More stories from Yoruba religions

Still looking for stories from the Yoruba religions. Since it’s primarily an oral (not a written) tradition, it’s hard to know which sources to trust. At this point, I’m simply collecting sources. is a Santeria Web site cited in a number of scholarly works. The site has five itas or patakis — i.e., stories — which are here.

Teachings of the Santeria Gods: The Spirit of the Odu by Ocha’ni Lele [B. Stuart Myers] (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny, 2010) is one recent book with lots of stories about the orishas. These stories strike me as being heavily interpreted for a U.S. audience.

A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore: The Oral Literature, Traditions, Recollections, Legends, Tales, Songs, Religious Beliefs, Customs, Sayings and Humor of Peoples of African Descent in the Americas by Harold Courlander (New York: Marlowe, 1976) is a well-known book that has a section titled “Some Yoruba Legends in Cuba” with stories about the orishas; two stories from Haitian Vodoun; and other possibly relevant entries. Courlander also assembled the book Tales of Yoruba gods and heroes (Crown Publishers, 1973).

Yoruba Legends by M. I. Ogumefu appears to have some relevant material.

6 thoughts on “More stories from Yoruba religions”

  1. Thank you for posting those! I’m currently trying to put together a religious literacy unit for my RE program that will explore Native American traditions, Yoruba, and neo-Paganism, and it is so hard to find good resources.

  2. Greetings, I would like to introduce myself as a member of Universal Unitarian Fellowship of Raleigh, North Carolina. Perhaps I can be of some assistance concerning African Traditional Religion, particularly on the subject of Ifa-Orisa worship of the Yoruba. I am an initiated priestess in the following areas of spirituality: Sango, an Ancestral Society, Ifa and Gelede traditions. I strongly support religious and cultural education. I taught Yoruba Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and lectured at Naropa in Boulder, Colorado. Please take time to read my award-winning book, of Fire A Path to Yoruba Spiritual Activism.

  3. I live in st. petersburg, florida and I want to learn about my cultures and religion. Its keeping pointing at me. Will u help me to find someone in my areas who teachings yoruba. Thank you.

  4. Barbara, I can’t even find Yoruba teachers here in the San Francisco Bay Area, three thousand miles away from St. Pete. Sorry I can’t help!

  5. Erp, great resources, thanks! And if Barbara is looking for a spiritual teacher in the Yoruba religious traditions, a teacher of Yoruba language is likely to be in touch with local Yoruba culture.

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