This is said to be one of the oldest Yemaya. Her colors are light blue with off white beads. Also touches of green and yellow given to her by her husband Orula. She is known as the captain of the boat and her main attribute is the anchor. She also takes an ekuele (divination tool of Ifa) and the Iirofa (divination brush of Ifa). She is a stern mother and she talks to her children given them her back. When she comes down that’s the way she addresses the community.
This Yemaya is one of the main warrior and violent paths of Yemaya. Her color is dark blue with red. She wears a Mariwo around her waist. She also carries the chain that holds her husband’s Ogun tools around her waist when she is going to battle. She is a quick and strong warrior. Okunte also knows the roads of sorcery. She lives 6 months in the water and 6 months on land. It is said that when high waves come upon crashing on land, it is Okunte that is stepping on the land for her 6-month trial changing and shaping the land. When Okunte comes down, she mimics swaying her machete from side to side. She loves to drink oti and smoke cigars. Her main attribute is the machete.
This Yemaya lives in the middle of the ocean. She is the owner of the 7 water currents that make up our 7 seas. She also looks at her followers from the side of her face. She is a merchant as she knows the trade of goods. Mayelewo was the orisha that Olofi gave the colors of the world. She painted the skies blue alongside Ibu Asesu. She was also entrusted by Olofi to distribute the colors of paint to the other orishas. With her blue dress, she also wears a belt with 7different colors. She takes a mask and a Juiro (empty calabash) where she holds her paints and different secrets. Her main attribute is a little box where she keeps all of her money that she makes at the marketplace. When she comes down, she spins like the ocean waters and dances with plates just as in the house of her followers, she lives in a basket surrounded by plates.
Ibu Okoto is another warrior aspect of Yemaya. She resides in the red sea. This Yemaya is the orisha that is seen where there is bloodshed at sea. She watched over warships especially when they are at battle. Her color is also dark blue and blood red. She was a virgin and she did all that the young male orishas did. You can say like a tomboy. One of her main attributes is a flag. Whether it is a blue flag or a pirate flag. When she comes down she looks like she is stabbing herself with daggers to soak the blue waters red.
This path of Yemaya lives at the seashore where the foam of the water is created. She is the owner of ducks and gooses. Her color is light blue, off white and coral. She is the inseparable daughter of Olokun. She takes a set of masks and a little drum. She is forgetful like the duck in which she always forgets the petitions of her children. It may take her some time to remember, but when Asesu remembers she comes with great force.
This Yemaya lives in the depths of the ocean waters where the coral reefs and fishes reside. Her colors are like Ibu Asesu. She takes a small treasure box where she places her treasures of the ocean. She is the guardian of the coastline where there are trees and grasslands.
This Yemaya is very mysterious. She lives within the dead of the ocean and she resides over them there. Her color is dark blue and onyx. The followers of the Yemaya should keep her behind a curtain with a mask.
This Yemaya is the owner of all the riches of the sea. She is said to have treasures that have been lost from the beginning of time. She takes chains of pearls, conch shells, and other treasures of the ocean.
This Yemaya is said to live on the ocean floor with Olokun. She was the wife of Orisha Oko. She is very beautiful but has 7 balls in her womb. One leg bigger than the other. Olofi’s favored daughter and she is now married to Olokun. She works closely with Oroina and it is said that she is the one that helps it to rain over land so the water returns back to her. Her colors are a deep blue with coral. She takes a mask and a fan made of coral.
This Yemaya is known for making the oceans waves very rough that humankind enjoys when they go to the beach. She is the one that causes the waves to go high where surfers especially enjoy surfing. Her colors are deep blue, crystals and off-white.
This Yemaya is known for her arrogant ways. She loves to debate. She is the mother of Inle and Ochosi. Her colors are deep blue, off white and amber.
Ibu Oggun Asomi
She is the sister of Okunte. She is just like her sister with all of her warrior attributes. She takes 2 machetes where she wears at her side. She resides in the superficial part of the ocean. She like her sister loves to drink and smoke and share the same colors.
There is much more but too long to list. The other aspects are more profound within the Ifa traditions.
The family of Yemaya.
- Ikokó: This is the orisha that is in charge of all the aquatic plants of the ocean.
- Olosa: She is the orisha of the lagoons. Also said to be one of Olokun’s daughters or wives. She is said to have saved the children of Yemaya and Ochun from a trap from the Babalows. Her messengers are the crocodiles.
- Olona: This orisha is said to live in lakes.
- Yembo: Yembo is the great mother of all the orishas. They say that she is a path of Yemaya in the aspect of Oddudwa. She is the orisha that gave birth to the orishas. She is the calm seas at the seashore. Stories said that Olodumare had instilled in her the different orishas to grow and nurture from her womb. One day she fell at the seashore and the orishas all came from her wombs. She is a great mother aspect in our religion and through her, the real crown of Yemaya was born. Her secrets are kept in a white or blue Sopera, depending on house or Rama you come from. She also takes the secrets of Yemaya and Obatala in her vessel. All of her sacrificial animals are white and must be clean. Her sacrificial foods are not used with a knife as she had a very disrespectful encounter with her son Ogun. For that, she uses a bamboo knife for her foods. Her colors are blue and an off white color.
Path of Yemaya.
As, the year’s pass we learn the different camino’s (paths) of the Orisa . Always , starting with our own Title Orisa’s .. The works I will present is taken from my notes that I have taken over the years from my Padrino’s and other santeros mayores (elders). By no means does this mean …this is the correct way or that one should doubt their godparents (Padrino’s) by any means, in the way you have received your orisha’s … These are just notes that I have taken and collected for my personal use that I would like to share with anyone that would like to have a copy or a deeper understanding of each Avatar of the Orisa’s .. Again , These works are my own and my own personal views , Our religion by no means has a uniform base’s …. each Rama (branch ) and ILE (casa) give the orisa according to their Tradition. These Posts are only the way some ILES and Ramas re-enforce the Orisa’s.
And, explain a bit about each orisa and their Avatars (camino’s). again these are from notes taken with my padrino’s and other mayores .. you may add to these notes if you like or add to your specific orisa notes that you have accumulated or just notes you would like to add . You , may find some camino’s that you never heard of or a Camino of interest .. each time I get a chance I will add to these posts in hopes that you may enjoy or find something you did not know about that particular camino or Avatar of orisa …
the First will be on Yemaya that I hope to complete transferring over promptly …Again, to add to any post please send your request by email or by my private email located in my profile. Thank you. I will begin with Yemaya Mother of the Orisa (orisha).
This orisa represents the excellence of maternity since we say she is the mother of creation and of all the santos.
She is the Orisha that represents the Oceans and their contents.
The name Ye-mo-ja , is contracted from the word Yeye-Omo-eja: mother of the fish , using OMO as a generic name, for she truly is ONI.
There was no one left to marry, so Yemaya married Agallu . From this marriage a son Orungan was born they say Orungan committed Incest against his mother. When she realized what had happened she ran from him . Falling face down on the ground , from being tired of running. From her body, the waters started to form into pools of water forming Lagoons . And, her body gave life to the Orisas.
Another version of this Pataki is of Olodumare and Obatala , where in charge of creation . Yemu (Yembo) reunited with Odu and she became pregnant . She went high on a hill , being nine months and her womb opened . From her vientre (womb) the waters flowed into the rivers of Africa the lagoons and each orisa there possessing a river body . The union of water and earth gave birth to Ozain and the Herbs. Thus , creating the cosmetology that we know of today .
This legend says in Africa Yemaya fought with her son Ochosi in the lands of Ogun state , She became so upset and depressed that she cried and her tears formed the rivers Niger.
Caminos or Avatars of Yemaya.
- Yembo (Yemu): Path of Yemaya in which many say is Oddua in female form. The union of OsaMelli (9-9) is where the true crown of Yemaya is born in Yemu and not in Odi (7) as many think… and from her, all orisha’s where born.
- Yemaya Ibu: This Yemaya is born in Odun Iroso-Ogunda (4-3). This is the path or avatar of this Orisa that not all is clear. Little is known about her and her path. This Yemaya lives with her sister Ochun in the river. This Path is said to be the Yemaya married to Orisa Agallu. When he comes to the river she leaves for her love meeting with him. She lives in a tinaja de Barro and her collar (eleke) is of dark blue and light blue, and takes coral and Azabache.
- Yemaya Ibu Oleyo: This Yemaya is born in Odun Ogunda -Iroso (3-4) she is from the land of Ayatero She eats Cornish hens. She lives in a tinaja of barro, and we put inside, 21 conch shells, a boat on top of the tinaja, that is charged with Osain, belonging to her. She also has 7 wooden fish carved from cedar living inside with her. In this path, she can be dressed in light blue or in a coral color.
- Yemaya Ibu Okoto: This Yemaya is born in the Odun Merunla-Iroso (14-4) Ibu Okto means” she who lives in the conches”. The Ocean is of blood. Presides of naval battles. She lives in a Tinaja with 7 large conch shells from the Ocean. She takes a piece of wood from a ship wreck and seven hands of shells. Seven machetes are placed in front of her Tinaja, A blue Bandera; a lance and dagger. Her colors are of blue and rose ON top of her tinaja should be one large conch shell (COBO), two oars two rings and 7 manillas (bracelets) of silver.
- Yemaya Ibu Olowo: This Yemaya is born in the Odun Oddi-Iroso (7-4). Olowo is the owner of all the fortunes that exist in the bottom of the ocean. One hand of caracoles live inside this path of Yemaya. In a box. This Yemaya has nine Otas (seven black and two of Arrecife) Also she has an Eleggua inside. Which is a medium Caracol.
- Yemaya Ibu Asesu: This Yemaya is born in the odun of Oddi-Melli (7-7) she is the owner of the ducks, swans and geese. She lives in the latrines and swampy waters. Her name means “Forgetful”. She is the messenger of Olokun. This Yemaya is of the turbulent and dirty waters. She is very sever. She eats duck. Receives the offerings in company of the spirits. She is slow to answer her followers. When asked a favor she takes her time and answering. She is who counts the feathers of the duck and when she messes up counting, goes back and starts over. IN Matanzas, they identify her with the Catholic saint “The Blessed Virgen of Remedies” Her eleke (collar) is light blue with Soap color beads. One should put a small drum. Her bracelets of silver and a remolino. In ARARA they call her name “evejosia”.
Yemaya Akere: Akere is born in the Odun Oddi -Ojuani (7-11) she lives in the deepest parts of the ocean. She takes a small porcelain doll inside her Sopera, also sea turtle shells, an arrow of silver, a wooden boat of cedar, and a silver fish, a sword of silver and seven crystal balls (marbles).
Yemaya Oro: is born in the Odun (7-9). She is mysterious and lives with the Egguns. The meaning of her name is: “the mermaid that sings”. This Yemaya is the one that wakes the spirits. Her favorite food is a duck. She takes inside her Sopera, a mask of bronze, a sword of silver, seven conch shells, and seven plates. She has a crown that takes seven oars, seven rings, seven bells, an anchor, the sun, a machete, and a compass.
- Yemaya Achaba : is born in the Odun Osa Melli (9-9) she is from ARA ONU ( from the heavens) Osa melli is where the crown of Yemaya is born …. Her representation Direct is an Anchor. Her name means “she who finds refuge in the anchors”. She eats ducks in a special manner. One puts a palangana with water from the ocean and anil , next to her sopera NOT INSIDE HER SOPERA , you take the top of her sopera and to the anil and ocean water you sacrifice the duck . Later, this duck has to be cleaned and put to bake, and you put this duck on top of her sopera for seven days colors are blue and black. On top of her sopera one puts a rolled up chain. A part from her traditional tools she takes seven fishing hooks, a silver mermaid, three dolls of porcelain, an Arrow of Ochosi in silver, seven machetes of silver, a sword, seven balls of crystal (marbles) the arara call her Itawollo.
- Yemaya Okute or Okunte: this Yemaya was married to Ogun, she is born in Odun Ogunda melli (3-3) she is the helper and works with Ogun. Her complete name is Ogunte Ogunasomi. The ARARA call her Okuadume. She eats roosters with Ogun. She never eats ducks. Her colores are dark blue and a strong rose color. An extra charge to her is a wooden boat, of cedar, painted blue and white, another boat of Lead, a Yunque, a pinwheel, and a chain that holds the 21 tools of OGUN. This chain you put around the boat in her sopera. This Yemaya fabricated the Ocean, The pride and honor of the same. Usually her children carry the same character of the same. In Matanzas, this Yemaya the celebrate in August and represents the” the Virgen de las Nieves” She is the Yemaya of too cold waters for this her children make more money in the winter months. To ask a great favor of this Orisha One should include Ice in some rituals. She lives in the reefs off the coast. She is the doorman of Olokun. The same that you will find her in the ocean also in the river and lakes. Because she was the wife of Ogun, she will receive her addimu in the ocean or mountains. When at war she will wear hanging from her belt a knife and the tools of Ogun. This Yemaya works hard. She is a warrior, Baronil, and a Horrible Amazon. The Rat belongs to her and is her messenger. She can transform into a rat to visit her children. She, runs from the sight of dogs. For this reason her children should not have one in their house. She, has a violent temper and holds a grudge. She is an expert in magic arts and preparing powders. Dances with a snake coiled around her arm. The Corals and pearls are hers. She loves to eat male rams and roosters. She is not known to eat duck but, on special occasions when she asks for one you should give it to her in a special way … in a palangana of ocean water you add anil take the top off her sopera and sacrifice the duck in the palangana NOT IN HER SOPERA OR OTAS…. and then sacrifice 2 roosters …The arara also call her Ikondole.
Yemaya Mayelewo: This Yemaya is born in Odun Irosun – Ofun (4-11) she is the favorite daughter of Oloddumare. She lives at the bottom of the ocean. Where the seven currents of the ocean meet, stability is her predominance. She looks down on people with high pride, for this she looks at people from the side. She is good with businesses. A translation of her name is similar to “the one who loves money and business” This to the elders of Bahias say you can find her. She is the Yemaya that colored the waters of the ocean as we know them today. She wears a mask and an Ozun, she also like to have a duck of Lead to her tools, a blowpipe, a remolino, a snake of silver, and a reef rock. Her Sopera is big and sits in a basket with twenty one plates. The basket is decorated with 9 colors of fabric. Has a chain with seven hooks, and she sits on a boat rope. Her crown has all the tools of Ogun. The arara call her Aguanikoshe.
- Yemaya Ibuagana: This Yemaya is born in the Odun Iroso-metanla (4-13) her name is translated in Yoruba to the Furious or the Crazy. IN this camino (path) she is the wife of Orisa Oko. Her beauty if famous, but she has seven lumps in her lower belly and one leg skinner than the other. She has an Ozain that has the head of a rooster, turtle, and a guinea hen covered in blue beads. She works with ORO -ina, Orisha owner of the volcanoes of the earth, the appears and manifests in Odun Iroso -Melli (4-4). Her sopera is covered in fabric of seven colors. She loves fans with feathers of Ducks. Apart from her traditional tools, she takes a yunque, seven machetes, seven hooks, and a reef rock. The arara’s call her name: Agwaralu.
- Yemaya Atarawa: Is born in the Odun Iroso-Unle (4-8) Iroso Umbo. Her names mean” she who is in every moment is important”. She is the owner of the treasures of the ocean and land. She lives in a Sopera that sits in a treasure truck. Her Sopera you put jewelry around , sea shells , pearls , two mirrors , a sword , a compass, seven silver bracelets and an old key . From her crown hangs all the tolls of Ogun and seven Keys also a moon, and sun, a boat, two oars, tow stones, a sword and a compass. They say this Yemaya wears white, eats pigeons, and has white skin and her hair changes with the depth of the waters. There are those that say this Yemaya eats goat with Ogun. She will also at rare times eat a goose.
The Arara call her Tofodun
- Yemaya Ibubunle: This Yemaya is born in Odun Eyeunle Melli (8-8) her name means” Sediment of the ocean”. She lives on top of reef rocks and on top of her otans she takes reef rocks as well. One puts sea shells, sea sand, two large oars, a life jacket, a sword of lead, a boat of wood of cedar. She has a crown that hangs 7 manillas, two oars, two rocks, a fan, a harthingy, a hook, a sword, a boat, a compass, a seashell, a mirror, a whale, and a mask. Her colores are dark blue and soap white. The Arara call her “KEd**e”
- Yemaya Ibu Akinomi: This Yemaya is born in the Odun Eyeunle-oddi. The meaning of her name is: ‘When upset she could destroy the world” She lives in the cusp of the waves. One puts a boat, a mermaid, a half moon, a sea horse, a whale, and all her regular tools. she has a crown that one adds a buoy , seven manillas of silver, two oars , two rocks, a boat, a mermaid, half moon, a sun, a star, a fan, a sword, a dagger, an axe, Her colors are dark blue and light blue and green . The ARARA call her “SEd**e”.
- Yemaya Ibuconla: lives in the sea foam, this Yemaya one puts in a shawl of cotton. She is cold and lives in the nets of boats. She is born in Odun Oddi- Eyila (7-12). Her name means “she who builds ships” she is a poet. She takes feathers, compass, and inkpot. Her crown has seven manillas, two oars two rocks, a chair, a feather, a fan, a double axe, a male key, a machete, and a hand. Her colores are Persia blue and green crystal and red.
- Yemaya Ibuina: Is born in Odun Osa-Ogunda (9-3) Her name means “Queen of the tragedy and arguments” This Yemaya is ready for the disputes and war. Some of her characteristics are of arrogance and forwardness. She eats carp and goats. Along with her tools, one puts an Ochosi, a fish, a pig, a snake, and a cane. On top of her Sopera there should be a hat covered in leopard skin with seven crowies. Inside should be seven mano’s of caracoles, seven manillas, seven hooks two oars, and two Otas. Her colores are rose and green. The Arara call her Menani
- Yemaya Ogunayibo: born in marunla -Ogunda (14-3) Lives in the river and the ocean. Lives in a sopera covered in mariwo. Is a Yemaya of large breasts? She is the patron to older women. Is a warrior alongside OGUN.
- Yemaya Ogunosomi: This Yemaya is born in the Odun Iroso-Obara (4-6). She is a warrior with Ogun and Shango. She lives on top of the waters but also loves the mountains. Apart from her regular tools she uses two machetes, an arrow of Ochosi, a fish, a skeleton, seven manillas, a mask, two female keys, and one male key, loves plantain bananas. Lives in the lands of ARARA. Is a friend of Asojano. Drinks run and smoketobacco. ON top of her Sopera one puts a mask.
Yemaya Ibunodo: This Yemaya is born in the odun Ogunda-eyico (3-2). Lives in the rivers. Inside her sopera a chain of 21 of Ogun’s tools she eats Cornish hens. She has an Ochosi of silver.
- Yemaya Yemase: is born in the odun Ocana-Odi (1-7) she has a crown in which one should hang seven crowies, seven machetes, seven axes, a boat and an arrow of Ochosi.
- Yemaya Ibualaro: this Yemaya is born in the odun Oddi -Ocana (7-1) she is the owner of life and death. she has a her tools and a lucero , a man, a woman, a machete , a Ochosi , a skeleton, a female key, seven otas , seven hooks , and seven smaller machetes , her sopera is painted in seven colors .