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  • Writer's pictureAwo Ifasola Sangobolade


In Yoruba religion, Ogun is a primordial orisha who first appeared as a hunter named Tobe Ode. He is said to have been the first Orisha to descend to the realm of Ile Aiye ("Earth"), to find suitable place for future human life. In some traditions he is said to have cleared a path for the other gods to enter Earth, using a metal axe and with the assistance of a dog. To commemorate this, one of his praise names, or oriki, is Osin Imole or the "first of the primordial Orisha to come to Earth". He is the god of war and metals.

In his earthly life Ogun is said to be the first king of Ile- Ife. When some of his subjects failed to show respect, Ogun killed them and ultimately himself with his own sword. He disappeared into the earth at a place called Ire-Ekiti, with the promise to help those who call on his name. His followers believe him to have disappeared into the earth's surface instead of dying. Throughout his earthly life, he is thought to have fought for the people of Ire, thus is known also as Onire.

He is now celebrated in Ekiti, Oyo, and Ondo States and other part of the world. Ogun is the traditional deity of warriors, hunters, blacksmiths, technologists, and drivers in the Yoruba religion. Followers of traditional Yoruba religion can swear to tell the truth in court by "kissing a piece of iron in the name of Ogun." Drivers carry an amulet of Ogun to ward off traffic accidents.

The primary symbols of Ogun are iron, the dog, and the palm frond. They symbolize Ogun's role in transformation, mediation, and function. Iron is the primary emblem of Ogun. Ogun altars and ceremonies display and use iron objects both in Yoruba areas and the across the African diaspora. Followers of Ogun wear chains of iron implements; Ogun festivals feature the display of knives, guns, blacksmith implements, scissors, wrenches, and other iron implements from daily life.

Meats are a sacrifice for Ogun. Dogs are the traditional companions of hunters, but Ogun's personality is also seen as "doglike": aggressive, able to face danger, and straightforward. Other sacrificial animals associated with Ogun are the spitting cobra (blacksnake); its behavior is aggressive and fearless. Hunters and blacksmiths avoid eating or witnessing the mating of blacksnakes. Other important sacrificial offerings to Ogun are the Clarias submarginatus (a species of catfish), alligator pepper, kola nuts, palm wine and red palm oil, small rats, roosters, salt, snails, tortoise, water, yams. Many of these sacrificial offerings were carried into New World traditions.

Ogun worshipers are known to sing a song that insinuates that Ogun is in seven paths. It goes like this... Ogun Alaara ni gba aja - Ogun of the Alaara people collects dog.. Ogun Ajeero ni gbaagbo - Ogun of the Ajeero people collects ram.. Ogun Ikole a gba'igbin - Ogun of the Ikole people will collect snail.. Ogun Elemono ni gbe'sun isu - Ogun of the Elemono will collect roasted yam.. Ogun Gbena Gbena eran ahun ni je - Ogun of the wood carvers eats the tortoise's meat..

I will advise all people that has Ogun instruments with them should always Be faithful in all they do, they should be mindful of what they way whenever they are with Ogun tools, especially if we are in our cars ,we should not say what we are not capable of doing , we should always be positive in all that we do. Also those   that works with government carrying guns should also be careful and they should always try to make sacrifices to Ogun, including those that are always busy on the roads.

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