Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Sun & The Moon

According to the myth, the sun, moon, and stars came from the body of Yemoja. Oorun, the Sun, and Osu, the Moon, are gods, but the stars do not seem to have been deified. The worship of the sun and moon is, moreover, now very nearly obsolete, and sacrifices are no longer offered to them, though the appearance of the -new moon is commonly celebrated by a festival.

The stars are the daughters of the sun and moon. The boys, or young suns, on growing up tried to follow their father in his course across the sky to where the sea and the sky meet, and which, say the Yorubas, is the place where the white men go and find all the things with which they fill their ships; but he, jealous of his power, turned upon them and tried to kill them. Some of them sought refuge with Olosa, some with Olokun, and the remainder with their grandmother, Yemoja, who turned them into fish. 

Thus all the sons were driven out of the sky, but the daughters remained with their mother and still accompany her by night. This myth is virtually the same as that current among the eastern Ewe-tribes, who have almost certainly learnt it from their Yoruba neighbours.

To see the new moon is lucky, and, just as in England, people wish when they first see it. As amongst the Ewe-tribes, an eclipse of the Moon is supposed to indicate that the Sun is beating her, and steps are taken to drive him away, similar to those described in "The Ewe-Speaking People."

The Yorubas pay some attention to the heavenly bodies. The planet Venus, when near the Moon, is called Aja-Osu, the Moon's Dog, because she travels with it. When a morning star she is called Ofere, or Ofe, which seems to mean a pale blue colour. When an evening star she is called Irawo-ale, Star of the Evening. Sirius is called Irawo-oko, Canoe Star, because it is believed to be a guide to canoe men. A proverbial saying likens the stars to chickens following a hen, the Moon; and the Milky Way is called the group of chickens."

Copyrights: © Olalekan Oduntan 2016

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