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We are buried in our myths certain of the truths and refuse to acknowledge reality thereby formulating tales that guide and compel us although they are fiction not facts which are passed on from generations The Yoruba people of western Nigeria believe in omnipotent creator-god rules over the universe along with several other lower gods each with a specific dominion of rule of which are Shango Olurun and OrishalaShango occupies a major position in the pantheon of the Yoruba he is a god that creates thunder and lightning by casting thunderstones down to earth wherever lightning strikes priests search the surrounding area for the thrown stone The Yoruba believe these stones have special powers and they enshrine the stones in temples to the god Shango has four wives each personified by a major Nigerian river his chief wife Oya is represented by the River Niger One myth about Shango tells of when he was human and ruled as the fourth king of the ancient Yoruba capital of Oyo He had a charm that could cause lightning with which he inadvertently killed his entire family In remorse he hanged himself and upon his death he became deified Although the foremost national deity according to some the Yoruba do not consider him the most powerful or even the most important god rather his popularity may have resulted from attempts to ward off the frequent tornadoes that strike western Africa In particular the Yoruba never actively worship their all-powerful god variously known as Olorun the owner of the sky or Olodumare roughly translates as the almighty among many other names Unlike Shango who has dozens of shrines erected to him Olorun has not a single shrine the Yoruba never make sacrifices to him and he has no priests He plays much the same role as do the Judeo-Christian and Islamic gods-- he is the creator of all things the almighty and all-knowing the giver of life and breath
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