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20 Characteristics of Obbá Nani in the Yoruba religion that you should know

Obbá Nani Characteristics

To make the consecrations of Obbá Nani in our religion of Osha-Ifá (Santeria), you must have extensive knowledge about how to perform it, because as in any other religious ceremony, wisdom in the procedure is essential out of respect.

In the Yoruba religion the children of the Orisha Obbá Nani are consecrated Oshún with Oró (ọ̀rọ̀ means word, conversation) to Obbá.

Before being consecrated, many ceremonies must be done and something particular to mention is that the initiates must be married.

And really, very few have directly consecrated Obbá Nani.

The Oriaté Nicolás Valentín Angarica said:

"The person who has to receive Obbá, if he wants to have marital stability, must marry before receiving it." 

Nicolás Angarica also condemned bad practices and said:

«…….this Saint, Obbá Nani, is precisely a Saint who has many requirements that are almost not done today and then you see how an Iyawó prostrates himself on a bed shortly after having made Saint and those who do not have knowledge say "That this happened to him after he did Saint, and I want you to know that the Saint does not harm anyone, on the contrary, he does good, but the Saint is not to blame for the fact that those who administer him do not do things well." .

«Angarica, Nicolás Valentín. Orihate Manual: Secrets of the Lucumí Religion. CR Publishing. 1955»

What is Obbá Nani like and what does it symbolize in the Rule of Osha-Ifá?

Obba in the Yoruba Pantheon It is the Orisha of the river which bears her name, its origin comes from the Takua land, but her cult extends to Oyó.

It is said that in the XNUMXth century its cult center was transferred to Osi territory, as it was safer.

1. She is considered the first wife of Shango

The patakies (legends) say that Shango repudiated Obba because she fed him one of his ears because of the immense devotion and love that she had for him.

As the great king of fire felt betrayed by such an act, Obba marched shattered and became the river Both, which intersects with the Oshún river of agitated waters, a union that symbolizes the rivalry between the two.

2. Meaning of your name

Its name means "the king's soup" and comes from the Yoruba «Òbbá (Òbè: Soup – Obá: King).

Perhaps this translation makes direct reference to cutting off his own ear for love and offering it to Shango in the soup.

3. Its symbolism in Santeria

Obbá Nani is an Orisha who represents:

  • Unhappy love when feelings are not reciprocated,
  • self-denial for the person you love and
  • loyalty in marriage.

4. Where does Obba live?

In nature it is associated with lagoons and lakes.

He lives in the cemeteries guarding the tombs and next to Oyá and Yewá are very warlike Orishas, ​​called the muerteras.

5. Selfless mother protector of her children

Among the characteristics of Obbá Nani it always stands out that she is a great warrior and protects her children a lot.

It gives them wisdom to make good decisions, it gives them courage and courage to face the heartbreak and obstacles that appear in life.

6. Ruthless Warrior

Very strong Orisha who fearlessly faces other male Orishas.

He fights until he gets what he wants, his fury is dark and he lashes out against the enemies of his protégés.

7. What can we ask Obba Nani?

She is almost always in charge of matters related to the love of the couple and of third parties in the love relationship, she helps us to strengthen unions, create passion and consolidate marriages.

But in general, if you have faith in her, she is asked, like the other Orishas of the Yoruba Pantheon, for health, abundance, and all open roads.

8. Unconditional love

Orisha who loves with great strength and intensity, gives all her love without anything in return. Represents love and loyalty to being loved.

It was perhaps the fact of not being reciprocated that gave her that strength to feel love. For this reason we can see in this Yoruba deity an intense and excessive self-denial and love.

9. Odun de Ifá in which he speaks

In Osha this Orisha speaks in the Diloggún by Unle Tonti Oshé (8-5), Oshé Tonti Eyeunle (5-8), Eyeunle (8) and Osá (9).

10. Salute to the Orisha

Obba is greeted with great respect and with his head covered.

When we cover our head, we represent a way to cover her defect, a fact that she caused by cutting off her ear to give it to Shango, her beloved husband.

  • He is greeted by saying: Obbá Nani!

11. Numerology of your deity

It is identified with the number 9 and its multiples, the number of the Egguns (spirits).

12. Colors that represent it

Its colors are pink, sometimes purple and other brown. With these same colors he dresses.

13. Receptacle in Santeria

Obbá Nani goes in a container that is a flowery pink tureen.

14. Tools and objects of power

Their tools are made of copper and among them we identify:

  • Dagger and sword,
  • 2 keys,
  • wooden anvil,
  • shield or cuirass,
  • rudder or sprocket,
  • mask,
  • 2 handles which are asymmetrical in this case twisted,
  • an ear,
  • a book and
  • carries a hand of snails.

It has 2 keys that are the ones that open the doors of prosperity, one of those keys is placed in Oshún and the other in his tureen.

15. The Necklaces of this Yoruba deity

The necklaces (elekes) are made in this way:

  • 8 pink beads,
  • a black account,
  • 8 purple beads,
  • a black account,
  • 8 yellow beads and
  • a black account.

This way of making it is not absolute because not all of them are made like this, it depends on the Ilé (house) where it is consecrated.

Others say that Obba Nani's colors are Red and matte red trimmed with coral.

16. Offerings for the Orisha

Obbá Nani is usually entertained with raw yam smeared with corojo butter, also with fruits such as pink grapes and plums.

17. His sacrificial animals

  • Hens, pigeons, guinea pigs, and goats are slaughtered, not a gelding.

Many put a goat castrated by Oshún, but in reality it is a goat (in this regard there are religious contradictions according to Ilé Osha).

With the ear of that goat given in sacrifice a secret is made that goes inside the tureen of this Orisha.

18. Obba plants

Obbá Nani herbs, that is, their ewes are:

  • Caleta grape, mahogany tree, mahogany, plum, coal ebony, chestnut, and hazelnut.

19. How did you see Obbá Nani?

Her dress is pink or purple and her head is always covered with a scarf or turban of the same color.

20. Dance of Obbá Nani

Obbá Nani cannot dance, in the Oddun of Ifá Ogbe Oshe points out that if Obbá Nani went down and rides a son it indicates his death.

For this reason dances are performed in his honor, in which dance a wheel is made and in the center of this wheel there is a masked dancer who imitates that they are whipping him, everyone around him is singing.

Another dance is when the dancer covers his left ear and carries a machete or a cane that is special.

We share some prayers and rituals on behalf of Obba:

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