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The Story of Oduduwá: The Lord of the Other World and of Our Destiny

History of Oduduwá

Oduduwá or Odduá He is one of the most important Orishas in the Yoruba cult, since he knows the secrets of death and the crosses between the earthly and spiritual world.

He is the lord of the spirits and grantor of wishes, the one who, according to the Yoruba Pataki, created the sixteen Obatalaes, together with his wife Odduaremu.

Some say that Oduduwá may be a path of Obatala male, who lives in Iroko the Ceiba, and he is also the guide of all the ways of Obatalas, and therefore the children of this Orisha have to receive him.

The fact is that Oduduwá and Obbatalá, Father Orisha and Sculptor of the human being, have very closely linked cults in Lucumi history.

However, they differ in some qualities and Oduduwá is seen as a creator and doer of justice, and as a divine and impersonal element.

Patakíes and beliefs about Oduduwá, Obbatalá and the creation of the world

Oddua meaning

When Olofi, the great creator, wanted to make the world, he came down with the Orisha Obatalá and entrusted him with the achievement of his work, making the Earth a beautiful paradise so that men could live happily.

But Obbatalá could not complete Olofi's commission. A patakí maintains that Obatalá, already on his way to carry out the creative task that Olodumare had entrusted to him, felt a great thirst and since there was only palm wine, he drank too much until he got drunk and fell into a deep slumber, forgetting the mandate of the creator.

Oduduwá went to look for him by order of Olodumare and, seeing him drunk, proceeded to carry out the task that corresponded to him, creating the solid earth, the man and the sacred place of the Yorubas and Cuban Santeria: Ilé-Ifé.

Another story tells that, in the enthusiasm of creation, Olofi did wonderful things, but also left many elements unfinished.

Men, for example, were left without heads and naturally, they walked without direction and without thought. Once finished, these bodies moved, they walked mechanically, almost unconscious or insensitive, without understanding.

Annoyed, Olofi commissioned Oduduwá, seen as the feminine principle and mother of the Yoruba nation, to make heads for them and she made them, but left them with only one eye, since the Orisha has a single phosphorescent eye.

Finally, his brother Orisha, Iba-Ibo put his eyes where they are now and gave them mouth, voice and word. Then men began to be as we know them.

Thus, when Olodumare breathed his breath on the men and started the human heart to walk, he said to Oduduwá:

"There is my creature."

That is why it is said that various deities participated in the creation of the Earth and of men and the result was the mixture of all their characteristics.

Oduduwa, Its characteristics and meaning

Oddua sir

They say that Oduduwá was the first King of Oyó, the oldest dead man and representative of the mysteries and secrets of death. He was the first Oní and founder of Ife, from where life was born according to Yoruba theology and therefore his name comes from the Yoruba Odùdúwá (Lord of the other world or of our destiny).

He is considered the owner of solitude and forms an important trilogy with Olofi and Olorun, according to which all three are different representations of Olodumare's divine power.

In relation to the human being, Oduduwá was the first Obá that made Itá (reading of destiny) on earth. For this reason it is the so-called Orisha of desires, and can grant requests from men, whom it helped create.  

Oduduwá is known as a very powerful spiritual mass that we invoke in times of need. It is a spiritual entity with immense power, which uses spirits and has no physical appearance, although it is said to be androgynous.

But Oduduwá is an Orisha of great harmony, and he always acts calmly, because he was one of those sent to complete the Earth and men and take care of the creation of Olofin. This is why in front of him they are not allowed to have fights or scream.

He has the power to intercede equally in any situation no matter how complicated it may be, and even his ashé can change a person and put him on the right track.

Offerings and prayers to invoke Oduduwá

Oduduwa Offering

It is believed that Oduduwá's help should be invoked only when necessary, such as in times of humanity's crisis, such as the one we are living through right now, so that his advice and support will help men to overcome obstacles.

Baba Oduduwá, as he is called by the devotees of the Rule of the Ocha (Santeria), acts as an advocate for souls and can reveal the great truths of the world.

Therefore, in these times we invoke the help of Oduduwá as owner of the world's secrets and benefactor of humanity.

We must know that to invoke Oduduwá, we can present his offerings to him.

Eat together with Obbatalá and they immolate him:

  • white goat,
  • chicken,
  • quail,
  • guinea and
  • pigeons.

All animals must be white. He also likes sweet anise or aniseed drink and others like red wine.

Prayer dedicated to King Oddua:

After entertaining him, we pray to him with great faith and with our thoughts focused on the good of humanity and not only on our particular desires.

This is how we invoke it:

Baba Oduduwa Mopeo, Baba Oduduwa Mopeo, Baba Oduduwa Mopeo

Olofin Aye Mo pe o, Olofin Aye Mo pe o, Olofin Aye Mo pe o

Mojuba Babab Oduduwa, Mojuba Oba Egun Aye, Mojuba Olofin Aye

Baba Oduduwa wa gba me

Olofin Aye wa gba me

Baba Oduduwa gba to him

It translates as:

Baba Oduduwa I invoke you

Olofin Ayé I invoke you

Baba Oduduwa save me

Olofin Aye save me

Baba Oduduwa support me

Oduduwá and its religious syncretism

Oduduwá is syncretized in the Catholic religion with the Name of Jesus and with the Blessed Sacrament. It is believed that the affinity between this Orisha and Jesus Christ is given because both were sent by the Divine to help man and establish a certain order on earth.

The Blessed Sacrament refers to the Eucharist, a ceremony that is part of the Catholic Mass and where, when consecrated, the bread and wine become the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.

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