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17 Answers to questions about Eleguá «All about the little Orisha»

All about the orisha Eleguá

Elegguá is an Orisha of great importance in both Osha and Ifá, is our little orisha, the spoiled child who makes mischief and is very restless.

But this child also belongs to the Warrior Orishas together with Oggún the owner of the iron, Oshosi the vigilante and Osun the watchman of the heads.

Elegguá is called by different names, some call it Elegbara, Elegba or Eshú. Where Elegguá is delivered by Osha and Eshú is delivered by Ifá.

1. What does Elegguá represent?

Elegguá costume

Elegguá is the first of the Orishas and for this reason he is respected, he is the owner of the roads and according to our behavior he will open or close our trails.

Many think that receiving Elegguá is that you are already saved for life, that the orisha is his pawn and that whatever you send him to do, he will do it, but they are wrong because Elegguá is not his servant. He is the one who guards the road and does justice when it is done wrong.

Elegguá is the faithful servant of Oloddumare, he helps us, but if we fall due to our bad head, he also makes us pay.

2. What does Eshu symbolize in the Yoruba Religion?

Eshú represents random eventualities, he is the one who plays, so to speak, with the roads we travel.

Eshú has to spy on you and that you comply with everything indicated and if your behavior is the opposite of what you should do, the orisha ends up complicating your life and negatively affecting your person.

3. Is Eshu so bad?

Eshú always helps us on the paths we travel daily, but inevitably if we act badly, we will suffer the consequences of our actions.

Eshú does not hurt, but it is obligatory for him, to make you pay for your negative actions.

So, in my opinion, he is a neutral deity, neither bad nor good, who we blame for our irresponsibility.

In particular, I do not consider Eshú to be a devil (Abita) as they say it is.

We must act according to what the Orishas advise us, not what we consider to be good, we must respect and dedicate time to what we receive because if not, why did you enter religion?

Ifá says that: You can regret your mistakes, but you will have to face their consequences.

4. Where does Elegguá live?

Almost always behind the front door of our homes to take care of those who haveabitan in them. Limiting the dangers that live outside.

5. What is the stone (Otá or Okutá) of Elegguá like?

How to greet the orisha Eleguá

They can be of different shapes and figures, they even become artistic.

Some are masses of cement, others are made of Cobos that are large snails, you can also see them carved in wood, in many ways it is done, but inside is their secret.

The stones with which they are made are collected on the mountain (Enigbe), montaña (Oke), sea (Okun), savannah, it depends on the path of Elegguá that you receive.

6. What are the identifying colors of Elegguá?

Red and black, but white is also used. For this reason, when decorating its attributes, you will always see these colors that represent it.

7. What number is attributed to Elegguá?

It is assigned the three (Éta).

Their number has a divine position and represents:

  • Stability,
  • entrepreneurship,
  • growth and development in life,
  • the direction,
  • the sense of activity,
  • the wit,
  • the control.

All that and more is what Elegguá / Eshú represents in the Yoruba religion.

8. Where is Elegguá placed?

It is almost always placed inside a deep fryer or container made of clay.

9. What elements do you put in Elegguá?

As every child likes tops, whistles, coins, candies, all kinds of jams, kites, marbles.

The toys are welcomed, although we should not put too many so that it does not neglect its functions as a savior of the roads.

10. How is your maraca (Asheré)?

Maracas of the orishas

His Asheré is painted half black (Dun dun) and half red (Pupúa).

Elegguá is made a maraca that is loaded with his secret and is composed of three güiritos, one of them is painted red, another black and the other white (Fun fun), and all three are attached to a stick of a specific tree.

11. If an Orisha is going to eat, should Elegguá / Eshú be sacrificed?

Always, without exception, Elegguá will be the first to eat.

In any ceremony the first Orisha to attend is Elegguá. But we must always remember that the Egguns (the dead) must first be attended to.

12. How many roads does Elegguá have?

Elegguá in Osha consists of 21 paths or avatars and in Ifá you can find one or more for each sign (Oddun).

You must bear in mind that when you receive Eshú, they must give you their name because everyone has one.

It is essential that you know the prohibitions of your Eshú because they do not usually eat the same, in general they are given Maforibale in the same way, but according to their path they have taboos that must be respected.

13. What animals are sacrificed to Elegguá?

Goats (Ounko), roosters (Akukó), chickens (Osadie), chicks (Jío Jío), hutías (Ekú) and mice (Ekutele) are sacrificed to him. 

14. What taboos (Eewó) does Elegguá have?

His prohibition is to offer him pigeons (Eyelé), chickens (Adié) and guineas (Etú), but for example some Elegguá in particular if they usually eat pigeons.

There are some treatises where certain Eshú eat turtle (Ayapa or Ayakua), dog (Ayá), biajaca (fish), curiel (Elubá), porcupine (Akika), duck (Kuekueyé or Pepeyé) and ram (Agbo).

15. What Addimú (offering) can you put to Elegguá?

Works with a coconut for Eleguá

Elegguá likes all sweets, all sweets, cornbreads, guava candy, tamales, coffee, tobacco, yams, brandy, smoked jutía, smoked fish and roasted corn.

16. When is Elegguá seen?

His day is Monday and he is attended in the mañana almost always or during the day. But Elegguá will always be happy that you take care of him and spend time.

On Mondays when you attend you can clean yourself with the candies that you usually put on them so that all kinds of osogbo go away.

17. What can you NOT do in front of Elegguá?

In the presence of Elegguá you cannot walk around naked, or swear, or argue, or whistle, or touch him during your menstrual period.

Elegguá is prodigious and if you serve him with love he will always respond to you, remember that it will not always be positive, but when that happens you must keep in mind that it is for your good, he will be closing paths that could harm you. Maferefún Elegguá! 

Learn more about the Offerings to the powerful Eleguá, the owner of the roads in Osha:

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