There are many defining characteristics of the Omo Eleggua and this list also includes the forbidden sons of Eleggua, a famous Pataki tells that Prince Eleggua found a shiny coconut while strolling along the shores of the beach.
After her conversation with the said coconut Eleggua fell ill and only three days later died, a soothsayer arrived at the court explaining that inside the coconut there was a genie who had been offended.
And that was the reason why Prince Elegbara had died, the repentant king had sent to worship the bogeyman, to ask for his protection and forgiveness.
After that the coconut’s eyes never shone again, the soothsayer intervened and had the coconut fitted with snails to serve as ears, mouth and eyes.
The coconut was named Eleggua and since then it has been revered and respected by all the people of that village, opening the way for mankind.
From that day on, not only was the coconut named as a mouthpiece of Eleggua, but it was also part of Eleggua’s children’s prohibitions not to eat coconut.
The coconut is so fundamental in the Yoruba religion that it is used to pay tribute to all the Orishas that make up the Yoruba pantheon, as well as to the Egguns that watch over and bless us.
Pataki about the bans sons of Eleggua and the Obbi (Coco)
This pataki tells that Eleggua stood out for being a very rebellious child who liked to play alone in the jungle. One day Obbatala noticed this situation and was so curious that he told Elegbara:
- My son, who do you play with so much in the jungle?
Eleggua was very candid in his response and stated the following:
- Father Obbatala, it is Obbi who I always play with, an answer to which Obbatala did not pay much attention.
The village in which Elegua lived already branded him as crazy because he spoke only through the jungle, and the villagers were so afraid that they decided to set a trap for him.
Unfortunately Eleggua died in this trap, his body was left next to a stone and Obbi (Coco); on learning of this situation Obbatala and yemayá wept for the loss of their favourite son.
After his death Eleggua was made a saint, trying to find out who it was that had killed Elegba, Obbatala decided to ask Obbi who said:
- It was the people who mercilessly killed Eleggua
Because of this reason is that one of the forbidden children of Eleggua, it is said that none of them can eat coconut and this is also the reason why Eleggua is represented by an Otá (stone).
On the other hand, the negative side of Eleggua is Eshu, the spirit who was angered to learn that it was the people themselves who had murdered him.
Eleggua forgave this betrayal and since then he has also been known as life and death, and is depicted with red and black beads.
Did you know this pataki is part of Eleggua’s children’s prohibitions and the reason why they cannot eat Obbi (Coconut)?