Ooni of Ife; 401 Orisha Deities,Oduduwa,Esu Obatala Sango & Spiritual Power parade for Oba Ogunwusi

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Published on Nov 30, 2017
An Orisha is a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of God in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system.The Yorubas named, identified and deified the energies of the nature and called them Orishas, nevertheless, despite its diversity of deities, is possible to be considered like a monotheist religion, since they consider Olodumare like the unique and omnipotente God. The Yoruba pantheon counts on 401 different deities. The complexity of its cosmology has taken to the western students to compare the Yoruba society with Old Greece, nevertheless, exists a great difference because in the Greco-Latin religion its main deity had compatible characteristics with the Shango Yoruba, that does not get to be the supreme God.

The Yoruba God, Olodumare or Olorun does not have an organized priesthood or temples in its honor, although it is invoked and its blessing is requested. The Yoruba religion affirms that when a person dies, its soul enters the kingdom of the ancestors from where, these continue having influence on the Earth. It is for that reason that the cult to the ancestors (eggun) plays an important role in the Yoruba religion. Some important Orishas are Eshu, that governs the destiny; Shango, the God of thunder; and Oggun, the God of the ironand the modern technology.

The Yoruba religion varied significantly from a kingdom to another one; the same deity could be masculine or feminine according to each town, is for that reason that the same deities have several ways or paths, according to as they were venerated, although in the end their essential characteristics are the same ones, of this form can occur the case that the characteristics of two Gods can be including in a single deity.

Because the african slaves brought to America, mainly Cuba, Haiti and Brazil could not exert their religion freely, they hid under the catholic santoral multiplicity its African Gods according to a relation where compatible characteristics between such was looked for. This gave rise to a sincretism in the Yoruba diaspore, where at the present time the same African deity can indifferently be called by its African or catholic name, an example of it is Shango or Saint Barbara.

In summary, despite the multiplicity of deities, it is considered that the Yoruba religion is a monotheist religion with a single omnipotente creative God that governs all the universe, along with several hundreds of smaller deities, each one with a specific power called Orishas.

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