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Personality of Orishaoko

Updated on January 8, 2012

In the Oracle of Ifa Ogbe DI, there is a patakin of Orishaoko & Shango, which I believe expresses the character and personality of this particular Orisha. In this way, we can also attribute the same properties to the individuals which are affiliated to this Orisha..i.e.. initiated or crowned child of Orishaoko. The patakin is called "How Oshun learned to give consideration to Orishaoko". I guess it is called this, because it must have been told to Oshun by Orunmila, when asked the question; Why is Orishaoko so important to us?

In Ogbe Di, Orishaoko older brother of Shango and also a warrior; Set out to explore other kingdoms with Shango, and rode out on many adventures together. When Shango decided to go off to war, in order to conquer new lands. Orishaoko was there with him. Yet along the way, fell off his horse and injured his talon and knee. Shango carried his older brother to the nearest town called Irawo. He was left there because he was to handicapped to fight. While there, Orishaoko settled down to farming and generated many crops, included where yams, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Oya which owned the market place in that town, made sure that food generated from Orishaoko's crops made it too Shango's army. Because of the abundance of food, Shango's army was always fit and well nourished. This gave them a great advantage over his enemies. And as a result, Shango was able to win many battles, becoming famous throughout all the lands that he conquered.

When the wars ended and Shango had no more lands to conquer he went to visit the land of Irawo. Upon arrival he noticed a great festivity, and to his amazement it was not in his honor. It was in honor of his older brother Orishaoko. Yemaya, which at one time was married to Orishaoko, despised him, because he had left her. They apparently had marital situations. She started poking and provoked Shango into a confrontation with Orishaoko.

As soon as, Shango saw his brother face to face in the middle of the celebration. He lashed out saying, "This one you honor; this weakling of a man, whom could not go to war and I had to carry". Orishaoko responded. "Don't offend me my brother." "First of all because I am oldest, secondly because, if it were not for my food; you would not have won any of your wars." Shango then infuriated bashed Orishaoko, and he fell to the ground.

The Awo of that land was named Ogbe Di, and witnessed what was happening. He immediately grabbed Shango and said, "Shango you are wrong; if it were not for the injury that he sustained in his talon, and knee; due to a sacrifice which he did not honor; he would have remained at your side, and fought just as valiantly as you." Ogbe Di further explained that after he had left him in the town of Irawo. Orishaoko did do sacrifice to God and divinities, and acquired the gift of farming. In which he supplied his armies, and the people of the lands that he went on conquering. And, in this way he was also admired. Shango upon hearing this became ashamed and embarrassed. Hugged his brother, and asked for forgiveness. He then stomped real hard on the ground and lighting struck. Then from the ground, Shango pulled out a thunder stone. He gave it to his brother and said from this day forward this is the symbol of our allegiance and strength. And, let it be known, that Orishaoko is just as strong and mighty as Shango.

I was pleasantly asked to describe the characteristics that made up the personality of the Yoruba divinity Orishaoko. In this story we can honestly say that he is; strong, aggressive, tenacious, and ever adapting to situations. We also say that Orishaoko is a warrior and fighter. Yet, always giving and supportive of those in need. We can further say, that he does not like women that engage in witchcraft. He stands up for what he believes in, and supports the needs of many. He will not back down and give up. And, last but not least respected among all the Orisha's of the Yoruba patheon of divinities.

Orishaoko is synchronized with the Catholic Saint, San Isidro Labrador; Saint Isidor the farmer; here is a link which I liked which also explains a little bit about Orishaoko's character from a Catholic Saints side.


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  • Ask Queenmother profile image

    Ask Queenmother 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Aboru, Aboye, Abosise, Baba

    Thank you sharing that story,Orisaoko is not very well known in the west. You have provided information about him to clarify his relationship to Shango. Is Orisaoko the same as Dada?



  • profile image

    BRENDA 7 8 years ago

    omi sade, you are so passionate, ceremonies with you must be fun! anyway BABA I understand why you chose that story per my request! The trouble with a public forum would be that had we all been in the same room together we would have all felt the same energy that would lead you to choose this paticular story and not had to explain, but it is a place to learn and understand so i see how some may miscnstrue!Even in readings people get to caught up in little things in the stories so they miss the energy of the lesson sometimes. We all know the orisha love this in one story and despise in another, but babalow shows wich is relevant at each given time and situation! RESPECT AND GRATTITUDE , LOVE AND BLESSINGS BABA

  • BabaSixto profile image

    Sixto J Novaton 8 years ago from Florida

    The beauty of Hubpages is that, if someone does not like something written, the author can decide to change at his discretion, to make all readers happy... I would rather be informed via personal message or email, of anything that would offend, so that I can change it as I did... Just as I was kindly asked to write this hub about Orishaoko.. Lots of peace & blessings to all with lots ot Love... Baba ...

  • BabaSixto profile image

    Sixto J Novaton 8 years ago from Florida

    Yes Omisaide... this is a direct translation from the Lucumi Ifa corpse... I did it relatively quickly... didn't go back to change the words too magic or relate his relationship to Yemaya differently.. The article is about Orishaoko & Shango

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    omi saide 8 years ago

    Certain avatars of Yemaya practice witchcraft, like Oshun and Oya,LET'S MAKE THAT CLEAR SINCE WE ARE WRITING SO THAT PEOPLE WON'T GET IT MISCONSTRUED! Most of the witches practice PALO and other forms of black magic derived from the english/celtic cultures here in the west. MY AVATAR DISPELS EVIL! but this is a nice hub. BABALOUS LIKE YOU USE MAGIC TOO, WE ALL KNOW, by the way.

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    BRENDA 7 8 years ago

    I have never heard ANY of this, I am so grateful to you BABA ! I have had such a hard time understanding my own self sometimes, being I am so much like my mother but then....... lol. You are so kind to do this hub , I also want to admire your gentlemanly ways of responding, I am humbled and inspired by you thank-you so much! ashe,love