African Traditional Religion : Question about Olorun

Discussion in 'African Traditional Religion Study Group' started by Alexandra, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother S,

    I was at loathe to deviate from that Sister's thread, so I started this just to make sure I have understood this correctly. In the beginning, there was a male God Olorun, who sent forth Odu, Obatala and Ogun?

    Who created Olorun?


    Is there a significance behind the letter 'O'? it is interesting that the Christian dieties' names all began with 'Y' (Yahweh, Yehoshua)

    Many thanks Brother!

    A
     
  2. Qwamii

    Qwamii Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yoruba language

    I will tread carefully since this thread was not directed at me, and since I’m still coming to better understandings.

    I will start with the concern of the “O” in deity names. My study so far has not led to any information or conclusions on the “O” being close to the reason that “Y” come up in Christian/Hebraic theology.

    In the Yoruba language, “O” (pronounced like the “O” in “over”)can be a pronoun which means “he, she, and it” when it has a high tone as in “O lo sile Dele” it means “he/she/it went to Dele’s house” (to the house of Dele)
    With a mid tone it means “you” – O (mid tone) lo sile Dele “you went to Dele’s house”

    It can be an expression of emphasis. In English we usually raise the pitch in which we talk when we want to emphasize something, in Yoruba you can stick an “o” at the end of the phrase to express emphasis.

    Ori pele o – Ori I greet you (with emphasis)

    The “O” in Obatala is not the same O. This is a totally different letter. Its an O with a dot under it pronounced like the aw in “saw”. The beginning of Obatala - oba (pronounced awbah) means king/chief.

    The name Obatala is actually a description like many names in Yoruba. This same letter “O (aw)” is found in Osun, Olorun, Orunmila. But Ogun (which is the Yoruba word for War with different tones), Oduduwa, Orisa Oko( Oko is the Yoruba word for farm)etc. have the hard O pronunciation.

    In Yoruba, the way to express owner is also something to take into account here. There are some exceptions but the very basics are as follow:
    When the noun begins with a vowel, you take that vowel, add an “L” and attach it to the noun.

    Ata – pepper; al + ata – alata – owner of peppers
    Orun – Ol + orun – Olorun - Owner of Orun

    When it begins with a consonant, you add Olu, or Oni (in older Yoruba its usually Olu)
    *Koso – a specific town name olu + koso – Olukoso – Owner of Koso, Oba Sango’s ofo ase (praise name) (kawokabiesile) (*it also has anther meaning but this is beyond the scope of this post)

    There are more linguists involved but I want to keep this post kind of short.

    As far as a male god in Olorun, the way that I have been taught, Olorun transcends gender, but in Pataki, Itan, and Odu IT takes on personifications to convey certain ideas and principles. The question may be then “what” is Olorun.

    When Awo was speaking of Odu, what was going on in the message of that post and the Odu?
    What is Odu and who married it? What was the deeper meaning there?

    Also my teachers says that Olodumare is gender neutral, and when digging into the principle that is Olodumare it can be readily seen. Once again when we break these names into the proper meanings it conveys a principle. What Olodumare and Olorun is can be said to be too potent to be stepped down into male and female classifications at that point.

    Hopefully this helps and maybe one of my elders can come in and shed more light on the subject.

    ~Qwamii~
     
  3. Alexandra

    Alexandra Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you so much Br.Qwamii for responding. Judging by the quality of your post, it seems you are progressing well on your studies! What you said about Olodumare and Olorun was quite interesting.

    Many thanks again,

    Alex
     
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