Axes: Shango's axe – an axe wielded by Shango that can produce thunder (Yoruba mythology)

Shango (Yoruba language: Ṣàngó, also known as Changó or Xangô in Latin America; and as Jakuta or Badé) is an Orisha, a type of spirit in Yoruba religion. Genealogically speaking, Shango is a royal ancestor of the Yoruba as he was the third Alaafin of the Oyo Kingdom prior to his posthumous deification. Shango has numerous manifestations, including Airá, Agodo, Afonja, Lubé, and Obomin. He is known for his powerful axe and he is considered to be one of the most powerful rulers that Yorubaland has ever produced, and is noted for his anger.

In the New World, he is syncretized with either Saint Barbara or Saint Jerome. Some believe that Shango the deity is different from The King.CL Adeoye ASA ATI ISE YORUBA. Sango,the deity,is one of the pantheons that came to earth shortly after its creation. While Shango,the king, is believed-to some- to be the son of Oranmiyan and his bride from Tapa Omotoorosi,which could be interpreted into Omotoyosi. Shango the king was also deified. His other names include: Salu,Itiolu,and Babayemi.

Historical figure

Sango was the third Alafin of Oyo, following Oranmiyan and Ajaka. He brought prosperity to the Oyo Empire. According to Professor Mason’s Mythological Account of Heroes and Kings, unlike his peaceful brother Ajaka, he 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 to his inadvertent destruction of his palace by lightning. He had three wives, namely Queen Oshun, Queen Oba, and Queen Oya. The Oyo Empire declined in the 19th century, which led to the enslavement of its people by the Fulani and the Fon. Among them were many followers of Ṣàngó, and worship of the deity thrives in the New World as a result. Strong devotion to Ṣàngó led to Yoruba religions in Trinidad and Recife, Brazil being named after the deity.

In Yorubaland, Sango is worshiped on the fifth day of the week, which is named Ojo Jakuta. Ritual worship foods include guguru, bitter cola, àmàlà, and gbegiri soup. Also, he is worshiped with the Bata drum. One significant thing about this deity is that he is worshiped using red clothing, just as he is said to have admired red attire during his lifetime.

Veneration of Ṣàngó
Ṣàngó is viewed as the most powerful and feared of the orisha pantheon. He casts a “thunderstone” 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.

The Americas
Ṣàngó is venerated in Santería as “Chango”. As in the Yoruba religion, Chango is the most feared god in Santería.

In Haïti, he is from the “Nago” Nation, and is known as Ogou Chango. Palo recognizes him as “Siete Rayos”.

Ṣàngó is known as Xangô in the Candomblé pantheon. He is said to be the son of Oranyan, and his wives include Oya, Oshun, and Oba, as in the Yoruba tradition. 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. Xangô is depicted with an oxê, or double-sided ax similar to a labrys; and a brass crown.

Consecrated day: Tuesday
Colors: white and red
Elements: thunder, lightning, fire
Sacred food: amalá (a stew of okra with shrimp and palm oil)
Instruments: oxê, a double ax; bangles; brass crown
Garment: red cloth with printed white squares
Necklace: white and red beads
Archetype: power, dominance
Sacred dance: alujá, the roda de Xangô. It speaks of his achievements, deeds, consorts, power, and dominion
Sacrificial animals: fresh water turtle, male goat, duck, 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.

This artifact is a part of SwordTemple Library

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