Ochosi – The Hunter
Ochosi, also known and spelled as Oxosi, Oshosi, is a great and stealthy hunter who lives in the woods. He is not only known for his excellent hunting skills, but he is also a fisherman, a warrior with excellent arrow skills, a seer with shamanistic powers and a magician. Ochosi is also the lord of justice and the defender/patron of those who has misdoings with the law.
Given an Undertaking
Ochosi, during his time, was only a huntsman who became an Orisha. According to a sacred story, also known as a Pataki, Ochosi was once given a task by Elegua. He was asked to hunt a rare bird for Orula who wanted to gift the bird to Olofi. Since Ochosi was a skilled hunter and had no problems finding his prey, he agreed and caught the rare bird in a matter of minutes. He caged it and brought it back home. Immediately he informed Orula that he had caught the bird. As Ochosi went out, his mother came home to find the bird in a cage and thought that Ochosi had caught it for dinner. She killed the bird and dressed it. She then went out to the local market to buy some condiments to cook it with.
During this time, Ochosi came home to find that the bird had been killed to his great sorrow and anger. However, he had no time to worry about who killed it as he had already informed Orula of the bird. He went out to catch another one of those rare birds and was successful. Ochosi then accompanied Orula and gave the bird to Olofi. Olofi was so delighted with the gift that he gave Ochosi a crown and made him an Orisha right there.
Olofi then asked Ochosi whether there was anything else he wished for. Ochosi demanded to shoot an arrow into the air and have it pierce the heart of whoever killed the first bird. Since Olofi was all-knowing, he asked Ochosi whether he was sure that that was what he wanted. Ochosi replied in the affirmative, saying that he wanted justice. Olofi granted his wish, and as soon as Ochosi shot an arrow into the air, he heard his mother scream and cry out in pain. Once Ochosi realized what he had done, he was disheartened, but he knew that justice had been served. This is why Olofi made it Ochosi’s task to hunt for the truth and serve the sentence where ever he went.
As believed by numerous Patakis, Ochosi lives in an iron vessel with Ogun. Elegua, Ogun, and Ochosi are claimed to be brothers, although all of them had different mothers. According to Pataki, Ogun and Ochosi weren’t always on good terms. However, they set aside their quarrels for the greater good. Ochosi and Ogun formed a pact where Ochosi would hunt, and Ogun would clear the path for him. This is why now they are inseparable.
Ochosi’s day is June 6th, with numbers being 3, 4, and 7. His tools are 3 arrows, 3 hunting dogs, and a fish hook.
Learn more about Santeria and the Orishas with Lucumi: The Ways of Santeria.