Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief

By E. Bolaji Idowu | Go to book overview

II The Cult of Olódùmarè

We shall open this chapter with three selected quotations to illustrate the general impression which the religion of the Yoruba makes upon foreign investigators with regard to the cult of the Deity.

A. B. Ellis, writing in 1894 said of Olódómarè, "The native says that he enjoys a life of complete idleness and repose, . . . and passes His time dozing or sleeping. Since he is too lazy or too indifferent to exercise any control over earthly affairs, man on his side does not waste time in endeavouring to propitiate him, but reserves his worship and sacrifice for more active agents."1

Leo Frobenius, writing nineteen years later, said: "He is neither worshipped nor considered in any way, but leads an entirely platonic, mythological existence."2

E. Geoffrey Parrinder, writing as recently as 1949, said: "The Yoruba call God O+̩ló+̩run. No cult is offered to him . . ."; and he went on to describe Him as "this supreme but unworshipped God".3

Most of the salient points raised by these quotations have been amply answered in the past chapters of this book.4 The main point to notice here is their specific emphasis that the Yoruba have no cult of Olódùmarè. While it is very likely that Ellis had only mistaken a vivid dream of his own for information by "the natives", that in writing these words Frobenius was only exuding a surfeit of classical education, and that Parrinder's research at this point was incomplete, there is little doubt that the general appearance of things has led to the mistaken notion that Olódùmarè is a "deus incertus" and a "deus remotus" and is therefore not worshipped at all.5 Let us therefore examine the reasons for this appearance which has been taken for reality.

____________________
1
The Yoruba-speaking Peoples ( Chapman and Hall, 1894), p. 34.
2
The Voice of Africa ( London, Hutchinson, 1913), Vol. I, p. 198.
3
West African Religion ( Epworth Press, 1949), p. 26; but see his Religion in an African City, p. 8 f.
4
See especially Chapters 3-7.
5
Africa and Christianity, by Diedrich Westermann ( O.U.P., 1937). p. 74.

-140-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents v
  • Contents vi
  • Preface vii
  • I - "In All Things . . . Religious" 1
  • 2 - Our Ancestral Home 11
  • 3 - In the Beginning 18
  • 4 - Olódùmarè--The Name 30
  • 5 - Olódùmarè--His Attributes 38
  • 6 - Olódùmarè--His Status 48
  • 7 - The Ministers of Olódúmarè 57
  • 8 - The Ministers of Olódùmarè Continued 71
  • 9 - The Cult of the Divinities 107
  • 10 - The Cult of the Divinities Continued 129
  • 11 - The Cult of Olódùmarè 140
  • 12 - Olódùmarè and Moral Values 144
  • 13 - Olódùmarè and Man's Destiny 169
  • 14 - Olódùmarè and Man's Final Destiny 186
  • 15 - Change or Decay? 202
  • Index of Subjects 216
  • Index of Proper Names 221
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 224

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.