Yoruba gods


Yoruba gods are surprisingly many, I have come across a whole lot of them, would you help me with a detailed list of known Yoruba deities associated with the defunct Yoruba traditional religion.

Answers ( 4 )

  1. Flint

    Religion has always been what the human race holds dear. There is a part of the fundamental human right that specifies the right to freedom of religion.

    Religion on the other hand is the belief and worship of a super or supreme controlling power. It is the worship of a thing or being that has the power and ability to control other things and beings.

    Some of these supreme beings are given names but the most predominant names given to these are God (Yahweh) and gods.

    The Yoruba ethnicity in Nigeria practices African Traditional Religion (the worship of gods or super humans believed to be powerful) than any other ethnic group in Nigeria.

    Stories passed down by their forefathers shows supposed super humans who achieved great feat which brought either peace or sorrow to the people worshiped.

    Take Oduduwa for instance, the supposed father of the Yoruba ethnic group. History records several supernatural feats he carried out in his lifetime. He is therefore considered one of the Yoruba gods.

    As a gods, his stories are told from one generation to another.

    Other Yoruba gods include

    Shango – the god of thunder and lightening

    Ifa – the god of divination

    Ogun – the god of iron and war

    Eledumare – the ruler of the lower heavens

    Orunmila – spirit of wisdom

    Esu – good of crossroads and duality

    Ibeji – twin god of vitality and youth

    Obatala – god of spiritual purity and the creator of human bodies

    Aje – god of wealth

    Ayao – god of air

    Olokun – god of the sea

    Nana Buuku – god of the river and Earth

    Oya – god of Niger River

    Osanyin – god of the forest, herbs and medicine

    Osumare – divine rainbow serpent….

    These and many more are some of Yoruba gods. These gods are celebrated by their faithfuls and certain days are set out every year to remember them and carry out certain traditional rite and festivals in their favour.

    A typical example is the Ogun festival that is observed yearly in Yoruba land, especially in Ogun state.

  2. Yoruba gods predates even the stone age. In Yoruba Land, each god represents a particular element of nature such as rivers, forests, sky, storms, etc.

    Yoruba gods are broadly divided into 4 groups :

    1) Male gods.

    2) Female gods.

    3) Supreme deities.

    4) Metaphysical spirits.

    1) Male Yoruba gods

    Sango -The god of thunder.

    Osoosi – The god of hunting and the forest.

    Osumare – Serpent associated with creation and procreation.

    Osanyin – The god of the forest.

    Oko – the god of Agriculture.

    Ogun – The god of iron, fire, hunting, politics, and war.

    Oduduwa – The god of humans.

    Obatala – The god of human bodies. It represents light, spiritual purity, and moral uprightness.

    Kokou – The violent warrior.

    Ibeji – Twin Orisha of vitality and youth.

    Esu – Psychopomp, trickster, orisha of crossroads, beginnings, travelers, fertility, and death.

    Erinle – The god of medicine, healing, comfort, and physician to the gods.

    Babalu Aye – The earth god, strongly associated with infectious diseases and healing.

    Aganju – The god of volcanoes, wilderness, rivers.

    2) Female gods in Yorubaland

    Yemowo – Wife of Obatala and the waters.

    Yemoja – A water goddess, the Patron deity of women, and the Ogun river.

    Oya – Orisha of the Niger river, represents wind, lightning, fertility, fire, and magic.

    Osun – The goddess of love, intimacy, beauty, wealth, diplomacy.

    Olokun – Patron Orisha of slaves during the booming slave trade.

    Oba – First wife of Sango and Orisha of domesticity and marriage.

    Mawu – The goddess of the sun and the moon.

    Egungun Oya – The goddess of divination.

    Ayao – The goddess of the air.

    Aje – The goddess of wealth.

    Aja – The goddess of the forest, animals, and herbal healing.


    3) Supreme Deities

    Oludumare – The supreme creator.

    Olorun – The ruler of the heavens

    Ologi – The conduit between Olun ( Heaven) and Aye (Earth).

    Nana Buluku – Androgynous supreme creator.


    4) Metaphysical Spirits

    Olorunmila – Spirit of wisdom, divination, destiny, and foresight.

    Ori – Personification of one’s spiritual intuition and destiny.


    Yoruba gods? Are you kidding me? Does that even suffix? The Yoruba are 50% Christians and about 35% Muslim, there is hardly a place for traditional religion or gods.

    We can discuss the impact of Christianity, which is the world’s dominant religion and unarguably the most peaceful religion also.

    Sorry, I am an unapologetic Christian. My parents got entangled in traditional religion, let’s just say that it didn’t end well. So it is a closed door for me and my generations.

    I think Nigerians should be seeking for ways out of our political and social complexities and not exploring unnecessary facts and information.

    I don’t have anything useful to contribute to this topic, I suppose.

    Thank you.



      British….Yes, you’re right. You have nothing to contribute.  And you’re wrong…  Christianity is far from the most peaceful religion.  Just the idea is absurd. Christianity has never been peaceful. Millions have died and suffered in the name of its existence.  Nevertheless, social, political, and economic matters have always been tied to religious and spiritual beliefs. It would behoove any nation dominated or once-dominated by colonial doctrines to explore the history of its beliefs.  One may just find that many of its current conflicts and struggles are related to colonial beliefs that were never intended to empower or benefit African people or people of African descent.  I appreciated this post.


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