Yoruba Mythology

The Gods of Yorubaland (Nigeria, Benin and Togo)

OLOKUN

Yoruba Sea God

Picture of the Yoruba Sea God Olokun from our Yoruba mythology image library. Illustration by Chas Saunders.

Highly popular Orisha and deity of the sea

He is a popular God of the Sea – so popular that the facts vary greatly depending on the prevailing wind. In some places Olokun claims to be the brother of top God Olorun, and in other places he doesn’t. In some traditions he is male with many wives including Elusu. In others he is regarded as female. We have a tangled mess of myths to deal with here and only a pair of rusty scissors to help us.

Some legends state that Olokun, one of the Orishas, couldn’t keep up in the deity rival stakes and settled for a sea-bed existence, which kept him in the swim with lots of holy fish maidens. One named Elusu delighted him so much he married her.

As is typical of sea gods, Olokun is capricious and quick to anger. One legend blames him for an attempted flood — apparently humans irritated him so much he tried to wipe them all out. This is a tried and trusted tactic of aggravated gods, but in this case Obatala came to the rescue and chained him up.

Despite the conflicting stories, there is one thing everyone agrees on — Olokun is a top demi-God who even today finds fame and fortune with Yoruba descendants across the globe.

Olokun Facts and Figures

Name: Olokun
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Yoruba people of Nigeria and Benin, Edo people
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: the Ocean
Area of expertise: Sea, Seas, Ocean, Oceans

Good/Evil Rating: OKAY, not bad
Popularity index: 505

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Article last revised on May 19, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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