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.”

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