Ogun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ogoun)
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Nigerian state, see Ogun (state). For the record label, see Ogun Records. For the fictional character, see Ogun (comics).
Ogun
Ogun lakaaye
Warriors, soldiers, smith makers, metal workers, craftsmen
Member of Orisha
VeveOgoun.svg
Veve of Ogoun
Region Nigeria, Benin, Latin America
Ethnic group Yoruba people, Fon people

Ogun or Ogoun (Yoruba: Ògún, Portuguese: Ogum, also spelled Oggun or Ogou; known as Ogún in Latin America) is an Orisha, Loa, and Vodun. He is a warrior and a powerful spirit of metal work.[1][2][3]

Identity[edit]

Yoruba religion[edit]

In Yoruba religion, Ogun is a primordial Orisha who first appeared as a hunter named Tobe Ode. He was the husband of Oya. He is said to be the first Orisha to descend to the realm of Ile Aiye, "Earth", to find suitable place for future human life. In some traditions he is said to have cleared a path for the other gods to enter Earth using a metal ax. To commemorate this, one of his praise names, or oriki, is Osin Imole or the "first of the primordial Orisha to come to Earth". He is the god of war and metals.[2][1][3]

In his earthly life Ogun is said to be the first king of Ife. When some of his subjects failed to show respect, Ogun killed them and ultimately himself with his own sword. He disappeared into the earth at a place called Ire-Ekiti, with the promise to help those who call on his name. His followers believe him to have wo ile sun, to have disappeared into the earth's surface instead of dying. Throughout his earthly life, he is thought to have fought for the people of Ire, thus is known also as Onire.[1][2][3]

He is now celebrated in places like Ekiti, Oyo, and Ondo States. Followers of traditional Yoruba religion can swear to tell the truth in court by "kissing a piece of iron in the name of Ogun."[3] Drivers carry an amulet of Ogun to ward off traffic accidents.[1][2]

Dahomey religion[edit]

In Dahomey religion, Gu is the vodun of war and patron deity of smiths and craftsmen.[4] He was sent to earth to make it a nice place for people to live, and he has not yet finished this task.

Candomblé[edit]

In the Afro-Brazilian tradition of Candomblé, Ogum is syncretized with Saint George, notably in Rio de Janeiro and the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Candomblé tradition in Northeast Brazil, especially in Bahia, associates Ogum with Saint Sebastian.[5][4]

Characteristics:

  • Day: Tuesday
  • Metal: iron
  • Color: navy blue or dark blue and green
  • Food: feijoada and yams[4]
  • Archetype: impetuous, authoritarian, cautious, hardworking, suspicious and a bit selfish
  • Symbols: sword, broadsword, iron chain

Santería and Vodou[edit]

Ogun's centrality to the Yoruba religion has resulted in his name being retained into the 20th century in the Gullah and Lucumí languages, as well as the Yoruba dialect of Trinidad and Tobago. In Santería and Palo, Ogún is syncretized with Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and John the Baptist; he is the deity of war and metals.[6] In Haitian Vodou, Ogoun is syncretized with St. Jacques Majeur (St. James the Greater) in his incarnation as Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moorslayer).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Adeoye, C. L. (1989). Ìgbàgbọ́ àti ẹ̀sìn Yorùba (in Yoruba). Ibadan: Evans Bros. Nigeria Publishers. pp. 250–262. ISBN 9781675098. 
  2. ^ a b c d Barnes, Sandra (1997). Africa's Ogun : old world and new. Bloomington Ind: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0253-332516. 
  3. ^ a b c d Earhart, H (1993). Religious Traditions of the World: a Journey through Africa, Mesoamerica, North America, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, China, and Japan. San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco. ISBN 9780060621155. 
  4. ^ a b c Verger, Pierre (1999). Notas sobre o culto aos orixás e voduns na Bahia de Todos os Santos, no Brasil, e na antiga costa dos escravos, na África (in Portuguese). São Paulo: EDUSP. pp. 151–160. ISBN 9788531404757. 
  5. ^ Assunção, Matthias (2005). Capoeira: the History of an Afro-Brazilian Martial Art. London New York: Routledge. p. 39. ISBN 0714650315. 
  6. ^ Falola, Toyin (2005). Yoruba Creativity: Fiction, Language, Life and Songs. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press. ISBN 9781592213368.