Olodumare (Yoruba: O-lo-dù-ma-rè) also known as Ọlọrun (Almighty) is the name given to one of the three manifestations of the Supreme God or Supreme Being [1] Olodumare's name comes from the words Odu, Mare, and Ont, which translates as "owner of " [2] in the Yoruba pantheon. Olodumare is the Supreme Creator.[1]

The Yoruba believe Olodumare is omnipotent and is also responsible for the creation of all life.[3] Yoruba followers believe Olodumare participates in a calm, restful, rather inactive life. He is not interested or involved when it comes to Earthly matters and lets other orishas, who are described as his sons and daughters, answer human concerns through divination, possession, sacrifice and more.[4] Yoruba tradition says everything is in the hands of God (Olodumare) when they are going to bed at night.[3]

The name Olodumare symbolises a divine "Entity" following these characteristics: not having a father or mother; one that and is not bound by space.[5]

Historically, the Yoruba did not worship Olodumare, there is no specific shrine and no sacrifice is often made towards their way.[6] There is contradiction about whether or not Olodumare is directly worshiped due to his disinterest in humanity. [4] Yoruba consider Olodumare to be the origin of virtue and mortality. Is believed to bestow the knowledge of things upon all persons at the time of their birth. He is described as omnipotent, transcendent, unique, all knowing, good, and evil.[4]The Yoruba call on Olodumare when other deities (orishas) are unwilling to help or seem incapable.[5] These orisa or orishas are supernatural beings both good (egungun) and bad (ajogun) who represent human activity and natural forces.[7]Yoruba believe Olodumare created all other forces of the universe to help continue the evolution of the universe.[3]


  1. Cynthia Duncan,Ph.D. About Santeria
  2. Ayegboyin, Deji; Olajide, S. K. (2009), "Olodumare", Encyclopedia of African Religion, SAGE Publications, Inc., doi:10.4135/9781412964623.n306, ISBN 9781412936361, retrieved 2019-10-10
  4. Bewaji, John (1998). "Olodumare: God in Yoruba Belief and the Theistic Problem of Evil" (PDF). African Studies Quarterly.
  5. "Brown Williams". Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  6. R.,, Prothero, Stephen. God is not one : the eight rival religions that run the world (First HarperCollins paperback ed.). [New York, New York]. ISBN 9780061571282. OCLC 726921148.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. Peel, JYL (2016). "The Three Circles of Yoruba Religion". University of California Press: 214–232 – via JSTOR.
  8. "Oshun Loses Her Beauty". UUA.org. 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
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