Search Results for: orisha

The Yoruba Orishas

Way back in February for Black History Month, I completed a blog study on the Yoruba orishas, as depicted by Atlanta-based photographer James C. Lewis at Noire3000 Studios. In the event you missed it, please take some time to educate yourself. The orisha (also spelled orisa, orichá; or orixá in Latin America) are spirits believed to […]

Yoruba Orishas: Olorun

Olòrún is the owner of the heavens and is commonly associated with the sun. The vital energy of Olòrún manifests in humans as ashé, which is the life force that runs through all living things. The Supreme God, Olòrún, has three manifestations: Olodumare, the Creator; Olòrún, ruler of the heavens; and Olofi, who is the conduit between orun (heaven) and ayé (earth). Olòrún rules orun, […]

Yoruba Orishas: Babalú-Ayé

Babalú-Ayé (also known as Omoluaye, Asojano, or Shopona) translates as “Father, Lord of the Earth”, pointing to his authority over all earthly things – including the body, wealth and physical possessions. He is the orisha strongly associated with infectious disease and healing. In West Africa, he is specifically associated with smallpox, leprosy, influenza, ebola, and […]

Yoruba Orishas: Oko, Orisha of Agriculture

Oko (also Orishaoko, Orishaoco or Ocó in Latin America) is the god of agriculture, farming, fertility, and life and death. It is said that he sprung from the body of Yemaja. He is known to be one of the hardest working orishas, as it is his job to feed humanity and keep the crop cycles […]

Yoruba Orishas: Orí

Orí is both an orisha, as well as a metaphyscial concept. He is the god the Yoruba people believe supervises people’s choices in heaven. Literally, ori means ‘head’ or ‘mind’, referring to spiritual intuition and destiny. Orí could be considered as a personal god or a sort of guardian angel, accompanying people for life. When someone has a […]

Yoruba Orishas: Ibeji, The Twins

Ibeji (also known as Ibejí, Ibeyí, Meji, Melli. Jimaguas, in Latin America) is an orisha entity, syncretized with Saints Cosmas and Damian. They are the divine twins and considered as one orisha. Twins are considered sacred among the Yoruba people, with Yorubaland possessing one of the world’s highest rates of twin births. In fact, the birth […]

Yoruba Orishas: Olokun

Olokun or Olocún, as he is called in Latin America is both male and female, depending on what region of the world he is worshiped. For the sake of James‘ depiction, we will refer to Olokun as a male orisha. Olokun is the owner of the oceans – combining two terms: Olo (meaning owner) and […]

Yoruba Orishas: Obàtálá, King of the White Cloth

Obàtálá (king of white cloth) is the creator of human bodies, which are brought to life by his father, Olòrún‘s breath. He is chief and judge, wise and compassionate. Interestingly, he is comprised of both male and female parts, thereby transcending gender and demonstrating his ability to act impartially. Obàtálá boasts of a long and fruitful married […]

Yoruba Orishas: Ọba

Ọba (also known as Obbá) is the orisha of River Ọba, which located in Oyo and Oshun states. Due to the wars in the 19th century, her centers of worship moved to the more secure town of Ogbomosho. Traditionally, she is known as Ṣàngó‘s first wife. She was tricked by Osún into cutting off her ear and attempting to feed it to her husband. […]