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Olorun

Olorun is the chief god of the Yoruba pantheon. For the Yoruba people, he is the owner of the sky. Yorubas believe that who owns the sky, owns every thing that exists below it. Olorun is also known as Olodumare (Almighty).

According to the Yoruba people, Olorun created the world and mankind. Originally, the Earth was marshy and watery. The sky god obtained from the great god Orisha Nla a snail shell in which there were a hen, a pigeon, and some earth. Olorun threw the earth from the shell in one small point of the Earth and put on it the hen and the pigeon.

From that place called Ife (which means "wide"), the two animals spread the Earth to create solid ground. After the creation of mankind, the word Ile, which means "house," was added. Since then, Ile-Ife has been the most sacred city for the Yoruba people.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF