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
Bayyinab S. Jeffries
Oshun, or Osun (pronounced “aw-shoon” or “aw-shung”), is said to be one of the first of the Yoruba goddesses created. Oshun is commonly called the river goddess in the Yoruba religion and is typically associated with water, purity, fertility, love, and sensuality. Several myths exist concerning Oshun and her significance as a Yoruba deity. Oshun is one of the estimated more than 400 spiritual guardians and deities of what is called Ifa, the Yoruba religious tradition of the people of West Africa. Oshun is an orisha, meaning “spirit” or “spirits of divine origin,” also referred to as a force of nature. Each orisha has its own followers who are responsible for erecting shrines, paying tribute, praying, and providing offerings. Oshun is considered one of the most powerful of all orisha, and like other gods, she possesses human attributes such as vanity, jealousy, and spite. The orisha handle all issues related ...