Oko is used in Yoruba to refer to the god of farming, agriculture, and fertility. It is believed that Oko came to earth and lived on a small farm where he grew some of the most beautiful and delicious fruits and vegetables. One day, he disappeared, leaving nothing but his staff stuck in the ground. When the people saw the staff in the ground and realized his gift with agriculture, they knew he must have been a god. The staff later became a phallic symbol to represent fertility. The Yoruba community made a holiday just before the rainy season devoted to Oko, where men are encouraged to be a little more friendly with the local women.
Characteristics of Oko
Oko is described as a strong hunter with the power to fight against sorcery. Additionally, he is associated with the harvest of White African Yams. Oko’s spiritual ally is Ogun, who forges his tools. Oko is also the judge of the orishas and is known to dislike arguments. He is said to be the first to jump to any female’s defense when a dispute occurs.
As the Orisha of crops and fertility, many call to him when one is infertile and cannot multiply. He is also symbolized by honeybees, known to be hard workers. Bees are said to be his messengers and spirit animal. In the Caribbean, he is often represented holding two coconuts symbolizing his testicles and fertility.
Symbolizing blood and semen, the colors red and white are associated with him as the god of fertility. The offerings to Oko are everything that comes from the ground. Every crop from the earth is given to him; sacrifices for him are male goats, roosters, and pigeons