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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Stuart's Daily Word Spot: Obàtálá

Yoruba bronze head from the city of Ife, 12 ce...Image via Wikipedia
Obàtálá: Another in my occasional introductions to various gods worshipped the world over.
According to the Yoruba peopleObàtálá is the creator of human bodies, which are then brought to life by the breath of Olorun.
Obàtálá owns all ori or heads. Any orisha (a spirit or deity that reflects one of the manifestations of God) in the Yoruba religious system can claim an individual, but until the person is initiated into the priesthood of that orisha, Obàtálá continues to own that head. In this religious system, the soul is believed to reside in the head.
It's an interesting point that variations of this African religion now exist in many parts of the globe and it's estimated there may be as many as 100 million adherents to the various cults and sects involved. But I'm willing to bet that most people reading this have never heard of the god or his religion. It's just another element in my search for the reasons why religion has such a hold over many people. If an individual knows only about the god they were brought up to believe in, how can they be sure that their god is the 'one', when they remain ignorant of all the others that exist with equal potency for those worshippers? Just a thought.

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