African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Orisha (Page 2 of 2)

The Importance of Ori

One of the most important poems of Ifa, the divination system of the Yorubas. In this long and fascinating poem we meet many of the principal Yoruba Orisa or gods, and each is characteristically described. But the central argument is that each man’s fate is ultimately decided by his own character.

Ogun, God of War

A Yoruba Praise-Poem from Nigeria. Ogun is the God of iron and metallurgy. He is pictured as a blacksmith, but presides over every activity in which iron is used – hoes for cultivating, cutlasses for reaping, guns for hunting, cars for travelling, and so on. He therefore becomes the God of creativity and of harvesting, of hunting and of warfare, of invention and exploration and destruction.

Eshu, God of Fate

A Yoruba Praise-Poem from Nigeria. As the God of Fate, the uncontrollable element in human life, Eshu is praised as a kind of trickster God, bringing about the unexpected, the contradictory and the downright impossible.

Eshu turns right into wrong, wrong into right.
When he is angry, he hits a stone until it bleeds.

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African Poems