Yoruba Gods and Goddesses in today world attract ordinary people and scientists. The contribution of Yoruba culture to the history of Nigerians is unique and has a lot of thrilling facts to offer you Read more:
The ancient tribe known as Yoruba live mostly in what is now Nigeria. Their creator is Olurun or Olodumare. Sometimes he is assisted by the lesser god, Obatala (Orishanla) in a creation that has earth diver characteristics.
There are three gods who are available to all. Olorun (Sky God) is the high god, the Creator. One may call on him with prayers or by pouring water on kola nuts on the ground. Eshu (also called Legba by some) is the divine messenger who delivers sacrifices to Olorun after they are placed at his shrine. Everyone prays frequently to this deity. Ifa is the God of Divination, who interprets the wishes of Olorun to mankind. Believers in the Yoruba religion turn to Ifa in times of trouble. Another god, Ogun (god of war, the hunt, and metalworking), is considered one of the most important. In Yoruba courts, people who follow traditional beliefs swear to give truthful testimony by kissing a machete sacred to Ogun.
Shango (also spelled Sango and Sagoe) is the deity that creates thunder. The Yoruba believe that when thunder and lightning strike, Shango has thrown a thunder stone to earth. After a thunderstorm, Yoruba religious leaders search the ground for the thunder stone, which is believed to have special powers. The stones are housed in shrines dedicated to Shango. Shango has four wives, each representing a river in Nigeria.
The practice of traditional religion varies from community to community. For example, a deity (god) may be male in one village and girl in another. A religion practiced by many Yoruba, a religion that was transported to America during the slavery period, is known as Aborisha.
Aborisha is made up of followers of Orisha, a manifestation of Olurun. The name Orisha derives from the Ori. Each persona has Ori, a soul-like personal spirit or ultimate Self prayed to by the followers of Orisha.
Yoruba Gods and Goddesses:
The gods of the Yoruba (called “orishas”) live in Orundu-nla, the sky. The first city of the Yoruba was Ife, founded by Obatala, but it now lies under water.
Aje – Goddess of Wealth:
West African Goddess of Wealth. As ruler of wealth in all its forms, Aje is widely worshiped. Known mainly through Yoruban and Voudoun traditions, She is sometimes depicted as a fowl scratching at the dirt. She is cool and calm, patiently guiding those in need of material prosperity. Capitalism, profit, and business all fall under Her rule.
Aganjú – God of Volcanoes :
Aganjú (also known as known as Agayú or Aganyú in Latin America, or Xanjo, Jakuta) is the third orisha believed to have come to earth, making him a great antiquity. He is the god of volcanoes, the wilderness, the river, and the desert. Lukumi, (Santería), followers believe that Aganjú, like the sun, is essential for growth and the cultivation of civilisations. Like the volcano, he forms the foundation upon which societies are built; the catalyst for the production of the wealth and commerce needed to advance development. Aganjú is legendarily known as strong – even at times, a brute – and can bring about drastic change.
Some believe that Aganjú is Ṣàngó’s father – or at the very least, the his brother. Aganjú has also been associated with Oshun and Yemaja, with whom he is said to have relationships. As a strong, powerful and determined character, he is associated with the human shoulder. Being a recognised member of the deified royal family of the old Oyo Empire, he is considered “one heart” with Oya and is received by all of Ṣàngó, Oshun and Oya’s followers.
Oduduwa – Creator Goddess :
Creator goddess. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. The consort, or alternatively the daughter, of the supreme god OLODUMARE. She is perceived as the substance, or matrix, of the earth which Olodumare impregnated to generate life. She is also a goddess of war and her sons include the great heroic Yoruba god OGUN. According to some traditions Oduduwa is also perceived as a god.
Osun – Goddess Lady of the Lake:
River goddess. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. The daughter of Oba Jumu and Oba Do and the consort of the god SHANGO. The Yoruba goddess Oshun is also known as Yeye. Her name is synonymous with transformation. Oshun, also spelled, Osun, Oxun, Oshoun, Oxum, Ochun, is given hale because She rules the rivers that sustain life. Her realm also contains the aspects of love, flirtation, sensuality, beauty and the arts. Her priestesses dance to the rhythms of the streams, rivers, lakes and waterfalls in which She rules, and that carry Her voice with the sound of the waters. As a goddess of love, Oshun is depicted as a beautiful, charming and sensual young woman. In some tales She is said to be a mermaid, with a beautiful tail of a fish.
She is also a goddess with great vanity and is often seen adorned with gold jewelry, mirrors, elaborate fans, brass bracelets and beautiful pottery filled with sweet water or shinny river stones or gems. In fact, Oshun loves all things that glitters and that are
As goddess of healing. She is worshiped particularly by women and is honored in an annual festival, the Ibo-Osun, during which new cultic priestesses are selected.
OYA – Lady of Winds and Change :
Yoruba Warrior Orisha (African goddess) of wind, sudden change, hurricanes, powerful sorceress and primary lover of Shango. she is the guardian deity of the river Niger. Also a goddess of storms and thunder. Her sacred animal is the buffalo and her presence is symbolized by its horns.
Yemoja – The Water Diety :
Goddess of water. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. The creator of all the rivers in the area, particularly the river Ogun. She is chiefly worshiped by women and the sacred river water is considered a remedy for infertility. She is propitiated with animal and vegetable sacrifices. Attributes: cowrie shells.
Eshu – African god of crossroads :
Itinerant god. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa].An ancient deity regarded as the attendant and messenger of the creator god OLODUMARE. He passes among mortal people assessing character and meting out punishment. Devotees of the home of the gods holding a set of keys. He is known for his trickery.
He is the messenger between humans and deities.
IFA – The Yoruba God of Divination :
God of wisdom. Yoruba [western Nigeria, West Africa]. An oracular deity who, according to tradition, lives in a sanctuary in the holy city of Ile Ife but who is called on by the tutelary god, OLDUMARE, for advice. He is the father of eight children, all of whom became paramount chiefs of turkeys and chickens at sowing time. Ih Fen may be represented sowing maize seed.
Obatala – God of Creation of Man Kind :
Fertility god. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. The first deity engendered by the creator god OLODUMARE. His consort is Yemowo. Among other responsibilities, he makes barren women fertile and shapes the fetus in the womb. He is considered to be the sculptor of mankind. He is depicted wearing white robes and symbolizes cleanliness. Offerings include coconuts and maize fruits. A jar of clean water is carried by a priestess to his sanctuary each morning and the water is drunk by women to make them fertile. Also Orishanla (archaic); Orisha-Popo; Orisha-Ogiyan; Orisha-Ijaye.
Oko – THE YORUBA ORISHA OF AGRICULTURE:
God of agriculture. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. According to tradition he descended from heaven and lived at a farm near the town of Irao, where he attained a great age. One day he disappeared, leaving only his staff which was taken as a symbol of his presence.Annually, at the start of the rainy season, a festival with strong fertility emphasis is held in his honor.
Olodumare – The Supreme Creator :
Creator god. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. He engendered the god OBATALA as his deputy. The souls of the dead are expected to make confession to Olodumare. When he created the earth, he filled a snail’s shell with dirt, placed inside it a hen and a pigeon and threw it down, where upon the hen and pigeon began to scatter the earth and create land. Olodumare then sent a chameleon to report on progress. Sand was added, followed by a palm, a coconut and a kola nut tree. When these were established the god placed on earth the first sixteen humans. Also Alaaye; Elemii; Olojo Oni; Olorun; Orishanla.
Olokun – The Yoruban God of the Deep Dark Sea :
God of fresh waters and oceans. Fon and Yoruba [Benin and Nigeria, West Africa]. The eldest son of the creator god OSANOBUA. He is symbolized in the sacred river Olokun, which runs almost the length of Benin and from the source of which come the souls of unborn children. A girl baby is given a shrine of the god which includes a pot of river water and which she takes with her to her new home when she marries. The god is particularly popular among women and has a cult of priestesses.
Olokun name means Owner (Olo) of Oceans (Okun). He is also a guardian deity of mariners.
Ori – God of spiritual intuition & wisdom :
God of wisdom. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. The deity who, in heaven, guides the soul but who also acts as a personal guardian, controlling individual mental ability, so that one person becomes wise and another foolish.
Orisanla -The Yoruba God of Sky:
Sky god. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa]. Delegated by OLODUMARE as a creator of earth and living things.
Orunmila – The Yoruba God of Destiny :
God of destiny. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa].He accompanied the creator god OLODUMARE at the creation of the world and when the destinies of mankind were decided. He is consulted in an oracular capacity at IFA and makes decisions on such matters as choice of sacrificial animals. He is also a god of healing and in many households enjoys personal shrines which include palm nuts, fragments of ivory and sea shells.
Orunmila, also known as Ifa, is the orisha of divination who, along with Eleggua, witnessed the birth of creation, and is thus the orisha who knows where our fates will lead us.
Sango – The God of Thunder :
God of thunder. Yoruba [Nigeria, West Africa].His sacred animal is the ram whose bellowing i likened to the noise of thunder. Attributes include an ax which is worn on the head and bears six eyes.
Sango is one of the most controversial Orishas from the Pantheon of Yoruba. He is known as the God of fire and thunder and he is very fond of dancing, of (Ayan), mahogany and sex. His colours are white and red, his favourite food is quimbombo (Ilá), ram (àgbò), turtle (ìjàpá), rooster (akuko), guinea fowl (etu), bananas, all kinds of fruits (ogede), palm oil (epo), osun food colouring, seed yam, orogbo seeds, ostrich feathers, mamey, yam flour and corn.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, Nigeria is a standout among the most religious nations in the world. Religion is the main component of the nations’ culture. Without protecting society, it is difficult to save the country. Hope you have discovered our post useful.
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