creation of the universe

What was the creation of the universe like for Yorubas and practitioners? A fascinating story

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The Yoruba patakies (Yoruba ancestral stories) tell that the creation of the universe, our universe, was the brainchild of Olofi in his manifestation of Olodumare.

We must bear in mind that the Supreme Being Olodumare is the deity who sustains and governs the planet, who gives power and energy, life or death to all those beings who live on earth.

We can say that this relationship between “Olofi-Olodumare” is explained in the form of a trilogy as they are believed to be the same essence, as is Olorun, that energy that radiates from the sun.

If we wish to understand the meaning of this whole relationship, we must know those words that compose it:

  • Olo: Means Owner
  • Odu: Means World
  • Mare: It is understood as the place to which we return.

It is in this way that we can deduce that the union of these three concepts means “The owner of the world where we will return”.

Olodumare in the Yoruba language means the omnipotent God who exists by himself, the owner of the whole world, the one who can be absolutely everything.

To understand the creation of the universe for the Yoruba, it is important to know the meaning of the following points.

creation of the world for the Yoruba
creation of the world for the Yoruba

The well-known trilogy “Olofi, Olorun and Olodumare”. 

Olofi, on the other hand, is seen by the Yorubas as a kind of impersonal god, and researchers think that his figure may have emerged in the Afro-Cuban cult.

All thanks to the enormous catholic influence in which the Christian god is perceived as such in a divine trinity, which we all know as the father, son and holy spirit.

However, there is a very clear definition for Olorun, as “Olo” means “Owner” and “Orun” means sky, thus representing “Owner of the sky”.

The representation of the highest deity among the Orishas 

Many studies agree that the fusion between Olofi and Olodumare has as its meaning the idea of heaven and earth; seen in this way, Olofi is the father of heaven and Olodumare would be the mother and owner of the earth.

On the other hand, worship extends to the set of divinities known as Orishas, created by Olodumare, who are intermediaries between men and Olofi.

All the Orishas that make up the Yoruba Pantheon were humans with an incredible and amazing history, who accumulated power and wisdom during their lifetime.

So one day they went from being men and women walking on land, to that of Orishas, who personify various forces of nature itself.

Pataki that tells us about the creation of the world and all that inhabits it.  

In the beginning of everything Olodumare was in the world where there was no land, no plants, no animals, absolutely nothing, only rocks and a constant loneliness.

One day the world was filled with flames, which in turn produced a huge wave of thunderous vapour, until one day Olofi poured rain on all these flames.

One part was completely burnt, water was deposited in it and the great oceans were formed, where all the yemaya from Okute to Olokun were born.

After many days, the ashes of the burnt rocks accumulated in the highest parts, thus forming a muddy mass, this was the land of Orishaoko, the deity of prosperity.

In them were born the herbs that fed on them, and the mighty Osain was born, the known owner of the bush and all its secrets, the secret of the herbs and their healing power.

In the highest parts of the mountain, the well known hills of Oke were created, after the elevations of Oke, the volcanoes of Aggayú Solá originated, where all kinds of shrapnel used by Oggún, the owner of iron, and all the other strong Orishas come from.

In this way the world and everything in it was created, where all the orishas manifested the energies of nature, which they possessed as power.

Another perspective or story about the creation of the universe 

The story of the creation of the universe has been interpreted from many points of view, but Olodumare, the supreme god for all Yorubas, remains the main one.

In the beginning it was necessary to know whether the newly formed planets could support life, and among them, the earth was considered too wet to be inhabited.

In order to make the earth fit for habitation and to develop its crust properly, they sent some deities under the command of Obatalá the great white Orisha.

This is how the creation of the universe, of that which exists to this day, began: 

  • Obatalá with a mollusc that concealed some form of soil, winged beasts and some cloth as material, emptied the contents into a large mound on the surface of the water; soon after, the winged beasts began to scatter these around to the point, in which it gradually became a large patch of dry land. The multiple crevices they created subsequently became hills and valleys, Obatalá leapt to high ground and named this place Ife, where everything became fertile and plant life began to break through and flourish…
creation of the universe for the Yoruba
creation of the universe for the Yoruba

From that earth that Obatalá had formed with his own hands he began to mould figures, those who were the future beings of the earth.

Olodumare, observing that the earth was already formed, gathered the gases from the condoms in space and caused a huge explosion that turned into a fireball.

This ball was sent to Ife, where he dried up much of the earth and simultaneously began to bake those motionless figures.

After all this, the supreme god gave the first breath or also known as the breath of life, all the figures that had been moulded were given the gift of life, thus becoming the first men of the land of Ife.

It was in this way, that after all this process of the creation of the universe, the earth and life, Ife became the cradle of existence or also called “Ife Oodaye”, thanks to the breath of life that Olodumare gave us.

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