OBATALA, GOD OF CREATIVITY [Part 1] EXCLUSIVE OLAMOND NAIJA

Obatala (King of White Cloth) is one of the eldest Òrìṣà created by Olodumare and held responsible for the creation of the earth and of human bodies. His devotees aim to reflect the purity of Obatala’s white clothing, striving for moral impeccability in their actions.

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Obatala or Oshala (known as Obatalá in Nigeria or Oxalá in Brazil) is an orisha. He is believed to be the Sky Father and the creator of human bodies, which were brought to life by the smooth breath of Olodumare. Obatala is the father of all orishas (irunmole or imole). His principal wife is Yemaya.

In the pantheistic religion of the Yorùbá people there exists a supreme God, Olodumare, who is considered almighty and eternal. However, no prayers or shrines are kept for Olodumare because the nature of such a being is regarded as beyond human comprehension. Olodumare creates various Òrìṣà, who are manifestations of certain aspects of the supreme God and with whom humans can interact.

obatala @olamondnaijablog

Obatala (King of White Cloth) is one of the eldest Òrìṣà created by Olodumare and held responsible for the creation of the earth and of human bodies. His devotees aim to reflect the purity of Obatala’s white clothing, striving for moral impeccability in their actions.

Within the Òrìṣà mythology there are many cautionary tales illustrating the consequences of that follow when an Òrìṣà acts in ways that they later regret. In the case of Obatala, a central myth describes how he becomes drunk on palm-wine resulting in the creation of humans with various disabilities and mutations. In his remorse he becomes the patron deity of albino’s, the disabled and people with genetic disorders or congenital defects; and his worshippers are forbidden to drink palm-wine. 

He is patient.

He is silent.

Without anger he pronounces his judgement.

He is distant,

but his eye rests on the town.

He kills the initiate

and rouses him to new life.

He is playful like death

he carries the child away.

He rides the hunchback,

he spreads out his arms

the right and the left.

He stands by his children,

he lets them succeed.

He makes them laugh –

and they laugh.

You, father of laughter,

your eye is laughing.

Immense granary of the sky.

Old man with the strength of youth,

you rest in the sky like a swarm of bees.

The rich owe their riches to you.

The poor owe their poverty to you.

You take from the rich and give to the poor.

Take then from the rich and give to me.

Obatala:

you turn blood into children

come and create the child in my own belly.

I own but a single cloth to dye with indigo.

I own but a single head-tie to dye with camwood.

But I know:

you have twenty or thirty children waiting for me,

whom I shall bear!

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