The orishas are the spirits of Yorubaland. Traditional Yoruba religion is monotheistic: there is one supreme creator, Olodumare, who encompasses both male and female. Olodumare created the universe. Among Olodumare’s inventions was the concept of delegating. Olodumare created the orishas, intermediary spirits who run the world. Each has specific functions and dominions, very much like angels. Thousands of orishas may exist, but only approximately forty have anything to do with humanity.
The orishas are venerated in Africa as well as in various African Diaspora traditions including Santeria and Candomblé.
In Brazil, orisha is spelled orixa but pronounced exactly the same: oh-ree-sha.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.