In the pantheistic religion of the Yoruba 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 Orisha, who are manifestations of certain aspects of the supreme God and with whom humans can interact.

Obatala (King of White Cloth) is one of the eldest Orisha 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 Orisha mythology there are many cautionary tales illustrating the consequences of that follow when an Orisha 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.