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Who is Iku? Yoruba death

Who is iku

Iku It is a term pronounced with great respect by all the santeros who profess the Yoruba religion. It represents an evil and a shadow for all those who follow religion.

And is that Iku It is the manifestation of the Yoruba Pantheon represented as death itself, it appears suddenly and claims those who have concluded their life time.  

Physically it appears in the guise of the skeleton of a man or dressed in black that does not sleep and eats humans.

When looking for someone, he walks outside the house in search of a small hole or opening through which he can penetrate and carry the chosen one.

Death in the Afro-Cuban religion

Death has always coexisted in the Yoruba religion, and through it, ancestor spirits who are no longer on the earthly plane are mentioned and honored.

Iku is the traditional symbol of death and Eggun it is the name of the ancestors that death took away.

In the Afro-Cuban religion, death is not directly worshiped, but it is an indissoluble part of the solemn and ritual processes of Santeria and therefore Ikú is present in the foundations of the Afro-Cuban religion.

Iku and the warriors of evil

Yoruba legend indicates that Iku was also Orisha, but who lost her status due to her arrogance and by fighting and losing a duel with orunmila.

Thus, he went on to lead the Ajogún or warriors of evil, known as: aro, ofo, esse, fitiwó, egba, akobá, etc.

Children of Iku:

He has three small children: the first is Sickness (Arun) who is his beloved son; My graña, Malaise (Tau) is the second and the third called Fever (Avuvo).

Pataki: Pact of Orula with Iku

The pataki tells that the only deity that he made a pact with Iku It was Orunmila and he commanded him to respect his children through the Necklace of Orula and Ildé.

The Great Soothsayer said to him:

«From today onwards I will put a mark with my colors, green and yellow, on all my children's left hands; With this mark you will respect their lives until the time has come for them to leave the earth.”

The balance between life and death

The legend tells that at the beginning of the world Death was not known. It is said that one day some young people complained to Olofin because there were too many people and they did not have enough food.

Constitution I call Oyá and asked him to take Iku to Earth, but she did not agree, because she did not want to be hated by everyone.

Then Olofin said:

"Well, we can arrange that, first I will send Babalú Ayé to bring Arun (disease) to Earth and when men get sick, you will take them to iku"

Thus the balance was finally established on earth.

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