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Local River Orisa in Yorubaland

Started by Omowale, Mar 14, 2023, 12:55 PM

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Today is ọ̀sẹ̀ Ọ̀ṣun. I decided to make a thread about the local river ọ̀rìṣà throughout Yorubaland. In yesterday's topic: Religious Dogma and Isese @Atipo mentioned Ògbòó of Èkìtìland. He explained how people who worship Ògbòó believe they are also paying homage to Ọ̀ṣun. These local river orisha are manifestations of irunmole Oshun. So in this thread I will talk about these lesser known river orisha.

(Photo of River devotees celebrating orisa Elehinle. Okemesi, Ekiti State, Jan 18, 2021)
~Manifest destiny from within~


Ọmọ Elehinle are prefixed with the name Omi (water). For example: "Omidiran", "Omidiji". This is similar to Ifa initiates who have their name prefixed with Ifa, such as my godmom @Iyanifa_Ifafunke_agbeke . As you have also probably noticed, Elehinle devotees also wear white cloth like Oshun devotees. You can also see in the last photo that one is wearing yellow/brass color which is also symbolic to Oshun devotees. There are seemingly countless river orisha. Elehinle is just one.



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Every town ìn Èkìti has like 5-10 streams. There are like hundreds of towns so yeah the local river deities are a lot. Not all streams are worshipped from my understanding

Some of the widespread ones are like Ọ̀gbẹ̀sẹ̀ because its a continuous river. Ògbòó seems to be some sort of common ancestral river so many independent streams are called Ògbòó.

In Ìlárá-Mọ̀kín we had Omi Ọlọ́tín, the river of wine and Etí Àgbo, the edge of herbal medicine

I've been focusing my research on the town of Ijù, where people have been documenting Iṣẹṣe well. They have river deities like Atan, Ogbese, and Ògbòó
Atan is actually the name of a river found in a few places even in the Oyo region.

In Akure, we have many streams, the most popular is the Àlà river. There are 2 Àlà rivers in Àkúrẹ́, one of the most popular verses in their oriki says so. Àkúrẹ́ lomi meji, kọ́n peji l'Ala. Àlà that they use to invoke the Orí of a child, it is the river of children. In Akure folklore actually we believe it originally was one stream.


@Atipo Very interesting! Are these rivers in Ijù connected? Are there festivals held for each orisa in Ijù town? Ẹ ṣé gaan
~Manifest destiny from within~


More photos of Elehinle devotees.


~Manifest destiny from within~


Quote from: Omowale on Mar 14, 2023, 01:47 PM@Atipo Very interesting! Are these rivers in Ijù connected? Are there festivals held for each orisa in Ijù town? Ẹ ṣé gaan
No these rivers aren't connected and usually just worshipped by the people of the neighborhood the river is in.
And each neighborhood has their own festival for each imọlẹ


Otin is another river Orisha. Though this one is more known throughout the diaspora compared to the other we mentioned.. This orisha in  venerated by the Èkó people. Historically Otin river played a role in the defense of a town (Inisa?). When the town was attacked. Otin fought off the invaders. There is another ìtàn where Otin is the river. The enemies of the townspeople drowned when they launched an attack and Otin has thus become celebrated at the river.

Here is a video of Otin Èkó Festival:

~Manifest destiny from within~