Open main menu

The following is a list of Yoruba orisha (òrìṣà), or deities.

Contents

Supreme beingEdit

The Supreme God has three manifestations:

  • Ọlọ́run- the Supreme Creator
  • Eledumare - the ruler of the lower Heavens
  • Olofi - the conduit between Orún (Heaven) and Ayé (Earth)

Metaphysical personifications or spiritsEdit

  • Orunmila - spirit of wisdom, divination, destiny, and foresight
  • Ori - personification of one's spiritual intuition and destiny

Male Àwọn òrìṣà (orishas)Edit

  • Aganjú - orisha of volcanoes, the wilderness and rivers
  • Babalú-Ayé (Ọbalúayé) - orisha of the Earth and strongly associated with infectious disease and healing
  • Erinlẹ̀ - orisha of medicine, healing, and comfort, physician to the gods
  • Èṣù - trickster, psychopomp and orisha of crossroads, duality, beginnings and balance
  • Ibeji - twin orisha of vitality and youth
  • Kokou - a violent warrior orisha
  • Ọbàtálá - creator of human bodies; orisha of light, spiritual purity, and moral uprightness
  • Oduduwa - orisha of humans
  • Ògún - orisha who presides over iron, fire, hunting, politics and war
  • Oko - orisha of agriculture
  • Osanyin - orisha of the forest
  • Oṣùmàrè - divine rainbow serpent associated with creation and procreation
  • Ọ̀ṣọ́ọ̀sì - orisha of the hunt and forest
  • Ṣàngó, also Shango and Changó - orisha of thunder and lightning

Female Àwọn òrìṣà (orishas)Edit

Difference between Yoruba òrìṣà worship and what is practiced among Afro-HispanicsEdit

There are seven primary òrìṣàs, called orishas/orichas in Spanish and orixas in Portugués, and pronounced the same. Depending upon the country and what was passed down during the slave-trade era, the "Seven Powers" or "Siete Potencias" consist of the following òrìṣàs (the Spanish pronunciation is used):

  • Elegua, Yemayá (Yemọja), Oshún (Ọ̀ṣun), Changó, Obatalá, Oya, and Ogún. (missing: Elegba and Oshosi),

or:

  • Elegba, Yemayá (Yemọja), Oshún, Changó, Obatalá, Oya, and Oshoshi. (missing: Elegua and Ogún)

As one can see, Babalú-Ayé (whom "Ricky Ricardo" sings to in his famous song) is a very lesser deity in Afro-Hispanic worship.

Orisha worship, sometimes referred to as Santería, is still widely practiced in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Tobago/Trinidad and Brazil, most practitioners are Yoruba descendants. The Yoruba language is still spoken ceremoniously and is referred to as Lukumí. Due to 200 years of separation from the motherland, Lukumí is considered a Yoruba dialect. Similar orisha worship can also be found among the Afro-Franco populations of Haiti and the US state of Louisiana.