These two stories from the Yoruba people describe how humans were created, the coming of a great flood and how Oshun, the goddess of fertility made sure women have a voice.

The Orishas are the gods who live in the sky. Obatala (creator of mankind) decides to go down to create the earth - he is given a gold chain, a shell, a hen and a black cat. He then attempts to makes humans but gets drunk on palm wine and makes them all wonky. He has to start again.  Once the earth is populated, Olukun, god of the seas is annoyed that the other gods didn’t consult him, so he creates a flood and drowns the earth. A few people survive. Oshun, the goddess of fertility is annoyed because the other gods keep ignoring her and she isn't heard. She persuades all the women to go on strike. Things become unbearable for the men and no babies are born, so women are promptly given a seat at the table both in the skies and on earth. 

The Yoruba are an ancient people with roots that date back over 2000 years and were the rulers of the Oyo Kingdom, a West African Empire covering what is now West Nigeria to Zaire and Sudan. The main city of Ile-Ife cultivated a great cultural tradition. Traditional Yoruba religion has a pantheon of deities (gods) called the Orisha with hundreds of different gods representing natural elements and human emotions and worshipped for many different purposes. Ife is the Yoruba word for Earth and was named by the creator Obatala who also created mankind.

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