Saturday 7 May 2022

Sàngó is not the only thunder deity among the Yorùbá

Orisa Ayra in Possession in Brazil

Àrá is the Yorùbá word for thunder, and the personification of this force is variously known as the Òrìsà, Oramfe in Ife and a Àrá or Àrà-gbígbóná in the western kingdoms of Sábé and Kétu, (now in the Republic of Benin), as well as the related town of Ìlárá )now on the Nigerian side of the border). 

Among these western Yorùbá-speaking peoples we know that outside the Òyó kingdom, in Sábé and Kétu, the Aláàfin’s cult of Sàngó became established alongside the earlier local Àrá cults. 

Orisa Ayra Dancer in Brazil

This cult diffusion was no doubt linked to the rise of Òyó as an imperial power in the 17th and 18th centuries. “

By Marc Schlitz 

“Yorùbá Thunder Deities and Sovereignty- Àrá versus Sàngó”

Ayra Photo credits: Adeloya Oficial

1 comment:

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