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How do the Orishas dress? ≫ Know their outfits and colors

Orishas costumes

Yoruba mythology tells that those ancestors with Ashe became Orishas, they were deified. The orisha is a pure, immaterial force that cannot be made perceptible to human beings.

But his worship and veneration has bequeathed us an image created from sacred symbols and very characteristic attributes that devotees respect. Thus, the clothing of each orisha is based on their powers and the colors that they represent.

Colors, Costumes and Orishas

Each deity has its characteristic clothing and its colors, which must be taken into account when performing ceremonies in their honor, especially dances, in which the dancers must dress similarly to the deity in question.

Through their clothing, the Orishas display their powers and manifest themselves, so it is extremely important for a devotee of the Yoruba religion to know how each deity in the pantheon dresses.

Obatala, suit of purity

Obatalá, the father of the men of the earth, is dressed in a suit all in white, a color that must always be respected because it is the symbol of the purity and essence of the Orisha.

But in his warrior ways, he can wear a red cross chest band. It is even said that on his way as Oba Moró, he sometimes wears purple, as is done with Jesus Nazareno, since this path is syncretized with the Catholic cult associated with Jesus.

Obbatalá also carries monstrances of the Blessed Sacrament and ribbons in number of eight.

Oduduwá you saw the secrets

Oduduwá also wears white, a tone that contains the mysteries of death and spirits.

For this reason, this Orisha wears white and also ties a red sash around her waist that, when tied, leaves the right end longer.

Wear a hat or headscarf, because it should never get sunlight.

Eleguá wears red and black

Elegguá, the owner of the roads, wears his red and black costume and these have bright tones, indicating his quality as an important Orisha at the head.

His wardrobe includes a jacket, knee-length pants and a red hat, which is large and compares to a chef's hat.

Sometimes the legs of the pants are red and black and it can have, in both, alternate lists of both tones. Both the jacket and the pants and especially the hat are usually adorned with bells, beads and cowries that indicate their high hierarchy.

accompaniedaña his clothes with a garabato or guava cane, which is his object of power and he uses it to make his way through the bush.

Oggún wears a tiger skin

Oggún, the owner of iron, shows his facet as a worker and warrior in his wardrobe and carries on his shoulder a bag made of tiger skin and adorned with many snails.

His clothes are purple and his hat is crushed. He also wears on his belt a long palm fiber festoon (called mariwo), symbolizing protection against evil.

Yemayá wears a sea suit

Yemayá wears a sea-colored suit and all her attributes and colors must be related to the marine elements, as she is the queen of the waters and powerful Orisha, mother of humanity.

The goddess wears a crepe cloak with a navy blue dress, like a queen, which may have blue and white trim. You also saw little bells sewn all over the wardrobe.

The garment includes a wide cotton belt with a rhomboid on the stomach around the waist that supports the cloak.

Oshún, golden suit

Oshún uses the color yellow, which symbolizes sunlight, good luck, beauty and happiness for his clothes, his costume and his attributes.

Thus, Oshun, the Yoruba Goddess of Love, wears a yellow dress, girded by a sash with a rhomboid on the stomach. The dress has bells at some points and is accompanied byaña of shiny body adornments, mainly made of copper coins.

Many times she takes her favorite flower, the sunflower, together with her wardrobe, the plant that symbolizes faith, love and union and evokes fertility, passion and prosperity.

Shango and his fire suit

Shango always wears the color of fire, which is its element and symbolizes the intense joie de vivre, the desire for a warrior and impulsiveness.

He wears a loose shirt and trousers with vermilion red achó, although sometimes he wears short trousers finished in a point that gives him more ease of movement, to dance and fight.

His chest is uncovered with a crossed band, although sometimes he wears a red jacket with white stripes. On his head he wears a crown because he is a king, which can be in the shape of a castle.

Along with his clothes and suit, he waves his sacred ax (oché) aloft.

Oyá she dresses as a rainbow

Oyá, lady of the rainbow, of the dead and of the spark, wears all the colors of the same in her clothing. She sometimes wears a skirt that is made with dried palm leaves whose fringes are adorned with fringes of mariwó.

Other times, she wears a skirt made of nine-colored scarves, which is mobile and is used to dance. She also wears a flowered chintz robe and a multi-colored headband around her head.

He carries in his hands a cleaning instrument, the black or polychrome iruke (horsetail) with which he controls the egguns and spirits of the cemetery, where he reigns and rules with his power.  

Aggayú Solá symbolizes the same Earth

Aggayú Solá, the Orisha of the deserts, of the volcano, of natural forces, always wears dark clothes, which symbolize his union with the earth and with the forces that move it. In his suit he wears dark red pants and jackets.

Handkerchiefs or strips of different colors hang from his waist that symbolize the same energies that move the Earth.

Babalú Ayé dresses as a healer

Babalú Ayé, the owner of the disease and who governs the healing of the world, dresses as a sick old man. It is covered with sackcloth or variegated squares, almost always purple, and decorated with many cowries.

The healing Orisha carries his ajá (broom) to remove negative energy and heal ailments.

Olokun covers her face

Olokun, the King of the Ocean, does not show his face, he always wears black and does not reveal his figure or his face, which he wears under a mask. In his dark suit he represents the mystery and the secrets that live with him in the depths of the sea.

He always wears a mask that can be made of light green-blue paste, with a very large open mouth, a very thick lower lip and a prominent ornament on the forehead.

Inle wears sun and sea

Inle, the most beautiful of the Orishas, ​​the patron saint of doctors, owner of fish and protector of fishermen, wears the representative colors of the waters and the sun. 

He is dressed in blue, yellow and white and adorned with snails. He can also wear a navy green robe and sometimes disguises himself as the color of certain stagnant waters.

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