|Thunder, lightning, justice, dance, virility|
|Member of Orisha|
Representation of Ṣàngó, National Museum of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
|Other names||Shango, Changó, Xangô, Jakuta, Siete Rayos|
|Venerated in||Yoruba religion, Dahomey mythology, Vodun, Santería, Candomblé, Haitian Vodou, Louisiana Voodoo, Folk Catholicism|
|Day||fourth day of the week|
|Color||red and white|
|Region||Nigeria, Benin, Latin America|
|Ethnic group||Yoruba people, Fon people|
Ṣàngó (Yoruba language: Ṣàngó, also known as Changó or Xangô in Latin America; and also known as Jakuta or Badé) (from '=shan, 'to strike') is an Orisha. He is syncretized with either Saint Barbara or Saint Jerome. Historically, Shango is a royal ancestor of the Yoruba as he was the third Alafin (king) of the Oyo Kingdom prior to his posthumous deification. Ṣàngó has numerous manifestations including Airá, Agodo, Afonja, Lubé, and Obomin. He is considered as one of the most powerful rulers in Yoruba land, and is noted for his anger.
Jakuta was the third Alafin of Oyo, following Oranmiyan and Ajaka. Jakuta brought prosperity to the Oyo Empire. According to Professor Mason's Mythological Account of Heroes and Kings, unlike his peaceful brother Ajaka, Jakuta (meaning: someone who fought with stones) was a powerful and violent ruler. He reigned for seven years which were marked by his continuous campaigns and many battles. His reign ended due his inadvertent destruction of his palace by lightning. He had three wives, namely Oshun, Oba, and Oya. The Oyo Empire declined in the 19th century which led to the enslavement of Fulani and Fon people. Among them were many followers of Ṣàngó, and worship of the deity thrived in the New World. Strong devotion to Ṣàngó led to Yoruba religions in Trinidad and Recife, Brazil to be named after the god.
In Yorubaland, Sango is worshiped on the fifth day of the week in which is named Ojo Jakuta. Ritual worship foods include guguru, bitter cola, àmàlà, and gbegiri soup. Also, it is worshiped with Bata drum. One significant thing about this deity is that it is worshiped using red clothing, just as he is said to have admired red attire during his lifetime.
Veneration of Sango
Ṣàngó is viewed as the most powerful and feared of the orisha pantheon. He casts a "thundersone" to earth, which creates thunder and lightning, to anyone who offends him. Worshippers in Yorubaland in Nigeria do not eat cowpea because they believe that the wrath of the god of iron would descend on them. The Ṣàngó god necklaces are composed in varying patterns of red and white beads; usually in groupings of four or six which are his "sacred numbers". Rocks created by lightning strikes are venerated by Ṣàngó worshipers; these stones, if found, are maintained at sacred sites and used in rituals. Ṣàngó is called on during coronation ceremonies in Nigeria to the present day.
Ṣàngó is known as Xangô in the Candomblé pantheon. He is said to be the son of Oranyan and his wives, as in the Yoruba tradition, include Oya, Oshun, and Oba. Xangô took on strong importance among slaves in Brazil for his qualities of strength, resistance, and aggression. He is noted as the god of lightning and thunder. He became the patron orixa of plantations and many Candomblé terreiros. In contrast Oko, the orixá of agriculture, found little favor among slaves in Brazil and has few followers in the Americas. The main barracão of Ilê Axé Iyá Nassô Oká, or the terreiro Casa Branca, is dedicated to Xangô.
- Consecrated day: Wednesday
- Colors: white and red
- Sacred food: amalá
- Instruments: oxê, a double axe; bangles; crown
- Garment: red cloth with printed white squares
- Necklace: white and red beads
- Archetype: power, domain
- Sacred dance: alujá, the roda de Xangô. It speaks of his achievements, deeds, consorts, power, and dominion
- Sacrificial animals: fresh water turtle, male goat, sheep
Amalá, also known as amalá de Xangô, is the ritual dish offered to the orixá. It is a stew made of chopped okra, onion, dried shrimp, and palm oil. Amalá is served on Wednesday at the pegi, or altar, on a large tray, traditionally decorated with 12 upright uncooked okra. Due to ritual prohibitions, the dish may not be offered on a wooden tray or accompanied by bitter kola. Amalá de Xangô may also be prepared with the addition of beef, specifically an ox tail. Amalá de Xangô is different than àmàlà, a dish common to Yoruba areas of Nigeria.
In popular culture
Shango is also a large theme in the Mighty Sparrow song, "congo Man".
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- Charles Spencer King, "Nature's Ancient Religion: Orisha Worship & IFA" ISBN 1-4404-1733-4
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