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That special person, Felipe Garcia Villamil, holds among many honorable titles that of Santero or priest of Santeria. Drumming for the Gods tells the story of Santeria and its ritual music, a cultural practice of the African diaspora. It tells the story of how Villamil became a sacred bata drummer, or olubata , and managed to be true to his calling throughout the commodification of Afro-Cuban culture that was a part of the Cuban revolution.

How intriguing! My Lutheran experience pales in comparison! And I am lucky to note this not just by reading a few books, but by my recent participation in an experiential class offered by Carolyn Brandy at The California Institute of Integral Studies. Though I only learned some basic rhythms and dance moves, non-ritually, I was brought to tears by just a glimpse into the cultural richness, communal spirit, deep roots, and spiritual reverence of this religious community.

And those rhythms — they even have a hypnotic effect, on me at least, when played badly by beginners! I was also moved by a story that was told of one particular Orisha, Ochune. As I was pacing around my house trying to decide whether or not to end this paper with that story, I wandered into the living room to mull it over on the couch.

Clearly, my decision was made. She is the deity of female sexuality, of love, eroticism, and sensuality, of gold and honey, beauty and vanity. Go ahead. Give it a try. For me and I am sure for many, it stresses the importance of honoring our universal feminine attributes, in ourselves and others, regardless of gender, race, age, class, physical ability or physical appearance. And it beautifully teaches the importance of really, really, really paying attention!


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  6. Ajibade, George Olusola. Ibeji is the deity of twins. Among the Yoruba, twins are regarded as special creations or "spirits" and they are reverenced.

    The Metaphysics of Shango and the philosophy of Olodumare | kejycerubolo.tk

    Periodical sacrifices are made on their behalf to make the spirits happy. These consist of beans, red palm-oil and vegetables. It has become necessary to examine the above orisa because they appear to "enjoy universal popularity and are conceded to be the most powerful. All other beliefs and practices that are not directly associated with Olorun hinge upon the orisa. Spirits are believed to be apparitional entities which form a separate category of beings from divinities and ancestors.

    The Yoruba regard them as powers which are almost abstract entities that take on human shape. They are usually associated with natural phenomena like trees, rocks, rivers, lagoons, forests, bushes, hills, earth, mountains, winds, dark groves and unusual places, and these become their abode. These spirits may even inhabit animals or birds or snakes. Such objects as they inhabit are regarded as having certain mysterious powers and they may become the emblems of the spirits. The objects may be used in the preparation of magic and medicine in the belief that they possess magical significance because of the spirits residing in them.

    The spirits come under various names such as Ajija or Aja spirit of whilrlwind with knowledge of the use of herbs , Aroni a spirit with one leg that teaches the use of herbs , Egbere a smallish elf that carries a small mat and weeps all the time , oro spirits of trees , ebora, iwin a fairy believed to live in the ground, rock, forest or hill. But among the Yoruba, they have real existence and they can be good or bad, beneficent or malevolent.

    Consequently, they are propitiated out of fear. They neither have priests nor festivals like the divinities and they assume no universal worship. That may explain why they do not command much attention in the diaspora. The ancestors are the dead parents of the family. It is believed that they continue existence in the world beyond as spirits. It is also believed that these ancestors still have a keen interest in the welfare of their families, and they are therefore spiritual superintendents of family affairs.

    Consequently, they continue to bear their titles of relationship like baba father or iya mother or baba-nla grandfather. Communion and communication can still be made between them and those who are alive here on earth. There are communal ceremonies in honor of the ancestors. As in orisa, people heavily depend on the ancestors in all aspects of life and they serve as a source and guarantee of the life of the family. They are believed to be able to influence living members of the family for good or evil, but their influence does not extend beyond their specific families!

    In short, they act as intermediaries between their living descendants and the orisa or Olorun. The ancestors, together with the orisa, played important roles in the emancipation of enslaved Africans in the New World. Today, "in addition to orixas. Afro-Brazilian cults work actively with ancestral spirits. The Yoruba have strong belief in mysterious powers which are oogun, egbogi or isegun magic, medicine , oso, oogun ika or oogun buburu sorcery, bad magic and aje, eye, osonga witchcraft.

    Magic and medicine have the same name because in practice, they are very close.


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    8. They are based on the belief that natural objects have occult, mysterious, supernatural qualities that can be tapped for the benefit of man. When these qualities are used in the area of therapy, for curing diseases or for treating the sick or for the prevention of diseases, they are called medicine. But when these qualities are used for non-therapeutic needs of man such as passing an examination, aiding memory isoye , attracting customers afero , protecting one from bad magic madarikan , bringing good luck awure and influencing litigation aforan , they are magic.

      The Yoruba do not have any confusion in using the words for their practice. For example, they know what it is when they say either madarikan magic that protects one form sorcery or jedijedi medicine for curing dysentry. It is only when we use! We should, however, note that the goals, purpose, result, or intention of the practice normally shows whether a particular procedure is magic or medicine. Sorcery is the use of bad or evil magic to kill or harm people, or to cause misfortune to people or the society.

      This use can be out of spite or to avenge a wrong done.

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      Some types of sorcery include abilu evil magic that brings a drastic change in the fortune of a person , apeta invocation shooting , efun evil magic that makes a person behave abnormally , isasi evil magic that makes a person act as one who is insane. Witchcraft is the utilization of certain inherent psychic power in people to cause harm or havoc to people or property.

      It is a will-power, emanating from within people, for the purpose of achieving evil ends without the use of any tangible apparatus. In Yorubaland, witches aje are usually believed to be women. Both sorcery and witchcraft are regarded as a reality among the Yoruba. They are usually regarded as forces of evil and used as explanations of social tensions and misfortunes in the society. People usually consult a babalawo diviner or onisegun, oloogun, elegbogi magician, medicine-man, for assistance and protection. It is significant to note that these mysterious powers played a prominent role in fighting the slave masters.

      According to Barrett:.

      The meaning of Eledumare/Olodumare/Eldumare in Yoruba language

      The flora of the Carribbean provided the Africans with an abundance of herbs which were well known to them from Africa. They knew the properties of each herb first hand, and with their knowledge the unsuspecting master was easy prey. Barrett goes on to quote Sir Spencer St. John, the British Ambassador to Haiti in the nineteenth century, who stated that he knew of many victims who retired to their beds in sound mind to awaken as idiots and remain in that state despite the aid of science.

      Divination can reveal the sources of these problems, and it points the way to their resolution. We have also seen that these practices are waxing stronger in the diaspora and the people's belief in and dependence on the orisa are sustaining these religions. Mbiti and Laurenti Megasa have used it as the title of their recent works. The present writer in most of his writings since has consistently used the term " African religion" from which he has coined "Afrel" as its acronym and "Afrelists" as the adherents.

      See John S. Booth, Jr. K, , p. Awolalu and P. Idowu, Olodumare, op. Parrinder , op. Idowu, Olodumare , op. Dopamu, op. Idowu , Olodumare , op. Balogun ed. Dopamu, "African Concept of God," in S. Erivwo et. Ade Adegbola ed.

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      Idowu Olodumare, op. See also P. Idowu, ibid. D Thesis , , p.

      Oswald Eckles Jr

      Dopamu, The Practice of Magic and Medicine , op. Yoruba Religion The monumental work of Idowa on Yoruba religion has continued to be a major reference work. The following excerpt will suffice: Odun sare, odun ko bodun; Osu po sese, osu ko bosu; Omode pantete ori; Ko bOlorun oba.

      Year runs after year, but one does not overtake the other; Month trots along, but it cannot overtake another month; A child balances his head, But he cannot reach Olorun the King. He states: Olorun is so all-sufficient psychologically and materially that he does not need man either to bo adulate him or to bo feed him. Orunmila or Ifa Orunmila is the oracle divinity of Yorubaland.

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      Ogun Ogun is the god of iron, of war and of the chase. Sango Sango is the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning. Sopona or Obaluwaye Sopona is the divinity of the disease of smallpox. Osun Osun is the goddess of river Osun which flows through the town of Osogbo in Yorubaland where she is actively worshipped. Oya Oya is the goddess of the River Niger. Yemoja Yemoja is the goddess of rivers and streams in consequence of which she is called the "mother of all rivers.

      Esu or Elegbara Esu is the trickster deity of the Yoruba. Osanyin Osanyin is the Yoruba divinity of magic and medicine. Erinle Erinle is a riverine divinity. Ibeji Ibeji is the deity of twins. The significance of segmented composition in Yoruba art can be appreciated if one understands that art and ritual are integral to each other. The head, or ori , is vested with great importance in Yoruba art and thought. When portrayed in sculpture, the size of the head is often represented as four or five times its normal size in relation to the body in order to convey that it is the site of a person's ase as well as his or her essential nature, or iwa.

      Ode is the physical appearance of a person, which may either mask or reveal one's inner inu aspects. Inner qualities, such as patience and self-control, should dominate outer ones. The head also links the person with the other-world. The imori ceremony which translates to knowing-the-head is the first rite that is performed after a Yoruba child is born. During imori , a diviner determines whether the child comes from his or her mother's or father's lineages or from a particular orisa. If the latter is the case, then the child will undergo an orisa initiation during adulthood, during which the person's ori inu becomes the spiritual vessel for that orisa's ase.

      To prepare for these ceremonies, the person's head is shaved, bathed and anointed. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.