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Yelena's Research

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on February 16, 2006 at 7:38:08 pm

Yelena's Page

Updates:Work Up... I think that these are really important myths, what do you think?

The Yoruba Creation Myth

Olorun ruled the sky, and Olokun ruled the marshlands and waters below. The whole world was covered by water and marshland. This made another god, Obtala think. He really wanted to have dry land and creatures on the earth. After being granted permission from Olorun to do so, he went to Olorun's son, Orunmila the god of prophesy, and asked what he had to do to have dry earth on the world. He was told to get a bag containing a gold chain long enough to reach from the sky to the earth, a snail's shell filled with sand, a white hen, a black cat, and a palm nut. While Orunmila gave Obtala the items needed for the process, the other gods donated all of their gold for the chain. When he had everything complete, he attached the chain to a corner of sky and started to go down. At the end of the rope and still a long way from the ground, he heard Orunmila tell him to pour the sand from the snail's shell and let the hen go at the same time. The chicken landed on the sand and started scratching and scattering it about the whole world. Everywhere the sand went, land formed. Large piles of sand were hills, and small piles were valleys. Jumping to a hill, Obtala named it Ife and started to dig a hole for the palm nut. The palm nut grew into a tree immediately and dropped down more nuts which also immediately became trees and the cycle continued. Obtala sat down with the cat as company. Months passed and Obtala got bored. He decided to make creatures in his likeness. After making some people out of clay, he took a break and made some palm wine. Bowl after bowl he drunk and soon he became drunk. Still, he now continued to make creatures. His drunkedness led him to make imperfect creatures which later Obtala had Olorun breathe life into. The next day he realized his mistake and became the Protector of the Deformed and never drunk again. The people built huts like Obtala's and soon Ife became a city that prospered. The other gods were happy with Obtala's job and visited often, except for Orokun.

The Yoruba God: Shango

Shango was a tyrant king who was the Yoruba's fourth god. He was challenged by two of his ministers and had to hide in the forest for safety. After some time wandering he finally hung himself. After his death houses were set on fire, and people came to believe that it was Shango sending fire from heaven. Shango became the god of storms, and his axe symbolized thunder.

The Yoruba Religion

The Yoruba Religion is an African Relgion which is primarily based in Nigeria. The most important god is Shango, then there is also Eshu the trickster. The Yoruban dieties include Obtala, Orunmila, Olokun, Yemaja, and Ibeji. Olokun is the god of the oceans and several myths are involved with him. Two important ones being "The Hunter" and "The Palm Tree."

"The Hunter" is about an Urhoniigbe hunter that stayed in Olorun's court for three years. During those three years he learned the sciences of the spirits and how to worship Olorun. He was presumed dead in his tribe until he came back one day. He was mute and all he did was dance with a pot for water on his head. For 14 days this continued until he started to talk about his experiences. He did spiritual work that helped the tribe and earned him the position of chief priest of Olokun. He put down his water pot on the fourteenth day and that is where Olokun's temple lies in Urhoniigbe. An annual festival and dance celebrates this event.

"The Palm Tree" is about a rascal named Omboe who trained to wrestle. With lots of training, he became the strongest wrestler in the world. When he was born, his parents were told never to let Omboe climb palm trees by a priest. Once when his parents were away, he climbed up a palm and spied the gods having a wrestling match. He immediatly climbed down and went to the spirit world. Everyone that he wrestled with lost, and eventually he went against Olokun. While trying to flip Olokun over, Olokun became permanently attached to Omboe's head. Omboe returned home and asked the priest for help. The priest advised him to placate the god. For seven days Omboe burned sacrifices to Olokun. On the seventh day, Omboe became Olokun's first priest. Finally, Olokun let go of Omboe. Omboe's disrespect for his parents, the priest, and the divinities is what had landed him in such a predicament.

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