The Yoruba people come from Nigeria. and includes a significant number of ethnic groups, such as the Egba, Ketu, Ijebú and Ifé, among others, who came from ancient Dahomey, Togo and, above all, from southwestern Nigeria from the Guinea coast to the south and from the Gulf from Benin west to Dahomey.
The origins of the Yoruba people are a mixture of legend and reality, collected in patakíes (ancestral stories) and in historical notes that have been preserved for centuries through, fundamentally, proverbs belonging to an exquisite oral tradition. Therefore, today we know who their deities (Orishas) are and what their customs, beliefs or rites are.
This is how the History of the Yoruba religion has reached Latin America, giving us the legacy of its culture, legends, myths and traditions. This ancient African religion has not only inherited the power of its deities, known as Orishas, but also their beliefs take us back to the origins, to Yoruba cosmogony. Let's get to know these stories a bit.
What does Yoruba cosmogony tell us? Land of Ifé, the beginning of the life
For the Yoruba, the city of Ifé, whose exact name is Ilé-Ifé, "land of Ifé" is a sacred city, where, according to tradition holds, the creation of the world began.
According to a Yoruba pataki of creation:
Olodumare, the creator god, gave Obatalá a gourd full of sand and a five-fingered chicken to create the Earth, but Eshu set a trap for him and the Father Orisha got drunk and fell asleep.
Olodumare when seeing that the orisha obatala did not arrive, he sent Oddúa to complete the mission to the world, which then was only water. Oddúa emptied the content of the sand over the waters, and released the chicken that, with its five fingers, spread the sand everywhere. And so the Earth was created.
After Oddúa, other gods began to descend on Earth, who descended by an iron chain and founded the sacred forest of Olose. In fact, Olose is called in many African societies, those "groves" that arise within the territory of the town or city, spaces covered with vegetation that are consecrated to some supernatural powers, for which they are worshiped. .
The history of Oduduwá, first king of Ifé
Another pataki on the Yoruba creation includes a story in which it is said that Oduduwa came to Earth as the son of the king of Mecca, Lamurudu. Oduduwa was distinguished for influencing and attracting many followers. However, his religious beliefs were persecuted in Mecca as they were not accepted by the Islamic religion, unleashing a civil war.
Oduduwa and his followers managed to escape with two idols to Ilé-Ifé, what is now modern Nigeria. Then Oduduwa's sons and grandsons founded other Yoruba nations in various regions, making the empire grow.
This myth explains that Oduduwa became the founder and first king of the city-state of Ilé-Ifé, forming part of the Yoruba pantheon. His descendants reigned in the Yoruba empire and a lineage was established.
It is said that all Yoruba rulers descend from the kings of Ilé-Ifé.
And this is how to this day, the origins and the legacy of the yoruba religion accompanies usaña in our faith, and as we always say, it is important to know the roots of religion and learn every day, even if it is a drop from a sea of wisdom. Blessings for you.