Oya and Yansa are two names for the same Orisha. Oya is more prevalent in Cuba, while Yansa is more prevalent in Brazil. Above you have a wooden carving representing Oya or Yansa from Africa. Although Oya is strong and a brillant warrioress, she is also beautiful and elegant. Quite a combination! No wonder that Chango loved her so much. She likes the heat of battle just as much as Chango, but never loses her femininity. She is the lightening flash and Chango the thunder that follows. And she moves just as quickly as the lightening. Originally, Oya was the wife of Ogun. She lived in the woods and helped him with his smelting. Chango decided to avenge his adopted father Obatala, who had banished Ogun to the woods for an offence by seducing his wife, Oya. This was easy, as Chango was very handsome and Ogun was away at war or smithing most of the time. After Chango took Oya from Ogun, a terrible war broke out between them over Oya. That continues to this day, where the two Orishas are often at odds. When the two Orishas come down during tambors and "mount" their horses, Obatala often has to come down to impose peace.
We have talked on our other sites about the correspondences between Yemaya and Ochun and the Egyptian dieties. We tend to think that there are correspondences between the Orishas and the Hindu gods and goddesses, also. Although there is not much evidence pointing to this, historically, we believe there is a connection. For example, it is believed that the first humans from Africa traveled somehow to Australia, as evidenced by the racial typing of skin color. Who can say that they did not also reach the Indian subcontinent and mix with the indigenous races there. Comparatively speaking, the demi-gods of the Hindus can be easily compared to the Orishas and their function is the same. Oya corresponds to Kali, while Laksmi corresponds to Ochun. Indra the fire god corresponds to Chango. Vishnu corresponds to Olodumare while Brahma corresponds to Obatala. Of course this is just speculation on our part and we make no claims to have any sort of scientific proof. But then again, spiritual proof is not always scientific. Kali's black color and the fact that she is a warrior goddess with a necklace of skulls tend to make us identify her with Oya. What do you think? We welcome your comments.
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