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Member of Orisha
A Santo from a religion..jpg
Elegua depicted as a young man
Other namesEleggua, Elegu
Venerated inYoruba religion, Santería, Candomblé
RegionNigeria, Latin America,
Ethnic groupYoruba people
A depiction of Ellegua

Elegua (Yoruba: Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára, also spelled Eleggua; known as Eleguá in Latin America and Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands) is an Orisha, a deity of roads in the religions of Santería, Winti, Umbanda, Quimbanda, Holy Infant of Atocha, and Candomblé.[1][2]

In Africa[edit]

Elegua is known as Èṣù-Ẹlẹ́gbára in the Yoruba religion and is closely associated with Eshu. Ẹlẹ́gbára means the "master of force" in the Yoruba language.[1][2]


Eleguá (Legba) is known in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico as the orisha and "owner" of caminos, or roads and paths. All ceremonies and rituals in Santería must first have the approval of Eleguá before progressing. He is the messenger of Olofi. Within the "Regla de Ocha" [Cuba], he slightly differs from Echu, who in this case is seen as his brother, by having less dangerous and less aggressive characteristics. Eleguá moves silently; in contrast, Echu "breaks through". Manifestations of Eleguá includes Akefun, Aleshujade, Arabobo, Awanjonu, Lalafán, Obasín, Oparicocha, and Osokere.[2]

There is a patakí (story) in Santería in which Olodumare gives Eleguá the keys to the past, present, and future; for this reason, Eleguá is often depicted holding a set of keys. A figure of Eleguá may be placed in the house behind the entrance door.[2]

In Brazil[edit]

In Afro-Brazilian religion Elegbara is one of the titles of Exu.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Adeoye, C.L. (1989). Ìgbàgbọ́ àti ẹ̀sìn Yorùba (in Yoruba). Ibadan: Evans Bros. Nigeria Publishers. p. 123. ISBN 9781675098.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lopes, Nei (2004). Enciclopédia brasileira da diáspora africana. São Paulo, SP: Selo Negro Edições. p. 252. ISBN 9788587478214.

External links[edit]