Monday, November 5, 2018

Patakín of Ojuani Hermoso (Iroso): The Birth of Obé [Knife]

Ogún and Elegba were awós, but Olofin always had them standing around in order to wait on him, nothing more. Orunmila and Shangó were on the earth trying to save humanity (the children of Olofin), but nothing worked. Orunmila got sick from sadness and shame. Shangó was sad seeing Orunmila in this condition. The plants and the animals were equally sick. Death (ikú) was the only one who lived, and humanity continued losing ground. Olofin was praying and he ordered Elegba and Ogún down on their knees.

One day, Oyá saw from above was happening and began to spit lightning and shout “Oyekún Nilogbe.” Orunmila and Shangó awoke from the shouts. Shangó came out running and began to spit fire at the earth. This frightened Olofin and he asked Ojuani Hermoso what was happening. Olofin called Oyá and she began to sing. Shangó continued hurling fire. The animals bit one another and the plants got angry at one another. Human beings died because Ikú [death] was running around without limit. Oyá called Olofin so that he would see what was going on. He said to Ogún and Elegba, get down kneeling in ritual punishment, and told Oyá to descend to earth and make three turns. She began to throw fire from her eyes and mouth and her hands trembled. She said to Shangó, “go up to heaven with me.” They went up and entered the house of Olofin, and he said to them, “in order that the world be saved, you have to put your ashé forth and go find Orunmila.

Shangó took the carnera (female sheep) and made three rounds with it. He arrived to where the secret of Olofin was and took out the knife that Olofin had hidden, presenting it to him. Olofin was shocked and said, “What is this Shangó?” He replied, “this is the salvation of Olofin and you have to call Orunmila.” Olofin told Oyá to get everything ready to go where Orunmila was. Orunmila was making omiero [herbal liquids] for everyone, who were going to bathe themselves in the river.  He had a fish in front of him with the ingredients ekrú, olelé, and akará to eat, but suddenly he felt something drop. Shangó had thrown the knife into the basin of omiero. Shangó told him, “don’t be frightened, this is so you can vanquish all of the evils that are in the world and humanity can live.” When Olofin arrived with Ogún and Elegba, Orunmila immediately ordered Shangó to place mariwó [curtain of palm leaves] in all over the space. Ogún and Elegba then became frightened. Ogún, with knife in hand, started to fight with the animals, killing them. The only animal that he could not kill was the abo [ram]. Elegba left to clean the path. Then Olofin became frightened and Orunmila told him, “you have had my sons stuck on their knees and punished,” wherein Olofin began to sing:
Agadá moso arayá agadá moso arayé,
Orunmila lodá obé agadá moso arayé.
Olofin and Ogún started to lower their knives. Orunmila ordered Shangó to go out and look for Elegba, who sang:
Ashó eyé agundé.
Ogún stood up with the ram in his hands and Elegba had the male and female goats. They went to Olofin, and as Shangó had ordered them, when they got there they gave the ram to Shangó. Elegba carried the male goat and Ogún the female goat. Elegba sang:
Moyuba l’orisha, moyuba l’orisha, ashé moyuba l’orisha.
Olofin, with sixteen candles in his hands, started to sing:
Ifá odara ení odara oyukayó mamá yangueré po.
Then Orunmila began to open his hands to Elegba and said, “ewe (herbs) serve to bathe yourself and will save humanity.” He asked Elegba if he would complete the oath-taking [juramento] and he told everyone, “yes.”


When Osá Meyi discovered that the majority of the deities had gone down to the world, he decided to go and see how the place was. There were three Awós, named Age Eni Je Ee Mo Odun; Ala Ra Ra Ije Eemaagbe; Ogbologbo Ekutele Eeje Erin Ogini Ninu Ule.
Osá Meyi was advised to make sacrifice because he was going to practice the art of Ifá among the witches.  He was told to give a male goat to Eshú, a guinea to his Ifá, aand a dove to his head. He made no sacrifice, because he was in too much of a hurry to get to earth.
When he was one of the sixteen sons of Orunmila who decided to go to the world around the same time, he didn’t find the path to the world at the right moment, owed to the big goat that was in the way, which he had failed to give to Eshú. His guardian angel couldn’t guide him because he didn’t sacrifice to it either. His head also couldn’t save him because he didn’t sacrifice the dove to it. For this reason, he wandered aimlessly on the road until he arrived at the last river in the sky before the entrance to the world.
At the bank of the river he encountered the mother of the witches, Iyamí Oshoronga, who had been there a long time, since no one wanted to help her in crossing the river. She also was on her way to the world but she was too weak to cross the small, narrow bridge over the river. The bridge was called Ekokó. Iyamí Oshoronga pleaded with him to help her, but he explained to her that the bridge would not support two people at once.  So she proposed to him that he open his mouth for her to get inside of him. He agreed and she found a place inside his stomach. When he got to the other side of the bridge, he told her to come out, but she refused, saying that his stomach was the appropriate place for her. Here started Osá Meyi’s problems with witchcraft. When she refused to come out, he thought he could trick her, saying that she would die of hunger. She replied that she would not die of hunger, since he had a liver, a heart, and intestine, which were her favorite foods. Osá Meyi understood the problem that he faced when she bit his liver. So he took out his divination equipment and called Ifá to get him out of this problem. Ifá told him to make sacrifice immediately with a goat, a bottle of oil, and white cloth, which he took out of his side bag. He cooked the liver, heart, and intestines of the goat and told Iyamí that he had food ready for her. When she smelled the inviting aroma, she came out of his stomach. Notwithstanding, she told him that she was prohibited from eating in front of anyone.
So he made an enclosure with white cloth and she got inside in order to enjoy the food. While she was eating, Osá Meyi ran off and and tried to find a uterous to put himself in so he could come down to the world. As soon as Iyamí finished eating, she looked all around for Osá Meyi but couldn’t find him. She began to shout his name, “Osasa, Osasa, Osasa,” which is the shout of the witches today. She is still trying to find him.