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
A major deity of the indigenous religion of the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria, Shango (sometimes written Chango) also appears in the religion of the Bini of southeastern Nigeria, where he is referred to as Esango, as well as in the religion of the Fon of the Benin Republic, where he is called Sogbo and Ebioso. Like all of the Yoruba deities (called or isbà) , Shango is both a deified ancestor and a natural force, both aspects being associated with a cult, a priesthood, and an elaborate material culture that witnesses and supports his worship. The ancestral Shango was the fourth king of the town of Oyo. Oral history describes him as a powerful king who had a voice like thunder and shot fire out of his mouth when he spoke. When a subordinate chief challenged his rule, many townspeople, impressed by the chief's feats of magic, deserted him, and ...