Ajé-Shaluga, orisha of wealth, trade, and cash, may manifest in male or female form. In Nigeria, Ajé-Shaluga is generally, although not always, understood as male, but some Cuban traditions consider her female. In West Africa, small white cowrie shells once served as currency. Ajé-Shaluga’s attribute is the large tiger cowrie, which was not currency, but finding one unexpectedly is considered a sign of Ajé-Shaluga’s protection, favour, and blessings.
Those favoured by Ajé-Shaluga never lack and are never poor. In various myths, Ajé-Shaluga assists other orishas, too. During Oshun’s period of intense poverty, she owned only one dress, which she, a fastidious spirit, washed daily in the river. Ajé-Shaluga saw her from the watery depths, fell in love with her, and emerged, bringing gifts of cowries (cash) and golden treasure, setting her on the road to financial stability and wealth.
Tiger cowrie shell
Ajé-Shaluga is a river spirit closely associated with Yemaya, Olokun, and Oshun. (See their individual entries.)
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by Judika Illes