Observations placeholder

Yoruba creation myth

Identifier

011356

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Annoyingly I have lost the source of this entry, it was a website on African culture written by Africans, but I cannot find the link I thought I had carefully preserved

The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethno-linguistic or ethnic groups in west Africa predominantly in Nigeria with approximately 21 percent of its total population.  While the majority of the Yoruba live in Nigeria, there are also substantial indigenous Yoruba communities in the Republic of Benin, Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas,Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Puerto Rico, Ghana and Togo.  Yoruba religion and mythology is a major influence in West Africa, chiefly in Nigeria, and it has given origin to several other religions such as Santería in Cuba and Puerto Rico, Voudou in Haiti, and Candomblé in Brazil.

A description of the experience

The Yoruban cosmos has a number of levels, like the layers of an onion. The most spiritual and longest existing is at the center.
The Realm of Olorun, The Adobe of the Mighty Creator, Oloddumare is at the center of everything there was, is and will be. All creation, came forth from this centre. In pots which Oloddumare created. In each pot, there is his creative force which he uses to make and maintain part of the totality of creation. And for every male creative force there is a female creative force.
Now realize before the beginning of everything there was only Ashe, the creative force itself. It was in no pot. There was nothing but Ashe. But one day Ashe began to think. And when thinking began Ashe became Oloddumare. And as Oloddumare thought he thought matter, and so matter became to be. And the matter is called Olorun, the Adobe at the center of everything. But matter became a she as Oloddumare is a he, for thinking causes a reaction in the opposite direction, a male thinking generates a female thing; a female thinking a male thing. The name of the thinking creating matter in Olorun is Nana Baruku, the Grandmother of all the divinities. This female creator has many names: Nana,, Nan Nan, Nana Baruku, Nana Baluku, Na Na Baraclou, Boucalou are but a few.
Nana Begins to Think
Once Nana Baruku is thought she gives birth to Mawa and Lissa who are the Cosmic Egg and the seed which fertilizes it respectively. In most oral renderings of the story of creation it is this egg that gives rise to everything else:

Before there was day,
before there was night,
and before there was a Universe,
All things lived in harmony in Olorun, The Cosmic Heavens,
located in the realm of Ikode Orun.
The Giant Egg that sat in the center of Nothingness.

The Irunmole Come to Be
The Giant Egg was Mawa and the seed of the egg was Lissa. These (and often the Great Grandmother herself) are called the the first or Great Divinities, the Irunmole. The Ironmole includes:Nana Baruku, Mawu Lissa, Olofin, Kiori, Dakuta, and 1001 other Irunmole all results of the seed and the egg, of Lissa and Mawa.
The Irunmole Expand the Universe
Now it was the Irunmole who decided they wanted to expand the universe. They went to Oloddumare and told him what they wanted. They debated the matter and decided that if the universe was to expand then something must bind it. It was thusly that the Oshumare was created, the Rainbow Serpent (Danh, the material manifestation Aido Hawedo). The Rainbow Serpent which has coils around the egg, and then when it is created the whole universe binding it firm. But Oloddumare said,
"Someday, Oshumare will become hungry and will begin to devour its own tail. When that happens then all that is, was and will be will return to the center, uncreated as quickly as it was created. So be it."
Now the Fon of Dahomey believe this serpent sits around the world and binds it so it does not fall apart, with 3500 coils above and 3500 coils below. But that is the Fon, and this page is mainly about the Yoruba. So we continue..
The Irunmole Create the Orishas
So the Irunmole began to create and by creating built the universe as it is. They created the messengers, the minor gods the Orishas.
The Orishas, often called the Great Orishas to distinquish them from the Lesser or Minor Orishas, are Obatala, Ogun, Eshu, Shango, Yemaya, Ochun, Obalu Aye, Ochosi, Erinle, Aganju, and 1001 other Great Orisha. It was the Great Orishas who created the planet we live on and all life on it as we know it, and even the humans which live on it. And for the pattern of the first human they used Nana, but the first human was called Ayizan. She created all other humans.
The Great Orishas Create The Lesser Orishas
And as these first humans died, Oshupa, Orun, Orisa Oko, Dada, Iroko, Odudua, Obi, Shaluga, Obi, and 1001 others, they became the kindly guiding spirits, the Lesser Orishas.
The Orishas Create a Place For Spirits
Now after this time there are no more Orishas created of any sort. However if people lead good, and spiritual lives their spirit enters the realm created by the Orishas called Egun Eggungunand and strengthen that spiritual realm with their strong good spirit. These spirits are called the Ori (Eleda). But they are the spirit guides. There are other spirits in that realm. Spirits of evil people, ancestors neither very good, nor very bad, and spirits of nature.
The World, the Final Creation of the Orishas
Finally the Orishas created the world as we know it, with the most important humans, the ones who can talk with them, and with the denziens of the spirit world in general, called Elders who are the Spiritual Leaders. The come the Lawkeepers and Teachers, then the followers of Ifa, and then those who do not believe, and finally, most evil of all the Bad Lot called Ori Buruku.

The source of the experience

African tribal

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References