african yoruba gods

The Yoruba God Ogun

Ogun is a primordial Orisha, the god of war and iron, who was initially a human hunter named Tobe Ode. He is a blacksmith but presides over every activity where iron is used, such as for cultivating, cutlasses for reaping, guns for hunting, cars for traveling, and so on.

Ogun and the other gods climbed down to Earth in Yoruba lore on a spiderweb. When creation was completed, the gods realized that people needed to clear more land in the forest where they lived.

Unfortunately, the only tools available were soft metal, a material unsuitable for cutting down trees. Luckily, Orunmila, son of the supreme god Olorun, gave Ogun the secret of the iron. He used that knowledge to forge an iron axe and clear the forest. He later shared the secret of iron with the other gods and humans. He showed them how to shape iron into weapons. It is also said that he made a path through the Earth for the gods with an assistance of a dog and an axe. He is also known for his rum-making abilities.

Characteristics of Ogun

He is known for his creativity and destructive nature, which amounts to the misunderstood nature of his aura. Ogun’s personality is also seen as “doglike”- aggressive, able to face danger, and straightforward. He also carries out the repercussions of man’s actions when he breaks the laws of nature. Because of this, he is often feared. Nonetheless, Ogun comes to the plight of his followers, blessing and protecting them when called on.

Traditionally, Ogun’s colors are green, red, and black.
Traditional offerings to Ogun include sacrifices such as Canarias Submarginatus, a species of Catfish, kola nuts, alligator pepper, palm wine, and red palm oil. Additionally, small rats, roosters, salt, snails, tortoise, water, and yams can be offered to Ogun.