of the Deji of Akure is for instance a national monument where relics of the Yoruba's past can be found.
All through the year, festivals take place in different areas of the State.
An Oba or King heads THE TRADITIONAL INSTITUTION. By custom, Obas are not only the heads of their towns and kingdoms, but personify deities and represent ancestral authorities. They are also the titular heads of all the religious sects in their kingdoms. Their appointments are partly by divination, made by the kingmakers who are invariably the high chiefs. They are appointed from among the children of past rulers. The ceremonies between their appointments and coronation are elaborate. The sacredness of their offices is neither empty nor nominal for their people regard them as deities.
Obas were traditional saddled with the tasks of dispensing justice. Courts were maintained by the traditional rulers and were assisted in this function by their chief. In Akure for instance, the Deji maintained a local court at erekesan. And the palace still adjudicates in variety of matters even till date despite the fact that the power of an Oba to dispense justice and his influences are gradually waning.
By religion, Ondo State people are mostly Christians (present day) while a sizable number of Muslims can be found in Ikare, and other parts of the state. The state however does not boast of the number of Muslims that can be found in places like Oyo State and Osun. There are also traditional worshipers who are the custodians and devotees of the various deities of the Yoruba religion, chief of which are Ogun (god of Iron) Ifa oracle, Sango (the god thunder), Esu (Devil) Osanyin, Olofin, Egungun (like Onibobo above - egunguns are believed to be the spirit of dead parents, especially males) and Orisa-nla (the supreme god).
The Yorubas of Ondo state has strong belief in the supreme god, which they call OLODUMARE. They believe Olodumare is superior to other deities and cannot be worshiped directly. Hence, the Yoruba of Ondo state like other Yorubas worship Olodumare through other lesser gods earlier stated (as hinted, this has gradually given way to Christianity and the people today believe that JEHOVAH or El Shadai, the God of the Christians is the same as the OLODUMARE.
The Yoruba religion is tied to fecundity, major festivals being related to agricultural productivity and the mortification wrought in the environment through religion.
The people also believe in taboos or a set of rules on issues/actions that were considered forbidden. In modern times, it is gradually being discovered that a lot of taboos were actually meant to preserve order and ethics in the society while some were meant to promote good hygiene etc. In fact, some taboos seem to have nothing to do with the occult.
A very interesting taboo is that which forbid pregnant women from going out at odd hours. Aside any spiritual significance, it can be argued today that the elders formulated this to prevent young husbands from overstretching their wives so that the later could have the needed rest – more so that the prescribed odd hours included nights and afternoons! So, you'd got to let her off the tedious farm works.