Warrior God Ogun Folklore and Symbolism

There are many myths and legends about the origin of Ogun. Much of the knowledge about him is based on the fact that he is one of the earliest gods.

In Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo, God Ogun is the warrior Orisha related to forging and the creation of iron tools and weapons.

It is responsible for guarding sacred temples and political power and for protecting Vodou followers. In Yoruba, this spirit is called Ogoun.

Legend says that if you carefully read the traditional religious history of Africa, you will find that the Iron Spirit has a very ancient, extensive, and cross-cultural reverence.

Who is Warrior God Ogun?

Ogun (or Ogun Onire) is the god of war and iron of the Yoruba people in West Africa. In the legend of Yoruba, the Ogouns and other gods crawled the world via spider webs.

Who is Ogun
Warrior God Ogun

After the creation was completed, the gods realized that people needed to clear more land in the forest they lived in.

Unfortunately, the only tool available is made of soft metal, which is not suitable for cutting trees.

However, Orunmila, the son of the Supreme God Oloren, gave him an iron secret, and he cleared the forest with an iron axe.

Warrior God Ogun later shared the iron secret with other gods and humans. He also showed them the steps to convert a soldering iron into a weapon.

What is the Origin of Iron God Ogoun?

Like many orisha and loa, God Ogun originated in Africa. In the Yoruba belief, he was the first orisha who came to the world as a hunter called Tobe Ode.

What is the Origin of Ogun
The Origin of Ogoun

He led other orishas into the mortal world. He holds axe and sword and is known as the god of warrior, blacksmith, and hunter.

In Nigeria, he used a machete and axe to open a path through the forest, so he was called the Orissa, and opened the way when it was blocked.

As a patron of metalworkers who often serve as medical workers and spiritual leaders, God Ogun monitors people who work in metal in any capacity.

He shared his talents in iron making and taught humans how to perform magic and the art of hunting and war.

Although he is not an agricultural Orisha, he does have a connection with sowing and harvesting because he was the first to make agricultural tools (such as the head and sickle).

In Candomblé (a fusion of Afro-Brazilian religions), he is associated with Saint George. In some forms of Candomblé, he plays the role of Saint Anthony or San Sebastian.

The existence of traditions is not uncommon with Catholic saints, because the overlap of African religion and Christianity occurred when slaves were brought to North America.

For preachers of Haitian Vodou, Ogun is called Ogou and has many forms, all of which protect the community.

He is known for his dislike of liars and thieves, and he is often asked to be fair to those who defraud, steal or violate oaths, especially if oaths were sworn with his iron bars.

Why is Ogun referred to as the Spirit of Iron?

When we think of Warrior God Ogun, we think of blacksmiths and tool makers.

This is limited because it shows that someone has figured out how to use iron technology, and now we are explaining the process.

If we do this, we will miss his early performance as a natural force.

God Ogun is called “the spirit of iron”, but even such a translation is limited because he is a spirit respected by tool manufacturers, not the methodology of tool manufacturing itself.

What is the folklore of The Warrior God Ogun?

God Ogun loved hunting and is called “Osin-Imole”, that is, the chief of the gods.

Folklore of Warrior God Ogun
Folklore of Warrior God Ogun

When he came from heaven to own the earth, he used iron to remove the insurmountable hard way for other gods.

As a ruthless deity, he hides on the top of mountain where he goes hunting.

Tired of living in seclusion, he decided to live a life of the settlement, which he had rejected earlier.

He was dressed in fire, blood and came down from the top of the mountain, but he could not find a place in any community.

Therefore, he borrowed some leaves from the palm tree and then went to Ire to become his king. Therefore, he was named Ogoun Onire (Augu, the king of blood).

What is the symbolism of God Ogun?

Ogoun is usually described as a tall, manly, handsome man, the epitome of a strong blacksmith and warrior.

Symbolism of Ogun
Symbolism of Ogun

Cauldrons are wrapped with heavy iron chains and filled with tools, nails, and knives. His colors are red, black, and green, and a knife inserted into the fertile soil symbolizes him.

By observing the existence of symbolism, we can understand the origin of God Ogun.

In Ogoun’s pot, we have a three-legged iron pot wrapped with iron chains and spikes. Usually, there is a knife in the pot, and maybe some tools.

So, we looked at it and thought what did it stand for? With the pot, we have the symbolic meaning of the womb.

And we have the idea of ​​three legs. The third is the symbol of Mother Earth.

Ifá said that whenever two Awo meets, there will always be three, and the third is Earth itself. The three represent the relationship with the earth itself.

This provides us with the uterus symbol and is supported by the earth symbol.

What is the Ogoun festival of Ondo?

Every year from August to September, Ogoun Festival is celebrated in Ondo.

What is the Ogun festival of Ondo
God Ogun festival of Ondo

According to Olupona, the preparations for the festival began seventeen days before the actual Ogoun Day, where the new moon appeared.

At an early morning ceremony in the house of Ayadi, a ceremonial expert at Ogoun Public Worship, a harp (a traditional trumpet made of gourds) sounded to inform people of the upcoming festival.

Throughout the seven days of the festival, creepy voices became common.

The voice of the hair is very important because the message it conveys is sometimes complementary and sometimes it is an insult from one young man to another.

During the seventeen-day interval, the believers of God Ogun gathered to praise the gods and other cultural heroes of the past, such as Jomun Ila.

On the main market day nine days before the festival, the king’s envoy announces the official announcement of the ceremony.

Many activities are usually carried out in preparation for the festival, including public road cleaning and repair of bridges and other footpaths.

The festival was held for five days, and some families held a ceremony called aleho.

The ceremony is usually divided into three parts: Odeon Ogoun (Night Watch), Ogle Strong Beer (Night Watcher), and Ogoun Uho (Celebrate Morning Ogun).

The parade involves all traditional and modern professionals and guilds.

Every possible professional group on Ondo including blacksmiths, men and women medicine, drivers, hunters, tailors, hairdressers, to name a few, participates in this voodoo celebration.

The only exception may be civil servants and white-collar workers.

Most of them usually wear rags, palm leaves, and blue dye, white powder, or charcoal on their faces and bodies.

However, some people wear rich and noble in that period wearing unusually beautiful colored clothes.

How is the God Ogun Worshiped?

Due to his use of various forms of iron, God Ogun has become a patron of the truck and taxi drivers as well as surgeons and mechanics.

His altar usually includes a three-legged iron pan to help strengthen his strength.

In her book Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens: The Divine Feminine in the African the author Lilith Dorsey mentions that the Ogoun Shrine is usually located outdoors, at the bottom of the tree or near the furnace.

The sacred temple may also be located on the floor behind the front door. It all depends on the tradition people respect.

The forced migration of the middle channel is perhaps the most important explanation for the multiple incarnations of the spirit.

In terms of his role as Ogou Feray, he is sometimes portrayed as riding a white horse into battle and is related to the magical healing ability of the magnet.

The Ogou la Flambo variant of it has high military strength and is inspiring in bloodshed and combat.

In violent anger, he killed the enemy and wiped out those who perpetuated injustice and tyranny.

During the voodoo rituals, the Ogouns have often been born since the Civil War in Haiti.

He likes cigars and beautiful women, especially the goddess of love and beauty, Erzulie.

How is Ogoun praised by its Worshipers?

It should also be highlighted that Ogun festival serves as an occasion whereby the memory of deceased ancestors and cultural heroes are remembered.

You can recite this prayer anytime when you seek help from the holy god. The worshipers proclaim Ogoun’s praise names as follows:

Ogun onile kangunkangun orun

O pon omi s’ile f’eje we

Ogun awon l’eyin ju, egbe lehin omo orukan

Ogun m’eje l’ogun mi

Ogun Alara ni igba’ja

Ogun Onire a gba’ gbo

Ogun ikola a gba’ gbin

Ogun Elemona nii gba esun ’su

Ogun a ki’run ni iwo agbo

Ogun gbena gbena eran awun nii je

Ogun Makinde ti d’ogun l’ehin odi

Nje nibo l’ati pade Ogun?

A pade ogun nibi ija

A Pade Ogun nibi ita

A pade re nibi agbara eje naa

A gbara eje ti i de ni l’orun bi omi ago

Orisa t’o ni t’ogun ko to nkan

A f’owo je’su re nigba aimoye

E ma b’ogun fi ija sere

Ara Ogun kan go-go-go

What are the offerings made to God Ogun?

God Ogun who is also known as the famous warrior God of Orisha accepts the following things as the offerings which are given by his followers.

  1. White Rum and Spicy Foods
  2. Meat of Rat
  3. Meat of Snake
  4. Tortoise Meat
  5. Although Dog Meat is the traditional meat offered to him and that is his favorite food, he is also offered meat of the rooster.

Pleased with the offerings made by their followers, He blesses his followers as they enter into a frenzied trance-like state and all their wishes come true.  

Conclusion – The Warrior and Iron God Ogun

Ogun’s Job here on earth is Agbede (Ag-beh-deh) the Blacksmith, one who forges Iron. Ogun works without rest, he is constantly working.

It is ruler over these elements of nature, Iron/Steel, it is this realm where Ogun is from and so are his children, people who are his archetypes.

Though a fierce god, Ogun is not evil and will help those who pray to him.

I hope the information would have helped you to know more about him and have better information about this warrior god of Orisha.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What does Ogun eat?

For offerings, God Ogun eats gin, rum, nuts, snail, cola nuts, orogbo, corn, roasted yam, and cooked beans with hot peppers. He loves palm oil and palm wine. Some of Ogun’s herbs (used for cooling him down) are odundun and rinrin.

What is Ogun the god of?

In Yoruba religion, Ogun is a primordial Orisha who first appeared as a hunter named Tobe Ode. To commemorate this, one of his praise names, or oriki, is Osin Imole or the “first of the primordial Orisha to come to Earth”. He is the god of war and metals.

Who is Ogun in voodoo?

In Haitian Vodou Ogun is known as Ogou, and consists of an array of manifestations; most carry the aspect of iron smithing and tools from the Yoruba tradition. The Ogou guard the badji, the sacred altar of the Vodou temple. He carries an iron saber and wears a red sash.

What is the spirit of Ogun?

Ogun or Ogoun (Yoruba: Ògún, Portuguese: Ogum, Gu; also spelled Oggun or Ogou; known as Ogún or Ogum in Latin America) is an Orisha, Loa, and Vodun. He is a warrior and a powerful spirit of metalwork, as well as rum and rum-making. He is also known as the ‘god of Iron’.