Obba: The Ruler of the Cemetery

Oba is the daughter of Obatala and Shango’s first wife.  She represents the loving wife who is willing to sacrifice everything to gain the love of her husband. When her husband got Oshun and Oya as concubine she wasn’t worried about it, after all, kings have harems.

Her worries started when Shango’s concubines became his favorites and she felt rejected and lonely. She wanted to get her husband’s attention and love so she heeded to Oya’s advice. She had told her to cut off her ear and prepare a soup for Shango.

On the day she was to cook for her husband, she made the soup with her ears and served the meal but unfortunately, her husband found out and was very furious. He couldn’t forgive her so he banished her from his house. When Obba returned to her father’s house  and narrated her story, her father understood her pains.  For this reason, he granted her request:

“I want to go where no one can see me, I want to live with the dead, with the spirits, with whom I cannot be harmed”.

Obattala gave Obba charge over the  cemeteries and together with Oyá and Yewá she lives in the cemeteries and represents the reckless warrior. She guards the tomb unlike Yewá who lives inside the coffin.

General Characteristics Of Orisha Oba

Element: Water

Number: 9

Colors: Red, white, pink

Day: Saturday

Sacred site: The Oba River, Nigeria

Festive days: November 25, May 22

Offerings: Flowers, candles, wine, beans with onions, shrimp, grapes, plums, hens, goats, pigeons and water taken from a lake or pond (don’t give her spring water or rainwater).

Appearance: Obba is identified with a pink or lilac dress and a scarf of the same color that she wears on her head. She is symbolized with interlocking wedding rings or circles.

Syncretism: Saint Rita

Tools: A receptacle that is a pink tureen with flowers, wooden anvil, dagger, sword, a hand of snails, shield, two keys mask, rudder or cog, book, breastplate, two twisted handles, ear, etc. Her elekes are made with pink, black, lilac and yellow beads.

Area of Influence: Marriage, female honor with regard to wife and motherhood, loyalty, fidelity, bonding, etc.

Characteristics of Obba’s children

They are often strong and courageous warriors who are willing to fight for love. They are also very emotional and jealous and most times they get to deal with failed love relationships.

Just as the earth forgives the forces of the nature of the massive changes and the destruction that they bring, Orisha Oba forgives and makes selfless sacrifices for others.

Worship Practice:

Oba worship ceremonies are held at rivers and fountains.  You should decorate her altar with pink colors and offerings.  Place a picture or statue of her on the altar. It is said that Obba can’t dance but different dances can be performed in her honor.

 

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/617345061393824232/