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Obatala a Deity of a Different Sort
Obatala is an orisha in the religion that is practiced by the Yoruba people (who mainly reside in Nigeria). It is said that Obatala is the creator of the human body and is the owner of all heads. This is significant because any of the other orisha can claim ownership to a body but only Obatala has claim to the head, which is home to the soul according to the Yoruba.
Obatala is not the highest ranking deity according to this Yoruba religion. He is but one of the sons of Olorun (also known as Olodumare). It is said that Obatala had a feud with one of his brothers. As a result of this feud, he left his city, spent the next day in his orchards, and returned the third day in a parade with great fanfare. This is noted by some theologists because of it's resemble to the Christians resurrection of Jesus.
Obatala is always referred to as "the Orisa of the white cloth". The white is meant to symbolize purity, and many in the Yoruba religion strive to be pure of thought and in deed to be like Obatala. Those who achieve this are revered in the religion and for advice, like a are often sought out for advice, much in the way of a judge.
Author: Hector Velazquez
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