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OLOKUN "RIVER GODDESS"

TRANSLATION
 

  From: Alex Igbineweka

Dear Brother Nowa,

Below are my efforts so far in response to
your request and I shall continue further (as time permits).



TRANSLATION OF "RIVER GODDESS"

1. Olokun........... (EDO LANGUAGE)

2.1. Mmuo Mmili ........ (IGBO LANGUAGE)

2.2. Eze nwaanyi Mmili - (popularly called
"Mami Wota) in by the riverine dwellers including
 the  Igbos and some areas in Ghana).

3. Mindu ruwa .......... (GUOSA LANGUAGE)

4. Yemoja/Yemaja ......... (YORUBA)

5. Ndem Mmo .............. (EFIK/IBIBIO)

6. Allah kogi ......... (made up by me in the
 HAUSA LANGUAGE) because the word "goddess" does not
 really exist in the Hausa but "ALLAH" meaning
"GOD"). I stand to be corrected on this.

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    7. Farr Ingmo ............ (GA LANGUAGE) IN
 GHANA

8. Olukun ............. (OKPE LANGUAGE, DELTA
 STATE OF NIGERIA)

I would like to confirm the traditional
 Nigerian
name(s) of the word "Sea Goddess" or "Sea God"

To be continued.

ALEX G. IGBINEWEKA
The Azekazudo of Benin Kingdom; and,
Evolutionist.

www.dawodu.net/guosa1.htm
www.edofolks.com
 

********************************************************************

Dear Alex,
Greetings.I just wish to  correct
 the common mistake that Olokun is a
 goddess.Olokun  in Benin mythology is son of Osanobua, husband
 of  Ora and therefore male and  a god.Thanks.

DR. NOWA  OMOIGUI

**********************************************************

Brothers Osamwonyi and Uyi; and, Institute for
 Benin  Studies,

 1. In Edo language, "Okun" meant (Sea)
 There is no disbute about that.

 2. "Ole" or "ol'" is an adjectival prefix meaning
 the  "chief", "pilot" "expert" "master" "leader" "ohen"
 etc. etc.

 3.  Definition (2) above did not specify the
 gender,  therefore, the word "ole" may be used to refer to
 a  man or a woman.  You also have words such as
 "ol'ize"  (Rice seller/dealer); "Ol'ibata" (Bata dealer)
etc.

 4.  In the light of the above you might well say
 "ohen  okun".  OKUN IS NOT GOD AND GOD IS NOT OKUN.  OKUN
SIMPLY MEANT (THE SEA, OCEAN OR BIG BODY OF  WATERS"

 I am in a hurry and shall revisit this again to your  understanding.
 Brother Hillary Evbayiro and others, kindly comment.
 Meanwhile, thanks a great deal for your  contribution.

From: "Alex Igbineweka"

***********************************************************

 Olokun has always been described as one of
Osalobua's favorite child.  Hence her worshipers pray and call to
OSALOBUA VBE OLOKUN.  as Christians call to Jesus Christ and God.
Olokun has always been identified as the  Goddess of the river.
 Olokun has always been worshipped by both men and
women and her  priest's have always been both sexes most especially
 by women, and  rarely do you see men worshiping olokun but usually
 attached her  brother Ogun for protection or support.  Hence the
 explanation from  brother Alex referred to as female and institute of
 Benin studies as  a male God.  You are both correct.

 Olokun has always been identified as the  beauty of the
 waters.  Beautiful women have also been described as
identical to Olokun.  With names as simple as OLOKUN  or
 OLOKUNOROBO.  Her  children have often been referred to as Igbakuan in
 Edo language or  Ogbanje as called by other tribes.  Some call
mamiwater.  ALL USUALLY BEAUTIFUL FEMALES,

 My two cents.

 Tina.

**************************************************

Sister Tina,

Yes, you are correct in your explanation
 but, both men, brother Alex and the man
from institute of Benin studies cannot be
correct, brother Alex is only the correct
person here my dear. Olokun is a woman
period. That and that is the very reason
her brother 'OGUN' is always attached by her side
for protection or support. Olokun is not 'ABUM' which can be referred
to as male or female. In other for her not to stand
alone by her self, A man had to stand by 
her,It is like Mr. and Mrs. or King and Queen.
It had never never be Mr. and Mr. nor Mrs.
and Mrs. unless may be the Oyibo way which is not our way.

********************************************************

 Dear Friloye
 

   
The literature abounds with support for the position
 that Olokun can be either male (God) or female
 (Goddess) depending on the cultural context.  Uyi is
 right from a historical point of view. Alex is also
 right because of the technically asexual (or sexually
 neutral) meaning of the word Olokun

 In original Benin mythology, yes, Olokun was (is)
 male, but then the deity got transplanted to Ife by
 Ekaladerhan and subsequently to Cuba during the middle
 period.  In other parts of Yoruba land it was adopted
 by making Olokun the child of Yamoja.

Depending on who you read Olokun has been referred to
 as either God or Goddess. 


Nigeria: Art Gallery


Clearly the Olokun cult was very strong among Edo
 women, but way before that it was at a level that
 virtually made it State religion - tied into the most
 fundamental Edo notions of the creation of land and
 water.
 
 It is incredibly similar to the Greek myth of Poseidon
 - The brother of Zeus and God of the Sea

  A FEW SAMPLES:

 "The oldest son was given control of the waters by
 Osanobua. The Bini call this son, Olokun (meaning the
 god of the river). The other son was allowed freedom
 to use his magical powers to balance out the negative
 and positive forces of nature. He apparently
 represents evil and the Bini call him Ogiuwu (or Esu
 sometimes) meaning the harbinger of death. Ogiuwu is
 supposed to own the blood of all living things. In
 other words, no living thing can live forever.
 Osanobua then settled in the realm of the spirit world
 across the waters where the sky and the earth meet.
 While Osanobua and Olokun represent aspects of life
 such as good health, long life, good luck, prosperity
 and happiness to which man may apeal through ritual
 purity, Ogiuwu represents mourning, evil omen and
 diseases."   From [THE CORRECT HISTORY OF EDO, By
 NAIWU OSAHON]  http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/osahon.htm

 "Pottery heads were made for shrines in the brass
 casters' quarter; and life-size groups of royal
 figures in mud are still made for the cult of Olokun,
 divinity of the sea and of wealth."

 From
 http://users.pandora.be/african-shop/tribe_info.htm

 ".....fish-legged figure tells two stories about Oba
 Ohen

 Oba Ohen, who ruled in the 1400s, was a very handsome
 man. After he broke a divine law, the gods paralyzed
 Ohen's legs to punish him, according to one legend. A
 sick or weakened oba is considered dangerous, so Ohen
 hid his disability. His followers carried him into
 council chambers before other officials arrived; they
 carried him out after everyone had gone. Soon the
 senior town chief, or the Iyase, became suspicious. He
 hid behind a door and watched while Ohen was carried
 away. But Oba Ohen's servants saw the Iyase. Ohen had
 him killed on the spot.
 The Edo were horrified by what Ohen had done. To kill
 the people's representative, the Iyase, was a crime
 against all the Edo. The people stoned Ohen to death
 with lumps of purifying white clay. Ohen's son Ewuare
 defended his father Years later, Ohen's son Oba Ewuare
 gave the people a new explanation for why his father
 couldn't walk. Ewuare said that the god Olokun had
 sent power, like the electrical charge of dangerous
 mudfish, into Ohen's legs. Since then, the fish-legged
 figure has become the central symbol of Benin
 kingship.
 It reminds the Edo people that the Oba is divine; it
 also cautions the Oba not to overstep the limits of
 his powers."
 http://www.lam.mus.ca.us/africa/tour/benin/ivory/002.htm


 "For the Edo, who live in a tropical climate, coolness
 symbolizes all that is positive in life - purity, good
 luck, health and the watery world of the god Olokun. "
 http://www.nhm.org/africa/tour/benin/008.htm

 "Fashek was actually born in Benin City, the heart of
 the Ancient Sini Kingdom, now in Bendel State of
 Nigeria - Africa's most populous country. His mother
 is an Edo woman from Benin. and his father, a school
 principal, was a Yoruba man from Ilesha in Oyo State
 of Nigeria. After his father died when he was just 11
 years old, Fashek's mother, educated and very liberal
 for a traditional culture, became a businesswoman,
 supplying concrete to road contractors. Fashek's
 family wanted him to become an engineer at first, but
 he had already succumbed to the spirit of music. From
 the beginning, his mother would bring him along to
 participate in ceremonies celebrating her traditional
 religion, where mainly women would play the Olokun
 rhythm used for worship of the goddess of the river.
 Playing the heavy rhythms and intricate syncopations
 on maracas, Fashek says he'd "bring down the spirits".

 http://www.waleoguns.itgo.com/majbio.html

 "OLOKUN, son of OSANOBUA, once challenged his father.
  A market place was set for the match. On the
 stipulated day, the father, OSANOBUA, sent a messenger
 to OLOKUN that he was ready. Surprisingly the
 messenger was in the same dress OLOKUN wore. It was a
 dress OLOKUM thought was the best to undo his father.
 He, therefore, went into his room to put on a more
 splendid one. But anytime he came out, he found the
 messenger in the exact dress he wore. Realizing that
 he could not even challenge his father's messenger
 after several attempts, he gave up the challenge. The
 messenger was the chameleon."
 - Bolaji Idowu ,Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief, p.
 45, cited in
 http://www.hypertextile.net/BLAKHUD/ind-reli/ind01.htm



 "In fact, the Yoruba and the Afro-Cuban Lukumi systems
 have fused several traditions found in Africa. Deities
 from Dahomey (Obaluaye, Nanu, Nana Buruku, etc.) and
 Benin (Olokun) are among them. In the case of the
 deity known as Olokun from Benin, John Mason documents
 that, '...in the 12th century A.D.., Prince
 Ekaladeran, the only son of Ogiso Owodo, was banished
 from Benin City by his father, and then founded the
 town of Ughoton, established an Olokun shrine for
 communal worship, and later introduced Olokun worship
 among the Yoruba. Ile Ife is the only city in
 Yorubaland where Olokun is actively worshipped'...;
 this, despite the fact that Orisas are known to come
 from many places throughout Yorubaland, Dahomey and
 Benin.
 In contrast, Olokun is widely accepted amongst the
 followers of Cuban Palo and Lukumi traditions, and is
 considered to be one of the most influential and
 respect deities.
 "Both the shrine sculpture and the sacred drums
 employed by the Lukumi in Cuba, when they worship
 Olokun, shows a direct link with the Edo of Benin" ---
 John Mason, Orin Orisa, 1992 " - from Respecting &
 Recognizing Established Afro-Cuban Traditions
 [http://www.palo.org/articles/kimbisa.html]

Nowa