Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The orisha Odudua or Oduduwa has a complex history in Ifa theology that contains female and male conception of the orisha. There is some scholarship that suggests Oduduwa was originally venerated as a female orisha. E. Bolali Idowu takes this position given the goddess tradition in Yorubaland, and words found in existing liturgy even in Ilé-Ifè, the sacred city of Ifa, where the male-orisha tradition is strongest. He also stresses the fact that Oduduwa is clearly a female orisha in the city of Adó and elsewhere in Southwestern Yorubaland. In one narrative, she is the wife of Obatala, and together they represent the merger of Heaven (Obatala) and Earth (Oduduwa). Moreover, in this tradition, Oduduwa, as wife of Obatala, the principal male orisha, is the principal female orisha. She is ...