Friday, June 16, 2006



Oya is the powerful Yoruba Goddess of the Winds of Change; the Primeval Mother of Chaos; Queen of the Nine (for the nine tributaries of the Niger River). Using her machete, or sword of truth, she cuts through stagnation and clears the way for new growth. She does what needs to be done. She is the wild woman, the force of change; lightning, fire, tornadoes, earthquakes and storms of all kinds are ruled by Oya. She is also Queen of the Marketplace, a shrewd businesswoman and adept with horses. As the wind, she is the first breath and the last, the one who carries the spirits of the dead to the other world, which is why she is associated with cemeteries. The sculpture on the right is after the Oya Shrine: Female Equestrian by Bamgboye, Odo-Owa, Ekiti region, mid 20th century. The heads on her necklace are from the same piece.


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