To be able to establish a comparison
between the religion of the Orishas of Nigeria and the Rule
of Ocha or Santería in Cuba four aspects that I consider exists
basicaly in order to sum up similarities and dicotomías, those
which have to be subjected to analysis in both cults.
Purpose of the System. -
The religion of the Orishas of Nigeria is located in an area
where the purpose of the traditional beliefs is centered in
the happy traffic from the life to the death", as they settled
down in the second half of last century the British anthropologists
Augusto Mockler Perrymon and Mary Kingsley (7).
According to the eminently practical sense that prevails in
all the traditional religions to the South of the Sahara,
it is fundamental in the systemic structure of the same this
aspect of the purpose, all time that generates it the complex
of motivations that defines the practice in a certain way
of popular religiosity.
In this case the attributions of such orishas are in dependence
of that " step " or to traffic that the believer carries out
from the " ayé " or concrete reality where her existence reflects
until the " alem " or world of the realities where the gods
and the spirits live of those that before went toward the
" olum " or the infinite thing. When we added the total spectrum
of the attributions conferred to the orishas, we see like
all their roads are assumed so that the believer can carry
out the basic objective of her faith.
Relationship between the belief and
the socioeconomic mark where it resides. -
In the Nigerian case we see like a total correspondence exists
among the socioeconomic reality and feeling religious or.
said otherwise, between the material culture and the spiritual
one, where certainly one is consequence of the other one and
vice versa, because although it is certain that in a first
moment the objective realities of the means delineated many
of the fundamental aspects in the traditional religious system,
as the economic base (consumption goods, technology, etc.)
it is developed; the spiritual culture and inside her the
religious thing, imposes the approaches that govern the social
development, until the point that perhaps it could qualify
as reversion, when it ends up determining in not few aspects
inside the own economic relationships.
But it is also necessary to keep in mind that many of those
mythical beings are the result of a deificación process that
embraced historical or real characters, idealized by virtue
of the mechanisms characteristic of the cult to the ancestors
and of the interests of the dominant groups; characters that
existed and whose biography embraced events, people and truthful
places; places perhaps daily for the believers' great part
in Nigeria and other near places where is practiced that religion,
all that which contributes to a bigger narrowing between the
mythical thing and the real thing, because for those practitioners
it is very easy to transgress in both addresses the limits
between the supernatural thing and the concrete thing.
Dependence system. -
In the religion of the Nigerian Orishas the relationship between
the believers and the orishas is determined by a dependence
system that practically excludes all possibility of the outrages
that imply the " pleasure " or the " likeness " these devotions
they are unwrapped in the transculturaciones Afro-American.
A traditional believer in Nigeria is not bound to an orisha
because this is the one that he likes or the nearest to her
type, but for a cultural acondicionamiento that has three
degrees or ways: the relative, the community one (village,
town or city) and the occupation.
The first orisha that belongs him is this way that of its
own family; in second term, for natural law it is bound to
that of the place where he lives and finally, it is linked
with the one that sponsors the occupation, work or function
by means of which obtains its sustenance and that of its family.
With this maximum of three possibilities that can be two ,
according to the coincidences that take place among the three
dependences, the devote one traditional in Nigeria it solves
all their problems, without having to appeal before to any
other orisha outside of those established.
Morphology of the Orisha. -
As before I indicated the orishas they are beings Intermediary
antropomórficos between Oloddumaré and the men, all and each
one of them in Nigeria is able to solve the necessities of
their devote ones totally, because there is in each one of
them an integralidad that makes unnecessary the competition
of other orishas to assist the demands of who believe in them.
But also, although for the extension that can embrace the
cult to a certain orisha it is susceptible that in certain
regions said orisha can have different names, that doesn't
imply that each denomination corresponds to a different orisha,
not even to roads or invocations dissimilar of the same one,
but rather all those appellatives constitute only ways of
calling it, those that sometimes indicate a specific place
where they surrender him cult, or also the different ones
holding that possesses this orisha.
An example of the before exposed Pierre Verger toasts when
mentioning the seven titles that accompany to the name of
Ogún in the territory of the yorubás, they are these Ogún
Igiri in Adja Were; Ogún Edeyi in Ilodo; Ogún Ondó in Pobe,
Igbo-Iso and Irokonyi; Ogún Igboibó in Ixedé; Ogún Elénjo
in Ibanion and Modogan; Ogún Olópe in Exedé Ijé and Ogún Abesan
in Ibarike Fudite, but all are the same Ogún, god of the war
and the blacksmiths' boss (8).
Lastly it is necessary to keep in mind the historical factor
in most of the orishas, being frequent that diverse feats
attributed by the traditional sources to these characters,
have been incorporate to their mythical biography when deidificados
and the factor of the physical proximity of the places that
served from scenario to those remarkable facts, were it is
an element that gravitates in the religious conscience of
those who profess this cult in the Nigerian Southwest.