Yoruba Creation Myth


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  • OLOKUN Ruler of the waters below!
  • OLORUN Ruler of the sky above!
  • OBATALA (Wants to create "DRY LAND")
  • ORUNMILA Wisest of the Orisha...
  • GROCERY LIST: •long gold chain •snail shell •filled with sand •white hen •black cat •palm nut
  • In the beginning, there was only the sky above and waters below, and this was ruled by the might Orisha, the council of gods. OLORUN ruled the sky above and OLOKUN was master of all that was in the waters below.
  • One day, a god named OBATALA decided to create dry land. He asked for permission from OLORUN and advice from ORUNMILA, the wisest of the Orisha.
  • OBATALA poured the sand from the shell into the mist below, and released the hen. The hen landed on the sand and immediately began pecking and scratching, scattering the sand into all directions. The sand soon became vast mountains and valleys.
  • OBATALA was very pleased with his work. He named the land Ife and settled down with the cat to live on his new land. But after several months, OBATALA became bored. He began shaping figures in clay. As he worked, he drank palm wine.
  • When OBATALA awoke, he was distressed to see his creations were monstrous and dis-formed, so he set about to create more perfect figures. He vowed to never again drink palm wine.
  • OLOKUN was upset that OBATALA created the land, and the beings on it without his permission, as no one asked him how he felt about it. In anger, he sent a flood among the lands to rid the world of the dis-formed creations.
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