The Pataki Yoruba (ancestral stories) tell that the creation was Olofi's original idea in his manifestation of Olodumare.
The Supreme Being Olodumare is the deity that sustains and governs the planet and who has the power to give energy, life or death to all beings that habitan on Earth.
This relationship "Olofi-Olodumare", is explained as a trilogy, it is believed that they are the same essence, as is Olorun, the energy that radiates from the Sun.
What does the word "Olodumare" mean in Yoruba?
If we want to understand the meaning of this relationship, we must know the words that compose it:
- "Hello" means owner,
- the word “Odu” means world y
- "Mare" is understood as "the place to which we will return".
So, the union of these three concepts means “the owner of the world where we will return”.
Thus, Olodumare in the Yoruba language means the omnipotent God who exists by himself, the owner of the world.
The trilogy of Olofi, Olorun and Olodumare
Olofi, for his part, is seen by the Yorubas as an impersonal God.
Some researchers even think that his figure may have arisen in the Afro-Cuban cult, due to the Catholic influence in which the Christian God is perceived in a divine trinity.
On the other hand, there is a clear definition for Olorun, since "Olo" means owner and “Orun” means sky, representing the term “owner of the sky".
Although we should also know that the word "Orún", with an accent, means Sun, so it is possible that this is the reason why this deity is related to the vitality of the star king.
The representation of the highest deity and the orishas
Some studies agree that the fusion of Olofi and Olodumare means the idea of heaven and Earth.
Seen in this way, Olofi is the father of the sky and Olodumare is the mother and owner of the Earth.
On the other hand, worship extends to the group of divinities called Orishas, created by Olodumare, who are intermediaries between men and Olofi.
The Orishas of the Yoruba Pantheon they were humans with a surprising history, who accumulated power and wisdom in life, so that one day they passed from the condition of men to that of gods. These personify various forces of nature.
Patakies that tell us about the formation of the world
The Creation of the world for the Yoruba takes us back to our first origins, when there were no beings and there was no solid ground...
According to the patakí collected by the anthropologist Natalia Bolívar, in the beginning, Olodumare walked through the world where there was neither land, nor plants, nor animals, nor anything, only rocks on plains.
Then, the world was filled with flames that produced a very thick vapor, until one day Olofi discharged rain on the flames.
One part burned a lot, being deeper than the other parts, and in it the water was deposited and the great oceans were formed, where all the Yemayás were born from Okute to Olokun.
After many days, the ashes of the burned rocks accumulated in the highest parts and a muddy mass was formed, the land of Orisha-Oko, the deity of prosperity.
There the herbs that fed on it were born, and Osain, the owner of the mountain, was born.
In the highest parts the hills of Oke were created, and after the elevations of Oke, the volcanoes of Aggayú Sola originated, where all kinds of shrapnel come out that Oggún uses, the owner of the iron and all the strong orishas.
This is how the world was created, where all the orishas manifested the energies of nature that they possessed as power.
Another perspective or story about the creation of the Yoruba world
The history of creation, although it has been interpreted from different points of view, maintains Olodumare, the supreme god for the Yoruba, as the main creator.
One of the stories tells that at first it was necessary to know if the newly formed planets were habitables, and among them, the earth was considered too wet to be habitaYes.
In order for the Earth to be prepared for conventional life and for its crust to develop correctly, they sent some deities under the command of Obatalá, the great white orisha, warrior and wise old man who, due to his wisdom, was entrusted with important tasks.
This is how the creation of everything that exists began:
Obatalá with a mollusk that hid some form of soil; winged beasts and some cloth like material emptied the contents to make it a large mound on the surface of the water and soon after, the winged beasts began to spread this around to the point where it gradually became a large patch of dry land; the various indentations they created eventually became hills and valleys. Obatalá jumped to high ground and named the place Ife, there everything became fertile and plant life began to flourish.
From that land that had been formed, Obatalá began to mold figures, the future beings of the earth.
Olodumare, at the same time that the earth was being formed, gathered the gases from the confines of space and caused an explosion that became a ball of fire, sending it to Ife, where it dried up a large part of the earth and simultaneously began to bake the motionless figures.
Then the great God gave the first "breath or breath of life" and the figures that had been molded came to life, becoming the first men in the land of Ife.
Thus, after this process of creating land and life, Ife is known as the cradle of existence or “Ife Oodaye”.
- If you want to know other stories (yoruba patakies) you can click here