Olodumare the Supreme God of the Yoobas had two children, the
first, Oba Nla, his second Oodua. His children were great and
mighty and they filled the entire divine realm with joy. However
the time came for Olodumare to imbue his first son, Oba Nla with
the power of creation, so he gave him a snail shell filled with
divine soil, a 5 toed domestic fowl and a palm fruit and asked
him to descend into the great waters of the earthly realm and
create his own earth, Oba Nla’s world.
To celebrate his bestowment, Oba Nla hosted a party and invited
all his friends. They ate, drank, had their share of women and
in the end of the night, Oba Nla drunk with the new wine fell
into a deep sleep and abandoned his task. On his throne,
Olodumare sighed and called his second son, Oodua and asked him
to procure the items and complete the task.
Oodua sneaked into the party grounds, entered his brother’s
quarters and picked the divine materials. He then headed into
the waters of the earthly realm and poured the sand from the
snail shell into the water. The sands were so great that they
formed a gigantean mountain greater than any mountain ever seen
to this day, the hen was then dropped down unto the mountain it
then stretched its gigantic legs and scattered the mountain
turning it into plains, islands, mountains, hills and valleys.
He lastly dropped the palm fruit and it grew into a gigantic
palm tree, from whence all earthly life originated from, plants,
animals, he then returned to heaven and called on its master
potter, Obatala who moulded men and continued to do so till this
day. It is said that Obatala was a great debtor, so whenever his
creditors came around, he left whatever work he was doing and
sent them to Oodua’s earth in its incomplete form, this is the
reason why some humans are born with congenital deformities.
Oodua breathed life into the clay statues formed by Obatala and
they became men, he called the area where the roots of the great
palm tree were located ILE-IFE, that is the land where the great mountain
spread into the world. The land where life was born. The source
of all things living. Oodua taught men everything they know, his
wisdom came to life and became Orunmila who knows all things,
Orunmila is also known for his divination as he saw into the
eyes of Olodumare himself. Oodua saw that his creation was good
and he loved it so much, so he severed his immortality and he
fashioned it into a chain and attached it to the root of all
life, so that life shall always exist. However, as man grew,
they also became intelligent and they began to revere avarice
and greed even more than their love for their creator, so Oodua
took away the magical powers, they were the names, the charms
and the powers. He left man with intelligence and free will.
The names were the most powerful magic of all, they contained
the ability to gain divinity itself, so this, he gave to special humans who proved themselves in life
and on the event of death were blessed by Olodumare himself with duties and
ability to name, whatever is given a name becomes a god in death and gains immortality from Olodumare himself. They were called the Orishas
The charms were evil incarnate, magic of darkness. Only depraved
humans who had performed the most evil acts could use this power.
The charms contained the ability to kill, maim and cheat. People
who inherited this power were called the Aje and they were vile
beings who had dark hearts.
The powers were light to the darkness of the charms, they were
given to humans who sought justice and they were in an endless
war with the forces of evil, they were called the Oso.
When Oodua neared the end of his mortal life, he descended into
the depths of ILE IFE and was never seen again, Oba Nla seeing
that his brother was dead smiled in the divine realm. He took
his brother’s body back to the divine realm and buried him.
Oodua became the first deity to ever fall and Olodumare swore
that he would be the last.