Just how many water-related deities exist in Yoruba spirituality? Are they all Orisas? Did all or some exist previously as humans before they were deified? Are they all female? Can we discover and name them all? Not today but here are some clarifications about Yemoja
Regarding Yemoja, Oloye Aikulola Oluwin Oosa explains ” Yemoja in Yorubaland is one of the river deities , while Olokun is the divinity of the sea, and Olosa is divinity of Lagos lagoon in Nigeria ….. Yemoja is goddess of rivers in the cradle of the Yoruba people and the religion of Orisas”
Yemoja and Ogun River
“the Ogun river, as it approaches the lagos lagoon, become an estuary with a mixture of fresh and salt water.”
Isn’t Osun a river deity too?
” We have to remember that there are many more water deities. Osun another one of the river deities of sweet water in Yorubaland, including Oba,Oogin, Erinle, Yewa etc”
Mother of the sea ?
” in the West people call (Yemoja) the mother of the sea as in that is the body of water she rules over. Whereas in my own investigations, with people like the Baale Yemoja of Ibadan, Yemoja gave birth to Olokun and many other deities.
Olokun owns the sea
“But Yemoja does not rule the sea throughout Yorubaland. Olokun is the owner of the sea in Yoruba culture. So perhaps it would be best to say she is the mother of Olokun, as believed among Yemoja priests, and all the rivers of the world feed the seas. There is a misunderstanding in terminology and translation as well as cross-cultural understanding.”
Oloye Aikulola Oluwin Oosa is a Chief Priest at the Ijo Asaforitifa , a West African Orisa Community in Florida that embraces folks from all walks of life.