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16 cowries -- Oshun

topic posted Wed, February 9, 2011 - 8:40 AM by  Elaine
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Hi, all!

Many years ago, while studying William Bascum's book, "Sixteen Cowries", I decided to compile information on each orisha mention within the book. I tentatively offer here what I gleaned about Oshun, and if there's interest, I can continue presenting the other orishas.

To start, a bit of information regarding how the diloggun is referred to in different countries:

Africa: Erindinlogun, Owo Merindinlogun

Cuba: Dilogun, Diloggun, Los Caracoles

Brazil: Dologum, Edilogum, Endilogum, Merindilogum, Exu

(If anyone has additional country-specific diloggun-related information, please feel free to contribute!)

Okay, on to Oshun (as taken from the book, "Sixteen Cowries")...

OSHUN

Main Association:
--Goddess of the Osun (Oshun/Ochun/Oxun) river
--Original owner of the wisdom (awo) of the sixteen cowries (she taught Orunmila).

Praise names or other alternate names:
--"Owner of cold water" (Olomi Tutu)
--"Oshun gave me" (Otolo Efon, Oshun fun mi)
--"Knowledge" (Imoran)
--"Our Mother" ( 'Ye wa)
--"My mother, Otolo Efon" ["She settled at Efon"] (yeye mi Otolo Efon)
--Oshun Eleyo (Osun Eleyo)
--Oladekoju or 'Ladekoju (means "Has many crowns")

Sacrifices or sacred associations:
--wild lettuce
--fritters
--cornstarch porridge
--kola nuts
--chickens
--maize beer
--brass (known as "the first born of Oshun")

Tabus:
--guinea corn beer

Town associations:
--principle shrine = city of Osogbo
--originated from Igede

Marriages:
--Orunmila
--Orishala
--Ogun
--Shango
--Shopona
--Osanyin

Children:
(none mentioned, other than "brass")

Miscellaneous:
n/a


Hope some of you find this informative!

Ashe.

Elaine
--
posted by:
Elaine
Washington, D.C.
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  • :) Elaine -

    Very interesting! It is interesting to see that she has no mentioned children, as in our Ile it is taught that she was a barren goddess, the only child she had was our Laro (Logun Ede in Brazil I believe), with Erinle. She is also the holder of Ifa/Cowry knowledge and is the font of wisdom from which it springs.

    ~Ged
  • ELAINE YES OSHUN HAD ONE SON AND THAT IS WHEN THE DILOGGUN GOES ALL THE WAY OUT AND IS CALLED OPIRA
    NUMBER 17 IN THE DILOGGUN AND IN THE STORY SAY THAT HE WAS BORN IN THE ODDUN OSHE TURA AND IT WAS ESHU .
    THAT IS OSHUN SON.
    • :) Iboru Iboya Orumila -

      So in your ile/rama - Eshu is the son of Oshun?

      ~Ged
      • ALAFIA GED YES TO QUESTION.

        IS IT THE SAME IN YOUR ILE ?
        • :) Orumila -

          It is not, we are taught that Eshu was an Irunmole that existed when Oloddumare created everything, he was the opposing and balancing force. Not necessarily negative, but the force of entropy to the force of creation. Eleggua, however, was born from other divinites - depending on the path.

          For us, Laroye was born to Oya and raised by Oshun, Okoboro and Anaqui were a King and Queen, etc.

          ~Ged
          • @ GED ALAFIA ABURE MI :

            YES THAT IS VERY TRUE I HAVE THAT IN MY HOUSE TO, YES THE REAL MOTHER OF ELEGUA IS OYA AND THEY HAVE THERE SAD STORY BETWEEN ELEGUA AND HIS MOTHER OYA ETC. BUT LOOKING AT THIS AS TO RESERCHERS LIKE YOU AND ME OF THIS WONDERFULL RELIGION IN WHAT I HAVE IN COUNTER LOOKING THRU THE MANY BOOKS AND SLEEPLESS NIGHT'S I HAVE FOUND THAT THE PART OF OSHUN AND ESHU / AND THE PART OF OYA AND ELEGUA ARE TO DIFFRENT THINGS BECAUSE YOU ANILIZE THIS TWO DIFFRENT STORY'S ONE TALK ABOUT OSHUN AND ESHU AND THE OTHER TALK ABOUT OYA AND ELEGUA SO THERE IS A TRANSFORMATION ALREADY THAT HAPPEND IN THAT TIME BUT I HAVE ENCOUNTER ON THE STORY OF OSHUN AND ESHU THAT THERE IS WHERE THE ODU OF OPIRA COME TO LIFE IN THE DILLOGUN SYSTEM IT STAETS THAT ESHU IS BORN IN THE ODU OSHE TURA AND THAT IS WHERE YOU TALKING ABOUT THAT HE NUTRALIZE BOTH PART' THE GOOD AND THE EVIL I TOTALY AGREE WITH YOU GED. YES AND ALSO I AGREE IN WHAT TOU ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT OKOBORO AÑAQUI WITH OSHUN THAT SHE RAISE AT ELEGUA WHEN OYA ABONDED HIM OUT INTO THE STREET.

            NOW IN THE STORY OF OSHUN AND ESHU THAT OPIRA COME OUT OF THE 16 ODUN OF THE DILOGGUN IT STAET THAT IN ONE PART OF THE STORY ESHU IS BORN BUT WHEN THE SON OF ELEGUA IS GOING TO CROWN IN OSHA IT IS THERE THAT THE TRANSFORMATION TAKES PLACE WITH ESHU COME AND GET CROWN OUT SIDE IN HIS THROWN AND LATER AFTERWORDS THAT CEREMONY ; COME INSIDE TO THE THROWN OF ELEGUA SO IN THAT FIFI OKAN IS BOTH CEREMONY OF ESHU FIRST AND THEN ELEGUA .....

            NOW AND IM NOT SHOUTING WITH THE BIG LETTERS GED JAJAJAJA
            LET YOU AND ME HAVE A RESPECTFUL CONVERSATION I HAVE SEEN YOU HAVE A LOT OF KNOWLEDGE AND THAT IS WONDERFUL I LIKE THAT ABURE ; IF WE ANALYZE THIS I AM TIRED OF READING AND HEARING BIG ARGUMENTS BETWEEN THE BABALAWOS AND THE BABALOSHAS AND IYA LOSHAS THAT WHEN A SON OF ANY SAINT GOES TO DO HIS/HER OSHA OR KARIOSHA THIS PEOPLE DONT ALLOWED THE ELEGUA OF A BABALAWOS PUT IN THE HEAD OF THAT PERSON BECAUSE THEY STATE THAT IS ESHU AND THAT THE ELEGUA IS A BLACK ROCK ( CHINA PELONA ) IF YOU WHAT I MEAN ; AND IN THE STORY STATES THAT ESHU IS BORN AND THEN ELEGUA IS BORN WHEN THAT PERSON GOES TO DO HIS/HER OSHA SO MU ANALYZES IS ESHU IS ON THE HEAD AND ALSO IS ELEGUA .
            SO I WILL LIKE YOUR PERSONAL OPINION ON THIS IF YOU MAY BECAUSE YOU ARE A VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE PERSON AND I LIKE THAT.

            AND IF OTHER WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THERE OPINION YOU ARE ALL WELCOME.

            I THINK THIS IS A VERY GOOD TOPIC TO HAVE A DIALOG WITH.
            • :) Iboru Iboya Awo -

              I have heard that too, of the transformation of Eshu and Eleggua, as well - I am crowned Eleggua, so I have heard many of the comparisons of the mythos. I've heard so many things concerning that - from a child of Eleggua being crowned both Eshu/Eleggua (foot and head, piez y cabeza), to depending on the signos, an Omo Elegba being able to be elegun for Eshu and/or Eleggua, etc.

              I will have to ask my godfather in Ifa to educate me more on the whole Oshun as mother of Eshu aspect. Though he is a Lucumi Oluo, he has studied both Cuban and Nigerian Ifa extensively. I believe and agree that for every Ordun (256) there is an Eshu born, and also that Eshu is the primordial essence of Opira.

              We are taught that in Opira, the pure chaotic forces of Eleggua reign alone - he is unhindered and unmolested by the creative forces of any of the other Orisha. Though people panic when Opira comes, and say that it is Death, we are taught that before Okana, before Ogbe, before any Odun - there was Opira, the darkness of space that birthed us all. They save those fun odun's for last to teach us for a reason! lol.

              ~Ged
  • Motumba everyone,

    I'm from Candomble, Iyawo of Osala (Obatala). My nation is Efon, descending via Ase Pantanal and Waldomiro Xango. Oshun is my mother. Outside of my own religion (Candomble) I have studied with Nigerian Babalawos and with some Cuban Oriates...below just some thoughts.

    What I have learned over the years is that we have to remember regional differences when speaking and teaching about Orisha. Oshun is praised in many regions of Nigeria as a "mother of many children"...especially in the town of Osogbo. I'm not sure where the statement comes from that she is a baren woman, but in Candomble she is the mother of Logum Ede (with Oshossi) and the mother of Deum (Ideu). She is also the mother of Esu Ose Tura (Eshu Oshe-Tura, with Osala as the father). When we speak of mother and father though, a better way to see this is may be by saying "female aspect and male aspect"...Anyhow, other aspects of Esu/Bara are born from other orishas.

    In the new world Oshun is often seen as the "goddess of love" and people come to her for relationship issues. Traditionally she is an orisha of fertility, child birth and nurturing. All of this again has to be seen with regional differences. There are some legends that are the same across all of Nigeria, but there are also many varieties. When Orisha was brought to the Americas, it was usually the myth of the majority of devotees that prevailed - meaning that is 10.000 slaves came from Oyo state and 2.000 came from Ife, then the Oyo myth would be the one that people would remember and the legend from Ife would be drowned. Thats why we find statements like "Oshun is the mother of Ideu but he was raised by Yemana" or other statements like "The true mother of Ideu is Abata with Inle and then Ideu was given to Oshun who passed him on to Yemanja" or "Ideu is actually a girl dressed in boy's cloths"....these statements are all attempts to combine various regional differences...

    By the way, this is the same with "paths" or "qualities" of the Orishas - they are regional forms of worship that have been transformed into qualities. If a person for example initiated to Oshun in Osogbo then that person's Oshun would just be considered Oshun. There would be no additional question as to the road of that Oshun...

    The same goes for the believe that Oshun was/is the original owner of Merindilogum. Even though I personally believe this to be true, some regions of Nigeria believe that the original owner of all divination was Shango, who passed it on to Orunmila who then passed it on to either Yemanja (in one region of Nigeria) or to Oshun (in another region of Nigeria). Yet another story goes that it was Yemanja who taught Orunmila, leaving Shango out of the picture completely.

    One way to look at this is to say that Oshun brought Didi Owo (divination with 16 Cowry shells) to one region of Nigeria, Yemanja brought it to another and Shango to get another…praise to each and every one of those orishas for doing what they did and for giving people the blessing of Merindilogum!

    I hope this is helpful
    Iyawo Osala
  • Unsu...
     
    some say that oshun is the mother of the ibeji and thus all of their siblings, ideu etc. it is also said that yemonja raises oshun's children.

    as to osun being the mother of esu, this is a pretty deep topic, and probably unsuitable for an online forum.

    I will say that when we say a particular odu incarnates an orisa we mean just that. Esu existed before the creation of the earth, but their is a particular odu that speaks of his incarnation or travel to or birth into the world.

    Again incarnation can be spiritual presence or otherwise.

    Iba Orisa

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