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The Orishas – Obba, Ochosi, Oggun, and Oko

Gods of Santeria

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The orishas are the gods of Santeria, the beings that believers interact with on a regular basis. The number of orishas varies among believers. In the original African belief system from which Santeria originates, there are hundreds of orishas. New World Santeria believers, on the other hand, generally only work with a handful of them.

Read more: The Orishas and the Nature of the Stories

Obba

Obba is the wife of Chango, who keeps several mistresses. As she remains loyal to him, she is seen as both virtuous and gullible, and neglected wives call upon her.

She is most associated with St. Rita of Cascia, who became a nun only after her abusive husband died. She is also associated with St. Catherine of Siena and the Virgin of Carmen.

She is represented by sets of five bracelets, and her color is pink.

Ochosi

Ochosi, or Ochosi, is a warrior orisha turned to by those seeking legal justice. He is impartial and quick-witted. Like Eleggua, he visits accidents or blood conditions upon those who have upset him.

He is also the lord of the hunt, a forest dweller, and one bearing knowledge of the properties of plants. Bring the scout of the orishas, he might also be approached for help in locating lost items.

Ochosi is most commonly associated with St. Norbert, although the connection between the two is not obvious. He is sometimes associated with St. Hubert, patron saint of hunters. Other associated saints are St. Albert and St. James.

He is represented by a bow and arrow. Different sources put his colors as lavender and black, green and black, or blue and yellow.

Oggun

Oggun is generally associated with all of the efforts of humanity, but he is particularly linked with war, iron and other metals, minerals, and technology, particularly the railroads. He is also linked with mountains, which are the common source of mineral wealth.

Anyone working in an occupation depending upon metal might approach Oggun, such as surgeons (for their scalpels), military personnel, and police officers, as well as the more obvious miners and metalworkers.

Like Eleggua, he visits accidents or blood conditions upon those who have upset him. He is seen as the source of transportation accidents such as plane crashes, highway collisions and train derailments. He is also linked to tragedy and pain because of his role in war and accidental death.

He is most often associated with St. Peter, who is symbolized by two metal keys. As a warrior he can be associated with the Archangel Michael. In Santiago he's associated with St. James. Others may associate him with St. John the Baptist or St. Paul.

He is represented by metal weapons, particularly knives, and by iron objects in general. His colors are green and black.

Oko

Oko is the orisha of agriculture, fertility of the land, and the harvest. He is also linked with human fertility, and those wishing to have children turn to him. Ironically, Oko himself is impotent.

Oko is also a peacemaker and arbitrator of disputes, particularly those that involve women.

He is associated with St. Isodore, the patron saint of farmers and beekeepers.

Gardening tools, as well as an iron hoe decorated with cowrie shells, represent him. His colors are lilac, pink and blue.

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