Oya - Oba - Yewa

Oya, Iyansan, Yansa is the orisha of transformation, commerce and strength. Wife of Shango, Oya is said to originate from the Nupe, called Tapa /Takwa by the Lukumi. She is the fierce warrior queen who holds many important titles. She is guardian of the gates of the cemetary, the place that all of us eventually pass through on our journey to Orun. Oya presides over the activity of the marketplace, of livlihoods, commerce and exchange. The market is a vibrant crossroads, where luck and chance can create fortunes as well as being the source of nourishment and sustenance.


The marketplace is seen as the quintessential metaphor for life: "The world is a market, heaven is our home" is an epithet from Odu. Oya, being the matriarch of  transition, she holds the secrets of living and of dying. Connecting the body to the world is expressed through breath, from our first, loud inhale upon being born, to our quiet ultimate exhale that Oya, owner of the atmosphere in the form of air movement, and lightening, she surrounds supports, and embraces us from cradle to grave.



Oba (Obba, Oba Nani)


The Orisha of communication, education, navigation and commerce. She is also the patron of marriage and the home. Oba’s colours are red, rust, wine, brown, amber and coral. Her symbols include navigation tools, the globe, keys, a wooden sword and a wooden machete. 

Yewa (Iyewa [Iya 'mother' of iwa 'character'] Yegua, Eua)


The personification of purity and character. Yewa is also the Orisha who lives in the depths of the cemetery and symbolizes the final resting place of the dead.


Yewa’s colours are pink, coral and red. She eats goats, ducks, chickens and pigeons, all female and all virgin. Her symbols are flowers and floral patterns and a bracelet of red fabric and cowries worn on the upper arm.





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