Many African religions influenced by Egyptian religion
By Untangle Incorporated, 2002
(O.J. Lucas’ RELIGIONS IN WEST AFRICA AND ANCIENT EGYPT is the source of these ideas)
The evidence for Ancient Egyptian religion powerful influence on many African religions may be summarised under the following headings:
- Religious Ideas
- Religious Practices
- Bodily Mutilations
- Funeral Rites Continue reading
Rada, Petro and Ghede Loa in Vodoun
[Compiled by 7M]
The name Vodoun means “high and sacred of God”. There is no right side and left side in Vodoun. There is only one side which is through God and Loa. The Loa (Lwa) can be viewed as forces of nature, but they have personalities and personal mythologies. They are extensions of the will of Bondye, the Supreme Cosmic God, the ultimate principle of the universe.
The Loa are the Spirit Gods which are served in Vodoun. They act as intermediaries between humans and Bondye (God). The Loa are not worshipped as Gods, we serve them so that in turn they serve us. It is safe to say that the Loa are ancestors. Some are older than others, such as Damballah Wedo, The Great Serpent who is considered to be the primordial creator of all life forms, and who also carries all of the ancestors on his back, therefore making him our First Ancestor. Other examples of Loa who were born as Spirits would include La Sirene and Met Agwe, the king and queen of the ocean, who are the Seas themselves. Continue reading
Haitian and Dominican Loa and Deities
Adjasou-Linguetor (f): Goddess of spring water. Characterized by protruding eyes and a bad humor, lives under the mombin tree near a spring and is very fond of liquor.
Agassu, Agasou (m): God of Water. Agassu is Dahomean in origin, and belongs to the Fon and Yoruba tribes. He is associated with water deities and sometimes takes the form of a crab. He is one of the mythical creatures who once gave assistance to the Ancestor. He is considered one of the Loa masons.
Agau, Agaou (m): God of Wind and Storms. Agau is a very violent god. Earth tremors and the frightening sounds associated with storms are because of an angry Agau. “It is I who am the gunner of god; when I roar the earth trembles.” One has to be very strong to harbor this spirit. Agau is the inseparable companion of Sogbo. When Sogbo and Bade (the loa of lighting and wind) act together and call upon Agau, a thunder storm is produced. Bade and Agau share the same functions, loa of the winds. Continue reading
THE SEVEN AFRICAN POWERS
By Cat Yronwode
The religion of the West African Yoruba people was forced underground by centuries of slavery in the Americas. Several hybrid forms of worship, of which the best known is Santeria, were created by deliberate conflation of Yoruba spiritual entities with Catholic ones.
The Yoruba people of West Africa recognize three levels of spiritual force: one creator god called Olodumare; numerous nature or messenger spirits (similar to Christian angels) called the orishas, and the revered spirits of the dead, called the eggun. Continue reading
Yoruba Gods and Deities
The Yoruba are the majority ethnic group living in south west Nigeria and there is a Yoruba minority in east Benin, numbering approximately 20 million in all. The Yoruba language belongs to the Kwa branch of the Niger-Congo family. The Yoruba kingdom was broken up in 1820 by an invasion of the Fulahs who captured the city of Ilorin.
According to Kola Abimbola, the Yorùbá have evolved a robust philosophy, in brief, it holds that human beings possess “Àyànmo” (destiny, fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olódumarè (the Supreme Creator) or Olorun. The emissaries of Olodumare are the Yoruba Gods and deities called Orishas. The Orishas rule over the forces of nature and the endeavors of humanity. All the Gods have their own duties; and while perfectly independent in their own domain, they cannot trespass upon the rights of others.
Aganjú, Aganyu (m): Orisha of volcanoes, the wilderness and rivers. Aganjú is a force that is essential for growth, like his symbol the Sun. Like the volcano, Aganju forms the foundation upon which societies are built and is the catalyst for the production of vast amounts of wealth and commerce needed for advanced development, assisting humans in overcoming great physical as well as psychological barriers. Aganjú is noted for his legendary strength and his ability to bring about drastic change. As the third Orìsha to have come to earth, Aganjú is a God of great antiquity. Together with his sister Yemaja, he is the offspring of Heaven and Earth (Obatala and Odudua). Continue reading
Yoruba and Oyo
The African peoples who lived in Yorubaland, at least by the seventh century BCE, were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. The historical Yoruba develop out of earlier (Mesolithic) Volta-Niger populations, by the 1st millennium BCE.
Oral history recorded under the Oyo Empire derives the Yoruba as an ethnic group from the population of the older kingdom of Ile-Ife. Ife was surpassed by the Oyo Empire as the dominant Yoruba military and political power between 1600 CE and 1800 CE. The nearby kingdom of Benin was also a powerful force between 1300 and 1850 CE.
Most of the city states were controlled by Obas, elected priestly monarchs, and councils made up of Oloyes, recognised leaders of royal, noble and, often, even common descent, who joined them in ruling over the kingdoms through a series of guilds and cults. Oyo had powerful, autocratic monarchs with almost total control, while in the Ijebu city-states, the senatorial councils were supreme and the Ọba served as something of a figurehead. In all cases, Yoruba monarchs were subject to the continuing approval of their constituents as a matter of policy. Continue reading
Ile Ife [Edited]
Ife (Yoruba: Ifè, also Ilé-Ifẹ̀) is an ancient Yoruba city in south-western Nigeria. It is located in the present day Osun State. Ife is about 218 kilometres (135 miles) northeast of Lagos.
Mythic origin of Ife, the holy city: Creation of the world
The Yoruba locate their origines in Ife. The mythology awards several alternative creation stories. According to one creation story, Olodumare, the Supreme God, ordered Obatala to create the earth but on his way he found palm wine, drank it and became intoxicated. Therefore the younger brother of the latter, Oduduwa, took the three items of creation from him, climbed down from the heavens on a chain and threw a handful of earth on the primordial ocean, then put a cockerel on it so that it would scatter the earth, thus creating the land on which Ile Ife would be built.
Oduduwa planted a palm nut in a hole in the newly formed land and from there sprang a great tree with sixteen branches, a symbolic representation of the clans of the early Ife city-state. The usurpation of creation by Oduduwa gave rise to the ever lasting conflict between him and his elder brother Obatala, which is still re-enacted in the modern era by the members of the two clans during the Itapa New Year festival. Continue reading