Oxossi (also Oshosi, Ochosi, Ososi, Oxosi, or Osawsi) is both the Orisha of the hunt and the forest and is one of the three warrior orishas referred to as the "Ebora" in the Yoruba religion. He is a hunter and his role is often a solitary figure in the wilderness, which lends him another role as a shaman. He is also connected with all hunter communities, and is often depicted as a friend or ally of both the caboclos and the nature spirits of the forests of Brazil. He is also associated to Abundance, of food and energy. His festivities often include a lot of fruit in show of that connection. Oshosi is most important to the people of Brazil in Candomblé (a Latin American religion derived from the traditional spiritual practices of the Yoruba people of West Africa), as the Amazon Rainforest brings this element of him to the fore in Candomblé more than in its cousins, the island religions of Cuban Santeria and Haitian Voudoun.
During the period in which the majority of the orisha venerators in Latin America were slaves to Catholic Europeans, Oshosi came to be identified with Saint Sebastian in the Rio de Janeiro area of Brazil. San Sebatian is most often shown in representations tied and shot full of arrows, which led to his association with the hunter orisha. He is alternately depicted as Saint George in the Bahia region, and in Cuba, he is identified with Saint Norbert.
Oshosi is the patron of justice and the hunt. As a master of all air attacks, he is prayed to when devotees are looking for swift justice from above. They also come to him in search of other things, a job or house for example. He is the patron of those who work with animals, dogs in particular, and is quite often supplicated when a wrong is done to an animal without cause.
- Charles Spencer King, "Nature's Ancient Religion: Orisha Worship & IFA" ISBN 1-4404-1733-4
- Charles Spencer King, "IFA Y Los Orishas: La Religion Antigua De LA Naturaleza" ISBN 1-4610-2898-1
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