Oshosi, Oshossi or Ochosi Osha is a diviner, magician, sorcerer, hunter par excellence and a tireless, very powerful warrior who in the Yoruba pantheon symbolizes weapons, law and justice.
Miguel Barnet (narrator, Cuban ethnologist), in his book Afro-Cuban Cults, says that much is said about Oshosi, but little is known about his history.
Oshosi's name is derived from the Yoruba language Osóssí (Osó which means sorcerer and Sísé "do work"), that is, the one who works with witchcraft.
The Yoruba religious usually turn to Oshosi to solve the problems of enemies and justice, because with the elements of power that represent him, the bow and arrow, he hunts the good and also the bad.
Among its characteristics can be noted:
- In our Afro-Cuban religion it is usually syncretized with San Norberto, which is why its festivities are united in the Osha Rule (santeria) every June 6.
- His dance has a very close relationship with hunting elements, he opens his arms when dancing as if he were shooting arrows and always looking at his target.
- He speaks through the Diloggun (oracular system of the Yoruba Religion) in the Eyioko sign.
Relations with other Orishas in the Yoruba pantheon:
- He belongs to the group of the Orishas Guerreros together with Elegguá, Oggún and Osun.
- This great warrior always lives with Oggun and at the entrances of the doors of homes and businesses.
- Son of Yemayá and Oddé, his father is the sorcerer of the hunters and his mother the Osha Yemayá queen and Universal mother of the waters.
- Others usually say that he is the son of Obbatala and Yemú (a path of Yemayá that many say is feminine Oduduwa) and in Nigeria he is considered the son of Oduduwa.
- In Regla Kimbisa also Oggun and Oshosi usually go together and they call him Lufo Kuyo and Watariamba.
- When Oshosi is head, he is usually given names such as: Oshosi Adebi, Oshosi Odeode, Oshosi Bi, Oshosi Ode, Oshosi Gurumiyo, Oshosi Odemata (God of hunting and owner of wild animals).
- Aghe is the name that the Arará give to Oshosi.
When consecrating Oshosi in Arará land, a ceremony is held in the initial rites called Latafofo.
Attributes and elements of power:
- Colors of this Orisha are blue, yellow and coral.
- Clothing: Oshosi wears a leopard or tiger skin hat on his head, on his left shoulder he carries a tube-shaped bag (quiver) which is where he carries his arrows and also always carries his hunting bow.
- The necklaces According to Martínez Furé, a Cuban folklorist, ethnologist and researcher, they are made of this Orisha with a bright green matipó color and brick-red beads.
- His eleke (necklace) The most common has prussian blue (14 pieces), honey (3) and amber (1) strung beads, the cycle is repeated symmetrically interspersing coral and snail.
- Among its attributes we can find:
- dog figures,
- gunpowder, rifles and machetes,
- and everything related to hunting and fishing, such as deer antlers and hunting trophies.
Herbs that represent it in the Osha:
- Within the herbs to Oshosi we will find plants (ewes) such as:
- The Male Mango,
- white bush,
- White Bonus,
- jar pinion,
- mighty hand,
- fine grass,
- Itamo Royal,
- holy thistle,
- Red Mangrove.
Attentions and offerings to the warrior deity:
- You can be attended on Mondays and Tuesdays, although any day you can offer.
- Guinea fowl, goats, roosters, deer, quail, chickens, and hutia are sacrificed to him.
- we can offer to this Osha foods like:
- fruits such as coconut, cassava, yam,
- anise, black-eyed beans, canary seed, cereals with small seeds
- hunted birds.
Children of Oshosi in Santeria:
- Oshosi's children are usually brave and determined, very charitable, kind, prepared for any change.
They are people who have initiative, love their family, are free, travelers and sometimes a little unstable.
His children and devotees greet him saying: Oshosi Odde Mata!