Oriki Oya – Praising the Spirit of the Wind
Ajalaiye, Ajalorun, fun mi ni ire, The Winds of Earth and Heaven bring me good fortune,
Iba Yansan, Praise to the Mother of Nine,
Ajalaiye, Ajalorun, fun mi ni alaafia, The Winds of Earth and Heaven bring me well-being,
Iba Oya, Praise to the Spirit of the Wind,
Ajalaiye, Ajalorun, winiwini, The Winds of Earth and Heaven are wondrous,
Mbe mbe ma Yansan, May there always be a Mother of Nine, Ase. So be it.
Oya is a Yoruban Orisha and Goddess who has been syncretized into Afro-Caribbean traditions.
OYA is the Ruler of the Wind and Ruler of Tornadoes and She claims lightning as one of Her powers as well. O-ya means “she tore” in Yoruba. An elemental Goddess – Air, Fire Water – She incorporates all of them into Her. She is the personification of the Niger River and has the power to shapeshift into a water buffalo (and in some stories, other animals in the wilderness). As a Female Warrior, She fights ferociously and is fearless in Her protection of Her children and mates. Hunters and Chieftains seek OYA’s good graces for abundant hunting and in selecting strong leaders. OYA is also the Owner of the Marketplace. As Queen of the Dead, She safeguards the spirits of those who have passed and keeps the Ancestral connections, reminding future generations from where they came. She is the only Orisha that has a foot in Life and a foot in Death. OYA governs the gates of cemeteries and it is there that She receives offerings from Her children who those seeking Her assistance. In all that She does, She is independent, unpredictable, fierce and beautiful.
Her sacred number is 9 – nine skirts –Yansan. Some of Her favorite foods that are also good for offerings are eggplants, yams, red wine, chocolate pudding, black grapes, figs and star fruit. She syncretizes to La Candelaria (Our Lady of Candlemas) and Santa Teresita in Catholicism. Her Feast Day is February 2 in Lukumi and Santeria. Friday is Her day of the week and Her colors are burgundy and purple. Copper is Her favorite metal.
Read the full post on OYA – The Goddess and Orisha OYA by Kimberly Moore
Additional Resources for OYA:
Keys to Feminine Empowerment – an article on MamiWata.com about OYA
OYA: In Praise of an African Goddess by Judith Gleason. This is a magnificent treatise on Oya.
OYA: Santeria and the Orisha of the Winds by Raul Canizares
OYA: Ifa and the Spirit of the Wind by Awo Fa’lokun Fatunmbi
Keys to Feminine Empowerment from the Yoruba West African Tradition
Art Sources for OYA:
OYA by Ibeyi
PHOTOS by Kimberly F. Moore (Shakti Womyn)