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For the name, see Oya (name). For the Spanish village, see Oia, Spain.
Iansã Sculpture at the Catacumba Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Oya (known as Oyá or Oiá; Yansá or Yansã; and Iansá or Iansã in Latin America) is an Orisha winds and tempests, rebirth and new life. "She is considered either the sister of the Orisha of storms Shango, or one of His three wives, with Oshun and Oba. She can manifest as winds ranging from the gentlest breeze to the raging hurricane or cyclone. She goes forth with Her husband during His thunderstorms, destroying buildings, ripping up trees, and blowing things down. Oya is known as a fierce warrior and strong protectress of women, who call on Her to settle disputes in their favor." [3] She is either syncretized with the Virgin of Candelaria or St. Therese of Lisieux.


In Yoruba, the name Oya literally means "She Tore".[1] She is known as Ọya-Iyansan – the "mother of nine." This is due to the Niger River (known to the Yoruba as the Odo-Ọya) traditionally being known for having nine tributaries.[2]"Oya is the Orisha of the Niger River, and Her violent rainstorms are said to be its source. Like Oshun, She is worshipped not only in Africa but in Brazil, where the Amazon is said to be Her river."[3]


"As the Orisha of change, She brings down the dead wood to make room for the new, and She uses Her machete or sword to clear a path for new growth. She is believed to watch over the newly dead and assist them as they make the transition from life." [3]

"Oya's attributes are the sword or machete and the flywhisk, and Her animal is the water buffalo, in Whom She sometimes manifests. Her mother is said to be Yemaya, the Great Sea Mother. Oya Herself is said to be the mother of nine children--Egungun and four sets of twins." [3]


"Oya is the sentinel between the realm life and death. She gives assistance and guidance to those when they make their final transition into the veils. She can either hold back the spirit of death or call it forth. Hence, She is the last breath taken. Oya also governs over the cemetery and the realm of the dead, and it is said that She entered into the lower world of Ira upon hearing that Shango (Her Husband) died." [4]

"She is considered the Crone aspect of this Triple goddess trilogy. As a Crone Goddess She is a teacher of truth and a bringer of justice." [4]

"Oya, goddess of storms, tempests and rain, dances in spirals representing tornadoes and wind - the winds of change, sweeping away the old in order to prepare for the new. She wreaks destruction in order to find and prepare for underlying calm.She was the wife of Shango , Lord of Thunder and Fertility, and together they fight side by side creating thunder, lightning and destruction. She is goddess of the marketplace, bringing fortune to her patrons. And she is the only African orisha brave enough to confront death - she is goddess of funeral processions and cemeteries (cemeteries being known as “Oya’s Garden”)." [5]

See also[edit]


3. http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/oya.php – Oya. 2013

4. http://www.aawiccan.org/site/Oya.html. 2013

5. http://soul-service.tumblr.com/post/44399389757/oya-african-goddess-oya-is-a-goddess-of-storms. 2014