Kemetian NTRU/ Yoruban Orishas The KEMETIC/KHAMITIC Dieties: Amen - Every day / Olodumare Ausar - Every day

/ Obatala Tehuti - Thursday / Orúnmila/Ifá Sekher(t) - Saturday / Babalu Aye Maat - Thursday / Ochosí Herukhuti - Tuesday / Ogun Heru - Sunday / Shango Het-Heru - Friday / Oshun Sebek - Wednesday / Eshu/Ellegba Auset - Monday / Yemaya Geb - Every day / Osanyin Shu & Tefnut / Ibeji Oro Ra / Aganyu Nut / Olocún Nekhebet/Uatchet / Oya "Today's mathematics is 'Culture'. " Overall, it's Peace Ausar = Osiris = Orishas (Language can show us the origins) Kemetian NTRU/Yoruban Orishas (TREE OF LIFE) Ausar=Obatala Tehuti=Orunamila/Ifa Seker=Babulu Aye Maat=Aje Chagullia Herukhuti=Ogun Heru=Shango Het Heru=Oshun Sebek=Eshu Auset=Yemaya Nekhebet/Uatchet=Oya Q: I have heard of the Dogon, Yoruba, and I have heard of Kemet but I thought they were different

things. How are they related? How can they all be the same? A: There are misconceptions surrounding the Dogon, Yoruba, and Kemet. KMT is a territory much larger than just Ancient "Egypt". KMT is a determined by value and spiritual system. The Dogon and Yoruba are made up of certain bloodlines, Tribes, and People - DOING THE AF RA KA METAPHYSICAL SYSTEM (KMT), whose job it was to protect the highest knowledge of the universe. The bloodlines are dispersed through Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and in which some turned into Vodou and IMO why there's so much warring and killing amongst our brothers. Q: Is this connected to Voodou or Yoruba? A: Yes the origins of these spiritual systems can be found within the AF RA KA Initiation KMT System, but be careful some of these religions, they were changed into witchcraft or paganism. (and to the untrained eye it's hard to see) *Christianity, Europe, and the Roman Catholic Church influence played a huge role in the development of Vodou. Voudun is a mixture of our ancient spiritual practices and those who have conquered us (SETH/Set-AN -Satan). The Tree of Life can't be attributed to any one part of Afrika "first" although we know it was used and perfected there before the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. For those that read Twi, you will notice a number of Ghanian writers, mostly elders have written some obsure books on the Akan-Kemetic connection. There is already plenty of info about how the Yoruba Priest and Kemetic Priests traded spiritual science. I do not endorse the superiority of any African family, town, culture or tribe over another. This goes against the African spiritual concept, unfortunately, forgotten during years of the British divide and rule policy. What this article will show, and the point of this blog is to share the similarities OF cosmic orgins and the Tree of Life, in ALL Afurakanu/Afuraitkaitnut (Africans) BUT how some of these changed into Paganism and Witchcraft. (Materialism & Sensationalism) "Voodoo is the Dahomey word for Spirit. It is often spelled as Vodou, or Vodoun - the typical Haitian spelling. *Any spirit found in the natural world is vodou. Voodoo is a derivative of KMT, the world's oldest known AF RA KA religions which have existed in Africa since the beginning of human civilization civilizations and religions estimated to be over 40,000 years old. Voodoo is a direct descendent of the religions of these ancient civilizations. Vodou originates from the western nations of Africa, primarily from the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, which is now present day Benin. Vodou also came from the peoples of the Kongo as well as the Central African regions, including Bakongo, and the Yoruba of Nigeria."

Yes the Dark path...with that old black magic ...imo these are some of the worst - black people killing black people, Vodoun (also Voodoo) The religion of Vodoun AND yORUBA as currently practiced bears little resemblance to its ancestral practice. Presently there are an estimated 50 million worshippers worldwide. The central belief of the religion is in spirit possession. Ownership of the gods and which i contribute to black on black crime and murder. This is an nhoma for, by, and about Afurakanu/Afuraitkaitnut (Africans~Black People). Those of you who are Yoruba, Dogon, Akan, Igbo, Ewe, Fon, Bakongo, Bambara, inianka, Goromantche, Ovambo, Kenesu-Kamau (Nubian-Egyptian) as well as all of us others will benefit from the information as well, being that Amen and the TREE OF LIFE is know by all, by different but similar names in our various Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit (African) traditions. "Once man-god realizes that I AM is not the flesh, or the senses, or the mind, or the intellect: the oppressor [who can only threaten the body, senses, mind, and intellect] looses all power to cause harm." KMT

Day of Tehuti The 19th of Tehuti is an extremely important day in human spirituality and history. Instead of eating meat. This day is a spiritual fest based on initiation values and teachings.000 years. and evil . If you dont have your new Sidereal Calendar. and share it with family. Fish Day For the last 45. and have an expression of a creature that is advancing towards Gods. friends. A coincidence? Those unfamiliar with the realities of the world will think so. and is still used throughout the world today. we are all equal! Traditionally called the day of Sebbit. Tehuti 9th is the day that mankind decided not to eat any animal that walks on Earth (his world). . Today. With the new year comes a new seasonal cycle and many traditional holy days to observe.it is the day the seventy-seven commandments were given to us by the Gods. call The Earth Center at 773-722-7001 or order online at www. The Sidereal Calendar is the calendar that was used by the entire world before the invasion of religions and sects. Those who do not understand the reasons behind this important spiritual day will still benefit from practicing the Sebbit day restrictions.com. It is a day of reconciliation between humans and animals that share the Earth (land). murder.Kemetic Spiritual Days by Bouneith Inejnema Naba New Years Day Happy New Year! Tehuti 1st (September 11. neighbors.from the Pharaoh to the street-cleaner. bleed red blood. One who is unfamiliar with the Sidereal Calendar usually notices that the beginning of the year is usually September 11th. breathe with lungs. the same day that the twin towers were bombed by ?terrorists? in the USA. The 19th of Tehuti is the day that humanity decided to bring themselves out of barbarism. especially in traditional African spiritual communities. According to ancient knowledge. and this day should be honored and celebrated by all of mankind. and passers-by. but those who are more knowledgable recognize that the timing of this event is much more than a mere coincidence. 2005) marks the first day of the new spiritual year under the Sidereal Calendar.theearthcenter. humanity has been celebrating Fish Day on Tehuti 9th as a way of symbolizing that each and every human being is equal in the eyes of Gods. everyone eats fish with grains and vegetables. eat fish instead of meat. The calendar lists all important holy days as well as Gods of the weeks and months. all of mankind traditionally eat fish on this day to symbolize the equality of all human beings in front of Gods . We wish all Rising Firefly readers a happy and prosperous new year.

Isthar. Wsr presented the seventy-seven commandments to us as a way of helping us out of an animalistic way of life that was based on emotion. his day is very important for every human being that considers themselves to be on a divine path. Coronis. On this day. Charm of Aishat Aishat is perhaps the most popular Goddess in the world. Every human being can look to Aishat as a mother and protector. She is the Mother Goddess and the wife of Wsr.one that was based on values. Minerva. and she has always been a helpful Goddess with many magical powers. and a clean/purified body. Alcmene. The 6th of Penipt is dedicated to Aishat. every human being on earth) was conceived. and filth. Aishat has many names. humanity as a whole vowed in front of the Gods to follow the seventy-seven commandments and to be good and pure beings instead of the barbaric and evil beings that we were before receiving this precious gift. the God-father. including Aissiata. This day is traditionally the date that paranormal or magic powers are shown by every human being that possesses these abilities. Setou. or ?justice is sweet. This celebration also gives new initiates a chance to come close to sacred practices and beings and also exposes them to the powerful powers that are held by those who have spent a longer time in the initiation. this day is celebrated under diverse names and festivals throughout the world. Aicha. although many people who worship her do not know that it is Aishat they are worshipping. Maata is our light? or ?The truth is sweet. the truth is our path?. Wsr. etc. Leto. One who does not follow the commandments will have no way to reach the Gods. back from death using her abilities. Semele. It is a period of joy and reconciliation between human beings and their ancestors and Gods. greed. because these commandments are what give us access to the world of the Gods. as Aishat brought her husband.then one eats the honey-dipped fruit. If one does not reside in a place that officially celebrates this day. and corruption. justice is our path? or ?goodness is sweet. Ai. The seventy-seven commandments are available in poster form and can be obtained by contacting The Earth Center. It is by way of Aishat?s love and magic abilities that the God-son Heru (and thus. goodness is our path? . spirituality. and is often seen in festivals that are dedicated to God-mothers. one needs only fruit. one can still take part in this .The God Wsr (renamed Osiris by the Greeks). Europ. the God-father of all humans. Because Aishat transcends geography and culture. honey. Following the seventy-seven commandments allowed humanity to build a world that was different from the animals . decided to help humanity by convincing the Gods to provide us with a blueprint of how to base our lives. The celebration of the Charm of Aishat is a happy occasion. Danae. Isis. After commissioning the Gods to provide us with their rules for living a pure life. One dips the fruit in honey and says ?Maata is sweet. and logic rather than on emotion. corruption. instinct. Mary. Aisia. To celebrate this day. as these laws are what ensure our purity and goodness! The 19th of Tehuti is the day that human beings received enlightenment from the Gods and should be celebrated by all. Assietou.

Traditional wisdom tells us that. He is also the one who has given us the seventy-seven commandments. swearing. etc from sunrise to sunset) and then ending the fast with a feast in the name of Aishat. Seth tricked Wsr into laying in a coffin that was built especially for him. Aishat hid his body to recruit help. which have a profound effect on the lives of Earthly beings. which will lead to a poor irrigation of our brain. The expression ?sun stick? is an analogy of an elder using a cane or a stick to help them walk . and Wsr was not found until many months later by his wife Aishat. who is also Wsr?s brother. drinking. won a victory over the forces of good. Sunstick Day Penipt 23 is the day that the distance between the Earth and the sun becomes greater than the distance in the equinoxes and the summer solstice. Ateeri 17th is the date that the jealous God. in this period. Wsr then became Wsr-Unefer. smoking. which enabled us to come out of barbarism and corruption and be moral human beings with values and direction. but Seth found it and cut it into fourteen pieces. having sex. The Nile took the coffin to the sea.the sun has now lost its vigor! Death of Wsr Wsr is an extremely important God. These astronomical occurances affect our lives in ways that are easy to observe if one chooses to look. The heart has a more difficult time pumping blood throughout the body due to the increased pull of gravity. which slows down the rotation and speed of the planet while cooling it down. but this phenenomon is really due to a physical consequence of gravity and the fact that the Earth?s rotation has slowed down considerably. A sequence of prayers to Aishat is usually spoken. This is the kingdom that all human beings will enter when they die to be judged for their actions. the sun is entering its phase of age and is getting old. which he threw into the sea. but allowed life after death. It is on this day that a battle between evil (Seth) and good (Wsr and Heru) was won by evil. Seth. and when Wsr got in the coffin. Every judgement story from all religions is based on this original event. the merciful God that not only brought life to Earth. This distancing also comes with an interference of the energies from the celestial bodies and an increase in the gravitational forces of the Earth. and because he is the first God to die. Seth nailed it shut and tossed it into the Nile River. who traveled the world searching for her husband. This time is the beginning of a dangerous distancing of the Earth from the sun. We bury our dead because of our knowledge (subconscious) of the existence of the underground World of the Dead so that the dead person?s body will not be far from where the . Wsr is dead. This day is an astronomical day that is named Sunstick day because it is the date that the sun starts moving away from the Earth. he had the task of creating an eternal kingdom of the dead. and one can practice a meditative retreat from the rest of the world. One can also celebrate this day by fasting (not eating.holy celebration. as he is the God-father of all human beings. This is why people tend to have depressive tendencies during this period! We tend to think winter is a period of sadness because of the lack of sunlight.

etc) and spend time for lamentations and prayers before breaking the fast after sunset. She reassembled them and resusciated her husband. swearing. setting the path for human reincarnation. brushing teeth. the 17th of Ateeri. This is a mourning day and a day of sadness. This day. sex. drinking. because Wsr has died. Aishat eventually found thirteen of the fourteen pieces of Wsrs body. . is considered the saddest day of mankind. One must fast from sunrise to sunset (no eating. smoking.soul must go after death.

³The Warriors´ are Osun. and always received with him. he is represented by a metal chalice topped with a rooster. In the Egwado branch of the Lucumi religion. and the Orisha of justice. and Ochosi. Osun The Orisha of personal stability. Elegua. In Matanzas province. Ogun¶s colors are most often represented as green and black. In Matanzas his colors are a rich blue and forest green with a little amber. He makes his home where the river meets the sea. Known as the Trickster. and is invoked to protect us from illness. and therefore of the knife. Abata is Inle¶s companion.Orishas of the Santeria (Lucumi) Religion Echu or Elegua The Orisha who opens our doors and our roads. with a little red. He is depicted as a leprous beggar on crutches accompanied by two dogs.´ Inle is the owner of medicine as well as the patron of fisherman. He is the owner of iron. Ogun (or Oggun) is the worker. In Matanzas. Inle¶s colors are a rich blue with some green and a little bit of yellow. particularly of those transmitted sexually. Thus. Babaluaye (or Obaluaye) is the owner of infectious diseases. Babaluaye is generally received by a Santero from a priest of Babaluaye and the ceremonies are conducted in the Arara style. Inle Known as the ³Doctor of Ocha. His colors are most often represented as red and black. Korinkoto . Elegua is like a mischievous child who delights in making trouble. Ogun If Elegua is the messenger of the Orishas. in Matanzas. he has the honor of bringing the iyawo out of his throne and presenting him to the drums. It is a very powerful experience. Ogun. Ochosi Ochosi is the hunter. telling them of the ceremonies we are performing in their honor. Babaluaye Known in Cuba as San Lázaro. there are many priests of Babaluaye made in the Arara style. particularly Perico. No Santeria initiation can be performed without his aid. Abata¶s color is clear blue. Sometimes spelled Elegba. he is the messenger and is always honored first in any ceremony.

the roots of the Earth. yellow. Orishaoko A pair of oxen pulling an old-fashioned plow is a common site in rural Cuba. His symbols are the double-headed hatchet. He owns thunder and lightning. and the thunderstone. Known as the father of Chango. Agayu is pictured as carrying the Earth or Elegua on his shoulders. virility and warlike character. who helped him when he was so ill he could not walk. His colors are a balance of fiery red and cooling white. including fire and the double-headed hatchet. and was present to witness Chango¶s gift of the divining table to Orula. In the Egwado branch of the Lucumi religion. to the youngest.Orishaoko¶s companion. Korinkoto breaks up the rocks that are unearthed as Orishaoko plows his furrows and uses them to build the walls that protect Orishaoko¶s seedlings from animals. Agayu¶s necklace can also include accent beads in red. Ochan-la). There are many roads of Obatala. Ayaguna. These drums. whose color is pure white. and this is the image associated with Orishaoko. Orishaoko¶s colors are a medium pink (the same color as Yewa) and green with a little blue. Obatala is generally depicted as an old man (or woman. exemplify Chango¶s power. okonkolo. Obatala Obatala was charged by Olodumare (God) with creating the Earth and humankind. His colors are deep brown and milky white. he shares many of Chango¶s characteristics. Yewa . Chango Chango (Shango) is arguably the most vibrant and forceful of the Orishas. Ochan-la (the only female road). For this reason he is considered to be the first among Orishas. known as Ayaguna." and he personifies peace and tranquility and humility. from the oldest. and coral²there should be nine colors in all. with accents in orange. He is also the strong friend of Chango. Agayu is made directly. He is sometimes known as "the owner of all heads. Chango also owns the Makagua Bembe drums. the sword. which marks the rhythm for the other two drums). green. whereas in Havana and the US the child of Agayu is made to Chango with songs sung for Agayu (³oro Agayu´). he is also at home beneath the shade of the sacred ceiba tree. Agayu Agayu owns the volcano. but he also has a warrior aspect. with their driving rhythms. whose colors are white with a little red. light and dark blue. Dada Dada is the companion of San Lázaro. The owner of cultivated land and all its products. and is the owner of the sacred Aña (his is the smallest drum.

the warrior aspect of Yemaya. Oya Oya is the wind and the rain. When a new initiate leaves the throne. She owns the gates to the cemetery and the marketplace. The ultimate coquette. The preferred brown bead has a thin red and black stripe in it. sometimes gentle and sometimes tempestuous but always powerful. In Matanzas. . Oya¶s market is the first place he or she goes. like Agayu and Obba. It was she who lured Ogun out of his forest to help mankind with his iron. and there met Death. who was also in love with Chango. Oya. she is identified with the Caridad del Cobre. There are seven roads of Yemaya which represent all of her aspects. a paradigm for the world of commerce. She owns the seas and the oceans. in the Egwado branch of Fermina Gomez. Cuba¶s patron saint. Olofi (another name for God) took her out of her cave and blessed her. she returned to the cave. whose colors are deep blue with a little red and a touch of clear greenish-blue like the color of churning waves). Yewa¶s color is a medium pink and she lives very quietly behind a many-colored curtain and mariwo (palm fronds strung together in a skirt). in the case of Ibu Kole).As a young girl. In Cuba. Olokun¶s necklace is made of light blue and clear crystal beads. Oya¶s color is a deep brown. convinced her to cut off her ear and serve it to him in his favorite dish to keep his love. She was the second wife of Chango and his equal as a warrior. although these beads are very difficult to find in Cuba. When she was discovered. Obba¶s color is a deep brown. Although she is the owner of nine colors. When she grew old. When Chango saw Obba¶s disfigurement he was so disgusted that he cast her away from him. whose color is pale blue) to the raging depths (Okute. She records the life story of each individual when he or she dies. her necklaces only carry brown with a little red or maroon. Obba Obba was the first wife of Chango. but without any of the accent colors that those two Orishas use. Olokun Owner of the depths of the ocean. Her songs and her dances are reminiscent of the unceasing undulation of the sea. Out of respect. She is the true owner of the cemtary. Yewa was abandoned by her parents and went to live in a cave. and in the beginning the entire Earth was hers. Ochun¶s color is yellow (or amber. but she can also be fierce and proud. from the gentle shoreline (Asesu. the same shade as Agayu and Oya. by dancing seductively by the river and smearing his lips with honey. She went to the feet of Olofi and became his secretary. Ochun Ochun (or Oshun) personifies sweetness and love. She is the owner of the sweet water of lakes and rivers. no one knows Olokun¶s secrets. as she owns the bones in the ground. she has been romantically involved with almost all of the male Orishas. Yemaya Yemaya is the mother of us all.

. . His priests are known as babalawos (³the father of the secrets´) and are renowned for their knowledge of the sacred stories that serve as the foundation of the divination process. Orula¶s colors are green and yellow. is the Diviner. often called Orula in Cuba.Orunmila (Orula) Orunmila.

Being that the language of the Yorubas is so strongly tied to the culture there are many comparisons analyzed as to why there is a belief that Yoruba religion has been derived from Ancient Egyptian religion. Shango (Sango). For example. Ife is said to have been founded around a thousand years ago and there was some mention that the Yorubas might have descended from some Middle Eastern heritage. and sha which is the ultimate potentiality of that consciousness." are probably derived from the name of the God" (p. 17 December 2008 16:17 To examine the Yoruba religion. Yorubas are located basically in the southwestern part of Nigeria and in some parts of Benin and Togo. Oshun (Osun). There was really no mention of when the religion started or much about the origin of the people because the beginning of their existence was always noted as being in Ife.. The Orisa is one of the key spiritual elements of traditional Yoruba religion. This Ori is the aspect of the human that is in a sense in control of their spiritual actions. Karade also argues that there are many striking similarities between the ancient Egyptians and the Yorubas. The history of the Yoruba religion seems to be somewhat of a controversial subject in most sources that deal with this topic. The ori apari represents the internal spiritual head and the ori apere represents the sign of an individuals personal protector. the center where the Yoruba people descended from heaven. Obatala is also said to represent ethical purity. according to Baba Ifa Karade's "The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. The Yoruba words mon. mimon. The actual word "Orisha" has a deep meaning itself. Each of the orisas has a specific color and natural environment associated with them. Each of these gods has a specific purpose when dealing with the human spirit. That religion is said to be from the Ancient Egyptian±Religion otherwise known as Khamet or Kemet. an expression of the principles and functions of divine power manifesting on nature"(p. It is an example of the many deep rooted meanings of the religion of the Yorubas. Olorun or Oludumare. Such purity is represented by pure whiteness. The ori is divided into two which can be known as the ori apari and the ori apere. Ogun.Yoruba Traditional Religion Written by IfaBite Wednesday. The common Orisa which seem to come up time after time are these major ones: Obatala..21). in Lucas' "The Religion of the Yorubas" word comparisons are made. There is great measure taken to carry out the importance .23). For example. The Orisha are ". As far as dealing with the actual origin of the religion itself. Obatala represents the embodiment of true purity of one's soul. Yemoja. The Orisa." This gives a strong example of how strong language is tied to religion. "holy or sacred. the word ori is the "reflective spark of human consciousness embedded on human essense." are a series of Gods or divinities under the Yoruba's main±God. Such a comparison is made with the Ancient Egyptian God Amon: "The God Amon is one of the Gods formerly known to the Yorubas". Elegba. it is only referred to as a surviving religion of a "higher" religion. and Oya. Many of the sources which I encountered did not attempt to even approach the topic of the origin of the Yorubas Orisa (Orisha). one must look at the entire area of Yoruba cultural existence.

and protection from enemies. It is said that no god is more feared for malevolent action than sango. Oya is also known as the god of storms and hurricanes and has power over the winds. She is also the deity that is in charge of guarding the cemetary. He is also known to change things into pure and valuabe objects. Although he does not match the role exactly. For example. She is considered to be the wife of Sango. Oshun is said to represent the strenght of feminine love and the power of motherhood. he is also worshipped because of his important role in the Yoruba religion. Ogun is said to be the god of iron and basically everything that becomes iron. revenge for wrong doings. Osun (Oshun) is the deity of diplomacy and all giving or unconditional love. cures for sickness and so on. Yemoja is said to be the mother of all the Orisha. he is what the western world would call the devil. He is in charge of giving from the humans to the divinities. She is a river deity because she symbolizes clarity. He was said to be the ruler of old Oyo that was hung (legend has it that he committed suicide by hanging himself to a tree after his failure to amass all the political powr to himself) because of his greed for power. She is the water or ambiotic fluid in the mother's womb and the breasts which nurture a new born child. railroads. There is much confusion concerning the subject matter as to who is the chief female divinity because the different sources represent different view points on this subject matter and this was really unclear. Sango is the god of lightning in addition to being the Orisha of drum and dance. He is also said to be the executioner of the world. all the emblems are kept in white containers and the ornaments are white as are the beads for the priests and priestesses. He is worshiped or appeased by his followers when they want children. Obatala is said to be the father of the Orisha and the divinity in charge of the carving of humans out of clay into the form they are today. Even when worhsipping other divinities. Ogun is considered to be the holder of divine justice and truth. He is known for building or clearing paths for the building of civilizations and is the divinity of mechanization. Sango or Shango to non Yoruba speakers is said to be a human that was made into a deity. She is the divinity of fertility and feminine essence. Yemoja is the divinity that governs over all the waters or oceans. His natural environment happens to be any place that has been struck by lightning. . and forges. He is also the divinity who takes the body upon death and the divinity that saves. Elegba is not evil. She is the Matriarchal head of the entire universe. Natural environment are in the woods. Elegba is the messenger of the deities and his major role is to negotiate between the other orishas and the humans and is very close to all the forces of the deities. Elegba can both punish and reward and is known for having great wisdom. and the base of trees. It is she who is appeased when it comes time for a mother to give birth. Her natural environment are the salt water±oceans and the lakes and the colors associated with her are blue and crystal. the clothing of those involved with the worship in the temples are white.of this pure whiteness because the temples which worship the divinity Obatala have the color of white in all the instruments of worship. In addition. making bad situations better. Elegba is the one who tests the human souls. His followers come to him for legal problems. Oya is the divinity that is associated with the death or the rebirth into a new life.

The Yorubas believe that no one is a master in any area of life until they reach age fifty. It is in this time period that individuals enjoy life the most. This is extremely important because it shows the diversity of Yoruba culture and futhermore the facets of traditional Yoruba religion. Morning of one's life spans from the time of birth to the age of fifty. It would be tedious and quite boring to examine and give an account of every single festival and the villages in which they take place because the Yoruba religion covers so many (actually all) towns in Yorubaland. I will give one account of this widely practiced aspect of Yoruba religion. The discussion could go on forever. Death is seen as a transition from the physical plain to the spiriitual plain. The goal is to fulfil the destiny. The Yoruba festivals are extremely elaborate and have much deep rooted meaning in practice related to them. There is one exception. Osun has also been credited to give infertile women children. they choose a destiny with God (Olodumare) in heaven. the early cycle of life is called "morning". The reason for this vast diversity may be due to the fact that there are major differences in the landscape of each of the villages where the Yorubas settled. It is also important to point out that there is no hell in traditional Yoruba religion. Among the people of Osogbo. The time period from the age of fifty until the transition into the spirit realm is called the evening. Long life and family are the two most important blessings in Yoruba religion. For example. The Yoruba believe that all of one's wrong doings will be paid for and all good deads will be rewarded. the Orisa Osun is the center of the town¶s attention even though it is worshipped by the people in all areas of Yorubaland. It is in this time period that the individual learns and experiences life's most difficult lessons. The life cycle of the Yorubas is very complex. Before an individual is born into the world. once a child is born he or she forgets the destiny he or she has chosen. Certain Yoruba towns have certain orisas which are honored. The historical legend or belief behind the worship of osun is that the people of Osogbo found it hard to find any fresh drinking water for the village. life is circular. This also is the time when the Yorubas raise their families. Many scholars or anyone not familiar with the Yoruba system of worship which is based in the belief in more than one god. The evening is a time period when the Yorubas prepare for their transition. In Yoruba traditional religion. The Yoruba traditional religion believes in predestination. The Yorubas have many festivals to give honor and praise to the many divinities within the Orisa system of belief.It is particularly important to discuss the dieties because they represent such an important aspect of Yoruba traditional religion. Each orisa has a natural environment and a different emphasis may be put on a different orisa. The Yorubas have a deep and symbolic meaning attached to each of the divinities which is exhibited through prayer and worhsip. The purpose of this is for the individual to learn and gain wisdom for life in the spiritual plain. These divinities give the reader some idea of the powerful belief system of the Yorubas. there is no such thing as death. may see this religion as "superstitious" or "pagan". It was the divinity osun who gave the people of Osogbo fresh water. the reason why the people of Osogbo worship osun may be because their town was founded near a river and osun's natural environment is in fresh rivers and lakes. However. . Under the orisa system. What is meant by this that in the Yoruba religion. By this time most Yoruba men and women would have raised their children and have much free time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

people who assist achievers. The babalawo is the most important figure in Yoruba religion on the physical plain. It is said in some temples of Yoruba divination that Babalawos are said to stay in their temples for seven years before being released into the world to pracitce Orisha. and bystanders. is the link between the divinities and man. His role is one of great respect and experience. Whichever role one chooses dictates the type of life that the person will live.The Yoruba believe that there are three types of people: achievers. . The babalawo. by his knowledge and training. The Babalawo's training is long and indepth.

Some consider this to be an affirmative response. . two pieces with white mass upwards and two with the crust. the four pieces with the white mass upwards. When they appeared before him. he said: "The lands belong to me.The story of Casting Obi (coconuts) Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Alafia. The message given by consulting the Obi depends on which pieces fall facing up. including the adoptive brothers but no one could pass the test. After a time. All lived as brothers. They obeyed Biague. Many came forward and made a claim on the lands. Oba-Rey. and prove ownership. wanted to find out who owned the lands that had belonged to Biague. Some others view it as questionable. Definitely an affirmative Eyeife. they asked him to show the secret that proved the lands had been passed on to him. Biague had taught this son his only secret. A method to cast Obi (coconut) In the house of Biague. there lived several other children. have a limited role in divination This role is limited to questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no It should not be used to ask other more complex subjects. I will go to the plaza in front of the wall and from there I will throw coconuts in the method my Father showed me.The coconuts will fall facing up which is the proof that is needed. and which face down. One day Biague died. he feed and clothed them. requiring another throw to rectify. and the King gave Adiatoto all the lands and belongings that had been taken from him The coconuts (obi). and robbed him of all his belongings. Adiatoto heard the news that the king's men had been asking about him. He ordered his men to find this out. Adiatoto experienced much difficulty. the king of the town. But only Adiatoto the smallest was his son. 17 December 2008 17:18 There was an Awo called Biague who had a son named Adiatoto. Thus is was. this is the most firm response Otagua. Three pieces with white mass upwards and one with the crust. and the adoptive children conspired against Adiatoto.

Four crusts. Ocanasorde.Ocana. Three pieces with crust upwards and one with the white mass. a definite negative. . and requires more question to isolate and problems that need immediate attention.

Ifa devotees wear the Irde on the left wrist. and demanded the hammers return. if humans do not die. He rushed back to Orumila's house. but you are gathering them when you want. Oludumare had assigned you the task of gathering humans when thier time had come. Orumila said. When I see the Irde Ifa on a persons left wrist. unless it is there predetermined time to die. But Iku must swear not to take any of Orumila's children before there full time has passed. The Orishas worried about this. Orumila and Iku aggreed. 17 December 2008 17:17 Death (Iku) was gathering humans before there full time on earth had passed. Iku answred. One day when Iku was busy. as a sign of the pact between Iku and Orumila. Orumila went and took his hammer Iku became furious when he discovered the Hammer missing. After a long discussion. prior to thier predetermined death. .The Story of the Irde Written by IfaBite Wednesday. and from this day. Orumila answered "you are not right to take humans before their time. Orumila began to see the logic of Iku's task Orumila aggred to return the Hammer. I will pass over them. Iku answered. until Orumila said he would resolve this matter. the earth will die.

17 December 2008 17:15 One day Echu began a journey wearing a hat. He is found at the crossroads. watchs what people do. His punishment is swift but he is also kind. Taking pleasure in testing the strengths and weaknesses of mankind. now bloodied and angry. good and bad. Eshu sits at the threshold to your home.red on one side and white on the other. Later in the day the two friends spoke to one another about the mysterious man in the hat.A Favorite Elegua Story Written by IfaBite Wednesday. guarding the entry. ruining their long-standing friendship in the process. as each man professed to know the right answer and demanded to be acknowledged as the victor in the violent discussion. they began to argue about the color of the hat. the other seeing the red. red on one side. and showed them his hat . He was delighted by the fact they would fight about something as ridiculous as the color of another mans hat. one seeing the white side of his hat. he provides the lesson of making the right choices in life. can see in all directions. Making not a sound he walked between two friends. .The Trickster Eshu chuckled at the sight and walked over to the men. Immediately. White! Red! The quarreling turned to blows. white on the other.

When the king ordered that the man wearing a blue head covering be brought forward . and in public! The goat saw the exchange and immediately reported it to the king.even the king! So. Now Eshu became very indignant at this. Eshu found the spirit Ifa. The goat would watch what everyone was doing.but they each described a different colored head covering. others white. No consensus could be reached. . two situated on top of it's head and two others at the back. Some claimed the others were mad or had been in on the deed and were now trying to cover it up. While the minister was in the midst of the crowd. Eshu declared loudly that he would be able to act freely. all of the time . others yellow. Eshu had a plan.again the crowds began arguing and fighting bitterly with one another.the goat would immediately report the event back to the king. The king then sent his minister to the people to calm them down. Ifa then equipped Eshu with this head covering and sent him on his way. king Metolofi would become revered as the bringer of perfect justice to his realm. The king then called together all of the people who had seen the deed and asked them to report on who had done this . the goat saw the deed and reported to the king that the minister had been slain. Now. and made a sacrafice of a hat and four different colored pieces of cloth. the king proclaimed that this amazing goat would be able to watch all of the people all of the time. and still others agreed with the goat that it had been red. and to find out who was behind all of this trouble. He found it unacceptable that anyone should know all of his actions. Thus. but could only say that the assailant was wearing a red head covering. Many people had seen this exchange and were shocked that anyone would be so bold and foolish to assault the kings number one wife.Eshu and the four eyed goat Written by IfaBite Wednesday. The arguing became fighting and chaos erupted in the courtyard of the king. Again. Eshu found the kings number one wife traveling on the road between the temple and the palace and assaulted her with rude and ribald comments. without any fear of the goat reporting his actions. each one a different color. Eshu (again disguised in his four colored head covering) took the opportunity to strike down the minister in front of everyone .then slip out before he could be seized. wearing the head covering. Those that saw one color called the others liars and traitors. Some said it was blue. Ifa proceeded to remodel the hat and make it into a head covering with four faces. 17 December 2008 17:15 One day Eshu heard that king Metolofi had come into possession of a goat with four eyes. even throwing horse dung onto her dress. and if anyone disobeyed the king or broke the kings laws . The crowd began to argue heatedly with one another. but this time by someone wearing a blue head covering. Presenting this beast to his people.

it was neither blue nor read. Eshu arrived without his disguise on. But."The murderer was not wearing blue! It was red!" cried one observer. it was yellow!" cried another. Finally. Surely with such a remarkable goat the solution would be trivial. the king could not and was humbled before his people. and called for the king to settle the matter. And so it went round and round with each believing his own eyes and disbelieving the report of his neighbor. So he offered the goat up as a sacrifice to Eshu and hid his face away his angry people and regretted his previous boasting. . "No you imbecile.

The last rite to perform was the choice of ori (destiny). he met two of his fathers divination priests who advised him to offer some sacrifice. but Afuwape was assisted because as a result of the sacrifice he performed.Choice of Destiny (ori) Written by IfaBite Wednesday. the other two noticed that things were going well for Afuwape while they were having difficult times. the son of Orunmila decided to see his father before making a choice. he had directions on what to do to receive favor from Ajala. The other two were not assisted in their choice. You do not know where good destiny is picked You would have gone there for yours We picked our destinies from the same source Only their contents are not identical . He did. They reacted with a song: Emi o mo bi olori n yan ri o M ba lo yan temi N go mo bi Afuwape yan ri o M ba lo yan temi I do not know where people with good destiny picked theirs I would have picked mine there too I do not know where Afuwape picked his good destiny I would have gone there To which Afuwape replied: Eyin o mo bi olori n yan ri o E ba lo yan teyin Ibikan na la gbe yan ri o Kadara o papo ni. the maker and custodian of inner heads. and the result was good for him. Orilemere and Afuwape . On their arrival in the world. These three were about to begin their earth-bound journey from their pre-natal existence. The first two did as they were told while Afuwape. 17 December 2008 17:15 Oriseeku. They had a warning from Orisa-nla to go straight to the house of Ajala without changing course. It turned out to be a good decision because in his fathers house.

a special five-toed chicken. Long. He planted the palm nut. As descendants of the sky god. 17 December 2008 17:14 According to Yoruba (YOUR-a-bah) mythology. In the center of this new world. Oduduwa was the first ruler of the kingdom and the father of all Yoruba. symbolizing the 16 sons and grandsons of Oduduwa. these first Yoruba rulers and their direct descendants were divine kings. Oduduwa brought with him a handful of dirt. a large face. He threw the dirt upon the ancient waters and set the chicken on the dirt. Down this chain climbed Oduduwa. Oduduwa created the magnificent Ife (EE-fay) kingdom. Only they could wear special veiled crowns that symbolized their sacred power. A Yoruba king's crown identifies the status of its wearer and gives the king the power to interact with the spirit world in order to benefit his people. Olorun's son. which grew into a proud tree with 16 branches. Oduduwa (oh-doo-DOO-wah). . lowered a great chain from the heavens to the ancient waters. the first Yoruba kings were the offspring of the creator. Over time he crowned his 16 sons and grandsons and sent them off to establish their own great Yoruba kingdoms. long ago.Yoruba Creation Story Written by IfaBite Wednesday. The chicken busily scratched and scattered the dirt until it formed the first dry earth. and a group of birds are commonly appear on a Yoruba king's crown. and a palm nut. the sky god. Olorun (OH-low-run). A veil.

Orunmila met Eshu. On the second day. since Orunmila was the father of divination." "That is not possible." "Quite the contrary. Again. Eshu took some fresh kola fruits and left them in the middle of the trail just outside of the city. He despaired that he would always be known in Owo as a thief. and twice they told him nothing. but I think you have made my trip to Owo difficult. Once again. and Orunmila was in a hurry to reach Owo. and slept by the side of the road that night. In their struggle. "I found these fruits here. Once more. If there is any trouble. and picked them up and began to eat. and there are no trees nearby." Eshu replied. I will speak for you." The kola farmer saw Orunmila when he entered Owo with Eshu. Orunmila decided that he would complete his journey. "Those kola fruits are from my tree. as he had promised. 17 December 2008 17:13 One day Orunmila decided to journey to the city of Owo. whom he greeted as a friend. Eshu entered the house of all the people of Owo--including the Oba and the farmer--and cut everyone's palms. where Orunmila would be certain to find them. "Enter the city without fear. On the fourth day. "Eshu. On the first day. which was odd. Eshu then spoke for Orunmila. Orunmila turned away from Owo. Orunmila did not feel the need to consult his divining nuts. a farmer came out onto the path. Before beginning his trip. coming from the opposite direction. Orunmila and Eshu passed one another. "This stranger has come to Owo only today: . Orunmila thought it very odd to have met Eshu three times. and he went to complain to the Oba. and tried to take back his fruit. "I am coming from Owo. the farmer accused Orunmila of the theft. Orunmila found the kola fruits. so he ignored the matter. This close to his journey's end. the orisha of chance.How Orumila and Echu meet Written by IfaBite Wednesday. he met Eshu. Orunmila met Eshu." Eshu said simply." But the angry farmer did not believe Orunmila." Orunmila said. During the night. I always considered you a friend. Twice he cast the nuts. The next day. But he ignored the matter. he cast sixteen divining nuts to see what lay ahead. and began his journey. though he had never in his life taken another man's property. who ordered the stranger brought before him. the farmer cut Orunmila's palm with his bush knife. As he did so. in the middle of the trail. and again on the third. But Eshu was rather odd in any case.

And across each one. Orunmila was welcomed in Owo.how can he already have enemies? What evidence do you have that this man stole your fruit?" "We struggled outside the city. there was a fresh red cut." Eshu said. "I am sure that many of the people in Owo had the opportunity to steal your kola fruit. If he opens his hand." The Oba consented." "And why should he be the only one examined?" Eshu demanded. "If a cut is a sign of guilt. we will see the evidence of his crime. then all of Owo is guilty." the farmer said. The people of Owo brought the mistreated stranger gifts of goats and wine and kola fruits. . And so it was that. and had all the people of Owo come forth and display the palms of their hands. Let them be examined as well. and proclaimed Orunmila's innocence. both despite and because of Eshu's actions. and the Oba agreed. "and I cut the palm of his hand.

Yorubaland . there was only water and chaos. he put the metal on the earth and the rooster on top of that. Then he planted the palm seed and from it grew the earth's vegetation. He descended on a long chain (umbilical cord) and brought with him a rooster. Obatala.Yoruba Creator Written by IfaBite Wednesday. some iron. 17 December 2008 17:10 The Yoruba creator is called Olurun or Olodumare and is often assisted by the lesser god. Olurun named earth "Ife" and the first city "Ile-Ife. The rooster scratched the metal and spread it out to create land. First. and a palm kernel." Orshilana created humans out of the earth and got Olurun to blow life into them. The supreme being sent Obatala or Orishanla down from the sky to create some land out of the chaos. In the beginning.

fruit. fruit. Oluronbi joyfully returned home. The other women took their promised gifts of corn. so he transformed the little bird once more into a woman and snatched up the child into the branches. which sat on the branches of the tree and plaintively sang: One promised a sheep. the Iroko-man seized her and changed her into a small brown bird. and the women eagerly promised him corn. . he laid it at the foot of the tree. he began to carve a large wooden doll. he realized what had happened. the Iroko. At last all the women of the village went together into the forest. yams. When the wood-carver heard the birds song. and sheep. yams. Alas! one day as Oluronbi passed through the forest. and was careful never to stray into the forest again. and the most beautiful of all the children was the one born to Oluronbi. and sheep. In due course children came to the village. like a real child in size and appearance. but Oluronbi. and tried to find some means of regaining his wife. the young wife of a wood-carver. and with a small gold chain round its neck. but Oluronbi took nothing to propitiate. The Iroko-man thought that this was Oluronbis child. and the people were greatly distressed.Oluronbi Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Covering it with a beautiful native cloth. 17 December 2008 17:07 In a certain village no children had been born for many years. and implored the spirit of the tree to help them. After thinking for many days. goats. One promised fruit. to the magic tree. But Oluronbi promised her child. the tree. promised to bring her first child. The Iroko-man asked what gifts they would bring if he consented to help them. goats. She and her husband so greatly loved their child that they could not consent to give it up to the Iroko-man. One promised a goat.

Oranyan Written by IfaBite Wednesday. 17 December 2008 17:06 Oranyan a brave and warlike King. Feeling sure that nobody could be aware of his return. is still to be seen. replied the man. founded the city of Oyo. Only at Oranyans death was his presence made known to his son. the old King retraced his steps. But the King was away for such a long period that it was thought he and his soldiers must have perished. As it was necessary for him to lead an expedition to a distant part of his kingdom. Desiring his sons happiness more than his own. and the monument. erected an obelisk over the spot where he died. and for some time he ruled them wisely and happily. Yes. asked the travel-worn stranger. The young Prince. but which King? Do you not know that the son of Oranyan is King. grieving at his noble fathers sacrifice. As he approached the city he was startled to hear the notes of the Kakaki trumpet. . and rules over us wisely and well? His father was killed in battle many months ago. which is known as the Staff of Oranyan. and at last the people made his son King. Oranyan was not dead. However. he left his son in charge of the capital during his absence. now King. he asked a man working in the fields for whom the trumpet was being sounded. and settled down with his few friends in humble retirement in a remote part of the country. For the King. and after many delays and hardships he again drew near to Oyo with his few surviving followers. which is sounded for the King alone.

Beauty. as well as. he expands. Primal Waters. Shango Kingly. Oya Tempest. Sexuality. Holder of Ashe (pover) among the Orisha. Magnetism. Elegua Messenger of the Orisha. Stones. Women appeal to her for child-bearing and for the alleviation of female disorders. White purity. She is the protective energies of the feminine force. he is divinity of clearing paths.Orisha Atributes Written by IfaBite Wednesday. he possesses the ability to transform base substance into that which is pure and valuable. enforces the "law of being". Storms. Winds of Change. Yemaya Mother of Waters. Virility. Progression. Masculinity. Lightning. Gracefulness. . she is usually in the company of her counterpart Shango. Fire. Guardian of the Cemetery. Cures illness and deformities. he is the liberator. Oshun Sensuality. she is the deity of rebirth as things must die so that new beginnings arise. he is prime negotiator between negative and positive forces in body. She is the amniotic fluid in the womb of the pregnant woman. 17 December 2008 16:35 Obatala Creator of Human Form. Protector/ warrior. Ogun Orisha of Iron. she has power to heal with cool water. she symbolizes clarity and flowing motion. she is fond of babies and is sought if a baby becomes ill. specifically in respect to blockages or interruption of the flow vital energy at various points in the body. Helps to enhance the power of herbs. she is known for her love of honey. the breasts which nurture. Nurturer. she is also the divinity of fertility and feminine essence.

leaf. baths. It is said that ewe (herbs) are for the "healing of Nations" and many health food stores provide them in powder. Osain based practitioners are also directed to use herbs as medicine. . and capsule form. In the Americas and the Caribbeans. as well as devotees alike gather herbs for medicine. and the spiritual powers they possess. There are many books written on the subject of herbology. Herbs are picked for medicinal. Adherents to the traditional practices of Osain are usually advised to use herbs as medicine before going to Western allopathic drugs for healing. Nigerians and people from other African countries have begun to set up herbal businesses in increasing numbers. 17 December 2008 16:35 The use of herbs and plants.Use of Plants Written by IfaBite Wednesday. researching the possibilities of herbal use is recommended. More and more indigenous herbs are now being made accessible to devotees here in the Americas.The population can usually obtain herbs either by private practice or from the marketplace in town. and religious artifacts. is of great importance. Therefore. Because of the wide-spread practice of Osain in the New World. called ewe in Yoruba. Here the priest. It is best that novices seek out divination before attempting to get and prepare herbal formulas. It is also advisable to rely on priests and qualified herbalists to begin the healing process before getting involved with the properties and powers of herbs yourself.

Ewa means "beauty". Ase is used in a variety of contexts." not mind or soul as these terms are used in the West. Again. exists everywhere.Yoruba Concepts Written by IfaBite Wednesday. 17 December 2008 16:32 Five ancient concepts are essential to an understanding of Yoruba aesthetics. the purpose of creation. The term can be used to describe how a work of art captures the essential quality of the subject. and is a source for all creative activity. The ontologicaldescriptive meaning enables one to identify the quantitative existence of a person as revealed by their behaviour. (1) Ase means "power" or "authority". but mostly to the qualities of beauty of a person or object. and the skill of the artist in capturing the first two contextualities in order to produce a physical object that embodies meaning. (3) Iwa can mean "character" or "essential nature. . referring in some contexts to physical beauty of a person or object. a person's essential nature." Ase also refers to the "authority" by which one speaks or acts. (4) Ewa is an aesthetic term as well as an expression of iwa. (2) Ori is the "inner spiritual head" in humans or "personal destiny. the "lifestyle" or manner in which they exist in the world. One of the most important meanings is the "vital power. the energy." Two classifications of usage of Iwa are generally recognized: the ontological-descriptive and the ethical evaluative. In Yoruba "art" cannot be defined outside of the context of the processes of creation. (5) Ona means "art" or it can refer to an artist's ability to create or design. the great strength of all things. the meaning of Ase is extraordinarily complex. The ethical-evaluative meaning represents a qualitative judgment of how good or bad is their iwa. But Ori can mean the enabling power that represents the potential that life contains. Ase invests all things. However."11 Ase also refers to a divine energy manifest in the process of creation and procreation. Ase often refers to the inner power or "life force.

tendons. life force or chi Oya lungs. pubic area (female) Ogun heart.Obatala brain. kidney (adrenal glands). and sinews Shango reproductive system (male). digestive organs. breasts. bones. liver. bone marrow. bronchial passages. elimination system. buttocks Oshun circulatory system. mucous membranes . para sympathetic nervous system Yemaya womb. white fluids of the body Elegua sympathetic nervous system.

Orunmilla taught the people about the customs of divination. the Caribbean and others. invisible "germs" or insects (kokoro) and also worms (aron) which inhabit small bags within the body. they must be controlled. personal.Yoruba Medicine Written by IfaBite Wednesday. if they become too powerful in te body. the Ifa Corpus was revealed by the mystic prophet. According to tradition. Some early writers believed that the Yoruba people are actually an East African tribe who moved . symbolic gestures. He also advised them on spiritual baths. Yoruba herbalists also use incantation (ofo) in medicines to bring good luck (awure). The last 400 years saw individuals in the Caribbean and South America practice the Yorubic healing system as a token of their past when the first wave of African slaves arrived in the Americas. As well as using bitter plants to kill germs and worms. and communal elevation. However. to evoke the properties of the plants implied by the name of the plant. called Ifa Corpus. It started from a religious text. meditation. Orunmilla. around 4. Rather. The female body overflows dangerously but necessarily once a month. For the Yoruba. killed or driven out with bittertasting plants contained in medicines. it strives to destroy the agencies that cause disease.´. so women in the marital household tend to overflow and return to their natal homes. aiding digestion. Yoruba medicine is similar to European medicine in that its main thrust is to kill or expel from the body tiny. prayer. now known as Yorubaland. in a similar manner to mainstream European medicine. ³African herbal medicine is commonly called Yorubic or Orisha medicine on the African continent.Yoruba medicine is quite different from homeopathic medicine. 17 December 2008 16:26 The Yoruba are one of the largest tribes in Africa. with 30 million individuals throughout the region of West Africa. and palm oil the cooking pot. The Ifa Corpus is considered to be the foundation of divine herbology. menstrual blood the female body. these germs and worms perform useful functions in the healthy body. dance. Contents Basic Philosophies According to A D Buckley. which uses medicinal ingredients that imitates pathological symptoms. and herbal medicine in particular. for example.000 years ago in the ancient city of Ile-Ife. however. Most medicinal incantations use a form of word-play. fertility etc. mostly due to the slave Diaspora. similar to punning. germs and worms in the body can overflow their "bags" in the body if they are given too much ³sweet´ (tasty) food. The household is understood in a similar way. Buckley claims that traditional Yoruba ideas of the human body are derived from the image of a cooking pot. Medicinal incantations are in some ways like the praise songs addressed to human beings or gods: their purpose is to awaken the power of the ingredients hidden in the medicine. Yorubic medicine is Orisha-based medicine practiced by many other groups in Africa. to bring money or love and for other purposes too. susceptible to overflowing. As germs overflow their bag.

Garlic Yemaya Mother of Waters. Primal Waters. and he is the liberator.from the Nile River to the Niger area. The Osainista knows how to correctly gather the herbs and plants. that only someone trained for life can competently perform the function. such as it is in modern times. This being said. and he is considered the greatest herbalist who knows the powers of all plants. heart. to modern westerners the medicine practices of the Yoruba may seem to be too magical/mystical. in fact the word medicine and magic are the same. Parsley. Bones. Purity. Hawthorn. Bloodroot. Valerian Èshù or Elegua Gateman of the Heavens. during antiquity. Amulets and charms were more common than pills as preventions or curatives of diseases. Nurturer. Blue Vervain. he is prime negotiator between negative and positive forces in body. Yorubic medicine is not merely medicine. See the diagrams below: Orishas Attributes Physical Correspondences Herbs (Ewe) Obatala Deity of Creation and custodian of the Ifa Oracle. For example. Osain is one of the most important Orisha¶s. Some plants have to be gathered at certain times of the day or night. it is therefore inevitable that African herbal medicine became associated with magic. The plants and herbs of Osain have their purely medicinal value as well as their magical value. specifically in respect to blockages or interruption of the flow vital energy at various points in the body. Creator of Human Form. Kola Nut. White fluids of the body Skullcap." ³With Egypt at its roots. Hyssop. who were from the earliest days the forefathers of science and medicine. Olumide J. The psychosomatic method of healing disorders used primarily by psychiatrists today is based loosely on this ancient custom. Orishas in Yoruba Medicine The Yoruba religion has a multitude of Deities. to make clear their position. In diagnosing illness each one of the orisha¶s has physical qualities and herbal attributes. Osain rules over all wild herbs. it is a medicine. Motherwort. the magic of a religion and a science. In the Yoruba tribe a sort of staff is given to the herb gatherer of the community. and sinews Eucalyptus. he is divinity of clearing paths. lived in ancient Egypt before migrating to the Atlantic coast. White Willow. But it must be recognized that to the Yorubas it is a system. Messenger of the Orisha. Helps to enhance the power of herbs sympathetic nervous system All Herbs Ogun Orisha of Iron. source of knowledge. Certain plants have to have certain prayers said to them and certain offerings made in order to correctly work. kidney (adrenal glands). As said before there are a multitude of Orisha¶s. Sage. considered diseases as possession by evil demons and could be treated using incantations along with extracts from the roots of certain plants. Alfalfa. Basil. tendons. each affecting one another. enforces the "law of being". Cures illness and deformities. His priests are the Babalawo Brain. Lucas claims that "the Yoruba. Priests. In Africa there are so many herbs and plants that are used in healing. She is the amniotic fluid in the womb of the . the major of which are called Orisha.

completely secret to the outside world. bone marrow. Mints. ³Physicians are often priests. According to the medicine men of Yoruba. she is usually in the company of her counterpart Shango. They are obvious criticizers of modern western medicine where we try to mask problems with drugs. and a Babalawo is a ceremony priest/priestess. Fire. she is fond of babies and is sought if a baby becomes ill. she has power to heal with cool water. in addition to analyzing symptoms of the patient. Dandelion. Masculinity. Spirulina. Lightning. Comfrey. Yarrow. life force or chi Plantain. Raspberry. she is the deity of rebirth as things must die so that new beginnings arise lungs. Buchu.pregnant woman. Chickweed Titles and Processes An Onisegun is an herbalist. or high priests. Oloogun is one of several terms for a medical practitioner. Cayenne Oya Tempest. Elecampane. Chamomile. even obtaining an education in medicine may require becoming an initiate of one of these societies. Saw Palmetto. rather than cure the whole of the person. she is also the divinity of fertility and feminine essence. Burdock. Pleurisy Root. This may include herbs in the form of an infusion. Nettles. Squawvine. she is known for her love of honey. Magnetism. priestesses. song/prayer. Cherrybark. In their communities. as well as with a variety of external forces and beings which inhabit our realm and require the inner vision and wisdom of the priest to interpret. Uva-Ursi. bronchial passages. womb. symbolic sacrifice. enema. breasts. she symbolizes clarity and flowing motion. Progression. and a change of diet to help cure the sick. Passion Plower. etc. Horehound. look for the emotional and spiritual causes of the disease to placate the negative forces (ajogun) and only then will propose treatment that he/she deems appropriate. Myrrh. mucous membranes Mullein. elimination system. Yarrow. Beauty.´ The Yoruba tribe are large believers is preventative medicine. the breasts which nurture. . circulatory system. Anis. Storms. Guardian of the Cemetery. Foti. pubic area (female) Yellow Dock. She is the protective energies of the feminine force. Stones. Virility. liver. Sarsaparilla. Wild Yam Root Ochun Sensuality. Aloe. Cinnamon. Protector/Warrior. spiritual baths. or belong to a guild-like society hidden within tribal boundaries. he possesses the ability to transform base substance into that which is pure and valuable reproductive system (male). Lotus. Gracefulness. as well as. Hibiscus. The world view of a priest involves training and discipline to interpret events that are indicative of the nature of the patient's alignment internally with their own conscious and unrecognized issues. Damiana. Women appeal to her for child-bearing and for the alleviation of female disorders. if we listen to our bodies they will provide us with the preparation and appropriate knowledge we need to regain our balance with the Earth. Cohosh. Winds of Change. digestive organs. In Yoruban medicine they also use dances. buttocks Kelp. They also believe that the only true and complete cure can be a change of ³consciousness´ where the individual can recognize the root of the problem themselves and seek to eliminate it. Disease to the Yoruba is seen as a disruption of our connection with the Earth. An Oloogun practitioner in Yoruba. Echinacea Chango Kingly.

Orula can be received by individuals regardless of gender. Orunmila is known as Orula. the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom and the highest form of divination practice among the Yoruba people. it is called to receive "Kofa de Orula". it is that same Isefa that will direct all followers to the right path and their individual destines in life. . Throughout Cuba and some of the other New world countries. A woman will not be allowed to divine using the tools of IFA. Orunmila is recognized as a primordial Irunmole that was present both at the beginning of Creation and then again amongst them as a prophet that taught an advanced form of spiritual knowledge and ethics. For men. Among West Africans. Orunla and Orumila. The title Iyanifa is in suspect since it is not used by either the Cuban or most of the West African practitioners of IFA. but he is the one who leads the priesthood of Ifa and it was Orunmila who carried Ifa (the wisdom of Olodumare) to Earth. Worshippers of the traditional religious philosophy of the Yoruba people all receive one hand of Ifa (called Isefa) regardless of which Orisa they may worship or be an Orisa Priest. He is recognized as "ibi keji Olodumare" (second only to Olodumare (God)) and "eleri ipin" (witness to creation). the procedure is called to receive "Mano de Orula" and for women. with esentaye (birthing rites). during visits to earth in physical form or through his disciples. to make it habitable for humans. 17 December 2008 16:24 Orunmila is an Irunmola and deity of destiny and prophecy. In present-day Cuba. Orunmila is also referred to as Ifá ("ee-FAH").Orunmila Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Isefa (adolesants rites) and Itefa coming of age. Orunmila is not Ifa. The same procedure exist in Yoruba land. Priests of Ifa are called babalawo (the father of secrets) Olodumare sent Orunmila to Earth with Oduduwa to complete the creation and organization of the world.

peacock feathers. she is revered as "YeYe Cari yamori yeyeo" . She is also known as Laketi. because Oshun is the Yoruba understanding of the cosmological forces of water. her favorable day of the week is Saturday and the number she is associated with is five. which meet in a turbulent place with difficult rapids. 17 December 2008 16:24 Oshun (pronounced [ ún]) is a spirit-goddess (Orisha) who reigns over love. wealth and diplomacy. In one story. She has been syncretized with the Catholic Saint: Our Lady of Charity (La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre). When the male Irunmole attempted to subjegate Oshun due to her femaleness she removed her divine energy. Her power is represented in another Yoruba scripture which reminds us that "no one is an enemy to water" and therefore everyone has need of and should respect and revere Oshun . and is his favorite wife because of her excellent cooking skills. she who has ears. It was not until visiting with the Supreme Being. the god of thunder. and experience as ecstasy. Oba. intimacy. from the project of creating the world and all subsequent efforts at creation were in vain. One of his other wives. due to her business acumen. Harmony we see as beauty. and very kind. maternity and marriage. have a horrific temper. But not until Oshun had given birth to a son. and anything of beauty. Cuba's patron saint. In Santería. and begging Oshun pardon under the advice of Olodumare that the world could continue to be created. She is married to Chango. Oshun is the "unseen mother present at every gathering".the sweet mother of us all. Oshun went insane from grief and wore the same white dress every day. feel as love. This son became Elegua. called ashe by the Yoruba. because of how quickly and effectively she . with the name spelled Oxum. According to the Yoruba elders. Oshun is known as Ya-lorde. however. Oshun is the force of harmony. beauty. As such. was her rival. Oshun is beneficient and generous. she had to become a prostitute to feed her children and the other Orishas removed her children from her home. though it is difficult to anger her. the great conduit of ashe in the Universe and also the eternal and trickster. moisture. She is worshipped also in Brazilian Candomblé Ketu. Oshun (sometimes spelled Ochún or Ochun) is an Orisha of love. and attraction. as well as her followers. mirrors. She is associated with the color yellow. metals gold and copper. it eventually turned yellow. They are the goddesses of the un and Oba rivers. Olodumare.the mother of things outside the home. Therefore she is omnipresent and omnipotent. Osun according to the ancients was the only female Irunmole amongst the 401 sent from the spirit realm to create the world.Oshun Written by IfaBite Wednesday. She does.

answers prayers. .because no one can love her enough and the world is not as beautiful as she knows it could be. flirts and then weeps. When she possesses her followers she dances.

The villagers on one side of the road had only been capable of seeing the black side. and that one can be easily fooled. deity of roads. and the colors red & black. while the Candomble Exu must only be petitioned. but a good one. As an example. the villagers who had seen him began arguing about whether the stranger¶s hat was black or red. and he is venerated under many different names and attributes: Exu de Quimbanda: The Exu who is the messenger of the deities in Candomble is not Exu de Quimbanda. He is often identified by the number three. Saint Michael or The Child of Atocha . white & black. Eshu is sometimes identified with Saint Anthony. as well as in Africa. Eshu was walking down the road one day. wearing a hat that was red on one side and black on the other. while Exu of Candomble is a universal elemental spirit. 17 December 2008 16:24 Elegua. Eshu is involved within the Orisha-Ifá system of the Yoruba as well as in African diasporic faiths like Santeria/Lukumi and Candomble developed by the descendants of enslaved West Africans in the Americas. Sometime after he departed. such as in the colours he likes. Eleggua also known as Eshu is an orisha. Exu de Quimbanda is a Nkuru. The veneration Eshu is widespread in the New World. Beyond that the similarities cease. teaching the villagers about how one¶s perspective can alter a person¶s perception of reality. and the villagers on the other side had only been capable of seeing the red half. originating among the people of Angola. They nearly fought over the argument. Exu de Quimbanda has a few similarities in how he is worshipped. * Eleggua: Ellegua is another name used among Lukumi for Eshu. and one of the most known deities of the Yoruba and New World traditions. depending on the situation or location. While the Exu de Candomble is an Orisha. a spirit of the forest. He is a difficult teacher. but he is an entirely different entity. He has a wide range of responsibilities: the protector of travellers.Elegua Written by IfaBite Wednesday. . until Eshu came back and cleared the mystery. and plays frequently tempting choices for the purpose of causing maturation. particularly crossroads where 3 roads meet. and unlike the Candomble Orishas. or White Red and Black Eshu is a trickster-deity. The similarities between the two are that they both respond to red and black. he can be ³bought´ or ³controlled´ by the Quimbanda practitioner to go and do many sorts of deeds. the spirit of the crossroads and the divine messenger. and they both are very tricky. they both are fed on the road. not the Yoruba of Nigeria. the deity with the power over fortune and misfortune. the Exu of Quimbanda is like a Lordly or Kingly Spirit.

after which the body is suspended from a tree. dogs and he-goats. Is the oldest Esu. which. who dance round it. from a scaffolding of poles. The rude wooden representation of a phallus is planted in the earth by the side of the hut. and is most probably a euphemism for the phallus. is much more prominent in the Yoruba god. receives a share of every sacrifice offered to the other gods. Orisa. is the same phallic divinity who was described in the volume on the Ewe-speaking Peoples. as among the Ewe tribes. In such a case. and the entrails placed in front of the image in a large calabash or wooden dish. Eshu also resembles the Voudon loa Simbi who is both the god of magic and the intermediate between humanity and Papa Legba. the corpse is disembowelled. no doubt because they devour the entrails and bodies of the sacrifices. In ancient time on very important occasions a human victim was offered. evacuate. Ogo is the name of the knobbed club. who thus more nearly approaches a personification of evil. and so on. chosen on account of their amorous propensities. and Bara is perhaps Oba-ra. seated with his hands on his knees. A slave is also sacrificed annually. or. and pointed towards the young girls. throw out. after the head has been struck off. the . to emit. if no tree be at hand. cocks. who is always represented naked. it is derived from go. Once a year these cowries are swept up by the priests. The derivation of agongo is less easy to determine. Turkeybuzzards are sacred to Elegua and are considered his messengers. and each vendor throws a few cowries on the ground as a thank-offering. has. in consequence of the bargain he made with Ifa. is found in front of almost every house. to rub one thing against another). The name Elegua seems to mean. and is seen in almost every public place. Eshu appears to be from shu. his house is made for him in the street" (instead of indoors). originally intended to be a rude representation of the phallus. Elegua. Orunmila. while Kalfu is his Petro manifestation. tip. come to be regarded as a weapon of offence. It is with reference to this that the proverb says: "As Eshu has a malicious disposition. towards the end of July. while at certain festivals it is paraded in great pomp. There is a noted temple Lo Elegua in a grove of palms near Wuru. He is supposed always to carry a short knobbed club. "He who seizes" (Eni-gba). a village situated about ten miles to the east of Badagry. and with the sum thus collected a slave is purchased to be sacrificed to the god. this is an energy that rose out of the Yangi (sacred red rock) and allows people to communicate with the Irunmole. Because he bears this club he has the title of Agongo ogo. or Eleguara (Elegua-Bara). which we noted as a minor characteristic of the Ewe Elegua. and partly through the growing belief in Elegua's malevolence. to Elegua in the town of Ondo. His own proper sacrifices are. to hide in a bending or stooping posture. The market of Wuru is under his protection. * Esu: In Yorubaland. often called Esbu. * Lucero: In Palo Mayombe. extremity. "Lord of the rubbing" (Ra. protected by a small hut roofed with palm-leaves. Lucero (also Nkuyo\Mañunga\Lubaniba) is the deity of balance and guidance through paths. Elegua. but it seems to be from gongo. Also important in the African diaspora. partly through want of skill on the part of the modellers of the images. The propensity to make mischief.* Legba: In Vodou. The image of Elegua. Papa Legba is the intermediary between the divine and humanity.

and a large number of attendants. shortly before puberty. the act of cutting. "the cutting that saves" (ike. . and the latter. and appears to be a sacrifice of a portion of the organ which the god inspires. As is the case in the western half of the Slave Coast. the foreskin. is connected with the worship of Elegua. To circumcise is dako (da-oko) da. between the ages of ten and twelve years. and so fulfils in his own person the functions of the incubi and succubi of mediaeval Europe. A similar operation is performed on girls. the act of cutting. as among the Ewes.capital of the state of the same name. by women operators. erotic dreams are attributed to Elegua. or ikola. Except among the Mohammedans there is no special time for performing the rite of circumcision. to ensure the wellbeing of the remainder. after consultation. to be acceptable as a sacrifice. Here he has a vast palace of brass. that which saves). a circuit). and oko. Circumcision among the Yorubas. and ola. who are excised. No woman would have connection with an uncircumcised man. either as a female or male. that is. and ikeya. Elegua's principal residence is said to be on a mountain named Igbeti. but usually it is done early in life. Circumcision is ileyika. it being fixed for each individual by Ifa. supposed to be situated near the Niger. who. consorts sexually with men and women during their sleep. the former of which means "the circular cutting" (ike.

and declared that he could not live without her. and appears to mean "In the height of the sky. Orungan fell in love with his mother. The offspring of Land and Water would thus be what we call Air. named respectively Aganju. mother. She is represented by a female figure. patron deity of women. Yemaya sprang to her feet and fled from the place wringing her hands and lamenting. plain. "Mother of fish" (yeye. including all of the orishas. The name Aganju means uninhabited tract of country. Before her amour with the hunter. a boy and a girl. Other stories would say that Yemaya was always there in the beginning and all life came from her. Shopona and Shango. dressed in black and mauve.Yemaya Written by IfaBite Wednesday. The offspring of the union of Heaven and Earth. Her parents are Oduduwa and Obatala." It seems to answer to the khekheme. may thus be said to represent Land and Water. and presides over ordeals by water. yellow in colour. like it. who strove to console her by saying that no one should know of what had occurred. and bore a son named Orungan. This represents the vastness of her motherhood. and as she refused to listen to his guilty passion." Yemaya married her brother Aganju. This name is compounded of orun. she is pictured as a very old woman. which is still called Oju-Aganju-"Front of Aganju. Immediately after the act. Orungan. Yemaya is the goddess of brooks and streams. connected to mud. Obatala. and the other in secret. fish). Yemaya is celebrated in Ifá tradition As Iemanja Nana Borocum. He held out to her the alluring prospect of living with two husbands. wearing blue beads and a white cloth. the essence of motherhood. sky. her fecundity and her reign over all living things. eja. that is. and fifteen Orishas came forth from her. swamps. Nana Buluku is an ancient god in Dahomey mythology. who has become prominent in many AfroAmerican religion. but there is said to be an open space in front of the king's residence in Oyo where the god was formerly worshipped. or to have become merged in that of his mother. Yemaya is a mother goddess. Odudua bore to her husband. to mean the apparent space between the sky and the earth. Olokun. originally of the Yoruba religion. he one day took advantage of his father's absence. or "Free-air Region" of the Ewe peoples. or forest. and the Ogun river. and gan. There are many stories as to how she became the mother of all saints. one acknowledged. especially pregnant women. and Yemaya. and. She was married to Agayu and had one son. from ga. and was pursued by Orungan. Her name is a contraction of Yoruba words: ³Yeye emo eja´ that mean ³Mother whose children are like fishes´. but she rejected all his proposals . and ravished her. She is the ocean. and a protector of children. or Nana Burku. and Yemaya. to be high. They include Ogun. wilderness. The worship of Aganju seems to have fallen into disuse. Africans from what is now called Yorubaland brought Yemaya and a host of other deities/energy forces in nature with them when they were brought to the shores of the Americas as captives. earth. 17 December 2008 16:22 Yemaja is an orisha. of Obatala and Odudua.

a feast can honor both. who do not belong to this family group.Dada (god of vegetables). In Salvador. enlargement. jewelry. These are gathered in large baskets and taken out to the sea by local fishermen. but there are other gods. Bahia. She is the Queen of the Ocean. Bahia. rapidly gained upon her. flowers and gifts Gifts for Iemanjá usually include flowers and objects of female vanity (perfume. the patron deity of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks. irrespective of their origin. and Oshu (the moon). Offering to IemanjáSmall boat with Iemanjá image. combs. To commemorate this event.with loathing. or swelling up). called the Gift to Iemanjá. the feminine principle of creation and the spirit of moonlight. Iemanjá is also celebrated every December 8 in Salvador. Iemanjá or Janaína in Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda religions. and continued to run away. Orun (the sun). The streams from Yemaya's breasts joined and formed a lagoon. Iemanjá is celebrated by Candomblé in the very day consecrated by the Catholic church to Our Lady of Seafaring (Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes). Oke (god of mountains). The Festa da Conceição da Praia (Feast to Our Lady of Conception of the church at the beach) is a city holiday dedicated to the catholic saint and also to Iemanjá. was built on the spot where Yemaya's body burst open. Afterwards a massive street party ensues. and her abdomen burst open. however. The place where her body fell used to be shown. and whose genesis is not accounted for in any way. in the war between the Ifes on the one hand and the Ibadans and Modakekes on the other. Orungan. Two. Aje Shaluga (god of wealth). lipsticks. two streams of water gushed from her breasts. The Umbanda religion worships Iemanjá as one of the seven orixás of the African Pantheon. mirrors). at least. Oya (goddess of the river Niger). and we therefore leave for the moment the minor deities who sprung from Yemaya. Oba (goddess of the river Oba). Olokun (god of the sea). and was just stretching out his hand to seize her. The myth of Yemaya thus accounts for the origin of several of the gods. Shankpanna (god of small-pox). A syncretism happens between the catholic Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes (Our Lady of the Seafaring) and the orixá Iemanjá of the African Mithology. In Brazil The goddess is known as Yemanjá. and from her gaping body came the following:-. flowers and gifts Offering to Iemanjá Small boat with Iemanjá image. and became the holy city of the Yoruba-speaking tribes. Ogun (god of iron and war). Oshun (goddess of the river Oshun). Sometimes. when she fell backward to the ground. by making them the grandchildren of Obatala and Odudua. Another feast occur this day in the Pedra Furada. Bahia. Chango (god of lightning). Every February 2 thousands of people line up at dawn to leave their offerings at her shrine in Rio Vermelho. Olosa (goddess of the lagoon). and proceed with the chief gods. Orisha Oko (god of agriculture). when fishermen celebrate their devotion to . Then her body immediately began to swell in a fearful manner. Monte Serrat in Salvador. Oshosi (god of hunters). and probably still is. a town which was given the name of Ife (distention. but the town was destroyed in 1882. of the principal gods are in this category.

This path lives by the rocky coastliness. whole fried fishes and pork rinds. the rainbow. molasses (´melaço´ . At the initiation ceremony known as kariocha. In Santería. her colors are blue and white (representing water). dark blue and some red. * Asesu: This path is very old. or simply ocha. Outside Bahia State. Her colors are crystal. * Ibu Aro: This path is similar to Majalewo in that she is associated with markets. the image of Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes is carried to the port of Pelotas. some of them traveling hundreds of miles. During these days many vehicles garnished with Iemanjá icons and colors roam from the São Paulo mountains to the sea littoral. She is associated with ducks and still or stagnant waters. Paintings of Iemanjá are for sale in Rio shops. Osanyin. watch fireworks. Small offerings of flowers and floating candles are left in the sea on many nights at Copacabana. She is associated with the marketplace and her shrines are decorated with 21 plates. and throw flowers and other offerings into the sea for the goddess in the hopes that she will grant them their requests for the coming year. and her favorite offerings include melons. In Pelotas. in a syncretic meeting that is watched by thousand of people in the shores. with a belt of iron weapons like Ogun. * Okoto: This path is known as the underwater assassin. Her colors are indigo and blood red and her symbolism includes that of pirates. She has been syncretized with Our Lady of Regla. Iemanjá is celebrated in the two first weekends of December in the shores of Praia Grande city. Yemaja has several caminos (paths). the exact path is determined through divination. next to painting of Jesus and other catholica saints. Her colors are pale blue and coral.sugar cane syrup). Her paths include: * Ogunte: In this path. at February 2. commerce and her shrines are decorated with plates. Yemayá is seen as the mother of all living things as well as the owner of all waters. On New Year¶s Eve in Rio de Janeiro. Rio Grande do Sul State. crystal and red coral. millions of cariocas dressed in white gather on Copacabana beach to greet the New Year. Some send their gifts to Iemanjá in wood toy boats. Haiti She is venerated in Vodou as LaSiren. In São Paulo State. * Majalewo: This path lives in the forest with the herbalist orisha.the Queen of the Ocean. she is a warrior. . Her colors are darker. Iemanjá is elebrated mainly by Umbanda religion. Thousands of people rally near iemanjá statue in Praia Grande beach. They portray her as a woman rising out of the sea. She is said to be deaf and answers her patrons slowly. the boats stop and host the Umbanda followers that carry the image of Iemanjá. Her crown (and husband) is the orisha Oshumare. Her number is 7 (a tie into the 7 seas). indigo. Before the closing of the catholic feast. Her colors are teals and turquoises.

Kimbisa and Briumba. In the Kongo religions. she is known as Mà Lango. or Madré D¶Agua²Mother of Waters. such as Palo Mayombe. . Palo Monte.* Ashaba: This path is said to be so beautiful that no human can look at her directly.

and therefore to be an offering. Iron is sacred to him. emblematic of this sacrifice. a human victim was offered. Ogun was most likely first worshiped by the Yoruba people of West Africa. and sold to persons who wish to be endowed with great courage. where he is allowed to say or do anything he pleases (short of escaping his impending fate). after the head has been struck off. Oyo and Ondo States. The reason of his being thus honoured for the twenty-four hours before being sacrificed. and who drink the mixture. and by those who make use of iron weapons or tools. to pierce. is that it is believed he will be born again and become a king. and the ground is sacred to him because iron ore is found in it. is always to be seen fastened up in some conspicuous part of the workshops of blacksmiths. and minor articles of food. The day before that on which he is to be immolated. and blood was considered to be so peculiarly the portion of their national god. the victim is led with great ceremony through the principal thoroughfares. He is specially worshipped by blacksmiths. may gratify his desire with any woman who takes his fancy. and paraded in the market. in a place named Ire-Ekiti. or thrust with something pointed). This belief appears to be common to most barbarons peoples. no one being allowed to eat it under pain of death. over which the blood is made to gush. to ensure success. and a dog's head. The reason of this is that the heart is believed to be the seat of courage and to inherently possess that quality. He is said to be the first of the Orisha to descend to the realm of Ile Aiye (the earth) to find suitable habitation for future human life. or tribe. palm oil. The priests of Ogun usually take out the hearts of human victims.Ogun Written by IfaBite Wednesday. however. that the blood of all animals slain. is also a patron of hunters. The reason of this is that the blood is believed to contain the vital principle. He is worshiped in places like Ekiti. the entrails are exposed before the image and the body suspended from a tree. whether for sacrifice or food. In commemoration of this one of his praise names (Oriki). In ancient times on very important occasions. as in the case of a sacrifice to Elegua. reduced to powder. together with fowls." meaning that Ogun claims the best. Any piece of iron can be used as a symbol of Ogun. Ogun is the god of iron and of war. Through out his entire life he fought for the people of Ire. is Osin Imole or the ³first of the primordial Orisha to come to Earth´. and. and when swearing by Ogun it is usual to touch an iron implement with the Ilorgue. which are dried. and offered as a sacrifice to Ogun. and that when the heart is devoured or swallowed . The usual sacrifice offered to Ogun is a dog. like Chango. 17 December 2008 16:22 Ogun is a primordial Orisha whose first appearance was as a hunter named Tobe Ode. and. the Israelites held it. The name Ogun seems to mean "One who pierces" (gun. and give his tongue every licence. and. "An old dog must be sacrificed to Ogun. A proverb says. He is one of those who sprang from the body of Yemaya. When war has been decided upon. then mixed with rum. a slave is purchased at the expense of the town. He is believed to have (wo ile sun) which means to sink into the ground not to die. the corpse is treated with the greatest respect by all. had to be presented as an offering. The victim is slain by having his head struck off upon the stool of Ogun. particularly acceptable to the gods.

iron. similar to Ares and Hephaestus in Greek mythology and Visvakarma in Hindu mythology. triumphal. he is represented with Saint George in Brazil. Ogun (as this Yoruba divinity is known in the Portuguese language) is often identified with Saint George. especially those belonging to the lower and marginalized classes. rum and tobacco. Ogun is a loa and orisha. such as Ogun Akirun. Ogun comes to mount people in various aspects of his character. According to anthropologist Luiz Mott. He assumes a Christ-figure pose which the people know well from their Christian associations. He is also linked with blood. led and given power to the slaves for the Haitian Revolution of 1804. Some of these aspects are: Ogun the wounded warrior. In all his incarnations Ogoun is a fiery and martial spirit. who presides over fire. . he appears in other aspects. Perhaps linked to this theme is the new face he has taken on in Haiti which is not quite related to his African roots. for example in the state of Bahia. He was sent to earth to make it a nice place for people to live. Ogun Meji. the latter being a feminine incarnation. and he has not yet finished this task. He gives strength through prophecy and magic. In Santería and Palo Mayombe. Brazil. for example in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. In the cult of Orishas. He can be very aggressively masculine²much like the spirit Shango²but can also rule the head of female. He is called now to help people obtain a government more responsive to their needs. In the religious tradition of the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé. and the people are quite familiar with each of them. Gu is the god of war and patron deity of smiths and craftsmen. hunting. state of Rio de Janeiro. Ogun-un. In Dahomey mythology. Ogun Alagbede. Ogun Onigbajamo. It is Ogun who is said to have planted the idea. In Other Countries In Hiati. He is the patron of smiths and is usually displayed with his attributes: machete or sabre. Onile. As such Ogun is mighty. Ogun Oloola. yet also exhibits the rage and destructiveness of the warrior whose strength and violence can turn against the community he serves. as it is often done in the northeast of the country. or effeminate male initiates to whom he takes a liking. Ogun Onire.the quality with which it is inspired is also taken into the system. politics and war. Ogun may also be represented by Saint Sebastian. Saint Sebastian is also considered by many homosexuals. Ogun Elemona. Officially Saint Sebastian is the patron saint of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Ogun is the traditional warrior and seen as a powerful deity of metal work. Ogun Ikole. However. Ogun Alara. that of a powerful political leader. and is for this reason often called upon to heal diseases of the blood. he has been syncretized with Saint Peter. powerful.

. or even sticking the handle in the ground. His possessions can sometimes be violent. He may lift a person up and carry him or her around to indicate his special attention and patronage. To all the aspects of Ogoun there is the dominant theme of power and militancy. or much more commonly. wave a sabre or machete. chew a cigar and demand rum in an old phrase ³Gren mwe fret´ (my testicles are cold). Often this rum is poured on the ground then lit and the fumes pervade the peristyle. the machete is his weapon and he often does strange feats of poking himself with it. Those mounted by him are known to wash their hands in flaming rum without suffering from it later. They dress up in green and black.* Ogun Feraille. He gives strength to the servitors by slapping them on the thighs or back. then mounting the blade without piercing his skin. The sword. * Ogun Badagris.

and one of the three warrior orishas "Ibori" in Yoruba. He is alternately depicted as Saint George in the Bahia region. During the period in which the majority orisha venerators in Latin America were slaves to Catholic Europeans. as well as the nature spirits of the forest. and his role as an often solitary figure in the wilderness lends him another role as a shaman. and prayed to when devotees are looking for Justice or something. Oshosi came to be identified with Saint Sebastian in the Rio de Janeiro area of Brazil. Hunters. a job or a house for example. and in Cuba. 17 December 2008 16:22 Oshosi is the deity or Orisha of the forest. which led to his association with the hunter orisha. San Sebatian is most often depicted tied and shot full of arrows. he is identified with Saint Norbert. the island religions of Cuban Santeria and Haitian Voudoun. Oshosi is a hunter. Oshosi is most important to the people of Brazil in Candomblé (a Latin American religion derived from the traditional spiritual practises of the Yoruba people of West Africa). as the Amazon Rainforest brings this element to the fore[citation needed] in Candomblé more than it is found in its cousins. Oshosi is the patron Justice. dogs in particular. The true "GPS". .Oshosi Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Master of all air attacks. Oshossi is connected with all hunter cultures as well as the caboclos in Brazil know as the spirits of the native American dead. He also is the patron of those who work with animals.

or the foundation for your higher self or Orí. Osun should be immediately turned upright and the primary godparent should be notified of what happened. Many people say that he is your spiritual head. 17 December 2008 16:21 Osun Duru Ganga la Bosi Osun is a small staff that is packed with magical substances that acts as a person's personal guard or watchdog. He is supposed to remain upright at all times.the symbol for Osun. Osun is supposed to be placed in a high place in the house preferably above the initiate's head with the rooster facing the front door. on top of the lid is a metal rooster . it is an indication that something very bad has either been thrown at the initiate or is on it's way to harm the initiate. This is the scaled down modern version of the original that was found in Africa. so that he can watch for danger. Hanging from the lip of the cup's lid. He is lidded and sealed metal cup with a stem and is about 9 inches tall. . and if he ever falls over.Osun Written by IfaBite Wednesday. are four jingle bells hanging from little chains.

Oba (Obba). in candomble she is generally saluted with the phrase "Èpa heyi!.Oya Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Oya manifests in Creation in the forms as sudden and drastic change. and death is not as arbitrary as it may seem. strong storms. Oya has been syncretized in Santeria with the Catholic images of Our Lady Of Candelaria (Our Lady of the Presentation) and St. Theresa. Oggun. She creates hurricanes and tornadoes and guards the underworld. which means "mother of nine. She is seen in aspects of warrior-goddess of wind. Her feast day is February 2. fertility. Oya's representation of wind. As the Spirit of the Wind. Oyá is also called "the one who puts on pants to go to war" and "the one who grows a beard to go to war". creation. lightning. Yewá/Euá and Ochún/Oxum. while in Cuban-derived Yórùbá traditions. In Brazilian Umbanda she is represented by Saint Barbara. and the flash of the marketplace. the faithful often salute her by saying "Hekua hey Yansa. fire and magic. Her full name is Oya-Yansan. ." She is closely associated with many Orishas. but most especially Shango/Changó." In Brazil. 17 December 2008 16:21 Oya is the Goddess of the Niger River. Oya has a sister named Ayao that is received by her initiates.

He is always dressed in white.The arch divinity . In Candomblé. Oluwa Aiye or Oluwa Aye . Before he could return to heaven and report to Olodumare however. but until that individual is initiated into the priesthood of that orisha.Lord of the Earth Alabalase . Nigeria. Obàtálá is also the owner of all ori or heads. usurped his position by taking the satchel and returning to heaven. "people of Obatala". In Santería Obàtálá has been syncretized with Our Lady of Mercy. referring to spiritual purity and pure light.Obàtálá Written by IfaBite Wednesday. hence the meaning of his name. palm oil or salt. A great feud ensued between the two that is re-enacted every year in Ile Ife. the Supreme Being. In the Bahia State (Brazil). (called by various names in the Yoruba language such as Olodumare. Obàtálá still owns that head. Eleda. his rival Oduduwa (also called Oduwa. the Festa do Bonfim.He who has divine authority Baba Arugbo . Obatalá (Oxalá) is the oldest "Orixa funfun" ("white deity"). Oodua. and Olorun (God) breathed life into them. often described as his younger brother. He is also referred to as the orisha of the north. 17 December 2008 16:20 through the power of God. Obatala must never be worshipped with palm wine. and Olorun).Master or Father of all human beings (lit. This stems from the belief that the soul resides in the head. Eledumare. Obatala has been syncretized with Our Lord of Bonfim and is the subject of a large syncretic religious celebration. Any orisha may lay claim to an individual. made human bodies. His worshippers strive to practice moral correctness as unblemished as his robe. Oduduwa and his sons were able to rule without Obatala's consent. According to mythical stories Obatala is the eldest of all orisha and was granted authority to create the earth. Odudua or Eleduwa). In Yoruba theology. His worshippers may eat palm oil and salt. Ultimately.Old Master or Father Baba Araye . both physically and symbolically as in the "light" of consciousness). People born with congenital defects are called 'eni orisa': literally. making him the patron deity of such people. Olofin-Orun. citizens of the earth) Orisanla (also spelt Orisainla. which takes place in January in the city of Salvador. Orishanla or Orishainla) or Oshanla . Obatala (King or ruler of the white cloth). According to legend Obatala created "defective" (handicapped) individuals while drunk on palm wine. but never taste palm wine.

Chango Written by IfaBite Wednesday. where he maintains a large retinue and keeps a great number of horses. next to Obatala. his sacred number is 6. he was the second to spring from the body of Yemaya. which represents swift and balanced justice. the most powerful god of the Yorubas. moreover. for. is. god of the river Ogun. are believed to be his thunderbolts. The Oni-Chango. and stone implements. He rules the color red and white. Chango hurls upon those who have offended him red-hot chains of iron. His name appears to be derived from shan. and. or ja. The Yoruba word for lightning is mana-mana (ma-ina. He has the epithet of Jakuta. is seemingly a modern notion. This ceremony survived the Middle Passage and is considered to be the most complete to have arrived on Western shores. All the major initiation ceremonies (as performed in Cuba. but this. Chango was a royal ancestor of the Yoruba as he was the third king of the Oyo Kingdom. This variation of the Yoruba initiation ceremony became the basis of all Orisha initiations in the West. appears to have been borrowed from some foreign source. and Chango is purely anthropomorphic. as well as the Art of Dance and Entertainment. therefore. it should be observed." and go. "to strike violently. The energy given from this Deity of Thunder is also a major symbol of African resistance against an enslaving European culture. as they take it with them secretly. forged by Vulcan. The iron-chain notion. Puerto Rico and Venezuela for the last few hundred years) are based on the traditional Shango ceremony of Ancient Oyo. a making of fire). the god of thunder and lightning. god of thunder and lightning. "Hurler of stones. not to yet have made much progress. he is a Sky Father. of iron and of war. and whenever a house is struck by lightning they rush in a body to pillage it and to find the stone. and okuta. and also known as Jakuta is perhaps the most popular Orisha. or Priests of Chango. The notion we found amongst the Ewes that a birdlike creature was the animating entity of the thunderstorm has no parallel here. and the red-hot chains furnished by Ogun have a suspicious resemblance to the thundefbolts of Jupiter. The Oyo Kingdom was sacked and pillaged as part of a jihad by the Islamic Fulani Empire. and has no connection either with iron (irin) or a chain (ewon). which are forged for him by his brother Ogun. his symbol is the oshe (double-headed axe)." or "Fighter with stones" (Ja. A chant of the Oni-Chango very commonly . which have long ceased to be used in West Africa. while the name Jakuta shows that Chango is believed to hurl stones and not iron. besides being the thunder-god. stone). which. to fight. he is also the god of the chase and of pillage. "to bewilder." and to have reference to peals of thunder. 17 December 2008 16:20 Often known as Xangô or Shangó in Latin America and the Caribbean. to hurl from aloft. He dwells in the clouds in an immense brazen palace. From his palace. He is owner of the Bata (3 double-headed drums) and of music in general. which are supposed to be produced by violent blows. in their chants always speak of Chango as hurling stones. they always succeed in doing. Contents Chango.

near Emina. Great King! Chango is the lord and master. with the palms of their hands joined together in front of the bosom. which rises in Ibadan and flows into the Kradu Water. and became so unbearable through rapacity. but on to them are now rapidly becoming grafted some later myths. According to some natives. those which he with the back uppermost being favourable. during which he thumps and bangs overhead. human beings. "Chango. Oshun. the priests usually allow the corpse to be redeemed and buried." "May Chango's stone strike you. and all living creatures are slain. the accident being regarded as proof positive that Chango requires them. in ancient times on important occasions. the river of the same name. Oshumare. that the chiefs and people at last sent him a calabash of parrots' eggs. and his worshippers profess to be able to understand its cry. thou art the master. The image of Chango generally represents him as a man standing. and Oba. which rises in Ijesa and flows into the water-way between Lagos and the Lekki lagoon. but if the relations of the deceased offer a sufficient payment. which make Chango. the Niger. and is surrounded by images. emblematic of the plundering propensities of their lord. He has a messenger named Ara." is a very common imprecation. or Gale of Wind). which are thrown on the ground. is the servant of Chango. and Oshun and Oba carrying his bow and sword. it is held." whom he sends out with a loud noise. a house struck by lightning is at once invaded and plundered by the disciples of the god. made of the wood of the ayan tree. Oya taking with her her messenger Afefe (the Wind. Shaugo's slave Biri (Darkness) goes in attendance. A common idea is that Chango is subject to frequent outbursts of ungovernable temper. "Thunder-clap. cruelty. Oxen. be buried. an earthly king who afterwards became a god. Chango. of his three wives. In the storm he hurls his fiery stones against his enemies. capital of Yoruba. also a river. Persons who are killed by lightning may not. A small bird called papagori is sacred to Chango. and hurls down stones at those who have given him cause for offence. The foregoing are. and those with the back downward the reverse. to punish the guilty and satisfy thine anger.heard is. He is consulted with sixteen cowries. Chango married three of his sisters: Oya. and their track gleams in the midst of the darkness. sheep. "The ayan tree resists the axe. This Chango was King of Oyo. smaller in size. which is so hard that a proverb says. All three accompany their husband when he goes out. Thou takest in thy hand thy fiery stones. properly speaking. and fowls are the offerings ordinarily made to Chango. the tree is sacred to him. and the chief priest is called Magba. in accordance with the custom that has already ." As amongst the Ewe tribes. who are also represented as standing up. with the exception of the myth of the fiery chains. and a fine imposed on the occupants. who. Individuals rendered insensible by lightning are at once despatched by the priests. the trees are broken down. "The Receiver. the old ideas respecting Chango. Everything that they strike is destroyed. His colours are red and white. must have offended him. He usually goes armed with a club called oshe." and the lay-worshippers of Chango flock into the streets during a thunderstorm crying. and tyranny. "Oh Chango." In consequence of his club being made of this wood. and. The priests and followers of Chango wear a wallet. the Rainbow. his office being to take up water frorn the earth to the palace in the clouds. Their fire eats up the forest.

defied public opinion and endeavoured to assemble his adherents. as his master did not appear. saying. returned to Oyo. instead of allowing himself to be quietly strangled by his wives." Some of the townspeople. from which the end of an iron chain protruded. "Chango is not dead. though why such a king should usurp the functions of the thunder-god. the slave. Chango has become an orisha. and he has burned your houses with his fiery stones because you did not vindicate his honour. he had no one with him but his slave. however. in company. Chango came in person. and at last Chango. The place where Chango descended into the earth was called Kuso. and when the criers cried. so. the rest of his household having deserted him. and could hear Chango talking down in the earth. and committed suicide when he received the parrots' eggs they sent him. "Wait here till I return. seeking in vain for a path which would lead them out of the forest. to punish them for their behaviour. and soon became a town. no doubt caused that tree to be selected for the legendary suicide of the king Chango. went in search of him. As we have said." After waiting a long time. They searched in every direction. so that Chango was appeased. for many people went to dwell there." Then the populace fell upon the scoffers and beat them to death. with a terrific thunderstorm. left his slave. The fact of the ayan being sacred to the god Chango. beyond the Niger. They at once erected a small temple over the pit. He is angry because they laughed at him. See what these bad men have brought upon you by their unbelief. with the priests. Chango hanged himself. did not believe the story. shouting. and finding himself in a part of the country he knew. and his anger turned away. in consequence of these events . he killed many of the scoffers with his fiery stones. to the place where the slave had left the body. intending to endeavour to reach Tapa. being ignorant and foolish. for it makes the chiefs and elders alarmed at the suicide of Chango. with whom we have heard him conversing.been mentioned. which was his mother's native place. Perhaps this myth really does refer to some former King of Oyo. "Chango did not hang himself. in order to show his power. when in the morning Chango found himself lost in the midst of a pathless forest. and the iron chain which protruded from the hole in the ground was probably suggested by the notion of red-hot chains of lightning. and before long found his corpse hanging by the neck from an ayan-tree. where they proclaimed: "Chango is not dead. with a message that he must be fatigued with the cares of government." they laughed and shouted in return. and that it was time for him to go to sleep. and at last found a deep pit in the earth. when this failed. and also left him. sought safety in flight. They wandered about without food for some days. this myth is rapidly becoming blended with the older ones. Eventually the slave succeeded in extricating himself from the forest. but were unable to find it. They stooped over the pit and listened. Chango. He left the palace by night. where he told the news. He has descended into the earth. because they feared to be held responsible for his death. On receiving this intimation. and establish a worship. They went. and." In consequence of this wicked conduct. made his way towards Oyo. and was accompanied only by one wife and one slave. for it was no longer on the tree. and leaving some priests there to propitiate the new god. and lives among the dead people. and. During the night the wife repented of her hasty action. is not at all clear. He has become an orisha. "Chango is dead. When the chiefs and elders heard that Chango had hanged himself they were much alarmed. and set the town on fire. Then the priests and elders ran about -among the burning houses. fearing that they would be held responsible for his death. It is inconsistent in part. and we will then try further. and. yet they would have been equally responsible had he complied with established custom.

He rushed towards her to seize her. One day. Chango has often come back to the world.having taken place at Kuso. is to place him in a situation where he could not exercise the functions of his office. he quarrelled with Oya. after they had gone down. when eaten. following him in his course all the day. and to make him descend into the bowels of the earth. who had stolen some of his "medicines. When Olokun saw that Oya had gone he released Chango. as soon as his back was turned. and the palace was deserted. to judge the affairs of the people. and a descent into the earth. Next morning he came up from below with the Sun. "King of Kuso. possessing attributes of each. the result being a kind of compound Chango. but she. Oshun. This myth well exemplifies the confusion that has now been created in men's minds between the thunder-god proper and the demi-god. is like the legendary descent of the deified king. who. he swore a great oath to beat her so that she would never forget it. Chango now saw that he was. would enable him to vanquish all who opposed him. and taking in his hand a long iron-chain. Oya." Another myth makes Chango the son of Obatala. which. and each spoke in his turn. nearly out of sight. These remarks equally apply to the following myth. and married to the three river goddesses Oya. and then gave the rest to Oya to keep for him. and took refuge with her brother the Sea-God (Olokun). he made a great noise and commotion. and to hide when the Sun looked round. arrived with him in the evening at the place where the sea and sky join. and ran to bide with her sister Olosa (the Lagoon). The Chango of this story resembles in his marital relations the thunder-god. but the end of the chain was left protruding from the ground. and so descended with him into the territories of his brother Olokun. when she began to scold ber women in the palace. similarly belched forth flames. and while the two were struggling together Oya escaped. Chango ate most of the medicament. and. as a god. inferior to none. Moreover. Since his descent into the earth with his three wives at Oyo. which opens when stamped upon. flames burst forth from his mouth. The Sun had not knowingly shown Chango the road across the sky to Olokun's palace. but the descent into the earth with the iron chain. ran after . a thunder-god must. and we find nothing of the sort in the groups cognate to the Yoruba. for Chango had been careful to keep behind him all the time. but when it came to Chango's turn to speak. and descended into it with his wives. terrified at his violence. When Chango reached Olokun's palace and saw his wife Oya there. live above the eaxth amongst the clouds. ran away. and all fled in terror. too. It is probable that contact with Mohammedans has had something to do with the invention of this myth." and she. As soon as Chango discovered where she had gone. The story relates that one day Chango obtained from his father Obatala a powerful charm. ate the rest herself. and Oba. Chango has the title of Oba-Kuso. but Olokun held him. but reigning as an earthly king at Oyo. from the very nature of his being. he stamped on the earth till it opened under him. the end of which is left above ground. The earth closed again over them. as we read of them in the "Arabian Nights. now more furious than ever. so calling his three wives to him. when down in the earth. Next morning the chiefs and elders assembled at the palace as usual." are frequently described as breathing forth flames to destroy their opponents. These ideas do not appear to be ones at all likely to have arisen spontaneously in the negro mind. so that everybody ran away. is a mode of exit often found in the same collection. The genii. and is probably only another version of the same event.

and stole the secrets of his powerful magic. offered Sango her ear to eat. she saw a house near at hand. Obatala. As she was running. refused him passage. filled with fury at being baffled. As the story goes. stamped on the earth. but Oya gave him to eat of the "medicines" she had stolen from her husband. His other wife. on the spot where he had fought with Chango. Legends of Chango Chango was the fourth king of Oyo in Yorubaland. attempted to rape her for the second time. brandished it in the air. were shattered to pieces. and the two weapons. At the commencement of the combat. In further patakis Chango goes in search of Aganju. also had a temple erected in his honour. and Chango coming behind. the ferryman and god of fire. He has three wives. saw him coming along the banks of the lagoon. and he. All of the stories regarding Chango revolve around dramatic events such as this one. Oba. and the two of them play out a drama of conflict and resolution that culminates with Chango throwing himself into the fire to prove his lineage. his favorite (because of her excellent cooking) is Oshun. in the former one she also stole it. Oya was Chango¶s third wife. but ate it herself. rushing into it. Lastly. ran out again. she remained there. he (along with 14 others) burst forth from the goddess Yemaya¶s body after her son. Huisi ran from his house down to the banks of the lagoon. The story of Chango and Oba carries the familiar refrain. Oya. Then the two oiishas wrestled together. dragging Huisi down with him. Obatala retreated and turned himself into a beautiful woman. knowing that Olosa could not protect her. a man. the king of the white cloth was travelling and had to cross a river.his wife cursing and threatening her. In each case it caused flames to burst from the mouth. a river goddess. Chango was the result of this uneasy union. There being no other tree there. and he descended into it. shook it like a club. Oya had fled to Lokoro. He scorned her and she became the Oba River. could do against Chango. He returned to the river and traded his/her body for passage. and fled along the shores towards the place where the Sun goes down. promised to protect her. and. of course there are several myths regarding the birth and parentage of Chango. In one set of stories Chango is the son of Aganju and Obatala. and the people built a temple in her honour. She begged Huisi to defend her. tossing them here and there. and their feet tore great fissures in the earth as they dragged each other to and fro. which opened under him. his father. Flames burst from their mouths. and. and at last Chango. In his rage he tore up the trees by their roots. another river goddess. Huisi asked what he. Huisi. Stories about Chango¶s life exemplify some major themes regarding the nature of character and destiny. which merges with the Oshun River to form dangerous rapids. Aganju. As Chango approached. and defied Chango. and deified after his death. Orungan. striking together. This struggle lasted a long time without either being able to gain the mastery. who had become a god by virtue of the "medicine" he had eaten. looking out from her sister's house. Chango seized Huisi's canoe. being thus made an orisha. and feeling his strength failing. roaring and yelling. As has . In this myth Oya steals the medicine and gives it to Huisi. and tearing up a large tree by the roots. ³all that glitters is not gold´. This tension between reason represented by Obatala and fire represented by Aganju would form the foundation of Chango¶s particular character and nature. claimed protection of a man whom she found there. He is a major character in the divination literature of the Lukumi religion. mythologically. as he ran along. whose name was Huisi.

out of jealousy. Chango would desire the food and Oshun all the more. on a personal level. She decided to play a trick on Oba. drove her from his house. Oya. Chango¶s wife. she told Oba. for she is expressing the qualities she has gained through her faith. or gods. This Orisa tends to be harsh. From this she made a powder she would sprinkle on Chango¶s food. created in the beginning of time by the Great God. demanding. symbolically white divinities´. Oba noticed that when Chango went to the house of Oshun he would eat all of the food that she prepared for him but when he came to her home he would just pick. his first and legitimate wife. Orisha may be considered natural forces such as rivers. Oba¶s children would inherit Chango¶s kingdom. According to Yoruba and Vodou belief systems. She is the queen of the whirlwind. Chango altars often contain a carved figure of a woman holding a gift to the god with a double-bladed axe sticking up from her head. She sliced off her ear and stirred it into Chango¶s food. At that time and in that place they would live in a compound. Ollorun. was filled with resentment.a great deal of power and self-control. but there are a few females. Worship of Chango The religious ritual of Chango was possibly designed in order to help the devotees of Sango gain self-control. He would then visit his wives in their houses to eat and to sleep with them. After deification. thinking Oba was trying to poison him. These blades can be seen easily after heavy rains. lord of leaves and medicine. These are the gentle. Chango. Oba. Oya is also included as a ³hot Orisa´. The second category of Orisa are the Orisa funfun²³the cool. Oba. Her children would not have nearly the same status. Oba. and fell to earth to become a river. Once it was done she decided that if a little piece of Oshun¶s ear produced such an effect her whole ear would drive Chango mad with desire for her and he would forget Oshun forever. and Oshun his concubine. decided to ask Oshun how she kept Chango so happy. When Chango came to eat he sat down and began eating without looking at his dish. and mellow Orisa. temperate. crying. his favorite meal. are Yoruba ancestors or incarnate natural forces. Worship of Chango enables. The orisha. mountains. Chango hurls bolts of lightning at the people chosen to be his followers. ran home to prepare Chango¶s amala. the divine sculptor. Oba ran from the compound. Oshun. or lightning. his second wife. When he finally glanced down he saw an ear floating in the stew. leaving behind imprints of stone axe blade on the Earth¶s crust. The axe symbolizes that this devotee is possessed by Chango. where she is still worshipped today. Chango brought prosperity to the Oyo Empire during his reign. the initiation ceremony dictates that this same prosperity be bestowed upon followers. being asked this. In that compound. Chango had his own house and each wife had her own house surrounding his. Osooli/Eyinle. wanting a closer relationship with her husband. excited by this information. lord of hunting and water. She told Oba that many years ago she had cut a small piece of her ear off and dried it. which are grouped according to personalities and modes of action. The woman¶s expression is calm and cool. As an Orisha she is the patron of matrimony and is said to destroy marriages that abuse either partner. They include: Obatula/Orisonla. lord of pestilence.been stated Chango had three wives. thunder. Osanyin. calm. As he ate it. god of iron and Obaluaye. There are two categories of Orisa.according to Yoruba belief. Some of them are ancient. Historically. stones. . This group of gods mostly consists of males. As children of the first wife. Other ³hot Orisa´ include Ogun. being born from his concubine. hostile and quick to anger.

the ram. drumming and dance . Worship in different Countries Chango is worshipped in Haitian Vodou. The ibori is the symbol of a person¶s inner spiritual essence or individuality known as iponri.the Santeria equivalent of St. as a god of thunder and weather. Puerto Rico and Venezuela . Orisa are divine but also deified ancestors of Yorubaland. first king of Ile Ife. . and in Cuba. a traditional colonial disguise for the Deity known as Changó.Oduduwa. Sango. for his is not only the embodiment of thunder. but also a hero of the Oyo Empire. in Brazilian Candomblé Ketu (under the name Xangô). This tip is made from the person¶s placenta and symbols of deities or ancestors. He is associated with the holy animal. in Trinidad as Shango God of Thunder. and the holy colors of red and white. Chango is depicted with a double-axe on his three heads. Barbara. as the very powerful loa Nago Shango. is represented by lightning and thunder. The deity. In art. in Umbanda. The top of an ibori is called the oke iponri. The ibori is cone shaped and repeats throughout Yoruba culture. Chango fits both of these descriptions.

Cohosh. Cinnamon. Yarrow. Squawvine. Valerian Elegua All Herbs Oshun Yellow Dock. Horehound. Echinacea Yemaya Kelp. Yarrow. Cherrybark. Raspberry. Dandelion. Burdock. Kola Nut. Chickweed Shango Plantain. Anis. Wild Yam Root Ogun Eucalyptus. 17 December 2008 16:19 Obatala Skullcap. Aloe. Parsley. Uva-Ursi. Lotus. Bloodroot. Chamomile. Damiana. Mints. Saw Palmetto. Comfrey. Blue Vervain. Spirulina. Nettles. Hibiscus. Sage. Elecampane. White Willow. Sarsaparilla. Cayenne . Passion Flower. Hawthorn.Orisha Herbs Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Pleurisy Root. Hyssop. Buchu. Basil. Motherwort. Garlic Oya Mullein. Alfalfa. Fo-ti. Myrrh.

Elegba. and Oya. 17 December 2008 16:17 To examine the Yoruba religion." are a series of Gods or divinities under the Yoruba's main±God. according to Baba Ifa Karade's "The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. For example. The Orisa. "holy or sacred. The Orisa is one of the key spiritual elements of traditional Yoruba religion. Such purity is represented by pure whiteness. That religion is said to be from the Ancient Egyptian±Religion otherwise known as Khamet or Kemet. Oshun (Osun). The history of the Yoruba religion seems to be somewhat of a controversial subject in most sources that deal with this topic.23).Yoruba Traditional Religion Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Karade also argues that there are many striking similarities between the ancient Egyptians and the Yorubas. Ogun. The actual word "Orisha" has a deep meaning itself. Olorun or Oludumare.21). The ori is divided into two which can be known as the ori apari and the ori apere. in Lucas' "The Religion of the Yorubas" word comparisons are made." are probably derived from the name of the God" (p. There was really no mention of when the religion started or much about the origin of the people because the beginning of their existence was always noted as being in Ife. Yemoja. the word ori is the "reflective spark of human consciousness embedded on human essense. The Orisha are ". For example. Each of these gods has a specific purpose when dealing with the human spirit. mimon. It is an example of the many deep rooted meanings of the religion of the Yorubas.. the center where the Yoruba people descended from heaven. Being that the language of the Yorubas is so strongly tied to the culture there are many comparisons analyzed as to why there is a belief that Yoruba religion has been derived from Ancient Egyptian religion. The Yoruba words mon. it is only referred to as a surviving religion of a "higher" religion. one must look at the entire area of Yoruba cultural existence. As far as dealing with the actual origin of the religion itself. Ife is said to have been founded around a thousand years ago and there was some mention that the Yorubas might have descended from some Middle Eastern heritage. Shango (Sango). Each of the orisas has a specific color and natural environment associated with them. Yorubas are located basically in the southwestern part of Nigeria and in some parts of Benin and Togo. Many of the sources which I encountered did not attempt to even approach the topic of the origin of the Yorubas Orisa (Orisha). There is great measure taken to carry out the importance . Obatala is also said to represent ethical purity. an expression of the principles and functions of divine power manifesting on nature"(p. The ori apari represents the internal spiritual head and the ori apere represents the sign of an individuals personal protector. Obatala represents the embodiment of true purity of one's soul." This gives a strong example of how strong language is tied to religion.. The common Orisa which seem to come up time after time are these major ones: Obatala. Such a comparison is made with the Ancient Egyptian God Amon: "The God Amon is one of the Gods formerly known to the Yorubas". and sha which is the ultimate potentiality of that consciousness. This Ori is the aspect of the human that is in a sense in control of their spiritual actions.

Oshun is said to represent the strenght of feminine love and the power of motherhood. and the base of trees. He is worshiped or appeased by his followers when they want children. cures for sickness and so on. Even when worhsipping other divinities. Yemoja is said to be the mother of all the Orisha. He is also the divinity who takes the body upon death and the divinity that saves. Elegba can both punish and reward and is known for having great wisdom. . making bad situations better. It is said that no god is more feared for malevolent action than sango. and forges. and protection from enemies. She is also the deity that is in charge of guarding the cemetary. She is a river deity because she symbolizes clarity. Yemoja is the divinity that governs over all the waters or oceans. Oya is the divinity that is associated with the death or the rebirth into a new life. railroads. He is also known to change things into pure and valuabe objects. She is considered to be the wife of Sango. Sango is the god of lightning in addition to being the Orisha of drum and dance. In addition. His natural environment happens to be any place that has been struck by lightning. There is much confusion concerning the subject matter as to who is the chief female divinity because the different sources represent different view points on this subject matter and this was really unclear. Although he does not match the role exactly. he is what the western world would call the devil. Osun (Oshun) is the deity of diplomacy and all giving or unconditional love. He is also said to be the executioner of the world. Elegba is not evil. all the emblems are kept in white containers and the ornaments are white as are the beads for the priests and priestesses. She is the water or ambiotic fluid in the mother's womb and the breasts which nurture a new born child. revenge for wrong doings. Ogun is considered to be the holder of divine justice and truth. His followers come to him for legal problems. She is the divinity of fertility and feminine essence. the clothing of those involved with the worship in the temples are white. Natural environment are in the woods. he is also worshipped because of his important role in the Yoruba religion. Obatala is said to be the father of the Orisha and the divinity in charge of the carving of humans out of clay into the form they are today.of this pure whiteness because the temples which worship the divinity Obatala have the color of white in all the instruments of worship. It is she who is appeased when it comes time for a mother to give birth. Her natural environment are the salt water±oceans and the lakes and the colors associated with her are blue and crystal. He was said to be the ruler of old Oyo that was hung (legend has it that he committed suicide by hanging himself to a tree after his failure to amass all the political powr to himself) because of his greed for power. Elegba is the one who tests the human souls. He is known for building or clearing paths for the building of civilizations and is the divinity of mechanization. For example. Elegba is the messenger of the deities and his major role is to negotiate between the other orishas and the humans and is very close to all the forces of the deities. Sango or Shango to non Yoruba speakers is said to be a human that was made into a deity. He is in charge of giving from the humans to the divinities. Oya is also known as the god of storms and hurricanes and has power over the winds. Ogun is said to be the god of iron and basically everything that becomes iron. She is the Matriarchal head of the entire universe.

It is particularly important to discuss the dieties because they represent such an important aspect of Yoruba traditional religion. The Yorubas have a deep and symbolic meaning attached to each of the divinities which is exhibited through prayer and worhsip. These divinities give the reader some idea of the powerful belief system of the Yorubas. Many scholars or anyone not familiar with the Yoruba system of worship which is based in the belief in more than one god, may see this religion as "superstitious" or "pagan". The Yorubas have many festivals to give honor and praise to the many divinities within the Orisa system of belief. The Yoruba festivals are extremely elaborate and have much deep rooted meaning in practice related to them. Certain Yoruba towns have certain orisas which are honored. This is extremely important because it shows the diversity of Yoruba culture and futhermore the facets of traditional Yoruba religion. It would be tedious and quite boring to examine and give an account of every single festival and the villages in which they take place because the Yoruba religion covers so many (actually all) towns in Yorubaland. The discussion could go on forever. However, I will give one account of this widely practiced aspect of Yoruba religion. Among the people of Osogbo, the Orisa Osun is the center of the town¶s attention even though it is worshipped by the people in all areas of Yorubaland. The reason for this vast diversity may be due to the fact that there are major differences in the landscape of each of the villages where the Yorubas settled. Each orisa has a natural environment and a different emphasis may be put on a different orisa. For example, the reason why the people of Osogbo worship osun may be because their town was founded near a river and osun's natural environment is in fresh rivers and lakes. The historical legend or belief behind the worship of osun is that the people of Osogbo found it hard to find any fresh drinking water for the village. It was the divinity osun who gave the people of Osogbo fresh water. Osun has also been credited to give infertile women children. In Yoruba traditional religion, life is circular. What is meant by this that in the Yoruba religion, there is no such thing as death. Death is seen as a transition from the physical plain to the spiriitual plain. The life cycle of the Yorubas is very complex. Before an individual is born into the world, they choose a destiny with God (Olodumare) in heaven. The goal is to fulfil the destiny. There is one exception, once a child is born he or she forgets the destiny he or she has chosen. The purpose of this is for the individual to learn and gain wisdom for life in the spiritual plain. The Yoruba traditional religion believes in predestination. It is also important to point out that there is no hell in traditional Yoruba religion. The Yoruba believe that all of one's wrong doings will be paid for and all good deads will be rewarded. Under the orisa system, the early cycle of life is called "morning". Morning of one's life spans from the time of birth to the age of fifty. It is in this time period that the individual learns and experiences life's most difficult lessons. This also is the time when the Yorubas raise their families. The Yorubas believe that no one is a master in any area of life until they reach age fifty. The time period from the age of fifty until the transition into the spirit realm is called the evening. It is in this time period that individuals enjoy life the most. By this time most Yoruba men and women would have raised their children and have much free time to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The evening is a time period when the Yorubas prepare for their transition. Long life and family are the two most important blessings in Yoruba religion.

The Yoruba believe that there are three types of people: achievers, people who assist achievers, and bystanders. Whichever role one chooses dictates the type of life that the person will live. The babalawo is the most important figure in Yoruba religion on the physical plain. His role is one of great respect and experience. The Babalawo's training is long and indepth. It is said in some temples of Yoruba divination that Babalawos are said to stay in their temples for seven years before being released into the world to pracitce Orisha. The babalawo, by his knowledge and training, is the link between the divinities and man.

The Warriors / Los Guerreros Written by IfaBite Wednesday, 17 December 2008 16:16 The Guerreros (warriors) are a set of orishas that an initiate receives usually after having received their Elekes and it is usually an indication that the person is on their way to Kariocha. The warriors consist of Elegba, Ogún, Ochosi and Osun. The warriors are received in a person's life in order to protect them, strengthen their spiritual framework, teach them the importance of hard work and to open their spiritual road. This is strictly a Lukumí initiation in that it evolved out of the environment that the Lukumí people were subjected to when they were brought to the new world as slaves. Originally, in the motherland, these orishas were worshipped and propitiated in communal outdoor shrines that belonged to the entire village or tribe. The exception would have been Elegba, which was received as an Eshu (a stone) by individuals when they were crowned, along with their crowning orisha. Elegba's shrine was a large stone or collection of stones, Ogún's shrine contained his iron implements, Ochosi's included animal horns and the like, and Osun was a special staff that was much taller than today's version and it was kept outside the home, staked into the ground - yet its function is still preserved in the modern version. All of the modern warriors are usually kept behind the front door, near the front door or facing the front door - indicating their importance in opening a person's spiritual path, protecting the home from negativity and intruders, and still hinting at their closeness to the outdoors. The modern Lukumí version evolved because the tribes of Lukumí people were split up and intermixed with other tribes and there was no possible was of having an outdoor public shrine at which offerings could be given without making it known to the slave masters. Thus each individual was to receive their own Elegba - which consisted of an otán (stone) and usually a cement head packed with magically charged substances that is essentially used like Elegba's tools with which he can affect the physical and spiritual worlds. Here is a typical depiction of an Elegba to the right. But Elegbas vary from road to road, and each is unique and personal to the initiate in its own way. Usually Elegba that is received with the warriors is not a complete Elegba in that he does not have diloggún shells - usually these are added and empowered at the Kariocha. (But I have heard of ilés where they give diloggún with the warriors version of Elegba, but the diloggún are not yet fully empowered to speak.) Ogún that is received in the warriors set is actually a smaller, less complete version of Ogún. This does not mean that Ogún is less effective, merely that he still has room to grow. He is received in an iron cauldron, with his otán, his tools that quite literally look like the tools that a blacksmith or a warrior would use and other iron implements. He does not usually come with diloggún either - these are usually received either in a separate ceremony, or at the time of Cuchillo. Inside of Ogún's cauldron living with him, is Ochosi (his best friend or brother depending on which version of the legend you have heard.) Ochosi is also received in a very scaled down form, with the warriors. He is merely a metal crossbow that is empowered and lives within Ogún's pot. Ochosi is received in complete form, in a separate ceremony. Often when Ogún is made full - by giving him diloggún and feeding him four legs, Ochosi is given full at the

The warriors. Many ilés call the initiate an Aborisha (follower of the Orishas) after having received the warriors. as a reward. offering them rum.same time. Hanging from the lip of the cup's lid. it is an indication that something very bad has either been thrown at the initiate or is on it's way to harm the initiate. He is supposed to remain upright at all times. He is lidded and sealed metal cup with a stem and is about 9 inches tall. In my ilé we do not give candy to Elegba until he has completed something for us. open their psychic senses and their doors to evolution and in general assist them through life. . Now that the initiate has received Elegba. Osun should be immediately turned upright and the primary godparent should be notified of what happened. coating them lightly with epó (palm oil). There are human-sized Osuns but they are received for different purposes and in a separate initiation. and occasionally cigar or a candle. Osun is a small staff that is packed with magical substances that acts as a person's personal guard or watchdog. or when the initiate moves into a new home. Ogún. the orisha can guide them spiritually. but it also strengthens the presence of the warriors in that home and in effect lets them know that it is their new home and they are bound to protect it from any enemies or negativity. The initiate is then to tend to his new orishas in his home by cleaning them from time to time. Many people say that he is your spiritual head. or fruits and toys. when received into a home for the first time. Often this occurs at Cuchillo if it has not yet been done for an individual to that point. and if he ever falls over. Some ilés offer candies to Elegba. on top of the lid is a metal rooster . Osun is supposed to be placed in a high place in the house preferably above the initiate's head with the rooster facing the front door. have to go through a special ebbó called the ebbó de entrada (the offering of entry. This is the scaled down modern version of the original that was found in Africa.the symbol for Osun.) This not only empowers and strengthens the door to the house for protection. and a bit of honey.) This involves eyebale to Elegba. are four jingle bells hanging from little chains. or the foundation for your higher self or Orí. so that he can watch for danger. Ochosi and Osun at the door to the house (Shilelekun.

is the central force of the Yoruba traditional religion. The devotees to each orisa can usually relate their past to their respective god. Yoruba religion is monotheistic. The deities are worshipped either annually or at fixed times. Elegba. Obatala. Ogun was the only one with proper implements for the task and won the right to be king of the orisa. Oduduwa to descend from the sky to create the first Earth at Ile-Ife. there are at least four hundread and one recognized Orisas in the Yoruba pantheon. fire. Religion is a part of Yoruba daily life. One myth about Sango tells of when he ruled as the fourth king of the ancient Yoruba. A legend that illustrates Ogun's importance tells of the orisas trying to carve a road through a deep jungle. He tried to exceed his own limits and thereby destroyed what he cherished most. the god of crossroads. and became deified. the goddess of love and fertility. religion is equally important as politics and kinship. sixteen other orisas came down from heaven to accomplish the task of creating human beings to live on Earth. the god of thunder. such as mountains. Ogun is identified by the colors green and black. Sango's storms and lightning being a purifying moral terror with bodlness. and dance. . drums. also known as Olorun. devotees of the faith swear to tell the truth by kissing a piece of iron or a machete that is sacred to Ogun. hills. the god of arch divinity of Yorubaland. They can also be recognized through numbers and colors which are their marks. Sango. His colors are red and white. Ogun is the god of iron and war. meaning that a single God (Olodunmare) rules over the universe. rules over lightning. which resembles his virility. Orishas. To be forgiven for his sins. His dedication to power over life is evident in his shrines. the god of thunder. 17 December 2008 16:14 In Yoruba society. the god of iron and war. in fact. The Yoruba consider Ogum fearsome and terrible in his revenge. Oya. He had a charm that could cause lightning. who are personified aspects of nature gods and ancestral spirits. and the gates of the cemetery. Then. He did not want the position though. They can be natural phenomena. Sango's devotees regard him as the embodiment of great creative potential. He is a hot blooded and strong-willed orisa with a quick temper and wit. he hanged himself. in Yoruba courts. Yemoja. the whirlwinds. the goddess of the winds. Myths say that Olodumare asked Orisanla's brother. Some of the most important Orisas are: Ogun. with several hundred lower deities. and rivers.Yoruba Religious Figures Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Sango. and it went to Obatala. Olodumare. Even though there are over a thousand. Blacksmiths. Ogun also presides over deals and contracts. with which he inadvertently killed his entire family. and Osun. and all who use metal in their profession are said to be patrons of this orisa. All the Orishas are said to have transcended from Olodunmare. warriors. thunder. Orisas are best understood by observing the forces of nature they rule over and the endeavors of humanity. He is said to have established land and given life and breath. the goddess of the oceans and otherhood.

and black which exemplify his contradicting nature. is a form of sea where the embryo must transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. boils. Her name. wisdom.Obatala is the god of arch divinity of Yorubaland. Sopona (Shokpona). and giving. Obatala is the source of purity. Everything on Earth that is pure belongs to him. His followers appeal to him for children. With his child-like behavior he is known as a trickster. . the priests of Sopona have lost power and the cult has all but vanished. but does not give her power away. She is said to be the mother of many Orisha. He is a child-like messenger between the orisas and human beings. He is responsible for the normal and abnormal characteristics. His colors are red. Yemalla also owns the collective. it was believed that they could bring the plague down on their enemies. Obatala has the responsibility to evolve human bodies. He is known to be the creator of the world and humanities. subconsciousness. generous. and in fact the priests sometimes made a potion from the powdered scabs and dry skin of those who died from smallpox. As the sculpture-god. Her worship is indeed ancient and annual or at fixed times. and motherhood. He is always honored first before any other orisa because he opens the doors between the worlds and opens the door for life. white. meaning he is the owner of opportunity and the roads and doors into the world. Yemoja (Yemalla) is the goddess of the sea. the amniotic fluid inside the mother's womb. and other diseases that resemble small-pox symptoms. and the cure of deformities. carbuncles. These children are called Eni Orisa. All life started in the sea. smallpox has been all but eradicated. Obatala represents the spiritual unity and interrelationship of all things. the Yorubas say that human deformities are often a result of his errors. Elegba (Eleggua) is the god of crossroads. nothing could be done. and compassion. Today. Priests of Sopona wielded immense power. Devotees give offerings and honor to him on mondays and on the third day of every month. a shortened version of Yeye Omo Eja means "Mother Whose Children are the Fish" reflects the fact that her children are unaccountable. the Yoruba also blamed Sopona's wrath for high temperatures. They would pour the potion in an enemy's house or a neighboring village to spread the disease. or the children of Obatala. yet his tricks are simply opportunities to learn lessons. apparently became an important god in the smallpox plagues that were transmitted by various inter-tribal wars. the avenging of wrongdoing. peacefulness. the god of smallpox. Sopona once terrified some Yoruba so greatly that they feared to say his name. A pregnant woman who speaks negatively of Obatala is likely to have a defective child. Therefore. Known as the "King of the White Cloth". moon. however.they used instead such names as Elegbana ("hot earth") and A-soro-pe-leerun ("one whose name it is not propitious to call during the dry season"). Without his approval. She represents the mother who gives love. He is said to be the force in nature who brings magic into reality.

is represented by a broad and short head. and the mission would fail.Shigidi Written by IfaBite Wednesday. If a man experiences this when he is falling asleep. a human victim was slaughtered. more commonly. must remain awake till the god returns. His mode of procedure is to squat upon the breast of his victim and "press out his breath. who thereupon proceeds at night to the house of the person indicated and kills him. in ancient times with exceptional cases. A short. who talk of being "hagged." but it often happens that the tutelary deity of the sufferer comes to the rescue and wakes him. and is then buried. Houses and enclosed yards can be placed under the guardianship of Shigidi. The person -who employs Shigidi. Shigidi either travels on the wind. it behoves him to get up at once and seek the protection of the god he usually serves. sheep. In order to do this a hole is dug in the earth and a fowl. The word nightmare is itself a survival from a similar belief once held by ourselves. which is ornamented with cowries. is deified nightmare. is a feeling of heat and oppression at the pit of the stomach. uponwhich Sbigidi leaps off. and disappears. mare being the Anglo-Saxon mære. When a site has thus been placed under the protection of Shigidi. or. This superstition still lingers among the negroes of the Bahamas of Yoruba descent. and an earthen saucer placed on the summit to receive occasional sacrifices. falls upon the earthen floor. or. The name appears to mean "something short and bulky. . 17 December 2008 16:14 Shigidi." and the god." said a native. conical mound of red earth is next built over the spot. "like hot. or who trespass there with bad intentions. elf or goblin. so that the blood drains into the hole. for if he were to fall asleep Shigidi would at that moment turn back. or Shugudu. blunted cone of clay. and sends him out to kill. made of clay. by a thick. those who injure the buildings. or raises a wind to waft him along." and believe that nightmare is caused by a demon that crouches upon the breast of the sleeper. and is no doubt emblematic of the head. When a man wishes to revenge himself upon another he. offers a sacrifice to Shigidi. and enables man to gratify his hate in secret and without risk to himself. on this point opinions differ. boiled rice. Shigidi is an evil god. The first symptom of being attacked by Shigidi. or demon. in his typical manner. he kills. for he only has power over man dur ing sleep.

is the god of New-born Babes and Vegetables. Dada is represented by a calabash ornamented with cowries. The name appears to mean natural production. .Dada Written by IfaBite Wednesday. on which is placed a ball of indigo. 17 December 2008 16:14 Dada. more properly Eda. or Ida. anything produced or brought forth by natural process. He is one of those who came from the body of yemaya.

who have perhaps adopted the notion from the Yorubas. Shankpanna endeavoured to join in the dance. and Shankpanna. the small-pox god of the Ewe tribes. and he became an outcast who has since lived in desolate and uninhabited tracts of country. According to a myth he has a withered leg. it seems. All the gods and goddesses thereupon burst out laughing.[2] who kills those attacked by smallpox by wringing their necks. at some little distance from a town or village. or Shakpana. in revenge. As is the case with Sapatan. 17 December 2008 16:13 Shankpanna. and. One day. He is much dreaded. as the price of their mediation. which probably has reference to the pustules with which a small-pox patient is covered. symbolic. with a view to keeping him away from habitations. Shan-kpanna is old and lame. owing to his deformity. He is accompanied by an assistant named Buku. is the Small-pox god. strove to infect them with small-pox. and his emblem is a stick covered with red and white blotches.Shankpanna Written by IfaBite Wednesday. To whistle by night near one of Shankpanna's haunts is believed to be a certain way of attracting his notice and contracting the disease. or plaster. but. stumbled and fell. flies and mosquitos are the messengers of Sbankpanna. Temples dedicated to Shankpanna are always built in the bush. From that day Shankpanna was forbidden to associate with the other gods. but Obatala came to the rescue. and akpania. . when the gods were all assembled at the palace of Obatala. homicide. who also came from the body of yemaya. and is depicted as limping along with the aid of a stick. seizing his spear. smear. and were dancing and making merry.[1] a man-killer. of the marks he makes on the bodies of his victims. and when there is an epidemic of small-pox the priests who serve him are able to impose almost any terms they please upon the terrified people. to daub. The name appears to be derived from shan. drove Shankpanna away.

Olosa supplies her votaries with fish. or festival. Food is regagularly supplied to these reptiles every fifth day. owner of the laaoon) is the goddess of the Lagos Lagoon. to induce her to return within her proper limits. thatched with palm leaves. 17 December 2008 16:13 Olosa (oni-osa. the sea-god. Like her husband she is long-haired. selected by the priests on account of certain marks borne by them. are treated with great veneration. and if the inundation is serious a human victim was offered to her-. and may not be molested. In ancient times when the lagoon is swollen by rain and overflows its banks she is angry. Some crocodiles. and the principal wife of her brother Olokim. She sprang from the body of yemaya. and there are several temples dedicated to her along the shores of the lagoon.Olosa Written by IfaBite Wednesday. and many of them become sufficiently tame to come for the offering as soon as they see or hear the worshippers gathering on the bank. erected for their accommodation near the water's edge. where offerings of fowls and sheep are made to her to render her propitious. and have rude sheds. . They are supposed to bear to the goddess the offerings which the faithful deposit on the shores of the lagoon or throw into the sedge. Crocodiles ate Olosa's messengers.

His office is to drive away sorcerers and evil spirits. 17 December 2008 16:12 Olarosa (?Alarense. and to keep elegua from entering the house. and his image is found in almost every household guarding the entrance. . helper) is the tutelary deity of Houses. He is represented as armed with a stick or sword.Olarosa Written by IfaBite Wednesday.

where he bound him with seven iron chains till he promised to abandon his design. but with long flowing hair." is the sea-god of the Yorubas. which are even now liable to be submerged at spring-tides. where they struck off his head and threw the body into the surf. She is white in colour and human in shape. 17 December 2008 16:11 OLOKUN (oni-okun. becoming enraged with mankind on account of their neglect of him. and causes shipwrecks.Olokun Written by IfaBite Wednesday. the chief god of fishermen and of all others whose avocations take them upon the sea. but is covered with fish-scales from below the breasts to the hips. As man worships that from which he has most to fear. The sacrifice was of course secret. but when the condition of the surf prevents canoes from putting to sea for many days at a time. as on the Gold Coast at the present day. who is. He is one of those who came from the body of yemaya. This. the inland tribes pay little or no attention to Olokun. and it is he who drowns men. being attached to the general god of the sea. and according to native report the canoemen used to watch by night till they caught some solitary wayfarer. . and had drowned large numbers when Obatala interfered to save the remainder. she takes vengeance by upsetting canoes and drowning the occupants. by the people of the Isaleko quarter. In ancient times a human victim was offered to appease him. Olokun is not the personally divine sea but an anthropomorphic conception. while others partake more or less of the nature of fish. Olokunsu is an example of a local sea-goddess. and forced Olokun back to his palace. It is said that such sacrifices have been made in recent times. He is of human shape and black in colour. "Lord of the Sea. who are chiefly worshippers of Olokun. perhaps. upsets boats or canoes. however. A myth says that Olokun. he who owns the sea). The fish in the waters of the bar are sacred to her. and should anyone catch them. even at Lagos. A man who should be so ill-advised as to attempt to fish on the bar would run a great risk of being thrown overboard by the other canoemen.[1] Olokun has a wife named Olokun-su. and accounted for as belonging to him. and resides in a vast palace under the sea. whom they gagged and conveyed across the lagoon to the sea-shore. When Olokun is angry he causes the sea to be rough and stirs up a raging surf upon the shore. where he is served by a number of sea-spirits. considered quite independent. has reference to some former encroachment of the sea upon the low-lying sandy shores. or from which he hopes to receive the greatest benefits. who lives in the harbour bar at Lagos. some of whom are human in shape. or Elusu. endeavoured to destroy them by overflowing the land. originally. On ordinary occasions animals are sacrificed to Olokun.

and then only if they are consenting parties. and all then partake of new yams. As the natives chiefly depend upon the fruits of the earth for their food." One of his functions is to cure malarial fevers. Orisha Oko is much honoured. I. restricted the application of this privilege. i. or women of the lowest order. every man has a right to sexual intercourse with every woman he may meet abroad. and. farm. 17 December 2008 16:11 Orisha Oko (oko. however. who. xx. and honey bees are his messengers. He thus resembles Priapus. although a phallic deity. . apparently. At this festival general licence prevails. At this festival all kinds of vegetable productions are cooked and placed in vessels in the streets. to which those who disturb the soil in the process of cultivation are particularly liable. It is probably with reference to his phallic attributes that he has the title of Eni-duru. xix. primarily a garden-god. (Catullus."the erect personage. for general use.) An emblem of Orisha Oko is an iron rod.Orisha Oko Written by IfaBite Wednesday. There is scarcely a town or village that has not a temple dedicated to him. who fostered and protected crops. who are really at the disposal of the public. for he is a phallic divinity. Tibullus.. he is also -the god of natural fertility in general. theoretically. garden. and it is now only slave-girls. and is one of those who sprang from the body of yemaya. and his image is always provided with an enormous phallus. the priestesses give themselves indiscriminately to all the male worshippers of the god. and he has a large number of priests and priestesses in his service. held when the yam crop is ripe. Although his first care is to promote the fertility of the earth. was. Social prejudices have. There is an annual festival to Orisha Oko. plantation) is the god of Agriculture.

Water Lily. or affliction. that is. images. such occasions are rare. Nyonmo. man on his side does not waste time in endeavouring to propitiate him. and as a general rule the god is not worshipped or appealed to. the roof of the world. a state of being. Rainbow. and Mawu . The natives say that he enjoys a life of complete idleness and repose. wonder. but Olorun." literally "he who possesses breath. "a living man. Since he is too lazy or too indifferent to exercise any control over earthly affairs. which appear to show that at one time greater regard was paid to him. to interfere in the affairs of the world. disposed. possessing brooks). invoke Olorun. he is the deified firmament. cloud). to remain above and protect the earth during the night. because his master's breath is at his mercy. a native will. Nyankupon and Nyonmo thunder and lighten as well as pour out rain. to cease from raining). Olorun has the following epithets:-(1) Oga-ogo (Oga. or personal sky. "Heaven forbid!" and with an equal absence of literal meaning. does not wield the thunderbolt. one who possesses. orun. The derivation of this epithet is obscure. For instance. ogo. in times of calamity. distinguished or brave person. because. It may be mentioned that. "Have you risen well?" is O yin Olorun." and the phrase "May Olorun protect you" is sometimes heard as an evening salutation. just as the missionaries have caused Nyankupon.alive. and it is perhaps compounded of omi. but reserves his worship and sacrifice for more active agents. "Thanks to Olorun. and passes his time dozing or sleeping. The former seems to mean that thanks are due to the sky for letting the sun enter it." (3) Eleda (da. a blissful condition according to their ideas. and the sky is believed to be a solid body. (5) Olodumaye or Olodumare. (2) Olowo (ni-owo) "Venerable one." (4) Elemi. Olorun is considered too distant. The name Olorun. and in Osamaye or Osamare. and though. sky. or temples. Hence Olorun has no priests. and aye. whjen the other gods have turned a deaf ear to his supplications." It is a title applied to a servant or slave. and the latter to be an invocation of the firmament. the proper reply to the morning salutation. "Olorun. occurs in one or two set phrasesor sentences. but it probably means "Replenisher of brooks" (0lodo. Olorun!" just as we say. if he were evilly. like the Ewe Mawu. symbols. however. perhaps. 17 December 2008 16:11 Olorun is the sky-god of the Yorubas. The name Olorun means "Owner of the Sky" (oni. firmament. which has become the function of a special thunder-god. water. praise). "He who controls the rain. Sometimes natives will raise their hands and cry.Olorun Written by IfaBite Wednesday. and it is in this sense also that it is used to Olorun. and he consequently has suffered some reduction in importance. or too indifferent. We find the same termination in Oshumaye or Oshumare. curving over the earth so as to cover it with a vaulted roof. he could let fall the solid firmament and crush the world. as a last resource.

he cannot trespass upon the rights of others. in the childhood of the world. This is well exemplified by the proverb which says. . "A man cannot cause rain to fall. each god. has. whom we shall next describe." so have they done with Olorun. as it were." which means that. the personally divine sky. and Olorun cannot give you a child. whom they consider to be a survival from a primitive revelation. that being the function of the god Obatala. and he only controls phenomena connected in the native mind with the roof of the world. He is not in any sense an omnipotent being. his own duties. Olorun included.to be confused with the Jehovah of the Christians. In fact. But Olorun is merely a nature-god. made to all mankind. and while he is perfectly independent in his own domain. just as a man cannot perform the functions of Olorun and cause rain to fall. so Olorun cannot form a child in the womb. by translating these names as "God.

" The large cowry. The name appears to mean either "the gainer who makes to recur. "Aje Shaluga often passes by the first caravan as it comes to the market. has no value as. or gainer. aje. "He who while walking finds a cowry is favoured by Aje Shaluga." and another. and loads the last with benefits." (Aje. to recur.) His emblem is a large cowry. He is the patron of dyes and of colours generally. earner." or "the sorcerer who makes to recur. and shalu. a medium of exchange. emblematic of Aje Shaluga. the small white cowries being alone used for that purpose. and confers riches on his worshippers. He came from the body of yemaya. 17 December 2008 16:10 Aje Shaluga is the god of Wealth. . One proverb says. sorcerer.Aje Shaluga Written by IfaBite Wednesday.

blaming her husband for the confinement. symbolises this. hungry. and not made by him." which is the reason why snails are now offered to Obatala. regarded as two distinct persons. who has the title of Iya agbe. but they remained there for many days. the principal town of the state of the same name. and a violent quarrel ensued. since they are also found similarly depicted in other places which are in no way connected with either of these deities. and its selection for the name of this town is accounted for by the following legend. 17 December 2008 16:09 Odudua. say the priests. The mother who receives. say that she came from Ife.Odudua Written by IfaBite Wednesday. The phallus and yoni in juxtaposition are often seen carved on the doors of the temples both of Obatala and Odudua. and uncomfortable. married to the anthropomorphic sky-god. is not one commonly held. the upper one of which represents the concave firmament stretching over and meeting the earth. This is symbolised in the temples by two whitened saucer-shaped calabashes. According to a myth Odudua is blind. Odudua is the wife of Obatala. and they say that an image which is sufficiently common. the lower one. and having become weary of the hunter. of a human being with one arm and leg. she lived with him for some weeks in a hut. This notion. The advances which she made to him were favourably received. at the horizon. glossy. as was her husband. and far superior to one of the ordinary cigar-colour. Then Odudua began complaining. saying "Naught shalt thou eat but snails. Obatala and Odudua represent one androgynous divinity. She is always represented as a woman sitting down. The name means "Black One" (dit. placed one covering the other. and a tail terminating in a sphere. when once shut. closed calabash. however. two large cut-calabashes. but she was coeval with Olorun. After this. but this does not seem to have any reference to androgyny. black skin a great beauty. which they constructed of branches at the foot of a large silk-cotton tree. or Odua. in common with most of the other gods. to be black. Obutala and Odudua being generally. and many stories are told of her adventures and amours. which. The word Ado means a lewd person of eithersex. unable to tear herself away from her lover. dudit. resemble. or Heaven and Earth. cramped. and nursing a child. who was so handsome that the ardent temperament of the goddess at once took fire. Obatala tore out her eyes. Odudua was once walking alone in the forest when she met a hunter. Other natives. The myth does not state how they came to be in this situation. Obatala being in the upper part and Odudua in the lower. and the Yoruba consider a smooth. In the beginning of the world she and her husband Obatala were shut up in darkness in a large. can never be opened. and. According to some priests. as described in a myth which we shall come to shortly. Her chief temple is in Ado. because she would not bridle her tongue. . in a frenzy of rage." is the chief goddess of the Yorubas. Obatala and Odudua. she left him. and almost universally. the holy city. In return she cursed him. At the end of this time her passion had burnt out. and they forthwith mutually gratified their passion on the spot. Odudua is patroness of love. black). in the course of which. Odudua represents the earth. the goddess became still mora enamoured. situated about fifteen miles to the north of Badagry. however.

on her feast days. and there. which was named Ado. and women abandon themselves indiscriminately to the male worshippers in her honour. sacrifices of cattle and sheep are made. and a town gradually grew up. A temple was built for the protecting goddess.but before doing so she promised to protect him and all others who might come and dwell in the favoured spot wliere she had passed so many pleasant hours. . In consequence many people came and settled there. to commemorate the circumstances of its origin.

. so that the ocean was partly filled up and islands appeared everywhere. was at that time away hunting. Oranyan. and when he returned home he learned that his brothers and cousins had inherited the old King¶s money. and crowns. The pieces of iron became the mineral wealth hidden under the ground. beads. a cock. native cloths. and some soil tied up in a rag. But his youngest grandson. Now Oranyan¶s brothers and cousins all desired to live on the land. on the surface of which the people lived. and Oranyan allowed them to do so on payment of tribute. and was rich and prosperous through his grandfather¶s inheritance. and on the soil the cock. and upon the iron he placed the scrap of cloth. He thus became King of all the Yorubas. At that time the whole earth was covered with water.The Yoruba Kingdom Written by IfaBite Wednesday. and on his death he divided among them all his possessions. 17 December 2008 15:50 The ancient King Oduduwa had a great many grandchildren. The cock scratched with his feet and scattered the soil far and wide. but that to himself nothing was left but twentyone pieces of iron. The resourceful Oranyan spread upon the water his pieces of iron. cattle. and upon the cloth the soil.

Obatala. When he reached the end of the chain he saw he still had some distance to go. he called out to Olorun to breathe life into his creatures. mankind couldn't interpret the desires of the gods. Wherever the sand landed it formed dry land. a black cat. He was told he would need a gold chain long enough to reach below. Without realizing this. water and marshland below. Without his assistance. whereupon the hen landing on the sand began scratching and scattering it about. and a palm nut. but he soon grew tired and decided to take a break. Obatala hung the chain from a corner of the sky. Obatala jumped to a hill and named the place Ife. From above he heard Orunmila instruct him to pour the sand from the snail's shell. He did as he was told. All the gods contributed what gold they had. When all was ready. the bigger piles becoming hills and the smaller piles valleys. planted the palm nut. Many months passed. oldest son of Olorun and the god of prophecy. 17 December 2008 15:49 Yoruba: A god. a snail's shell filled with sand. all of which he was to carry in a bag. Obatala returned to his task of fashioning the new beings. thus becoming Protector of the Deformed. and to take care of those who were deformed. The chief god Olorun ruled the sky. destroyed nearly everybody in a great flood. The mature palm tree dropped more palm nuts on the ground. [Kelsen. . and started the downward climb. and he grew bored with his routine. He was given permission. He dug a hole. He decided to create beings like himself to keep him company. Not realizing he was drunk. He dug into the sand and soon found clay with which to mold figures like himself and started on his task. He made wine from a nearby palm tree. and Orunmila supplied the articles for the bag.The Great Flood Written by IfaBite Wednesday. reflected upon this situation. The dry land now extended as far as he could see. in Dundes] In the beginning was only the sky above. because of his condition he fashioned many imperfect figures. in a fit of rage. and the goddess Olokun ruled what was below. The next day he realized what he had done and swore never to drink again. Ifa. and drank bowl after bowl. and saw it grow to maturity in a flash. then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit. each of which grew immediately to maturity and repeated the process. and to immediately release the white hen. Obatala settled down with the cat for company. and one god [Olokun]. a white hen. tired of living on earth and went to dwell in the firmament. placed the bag over his shoulder. so he sought advice from Orunmila. another god.

to return to the sky and report what was happening to them. Those that had fled to the highest land beseeched the god Eshu who had been visiting. The people sacrificed some goats. and cast many spells which caused the flood waters to retreat and the dry land reappear. She had not been consulted by Obatala and grew angry that he had usurped so much of her kingdom. the ruler of all below the sky. and visited the land often. So ended the great flood. except for Olokun. All the other gods were happy with what Obatala had done. Wave after wave she unleashed. When Obatala returned to his home in the sky for a visit. Eshu demanded sacrifice be made to Obatala and himself before he would deliver the message. Olokun summoned the great waves of her vast oceans and sent them surging across the land. and Eshu returned to the sky. When Orunmila heard the news he climbed down the golden cahain to the earth. . until much of the land was underwater and many of the people were drowned.The new people built huts as Obatala had done and soon Ife prospered and became a city.

17 December 2008 15:49 1 ení 2 èjì 3 èta 4 èrin 5 àrún 6 èfà 7 èje 8 èjo 9 èsán 10 èwá .Numbers in Yoruba Written by IfaBite Wednesday.

God the Creator Obatala -.The Infant Jesus Chango -. La Caridad del Cobre * Ochosi -.Our Lady of Charity. Virgen de la Regla Orungan -.Saint Peter * Babalu-Aye -.Our Lady of Mercy * Oddudua -.Wed Dec 8 2010 02:25:16 Yoruba Orisha and the syncretized Catholic Saint Written by IfaBite Wednesday.Saint Anne.Saint Isidro Oggun -.Holy Guardian Angel and The Child of Atocha * Orunla -.Saint Barbara * Oya -.Our Lady of La candelaria and St. Theresa * Oshun -.Our Lady of Regla.Saint Joseph Yemaya -.Saint Lazarus * Eleggua -. 17 December 2008 15:48 Olorun/Olofi.St. Saint Claire * Aganyu -. Francis of Assisi * .

Wed Dec 8 2010 02:26:38 Tribal Marks Written by IfaBite Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:47 A King named Chango sent two slaves to a distant country on an important mission. In due course they returned, and he found that one slave had achieved successfully what he had been sent to do, while the other had accomplished nothing. The King therefore rewarded the first with high honours, and commanded the second to receive a hundred and twenty-two razor cuts all over his body. This was a severe punishment, but when the scars healed, they gave to the slave a very remarkable appearance, which greatly took the fancy of the King¶s wives. Chango therefore decided that cuts should in future be given, not as punishment, but as a sign of royalty, and he placed himself at once in the hands of the markers. However, he could only bear two cuts, and so from that day two cuts on the arm have been the sign of royalty, and various other cuts came to be the marks of different tribes.

Orisa Oko Written by IfaBite Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:46 ORISHA OKO was a poor hunter, solitary save for his fife and his dog. If ever he lost his way out in the fields or the forest, he would begin to play some plaintive melody on his fife, and the sounds would lead the faithful dog to his side to guide him home. He earned a meagre living by trapping in his nets guinea-fowls on the land of rich farmers, but because of his solitary life and his habit of silence, he was respected as a man possessed of secret knowledge which he did not care to divulge. As years went by, he grew too old for hunting, and took up his residence in a cave. People now thought him more mysterious than ever, and came to him for advice about the future, so that in a short time he won great renown as a soothsayer. From far and near people came to consult him, and in this way he managed to live very comfortably. In those days witchcraft was punished by death, and it became the custom in the country that anyone suspected of the evil art should be dragged to Orisa Oko¶s cave. If the soothsayer found him innocent, he led him forth by the hand, but if he were judged guilty, his head was cut off and thrown to the waiting crowd by the demon Polo, which Orisa Oko kept in the cave. This went on until the old hunter¶s death. His followers now wished to continue the practice, and so they hid in the cave a very strong man to act as the demon Polo. When anyone accused of witchcraft was brought to the cave, his head was usually cut off and thrown out as before. However, it once happened that a very tall and muscular man was suspected of magic arts, and his accusers succeeded in dragging him to the cave. A large crowd waited with eagerness to learn the result. What was their dismay to see the head of the supposed ³demon´ come rolling out of the cave, for the strong man had proved too much for him, and soon reappeared unharmed and triumphant The people were indignant to learn how they had been deceived, and from that day the cave of Orisa Oko was deserted.

Destiny Written by IfaBite Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:46 The Yoruba (Nigeria) believe that the success or failure of a man in live depends on the choices he made in heaven before he was born. If a person suddenly becomes rich, they will say that he chose the right future for himself, therefore poor people must be patient because even if they have chosen the right life, it may not have arrived yet. We all need patience. The word ayanmo means 'choice', and kadara means 'divine share for a man'; ipin means 'predestined lot'. The Yoruba believe that there is a god, Ori, who supervises people's choices in heaven. Literally, ori means 'head' or 'mind', because that is what one chooses before birth. If someone chooses a wise head, i.e. intelligence, wisdom, he will walk easily through life, but if someone chooses a fool's head, he will never succeed anywhere. Ori could be considered as a personal god, a sort of guardian angel who will accompany each of us for life, once chosen. Even the gods have their Ori which directs their personal lives. Both men and gods must consult their sacred divination palm-nuts daily in order to learn what their Ori wishes. In this way, Ori is both an individual and a collective concept, a personal spirit directing each individual's life, and also a god in heaven, who is feared even by Orunmila. In heaven, there is a curious character called Ajala, a very fallible man whose daily work is fashioning faces (ori) from clay. Sometimes he forgets to bake them properly, so they cannot withstand the long journey to earth prior to the beginning of life; especially in the rainy season the clay might be washed away and there would be a total loss of face!

All the gods contributed what gold they had. a black cat. Many months passed. so he sought advice from Orunmila. and drank bowl after bowl. another god. Not realizing he was drunk. planted the palm nut. The next day he realized what he had done and swore never to drink again. placed the bag over his shoulder. and visited the land often. Obatala hung the chain from a corner of the sky. Without realizing this. and started the downward climb. The mature palm tree dropped more palm nuts on the ground.Creation Written by IfaBite Wednesday. . all of which he was to carry in a bag. and he grew bored with his routine. The dry land now extended as far as he could see. the ruler of all below the sky. He was told he would need a gold chain long enough to reach below. He decided to create beings like himself to keep him company. From above he heard Orunmila instruct him to pour the sand from the snail's shell. Obatala. 17 December 2008 15:45 In the beginning was only the sky above. He dug into the sand and soon found clay with which to mold figures like himself and started on his task. and to take care of those who were deformed. He was given permission. because of his condition he fashioned many imperfect figures. water and marshland below. and the goddess Olokun ruled what was below. and saw it grow to maturity in a flash. He dug a hole. and a palm nut. Obatala jumped to a hill and named the place Ife. When he reached the end of the chain he saw he still had some distance to go. the bigger piles becoming hills and the smaller piles valleys. Wherever the sand landed it formed dry land. He made wine from a nearby palm tree. Obatala settled down with the cat for company. then went to Olorun for permission to create dry land for all kinds of living creatures to inhabit. thus becoming Protector of the Deformed. except for Olokun. whereupon the hen landing on the sand began scratching and scattering it about. and to immediately release the white hen. The new people built huts as Obatala had done and soon Ife prospered and became a city. All the other gods were happy with what Obatala had done. oldest son of Olorun and the god of prophecy. he called out to Olorun to breathe life into his creatures. The chief god Olorun ruled the sky. and Orunmila supplied the articles for the bag. each of which grew immediately to maturity and repeated the process. reflected upon this situation. a snail's shell filled with sand. He did as he was told. a white hen. Obatala returned to his task of fashioning the new beings. When all was ready. but he soon grew tired and decided to take a break.

Overcome with grief at having lost his possessions. So. until he was left alone. and he was ever afterwards worshipped as the god of thunder and lightning. and in despair he decided to put an end to his life. his people came to the spot and gave him an honourable funeral. and above all his sons. which he rashly did. the palace was struck by lightning and burnt to the ground. and exclaim: Kabo Kabiosile ³Long live the King!´ . Some of his courtiers agreed with him. when people see the flash of lightning followed by the sullen roar of thunder. the impetuous King resolved to retire to a corner of his kingdom and to rule no more. which was at the foot of a hill. but Chango in his rage executed a hundred and sixty of them²eighty who had disagreed with him. When they heard of the deed. they remember Chango¶s rage after the destruction of his palace. One by one his friends deserted him on the way. among all the Yorubas. He foolishly decided to try the effect of the charm first of all on his own palace. and he once happened to discover a preparation by which he could attract lightning. and eighty who had agreed too eagerly! Then. together with Chango¶s whole family. the King employed the charm: a storm suddenly arose.Wed Dec 8 2010 02:29:45 Why People cry God save the King Written by IfaBite Wednesday. Ascending the hill with his courtiers. and others tried to dissuade him from the plan. 17 December 2008 15:45 King Chango was acquainted with many deadly charms. he left the place and started on his long journey. accompanied by a few friends.

17 December 2008 15:44 Yoruba Alphabet and English Equivilant a b d e English word 'ahh' English word 'bee' English word 'dee' English letter 'a' Yoruba e English sound of 'e' in 'let' f English word 'fee' g English sound of 'g' in 'get' gb Very 'hard sounding' 'b'.Alphabet Written by IfaBite Wednesday. listen r 're' s English word 'see' Yoruba s English word 'she' t English word 'tea' u English sound of 'oo' in word 'loose' w English word 'we' y English word 'ye' . listen h English word 'he' i English letter 'e' j English letter 'g' k English word 'key' l English word 'lee' m English word 'me' n 'nee' o English letter 'o' yoruba o English sound 'au' as in word 'fault' p Very hard-sounding 'p'.

µwhat good fortune. and each time he is born he will stay a while and then depart. In this contest many monkeys were killed. Some people said.¶ As the twins were abikus they did not remain long among the living. The monkeys are capable of sending you an abiku. Let them come and feed. first one then the other. But they came. Again two children were born instead of one. Therefore do not drive them away anymore. The monkeys discussed ways of retaliating for their sufferings. and then die. he hunted them in the bush. hoping to end the depredations on his farm. He hunted them in the fields. He and his sons took turns watching over the fields. He tried to drive them away. 17 December 2008 15:43 ³There was a farmer who was known everywhere as a hunter of monkeys. Because of his desperation and anger the farmer went everywhere to kill the monkeys. The farmer could not leave his fields unguarded. twins. He will be born again and die again. Because his fields produced good crops. but he was not persuaded by what the adahunse had told him. They died and returned to reside among those not yet born. The monkeys also resorted to juju. They have great powers. They made the rain fall so that whoever was guarding the fields would go home. After one of them became pregnant. The farmer had several wives. There they waited until the proper time. Time passed. yet those that survived persisted. They lived on briefly and again they departed. stay a while. other monkeys went into fields to feed on corn. µThere is danger and misfortune ahead because of your continual killing of the monkeys. They attracted much attention. While the farmer and his sons attempted to drive them off. He will be born. They emerged.Wed Dec 8 2010 02:32:15 Ibeji Twins Written by IfaBite Wednesday. µIt is a bad omen. or seer. and they continued their forays on the farmer¶s crops. thinking µsurely the crops will be safe in such weather. Again the woman became pregnant. When the farmer discovered this he built a shelter in the fields. Each time the woman bore children they were ibeji. They were the original twins to come among the Yorubas. They even devised ways of distracting the farmer and his sons. of the town of Isokun came to the farmer to warn him. A few of them would appear at a certain place to attract attention. He said. Cease hunting them in the bush. they returned again to feed. they went. They are wise in many things. Two monkeys transformed themselves into abikus and entered the womb of the farmer¶s pregnant wife. he hunted them in the forest. But the monkeys refused to depart from the region.¶ Others said. Still the monkeys came and had to be driven away with stones and arrows. The monkeys became a pestilence to the farmer.¶ But the monkeys fed while the rain fell. that is to say.¶ The farmer listened. an adahunse. and there he or one of his sons stood guard even when water poured from the sky. monkeys came from the bush and fed there. This way you will be tormented to the end. He went on guarding his fields and hunting monkeys in the bush. And they were also abikus who . They can cause an abiku (born to die-after birth) child to enter your wife¶s womb. This is the way it went on. Only monkeys give birth to twins. Each time your wife becomes pregnant he will be there in her womb. They decided that they would send two abikus to the farmer.

¶ the mother carried them to the marketplace and begged alms. The farmer became desperate over his succession of misfortunes. do everything to make them happy in this world. µdance with us. If they said to their mother. But still the farmer did not know for certain whether things had changed. The diviner cast his palm nuts and read them. Their protector is the orisa Ibeji. They did not die. It is they who sent twin abikus into your wife¶s womb in retaliation for their suffering. the orisa Ibeji will strike such a person with disease or poverty.¶ The farmer returned to Isokun. Whatever they want. do it.´ . Perhaps they will relent. He who treats the twins well will be rewarded with good fortune. They lived on. and he went again to the diviner for knowledge. He said. Bring your killing of the monkeys to an end. Make sacrifices to the orisa Ibeji. If they said. He said. the parents gave it.¶ When the farmer returned to Isokun after consulting the diviner he told his wife what he had learned. die and return. Prosperity came to the farmer of Isokun and his family. µYour troubles come from the monkeys whom you have been harassing in your fields and in the bush. They all lived on. This is what the palm nuts tell us. monkeys are sacred to them.¶ The twins are pleased with life. µThis time the twins are not abikus. He was fortunate in every way. In time his wife again gave birth to twins. Whatever the twins asked for. If a person abuses or neglects a twin.¶ she carried them in her arms and danced. The monkeys have relented. Whatever they say to do. The diviner cast his palm nuts and extracted their meaning. Let them eat in your fields. He no longer hunted them in the bush. Because twins were sent into the world by the monkeys. µGo to the marketplace and beg alms for us. but allowed them to come and go as they pleased. If they said they wanted sweets they were given sweets. But twins are not ordinary people. give it to them. Therefore. He no longer drove the monkeys from his fields. He went to consult a diviner at a distant place to discover the reason for his children¶s constantly dying. They have great power to reward or punish other humans. Neither twins nor their families may eat the flesh of monkeys. good luck and prosperity will come to their parents.lived on a while and died. The farmer¶s other wives also gave birth to twins. The children will not die and return.

Since the first day of slavery and Santeria. and they were also excellent weavers. Spanish Catholic missionaries were more tolerant of native systems than in Protestantism. the Cuban traditions are more complex and encompassing than that in any one region. it resembles many things. including a tradition of possession trance for communicating with the ancestors and deities. the French and the Portugese. Benin and Ghana all became interwoven into the Santeria tapestry. and so was their religion. not only the ways of the Yoruba of Nigeria. These people carried with them their own spiritulism. But denied to European Catholics. So what is Santeria. It was a know tactic for these missionaries to incorporate local beliefs and festive days. Masters and slaves mingled in celebrations that had Catholic Saints dancing to African rhythms. And slaves in the other English. Their languages were banned. A tolerance given to potential new devotees.Story of Santeria Written by IfaBite Wednesday. and interweave them with Catholic scripture. the personifications of Elegua. In those settlements the following of Biblical rules and rigid religious mandates were more strickly enforced. fortresses and churches. The master masons taught the African Slaves to reproduce every European detail. In this sense Cuba and the Americas due to the mingling of different beliefs and traditions is the New World of Santeria. 17 December 2008 12:49 What is Santeria. by other Africans. and Dutch colonial territories that where predominately Protestant. During Catholic feast days the slaves were allowed to display a religious fervor that was further reinforced by the beat of the drums. but also the teachings of many of the tribes along the western coast of Africa. Teachings from the Kongo. They also provided the manpower to build palaces. They could sculpt wood and stone with great ability. . It is a religion and a way of life that was brought to the new world by African slaves. They were forced to adopt Catholicism by the Spaniards. there is really no one definition. Slaves kidnapped from the African coast. A prayer to a Catholic Saint was also a prayer to an African Deiety. they were forced to seek a substitute for their spirituality in the images of the new religion. This was also true in Central America. In Cuba the Yorubas became Lucumi and Santeria became their religion and the black slaves prayed both to Saint Barbara and Chango and asked favors to Saint Anthony or the Holy Child of Atocha. Brought to the new World to work in the sugar plantations that dotted the coasts of the Americas and the Caribean islands. the Caribbean identity has always had this spiritual duality. In many ways. streets. or sold to slave traders. These Men and Women brought a rich culture. tribe or country of Africa. and the oral traditions of their forefathers. secrets from Togo. In the Caribbean. the use of animal sacrifice and the practice of sacred drumming and dance.

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