African Traditional Religion : Amadioha: Igbo God of Thunder

Discussion in 'African Traditional Religion Study Group' started by Onyemobi, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Onyemobi

    Onyemobi Well-Known Member MEMBER

    United States
    Jun 19, 2007
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    Washington DC MetropolitanArea
    I created this article in wikipedia, so I will reproduce it below:


    Amadioha (Igbo literal meaning "free will of the people") is the Alusi (god) of thunder and lightning of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. He is amongst the most popular of Igbo deities and in some parts of Igboland, he is referred to as Amadiora, Kamalu (which is short for Kalu Akanu), Kamanu, or Ofufe. Astrologically, his governing planet is the Sun. His color is red, and his symbol is a white ram. Metaphysically, Amadioha represents the collective will of the people. He is often associated with Anyanwu, who is the Igbo god of the Sun. While Anyanwu is more prominent in northern Igboland, Amadioha is more prominent in the southern part. His day is Afo, which is the second market day of the Igbo four day week.

    Functions of Amadioha:

    God of justice

    Amadioha is first and foremost known as a god of justice. He speaks through thunder, and he strikes with lightning. He creates thunder and lightning by casting "thunderstones" down to earth. Persons judged guilty by Amadioha are either killed by lightning (which leaves a black mark on the forehead) or attacked by a swarm of bees. The property of the victim is usually taken by the priests of Amadioha, and the body is left unburied and the victim unmourned, as the punishment is considered to be a righteous one from God. In some parts of Igboland, Amadioha is used as a curse word. Oaths are often sworn to him, which can carry deadly penalties when broken. The ritual cleansing for Amadioha is very costly and tasking. The deity can only be appeased by transferring the curse to a live goat that is let loose outside of the walls of the community. The ram is a common offering for him. The priestly clan of Amadioha are known as Umuamadi, which translates to children of Amadioha.

    God of love, peace and unity

    Besides justice, Amadioha is also a god of love, peace and unity, and is prayed for increase of crops, children in the home, and benevolence. Aside the above manifestations of Amadioha, he represents, as different from most African religious world views, a messianic hope for those in critical situations.

    Creator God

    Amadioha is also considered to be a creator God. In some traditions, human beings were made by him when he sent a bolt of lightning down to strike a silk cotton tree, which split and revealed a man and a woman.

    Consort to Ani

    Amadioha is often shown as a husband to Ani, who is the Earth mother. In some Igbo traditions, the pair are said to be the first Alusi to have been created by Chukwu. The two are often honored with Mbari houses, which were made with mudbrick. Amadioha is typically depicted as a fair-skinned, titled gentleman of cool temper who is the patron of "light skinned Igbos" and "men of exalted rank." While Ani is considered to be the lawmaker of Igbo society (which is known as Odinani), Amadioha is the enforcer and protector of the law.

    God of Carvers

    In the play, the Other Side of the Mask, the character Jamike refers to Amadioha as “the god of carvers” and identifies him further as “the god that sends lightning to kill the evil spirits who inhabit the trees from which carvers hew their wood.

    Personal Spirit

    Amadioha as a personal shrine is a spirit of enterprise that brings wealth. It is also a representative of the head of the household


    In precolonial times, the village of Ozuzu turned Amadioha/Kamalu into an oracle called Kamalu Ozuzu. People would travel all over Igboland to visit the oracle in order to settle disputes and for help with crucial decisions. Parties found guilty by the oracle could be sold into slavery


    Amadioha coming down in the form of a ram​

    Proverbs and prayers associated with Amadioha

    "Amadioha magbukwa gi" (Amadioha will punish you)

    " Chi m le kwee - O wuru si o wuni mere ihea, amadioha magbukwe m" (My god please see- If it is true that I did this thing, let Amadioha Kill me)
  2. KingSango

    KingSango Banned MEMBER

    Aug 18, 2013
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    Sounds like the Orisha Sango, Shango, Chango, Django and Xango, who the Yorubas also from Nigeria call the Orisha of Thunder, lightning and fire. His colors were originally red but Obatala his father give him some white beads because Sango needed to cool out from his fiery demands for justice. Since these two people share similar lands its possible they could be in fact the same Orisha but different name. I know many Orishas have different names in different cultures of Africa and some African languages are derived from one common source long forgotten.