Yoruba African Orishas

Yoruba African Orishas

Contributor: Muse Origins

Orishas are the Yoruba gods of practically evreything. There is one for almost every situation or state of being that you can think of, from the obscure to the famous…or infamous. Most of them are regarded as lesser gods, but some were traditionally worships as gods in their own right. All however, answer to Olorun, the creator and ruler of the universe. Here’s a little story about the Orishas fromgodchecker:

“There was a time when they conducted a power struggle against Olorun and tried to persuade him to abdicate for sixteen years. Unwilling to give up control of the Universe to lesser deities, he offered them a trial period of sixteen days.

Within eight days the whole Universe had ground to a halt. They consulted the oracle Orunmila who could give no answer. So they had to eat humble pie, confess they didn’t have a clue about running Universes and ask for pardon.

Being a really great sort of God, Olorun was nice as pie about it, and soon returned the world to order. The Orishas became his humble but devoted servants for evermore.”

If you ever wondered what these Orishas look like, check out James C. Lewis’ work, Yoruba African Orishas. Lewis was intrigued with the story, characters and regality of the Orishas and embarked on an inspiring and creative digital photography project to express some of the Orishas the way he saw them. He photographs SangoObatala, Ogun, Oya, Osun, Osumare, Babalu-aye, and a host of others. See his works below:












Each of these Orishas have personalities and experiences that can be moral lessons for us mere mortals. And Lewis captures this in just one shot!

Purchase the prints here.


Leave a comment
  1. John Kidenda

    May 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    I really love this!!

  2. Rahma Mahmoud Habib

    May 29, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    amazing OMG

  3. iGravity™

    June 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    This is good. You have no idea how much you’ve solved the culture-loss problem. There is another group of people who could benefit from this too: the Afro-Brazilians; primarily citizens of Bahia. It’s Yoruba peoples and culture over there too. But the culture is waxing cold because of insufficient modern visualization such as these… they hang on to word of mouth and pictures which can only be seen through the mind’s eye. But this… this is revolutionary. I will do my part to being this to them, but making them a focus group will also help. Bless up!!!

  4. Sanjeev

    December 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Incredible images… Love ’em.

  5. Jane Smith

    February 22, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    These pictures are absolutely beautiful. I’d like to see more art like this.

  6. Ayoola Oke

    April 4, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Where can one order digital copies of these art and get permission to use in a book…

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