Every organised ethnic race on the surface of the earth had tried hard to explain own history, the origin of the universe, man, god(s) and all terrestrial, celestial objects and beings therein through oral tradition, or sometimes, through written tradition as the case may be, which was passed down from generation to generation from the beginning of history.

This collection of histories and mysterious explanations is known as MYTHOLOGY.

Every civilisation has its own set of mythology, from Jewish mythology to Arabian, Chinese, Greek, Roman and African and to the Yoruba in particular, obviously these mythologies are well connected to all the religions we have in the world since the beginning of mankind.
In Jewish mythology, every explanation from the Judaism (from the collection of Torah and Talmud) was based on speculation, that's why they call it Speculative Philosophy in the theological principle, the same extends to Islamic religion, (in fact, Islam is believed not to have its own independent mythology, rather it fully extracted its own set of mythology chiefly from Judaism and Christianity put together).

This speculative tradition never exempted Bhudism, Shintoism, Hinduism and etc., and to our own traditional mythological stories and histories brewed and rooted deeply in Africa.
In the Judaism/Christianity, Satan is Lucifer. While in Islam, it is called Shaitan. But the Yoruba biblical translation of Satan as Esu is totally incorrect. In biblical mythology, Lucifer was an angel, but in Yoruba mythology Esu wasn't an angel but a pantheon among other main pantheons like Olodumare (Eledua, who was first among the equals).

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According to the Yoruba mythological tradition, Olodumare didn't create other gods, no, they coexisted just like the Trinitarian theological teaching of the church. Esu has different dialectical pronunciations in different linguistic establishments, but they all mean the same in every sense of the word.

Exu as he is called in Brazil. Esu, is also known as Exu Eleggua (Elegbaara) in Santeria and Legba in Candomble, he is the owner of the crossroads and one who opens doors to this world.
He has the repository of fore knowledge of the future. The colours of red and black or white and black are his, and codify his contradictory nature. In particular, Esu stands at the cross roads of the human and the divine, as he is a child-like messenger between the two worlds (physical and spiritual realms).

In this role, it is not surprising that he has a very close relationship with orisha (pantheon) of divination, Orunmila. Nothing can be done in either world without his permission. Esu is always propitiated and always called first before any other orisha as he opens the door between the worlds and opens roads in life.
Like Ogun, Osanyin, Sanpona, Olodumare and other pantheons according to the Yoruba., Esu coexisted as one body of a divine government led by the Olodumare in the celestial realm, and led by the Orunmila on the earth. It was a great example of separation of powers and division of labours among them, but Olodumare served as the supreme deity who oversaw all of them.

Esu-Laalu Ogiri-Oko is not Shaitan, Lucifer or Serpent or Dragon or Satan as interpreted by Bishop Ajayi Crowther who translated English Bible to the local languages including Yoruba.
Like I asserted earlier, it's all about speculation. Diverse speculations that later became basic beliefs and earth centered religions which later transformed into strong faiths we have every where around the world today.


Each tradition has its own set of independent narrative and belief, but we get confused and muddle up everything whenever we try to make comparison and interpretation. For instance, God in the Judaism is known as Yahweh or Jehovah. God in the Christendom is known as EL, (EL who had a Son, Jesus). God in Islam is Allah, who didn't have a son. And God in the Chinese tradition is called Panku who created and separated the heaven from the earth using hammer and chisel.

God in Yoruba is called Orisa-Oke, Eledumare, Eledua (with literal translation as OLOUN, the owner and governor of the heaven because he stayed and ruled from heaven, unlike other gods that had lived and walked on the surface of the earth).
Orisa-Oke was the first among the equals, he was not greater than the rest but he was first among them, and all others respected him and sworn their allegiances to him.
It never recorded of Esu to have rebelled against Eledumare according to the Yoruba mythology, unlike Lucifer who rebelled against God and hence expelled from the heaven and restricted to the earthly principality.

In same vein, the Yoruba's explanation did not tell us Orisa-Oke solely created the earth, rather he sent Ogun-Laka-Aaye Osin-Imole (Osin means leader, Imole means gods), Orunmila Baba Agbonmiregun, Esu Odara, and others (some believed Oduduwa, the first man, was among them), to create the earth which was a mass of water when they descended from the heaven on earth by the order of Eledua.


Each God or god, from different perspective has different characteristics and identities.
It depends on your faith, your religion...., Esu, for any of you who are familiar with any earth centered religion, fulfills the role of the divine messenger. Every earth centered tradition that we know of, believes that there is some force in the nature, or spiritual presence, or some power that allows humans to communicate with the nature and allows the nature to communicate with humans, vice versa.

Conclusively, it is difficult to believe that there is NO someONE somewhere in charge of the affairs of the universe, maybe that's why the Bible said "A fool says in his heart that there is no God". At times, I asked myself..., which God or god?

Religion only had tried to explain what it didn't know. However, Science had proven it to us that nothing can come out of nothing (in fact that is the first law of Physics), so therefore, someONE must be in somewhere controlling the affairs of the universe, and perhaps, that someONE may not even be anyone out of all we have mentioned and known, perhaps it's greater than human comprehension.
Come let us reason together...., but in all, each of my educated, instinctual and spiritual mind tells me that God must truly exist.

Oladele Idowu

Editorial: What's your take on this, let's learn something new from you or more so reason together by dropping your comments.

7 تعليقات

  1. I think we've accommodate learning about other foreign religion rather than trying to know more about the source of yoruba religion as well as expanding it to the world ...nice write up hoping for more

    1. Thank you. We can together build a better world, even one devoid of religious bias.

    2. Thats the facts...The west didn't only enslave...They belittle our heritage, proverbs, culture, traditions etc....

      They understood clearly that Yorubas has a race...If not quickly disrupted will outshine them in every ..I repeat every shades of life...

      Because the yoruba culture, traditions , beliefs, education, etc etc was far far civilised than any kind of theory they later discovered...

      I will love to recommend books
      Written by late
      Prof. Sophie oluwole
      Witchcraft, Reincarnation and the God-Head (Issues in African Philosophy)

  2. In Yorùbá belief, we agreed that we do not have only one Esu but 2 to 3 types of Esu.
    My questions are;

    1. Who is Esu láàlú ògiri òkò and who is Esu Elégbaara
    2. What are the differences and similarities between this two bodies ?
    3. What is the Yorùbá name for Lucifer if not Esu?

    Looking forward for swift and rich and genuine response.

    Thanks !

    1. To to affirm the fact that the yoruba is so rich in culture, tradition, religion, education , language,heritage, knowledge, wisdom.etc

      Will love to demonstrate it...shortly
      Lets pick language as a case study...

      English : Television
      Yoruba : amohunmaworan

      "Television" in the western language is not giving us a perfect explanation of what it is

      Tele means distance
      Vision mean see or sight

      but in Yoruba language, it explain clearly what it is

      "Amohunmaworan" means a combination of what you can see and hear...

      Obviously the difference is clear...

      Its is 100% wrong and incorrect to interpret Esu has the lucifer or The devil in the bible

      Esu is one of the deity in the Yoruba race...

      The question that should be asked is now
      Who converted the English bible in to Yoruba???

  3. I think you also need to do a little dig on incubus too

    1. Ehhh! Which one is Incubus again? We will lay our hands on books to dig the word out. Thank you for the response.


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