BBB of African and African Originated Deities

Earth MotherAfrican and African Originated Deities



Babalu Aye
In Orisha worship, Babalú-Ayé is the praise name of the spirit of the Earth and strongly associated with infectious disease, and healing. He is an Orisha, representing the deity Olorun on Earth. The name Babalú-Ayé translates as “Father, lord of the Earth” and points to the authority this orisha exercises on all things earthly, including the body, wealth, and physical possessions. In West Africa, he was strongly associated with epidemics of smallpox, but in the contemporary Americas, he is more commonly thought of as the patron of leprosy, influenza, and immune diseases. Babalú-Ayé is also the deity that cures these ailments. Both feared and loved, Babalú-Ayé is sometimes referred to as the “Wrath of the supreme god” because he punishes people for their transgressions. People hold Babalú-Ayé in great respect and avoid calling his actual name, because they do not wish to invoke epidemics. His ritual tools include a ritual broom for purification, a covered terra-cotta vessel, and abundant cowry shells. Usually considered hobbled by disease, he universally takes grains as offerings.

Haitian Yoruba Vodoun deity. The loa of wind. He is the inseparable companion of Sogbo, god of lightning. He also shares his functions with Agau, another storm spirit.

Haitian Yoruba Vodoun deity. Bakulu-baka drags chains behind him and is such a terrible spirit that no one dares to invoke him. His habitat is in the woos where offerings are taken to him. He himself possesses no one.

The Bagandan gods of earth, death, lightning, plague, and the rainbow.

A group of Singhalese gods superior to the Yaksas.

The Ngbandi (northern Zaire) god of clear waters.

Bastet (Bast, Baast, Ubasti, Basetis) the cat-headed goddess, is the name commonly used by scholars today to refer to a feline goddess of ancient Egyptian religion who was worshipped at least since the Second Dynasty. Bastet was a goddess of the sun throughout most of Ancient Egyptian history, but later when she was changed into a cat goddess, she was changed to a goddess of the moon by Greeks occupying Ancient Egypt toward the end of its civilization. She was the goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits. Her role in the Egyptian pantheon became diminished as Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess, became more dominant in the unified culture of Lower and Upper Egypt. She is also known as the Lady of Asheru, and the Eye of Ra.
As the daughter of Ra she is associated with the rage inherent in the Eye of Ra, his instrument of vengeance. In the Late Period of Egyptian civilization, she becomes a peaceful deity, destroying only vermin.

Bat was a cow goddess in Egyptian mythology depicted as a human face with cow ears and horns. By the time of the Middle Kingdom, her identity and attributes were subsumed within the goddess Hathor. The imagery of Bat as a divine cow was remarkably similar to that of Hathor, a parallel goddess from Lower Egypt. In two dimensional images, both goddesses often are depicted straight on, facing the onlooker and not in profile in accordance with the usual Egyptian convention. The significant difference in their depictions is that Bat’s horns curve inward and Hathor’s curve outward slightly. It is possible that this could be based in the different breeds of cattle herded at different times.

The fish god of Fon in Dahomey. He was invoked by fishermen to ensure a bountiful catch.

An Ethiopian sea god.

Bes was a guardion dwarf-god in Egyptian mythology. He was grotesque in appearance, benign in nature. [This was] a god of a far different order from the serene and poised figures of the official pantheon. He was a plump, bandy-legged, hairy, rude dwarf with a wicked gleam in his pop-eyes. His tongue resolutely stuck out at the follies of mankind. Bes was a foreign god, an import from the land of Punt (Libya).
Bes chased away demons of the night and guarded men form dangerous animals. He was considered a tutelary god of childbirth, and female adorments. He eventually became a protector of the dead, and competed with even the magnificent Ausar for the attention of men.

A god of the Ewe in Bening; a protector of warriors.

Bosou Koblamin
Haitian Yoruba Vodoun deity. Bosou is a violent petro loa capable of defeating his enemies. He is very popular during times of war. He protects his followers when they travel at night. Bosou’s appearance is that of a man with three horns; each horn has a meaning: strength, wildness, and violence. Bosou is not a very reliable loa. When a service is held, Bosou appears by breaking chains [by which] he is restrained. Immediately upon appearing he is given a pig, his favorite food. The ceremony in honor of Bosou always pleases a congregation because it allows them to eat.

The Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast believe in a supreme god who takes on various names depending upon the region of worship. The highest god is called by some Brekyirihunuade (“he who knows and sees everything”), Otweidiampon, Okokroko, Onyame, Awurade, Odomankoma. There are no priests that serve him directly, and people believe that they may make direct contact with him.

Haitian Yoruba Vodoun deity. Brise is a loa of the hills. He is the boss of the woods. Brise is very fierce in appearance. He is black and has very large proportions. Brise is actually a gentle soul and likes children. Brise lives in the chardette tree and sometimes assumes the form of an owl. Brise is a protectorate. He is strong and demanding.

The Gan (West Africa) god of the wind.

A West African sky god.

The creator and supreme god of the Boshongo [Southern Africa]. With horrible stomach pain he vomited up the earth, sun, moon, and all living [creatures]; the last being mankind.

– African and African Originated Deities, by Alun Mandulu Bess El, 2012.


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One thought on “BBB of African and African Originated Deities

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