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Personality of Orishaoko
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.
- St. Isidore, the Farmer - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online
Large searchable database of information on Catholic saints. Saints, Catholic Saints. Thousands of Catholic Saints with biographical data, prayers, images, etc. The saints are cross-indexed to other patronage topics, nationality, and calendar of sain