Prayer to Obatala: The Father or Orishas and Humanity -

Prayer to Obatala: The Father or Orishas and Humanity

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In the West African Yoruba religion, Oludumare is the ruler of the heavens and the Supreme Being in the Yoruba pantheon. He is the supreme God who remains far in the skies governing the Earth with the help of his Orishas.

In the cultural region of Yoruba people in West Africa, the Orishas (singular: Orisha) are spirits that rule the forces of nature, recognized through their different numbers and colors and other symbols such as offerings and foods. They are the messengers of the Supreme Being, Oludumare, and mediators between the spiritual realm and people.

Obatala is one of the deities known and associated with purity and clear judgment and stands out as the Father of All the Orishas and Humanity. Although Oludumare is the creator of the Universe, Obatala is the creator of the world and humanity.

What Does Obatala Help With?

(The Myths and Stories of the Creation of Life)

He is a primordial deity and is usually called “He who has divine authority.” According to the Yoruba tales and myths of creation, like Oshun, Obatala is one of the 16 first Orisha to be sent down to Earth by Oludumare.

There are only blue waters on the Earth in the beginning. And so, Oludumare sent Obatala with the mission of creating the Earth.

He descended from heaven, created the land over the water, and sculpted human bodies with mud and clay (popo). Then, he made the first land using a snail shell filled with a mixture of sand and seeds.

It is where the world began, where humans became flesh and life started to grow from the seas.

According to Yoruba beliefs, the Yoruba Land is central to the Western African spiritual tradition where Ile-Ife is considered the sacred city in Yoruba where Obatala first settled, founding the mother city of humanity.

In some accounts of stories about Obatala, like Ogun, he lived an earthly life as one of the first Kings of the city where Yoruba people's life originated, the Ife-Ife.

However, another story tells that Obatala tried to dethrone Oduduwa, the city's first King, and is said to be his brother.

According to one myth, other Orishas started to feel envious of Obatala becoming Oludumare's favorite. While Obatala was molding the first human with clay, one deity named Eshu, the ‘trickster,' left a bottle of palm wine.

When Obatala found the bottle near him, he started drinking it without realizing he was getting very drunk with the palm wine. He was so focused on what he was doing and didn't stop until he was done with his job.

But, because of his drunkenness, he unintentionally molded the first humans with imperfections. This is where the belief of Yoruba people about humans being born with physical or mental abilities comes from.

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Humans are seemingly created with imperfections and are fallible.

Another story of the creation accounts that Obatala's temptation with the palm wine made him drunk, so he fell asleep. When Oludumare found out that he was not doing good in his mission as a creator, he then sent Oduduwa to finish what he had started.

Oduduwa descended on Ife only to find out how Obatala was asleep. So he took over from Obatala's doings and started creating people of Ife on his variety, settling them under his powerful leadership.

It is also said that Oduduwa made some improvements in some aspects of life on Earth. Hence, the Supreme Being, Oludumare, granted him special honors recognizing the merit of his actions.

Oduduwa then became the King of the legendary city, Ife-Ife, where the first humans lived.

When Obatala was awakened from being asleep, he immediately felt ashamed for the behavior he had shown and vowed never to consume any alcohol again. For this reason, alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the Yoruba rites for Obatala.

Obatala competes with Oduduwa over the control of humans, beginning a long struggle with his brother. Obatala is said to have built an army and ordered them to wear ceremonial masks resembling evil spirits.

The purpose of his plan was to dispose of Oduduwa. In addition, he wanted to frighten the people in Ife into surrendering to his power after being attacked in their homeland.

However, regardless of his plans, a woman from Ife-Ife discovered Obatala's schemes, and his army eventually stopped.

Shortly after, the two deities reestablished peace and resumed the worship of humans.

Eventually, as his redemption, Obatala took the path of purity, where humankind began worshipping him again as one of the first Orishas. However, Oduduwa was still considered by the Yoruba people as the Father of all their subsequent kings and remained their first ruler of humanity.

Obatala is known as a peaceful deity serving as the Orisha of purity. He is closely linked to compassion, honesty, purpose, ethics, resurrection, wisdom, redemption, and peace.

Nevertheless, he is the source of all that is pure, compassionate, and peaceful. Obatala is also a warrior who enforces justice in the world.

As the Creator of Humanity and is called Baba Araya, a name that means “Father of Humanity.” He owns all heads and minds where the human soul resides.

Yoruba people also called him the Alamo Re Re, translated as “The one who turns blood into children,” in the attribution of Obatala shaping the babies. As the child evolved in the womb, it is believed that the Creator of Mankind is still responsible for molding humans.

He is primarily associated with the color white because it symbolizes purity and the white light is polychromatic. Likewise, he is free of all colors, but he is widely known as the God of White Clothes depicting him in miniature figures wearing white.

Keeping his promise from his unintentional mistakes, Obatala vowed to look after persons with special needs. Not only taking responsibility for his action but also his compassion moved him to protect special persons.

Although commonly referred to as “he,” Obatala is the only Orisha to have both male and female paths, as according to some priests, he does not have sex. He is the Father of Creation and Humankind, an equivalent of God in Catholic beliefs—which doesn't have any specific sex.

Obatala is married to Yemaya (principal wife), the Mother of All, who rules the seas where all life starts in the sea and the fluid in the mother's womb where the embryo transforms from fish before becoming a baby.

All Gods in spiritual traditions and religions are most compassionate, and so is Obatala, which makes him the fairest Orisha in the Yoruba pantheon.

Oriki's for Obatala

A Praise Song of Obatala

Obatala, strong King of Ejigbo

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At the trial a silent, tranquil judge.

The King whose every day becomes a feast.

Owner of the brilliant white cloth.

Owner of the chain to the court of heaven.

He stands behind people who tell the truth.

Protector of the handicapped.

Oshagiyan, warrior with a handsome beard.

He wakes up to create two hundred civilizing customs,

Who holds the staff called opasoro, King of Ifon.

Ushanka grant me white cloth of my own.

He makes things white.

Tall as a granary, tall as a hill.

Laguna, deliver me.

The King that leans on a white metal staff.

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Oriki Obatala- Praising the Chief of the White Cloth

Obanla o rin n'eru ojikutu s'eru

Oba n'ile Ifon alabalase oba patapata n'ile iranje

O yo kelekele o ta mi l'ore. O gba a giri l'owo osika

O fi l'emi asoto l'owo. Oba igbo oluwaiye re e o kee bi owu la

O yi aala. Osun l'aala o fi koko aala rumo. Oba igbo.



Chief of the White Cloth never fears the coming of Death.

Father of Heaven forever rule for all generations

He dissolves the burdens of my friends. Give me the power to manifest abundance.

Expose the Mystery of Abundance. Father of the sacred grove, owner of all blessings increase my wisdom.

I become like the white Cloth. Protector of White Cloth I salute you. You are the Father of the sacred grove.

May it be so.

Oriki Obatala- Praising the Chief of the White Cloth

Iba Òrìşà Nlá osere igbo, iku ike oro

Ababa je'gbin, a s'omo nike agbara, a wuwo bi erin, Oba pata pata ti nba won gb' ode iranje. Ase.


I respect the Spirit of White Light, the messenger who brings goodness to the forest and his power surpasses death.

Immortal Father who eats snails, the son of the oldest, the one who brought the mystery of mystical vision, chief of all things that exist in the world. So be it.

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Oriki Obatala- Praising the Chief of the White Cloth

A dake sirisiri da eni li ejo. Oba bi eye gbogbo bi odun

Ala, ala. Niki, niki omi panpe ode orun

O duro lehin oso tito, Oro oko abuke

Osagiyan jagun o fi irungbon se pepe enu, A ji igba asa

Ti te opa osoro, Ori sa Olu Ifon

Lasiko fun ni li ala mun mi ala mu so ko

O se ohun gbogbo neither fun fun nor funfun. Pirlodi aka ti oke

Ajaguna wa gba mi, O ajaguna. Tint eye. Ase.


Spirit, Mighty King of Ejigbo. Silence in the trial, quiet judge.

The King whose day becomes a party, owner of the shining white cloth.

Owner of the chain of the court, He is placed behind the people who tell the truth.

Producer of the empire, Osagiyan warrior with a stylish beard.

He wakes up to create 200 customs that serve to civilize us,

King of Ifón.

Osa Nlá grants me a white cloth of my own.

Spirit that makes white things. High as a barn, high as a hill.

I am handed over to Ajaguna. The King who leans on a white metal staff. So be it.

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Karen is a Psychic Medium, a Professional Astrologer, a Spiritual Advisor, and a Life Coach who has been in this career for 19+ years. She specializes in numerology, tarot and oracle cards, twin flames, love & relationships, zodiac, horoscope, dreams interpretation, and astrology. She aims to provide comfort and assurance using her abilities to offer answers to those who seek professional guidance. Read More About Karen Here.