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For the name, see Oya (name). For the Spanish village, see Oia, Spain.
storms, cemeteries, marketplace
Member of Orisha
Iansã Sculpture at the Catacumba Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Symbol lightning, the sword or machete, the flywhisk, water buffalo
Color purple or burgundy, the rainbow
Region Nigeria, Benin, Latin America
Ethnic group Yoruba people, African diaspora

Oya (known as Oyá or Oiá; Yansá or Yansã; and Iansá or Iansã in Latin America) is an Orisha of winds, lightening, and violent storms, death and rebirth. She is similar to the Haitian Maman Brigitte, who is syncretised with the Catholic Saint Brigit.

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]


Acarajé, a ball formed from crushed or peeled beans and fried in dendê (palm oil) is a traditional offering to Iansã in the Candomblé tradition of Brazil. A simple, unseasoned form of acarajé is used in rituals, and a version served with various condiments is sold as a common street food in Bahia in the north of Brazil. Ipeté and bobo de inhame are also associated with Iansã. In the Candomblé nação (association) of Angola Congo, Iansã is associated with the color red.[3]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Sexuality and the world's religions - David W. Machacek. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  2. ^ A Bahia de Santa Bárbara
  3. ^ Barbosa, Ademir (2015). Dicionário de Umbanda. São Paulo: Anubis. pp. 108–109, 240. ISBN 9788567855264.