Video

"Ọya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa!" -excerpt

this documentary is a work in progress. the is a personal and political story which addresses the effects of memory on a current Òrìṣà cosmology while exploring  womyn’s leadership within indigenous Yorùbá spirituality.

visual language/treatment of film.
this documentary is non-linear in nature. it is utilizing ritual and performance against text/audio.  there is a layering of images and audio which  resonates with the multiple truths/levels of the practice/culture. 

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submitted by naijaboi 

Text

Ayida-Weddo

(Art by Thalia Took)

Ayida-Weddo, also known as Aida Wedo or Aido Quedo or Rainbow Serpent is the Vodou goddess of sweet waters, serpents, fertility and rainbows. She is represented  by the rainbow python.

Ayida-Weddo is a benevolent and sweet goddess, she is worshiped in parts of the Caribbean and in Benin. She represents continuity, strength, integration and wholeness.

Ayida-Weddo rules over fire, water, wind and the rainbow. She is also associated with wisdom. She protects creation.

Ayida-Weddo is the wife, or feminine aspect of Damballa-Wedo, the Sky God. Together, they both represent the principles of birth and creation.

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Aja An Orisha and patron of the forest, the animals and herbal healers of whome she taught their art.
Aja is referred to as “wild wind” in Yoruba. It is said that if someone is carried away by Aja and returns they are believed to have become a powerful “jujuman” or babalawo. The journey supposedly will have a duratation of between 7 days to 3 months, and the person carried is thought to have gone to the land of the dead or heaven.

Aja An Orisha and patron of the forest, the animals and herbal healers of whome she taught their art.

Aja is referred to as “wild wind” in Yoruba. It is said that if someone is carried away by Aja and returns they are believed to have become a powerful “jujuman” or babalawo. The journey supposedly will have a duratation of between 7 days to 3 months, and the person carried is thought to have gone to the land of the dead or heaven.

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Yewa (also known as Ewa)
The orisha associated with death and the final resting place of the underworld and watches over and protects people’s graves and is the guide the dead to the afterlife. As guardian of the underworld she aslo works alongside Oya. Yewa’s colours are burgundy and pink, she often depicted eliding a horsetail whip and a sword.

Yewa (also known as Ewa)

The orisha associated with death and the final resting place of the underworld and watches over and protects people’s graves and is the guide the dead to the afterlife. As guardian of the underworld she aslo works alongside Oya. Yewa’s colours are burgundy and pink, she often depicted eliding a horsetail whip and a sword.

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Shango (also known as Chango, Sango, or Xango) 
King of the orisha pantheon, rules over thunder, fire, drumming, dancing and male virility. Shango is actually a deified king who was once the Fourth Alafin of the city-state of Oyó. He is one of the most worshipped orishas in the pantheon and his legends are numerous and speak to the human experience. He has four separate wives: Obba - his first wife who was faithful but unattractive so Shango withdrew his affections from her, Oshun his favourite lover, Oya his equal in strength and power, and Yewa the virgin daughter of Obatala whose purity was stolen by Shango. He is the the owner of the sacred drums, a powerful sorcerer who wields fire and lightning, and loves to seduce women, drink and dance. Shango has a special relationship with Babalu Aye as he was the only orisha to offer him assistance when he was sick and homeless. Shango is often considered the son of Yemaya and his fatherhood is either credited to Ogun or Aggayu. Shango was a very impulsive youth and was quick to anger, and legend has it that Obatala taught Shango the art of diplomacy and gifted him with the white bead that is now a part of his necklace. In nature, Shango is said to live at the top of the royal palm tree and his offerings are commonly placed at the foot of palm trees. Shango is petitioned for help with protection, enemies, sexual, business success, and good fortune.

Shango (also known as Chango, Sango, or Xango)

King of the orisha pantheon, rules over thunder, fire, drumming, dancing and male virility. Shango is actually a deified king who was once the Fourth Alafin of the city-state of Oyó. He is one of the most worshipped orishas in the pantheon and his legends are numerous and speak to the human experience. He has four separate wives: Obba - his first wife who was faithful but unattractive so Shango withdrew his affections from her, Oshun his favourite lover, Oya his equal in strength and power, and Yewa the virgin daughter of Obatala whose purity was stolen by Shango. He is the the owner of the sacred drums, a powerful sorcerer who wields fire and lightning, and loves to seduce women, drink and dance. Shango has a special relationship with Babalu Aye as he was the only orisha to offer him assistance when he was sick and homeless. Shango is often considered the son of Yemaya and his fatherhood is either credited to Ogun or Aggayu. Shango was a very impulsive youth and was quick to anger, and legend has it that Obatala taught Shango the art of diplomacy and gifted him with the white bead that is now a part of his necklace. In nature, Shango is said to live at the top of the royal palm tree and his offerings are commonly placed at the foot of palm trees. Shango is petitioned for help with protection, enemies, sexual, business success, and good fortune.

Shangó

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Orunmila (also known as Orula, Orunla, or Ifa) 
The orisha of divination. He is the “eleripin” — the witness of destiny — who knows everything that awaits us as part of our fate. He has a very close working relationship with Eleggua and together they intercede on behalf of humanity to alter people’s destinies, ward off death and other misfortunes, and guide us to cultivate good character. His worship is primarily centred around the Ifá tradition, both in traditional African worship and in the African Diaspora in the new world, where his initiated priests, called awos, babalawos, iyanifas or oluwos, act as diviners for the greater community. He is petitioned for help with making wise descisons, opening roads, healing and protection from evil.

Orunmila (also known as Orula, Orunla, or Ifa)

The orisha of divination. He is the “eleripin” — the witness of destiny — who knows everything that awaits us as part of our fate. He has a very close working relationship with Eleggua and together they intercede on behalf of humanity to alter people’s destinies, ward off death and other misfortunes, and guide us to cultivate good character. His worship is primarily centred around the Ifá tradition, both in traditional African worship and in the African Diaspora in the new world, where his initiated priests, called awos, babalawos, iyanifas or oluwos, act as diviners for the greater community. He is petitioned for help with making wise descisons, opening roads, healing and protection from evil.


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Babalu Aye (also known as Omoluaye, Asojano, or Shopona)
Orisha who rules over infectious diseases and healing. He is one of the most feared and revered orishaw because of his power over life and death. Babalu Aye’s worship originated with the Fon tribe of Benin, in Western Africa, but his influence was so powerful that tribes up and down the West African coast adopted his worship. He is the patron of those suffering from many infectious diseases. Babalu Aye has a special relationship with the orisha Shango because he was the only one who reached out to assist him when he was sick and homeless. Babalu Aye is frequently called upon for help with healing and overcoming these plagues.

Babalu Aye (also known as Omoluaye, Asojano, or Shopona)

Orisha who rules over infectious diseases and healing. He is one of the most feared and revered orishaw because of his power over life and death. Babalu Aye’s worship originated with the Fon tribe of Benin, in Western Africa, but his influence was so powerful that tribes up and down the West African coast adopted his worship. He is the patron of those suffering from many infectious diseases. Babalu Aye has a special relationship with the orisha Shango because he was the only one who reached out to assist him when he was sick and homeless. Babalu Aye is frequently called upon for help with healing and overcoming these plagues.

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Ochosi (also known as Ochossi, Oshosi, or Oxosi)
The divine hunter and embodiment of justice amongst the orishas. He is a skilled tracker and the most talented archer in the world. While he can find his way in and out of the jungle where others get lost, he does not live there. He is an urban orisha and lives in Obatala’s castle as his personal hunter. He is close friends with Eleggua and Ogun; the three of whom are called “the warriors”. He is an orisha of high moral and ethical standards and encourages his worshippers to be law-abiding, upstanding citizens. He helps his followers to “hit the mark” when they strive to attain goals, and to do so with integrity. He is frequently called upon for issues of injustice and for court cases and legal issues and is considered the patron of police officers and court officials by many followers.

(Art by Kaltbult)

Ochosi (also known as Ochossi, Oshosi, or Oxosi)

The divine hunter and embodiment of justice amongst the orishas. He is a skilled tracker and the most talented archer in the world. While he can find his way in and out of the jungle where others get lost, he does not live there. He is an urban orisha and lives in Obatala’s castle as his personal hunter. He is close friends with Eleggua and Ogun; the three of whom are called “the warriors”. He is an orisha of high moral and ethical standards and encourages his worshippers to be law-abiding, upstanding citizens. He helps his followers to “hit the mark” when they strive to attain goals, and to do so with integrity. He is frequently called upon for issues of injustice and for court cases and legal issues and is considered the patron of police officers and court officials by many followers.

(Art by Kaltbult)

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Osain (also known as Ozain or Osanyin)

Orisha of wild plants, healing and magic. He is a powerful wizard, master of all spell craft and is found out in the wild, untamed areas of nature. Without Osain, none of the ceremonies in the religion can happen; it is his magic that is used to conjure the shrines of the orishas. Osain is commonly understood to be Shango’s godfather who taught him how to spit fire and throw lightning. Osain’s magic is so powerful that no one can unravel his spells. Consequently he is petitioned for any purpose where unconquerable magic is required.
Osain is often depicted as an extremely disfigured, impish man. He has one eye, one hand, one foot, one tiny ear that can hear even a pin drop, and one ear larger than his head that hears nothing. He keeps all of his magic in a calabash that he hangs high in a tree, out of reach.

 

Osain (also known as Ozain or Osanyin)

Orisha of wild plants, healing and magic. He is a powerful wizard, master of all spell craft and is found out in the wild, untamed areas of nature. Without Osain, none of the ceremonies in the religion can happen; it is his magic that is used to conjure the shrines of the orishas. Osain is commonly understood to be Shango’s godfather who taught him how to spit fire and throw lightning. Osain’s magic is so powerful that no one can unravel his spells. Consequently he is petitioned for any purpose where unconquerable magic is required.

Osain is often depicted as an extremely disfigured, impish man. He has one eye, one hand, one foot, one tiny ear that can hear even a pin drop, and one ear larger than his head that hears nothing. He keeps all of his magic in a calabash that he hangs high in a tree, out of reach.

 

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Yemoja (also known as Yemaya and Iemanja) 
The queen of the Earth, owner of all waters, and the orish of motherhood. She is the mother of all living things and lives in the sea. Her name is a contraction of the Yoruba saying “iyá omó eyá” meaning “mother whose children are the fish.” and mer-people are Yemoja sacred offspring. She is the older sister of Oshun.
Yemoja wears seven panels skirts to represent the seven seas of which she rules over. She carries a black haired horse tail fly-whisk, a sabre, or a machete with which she defends her children. When she spins, the rippling edges of her dress are the tempestuous waves of the stormy sea.

Yemoja (also known as Yemaya and Iemanja)

The queen of the Earth, owner of all waters, and the orish of motherhood. She is the mother of all living things and lives in the sea. Her name is a contraction of the Yoruba saying “iyá omó eyá” meaning “mother whose children are the fish.” and mer-people are Yemoja sacred offspring. She is the older sister of Oshun.

Yemoja wears seven panels skirts to represent the seven seas of which she rules over. She carries a black haired horse tail fly-whisk, a sabre, or a machete with which she defends her children. When she spins, the rippling edges of her dress are the tempestuous waves of the stormy sea.