You should know that at the beginning of time human beings were offered to the Yoruba gods, this in gratitude for months of abundance and prosperous harvests; to know in depth why in the Yoruba religion immolations should be done, it is important that you know this pataki of Oduduwa.
Oduduwa was the king of a distant village and all his subjects were summoned once a year to start the festival by collecting yams.
Of course, this tradition was carried out after the letter of the ruling year was drawn, this was done by the Oluos who lived in that same kingdom.
You should bear in mind that Oduduwa means “Lord of the other world or of our destiny”, the pataki of Oduduwa say that he was the true creator deity of the world and all that exists in it.
Oduduwa Pataki: Her son did not want to sacrifice his own son and so the tradition was changed.
The favourite son of King Oduduwa was the babalawo in charge of buying the human being to be immolated (sacrificed) every year, so he had to travel to another village that traded in people, in order to complete his task.
On his way to his destination he came across a woman carrying a sack of corn, she could not cross the river with such a weight, so the man threw the sack on his back and crossed the mighty river, the woman and her goods.
The latter, in gratitude for the favour done, decided that he should be paid, so he paid as was the custom in those days, in kind for his services.
Some time after this event Oduduwa’s son returned to his village with the offering, while the woman with whom he had been intimate had discovered that she was pregnant.
She kept her condition a secret until some time later she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who grew big and strong while his mother, who cared for him, sold in the small town square.
This pataki from Oduduwa tells us how one day the child was very restless, and the mother decided to tie him to her pallet in order to control him, and so she continued to serve her customers.
Oduduwa’s son sells his own son unwittingly
Suddenly a man approached her stall asking if she was selling the child, who turned out to be Oduduwa’s son, whom the woman recognised instantly.
She said yes, whispering in the boy’s ear that he should have no fear, for she would go after him and prevent anything bad from happening to him, the man gave a fair payment for the boy and took him back to his village.
Animal immolation is born in Oduduwa Kingdom
Once in Oduduwa’s kingdom the boy entered the huge castle in the company of his father, unbeknownst to his father, he handed the boy over to Oduduwa to perform the ritual of the opening of the year.
- The mother, who had been following them from a distance, shouted so loudly that she managed to stop the ritual.
Before the presence of the whole village, he confessed what had happened years before, then sent the child to sing the song he had taught him, the same song his father had uttered while he was being conceived.
- The woman said that it would be a sin for a father to sacrifice his own son, and proposed instead to immolate to the gods a boy, a cock, a hen and some pigeons that she herself had brought in her sack.
From that day and the whole situation that had happened in the castle of King Oduduwa, animal sacrifice was born in the Yoruba religion, and therefore this well-known Oduduwa pataki.