African Mythology: Shango

African Mythology: Shango

Shango is the Orisha(god) of thunder in Yoruba mythology. He is also known as Jakuta, Xango or Chango. He was the third Alaafin(king) of the Oyo Empire. He ruled for seven years, he was a violent and powerful ruler who brought prosperity to the empire. He had 3 wives, Oba the first wife, Oshun the second and Oya the third.

His reign ended after the destruction of his palace by lightning. After the decline of the Oyo empire the worshippers of Shango spread through West Africa. Due to the transatlantic slavery, you can find worshippers of Shango in Latin America and parts of the Caribbean. For the slaves in Brazil, Shango represented strength and resistance. He is worshipped on a Wednesday and his weapon of warfare is an axe.


Shango is strongly associated with the colour red and his worshippers  play the banta drum. His ritual worship foods include amala, gbegiri soup and bitter cola.


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