What To Know About Sango, God of Thunder and Fire

Shango, also written as Ṣàngó, Chango and known as Jakuta or Bade was a royal ancestor as is said to have been the third Alaafin of the Oyo kingdom before his posthumous deification. With numerous manifestations which includes Agodo, Afonja, Aira, Lube and Obomin, he is considered one of the most powerful rulers of the Yorubaland. On the other hand, he is mostly known for his powerful axe.

chango, shango, sango

Shango is said to have brought prosperity to the Oyo empire, notwithstanding, history records he was a powerful and violent ruler. He ruled and reigned for seven years which were marked with campaigns and battles. According to the history books his reign ended due to his inadvertent destruction of his palace by lightning. He had three wives, namely Queen Oshun, Queen Oba, and Queen Oya.

According to the Yoruba tradition, he is worshiped on the fifth day of the week, which is named Ojo Jakuta. His ritual worship foods include guguru, bitter cola, àmàlà, and gbegiri soup. Also, he is worshiped with the Bata drum. One significant thing about this deity is that he is worshiped using red clothing, just as he is said to have admired red attire during his lifetime.

Shango is seen as the most powerful and feared of the orisha pantheon. He is said to cast a "thunderstone" to earth, which creates thunder and lightning, to anyone who offends him. The Shango god necklaces are composed in varying patterns of red and white beads; usually in groupings of four or six which are his sacred numbers. Rocks created by lightning strikes are venerated by Shango worshipers; these stones, if found, are maintained at sacred sites, and used in rituals. Shango is still called on during coronation ceremonies in Nigeria to the present day.

Shango is known as the Lord of Thunder, a master herbalist, and one who metes out Justice by means of the thunder and fire. It is good to note that thunder stones are also thrown to strike his enemies down.  

Sango's nature is very masculine, straight forward, bold, confident, energetic, brilliant, and confident. Children of Sango are said to be very attractive, tall, and slim limbed, adventurous and have little patience with slow thinkers.

Some of the symbols of Sango are his two headed axe, or ose, and this is always in his shrine along with an upturned mortar, the edun ara on a clay plate covered with palm oil and many small stones which are used to fight enemies. His colors are red, white and some black, the cloth is usually always elaborately covered with cowrie shells.

There can be batá drums and there is always a seere, a small gourd which is used in the shrine offerings and its larger cousin can also be used as a musical instrument when covered with a net of beads called a shekere, in the diaspora. The seere gourd has a long history with Sango and you will never find one without the other.


See our Sango African gods pantheon - HERE

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