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Shango

In Yoruba mythology, Shango is perhaps the most important Orisha; he is a Sky Father[?], god of thunder and the ancestor of the Yoruba. He was the fourth king of the Yoruba, and deified after his death; mythologically, he (along with 14 others) burst forth from the goddess Yemaja's body after her son, Orungan[?], attempted to rape her for the second time. He has three wives. His favorite (because of her excellent cooking) is Oschun, a river goddess. Another wife, Oba, another river goddess, offered Shango her ear to eat. He scorned her and she became the Oba river[?], which combines in dangerous rapids with the Oschun river[?]. Lastly, Oya was Shango's third wife, and stole the secrets of his powerful magic. Shango is worshipped in Vodun as a god of thunder and weather (Umbanda[?]), as the very powerful loa Nago Shango and as the equivalent of St. Barbara[?] (Santeria, wherein he is called Chango).

In art, Shango is depicted with a double-axe on his three heads. He is associated with the holy animal, the ram, and the holy colors of red and white.



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