Thursday, November 23, 2023


Elagbara is the Oriki name of Esu in the diaspora. 

Countries like Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago called him this name, the question is, is Esu referred to as Elegbaa in the Yorubaland?

 Yes, Esu has different kinds of oriki (praises names) but when he is being praised by his devotees he is not addressed as Elegbaa, he is called ALAGBARA which means the POWERFUL PERSON.

So, how did the word "ELEGBAA" formed? Chief FAMA clarified her investigation. See below.

Fama(1993) shares her story when investigating more into Esu in relation to Elegbaa issues.

“I made a trip to Yorubaland, the seat of all Orisa in the world, in September 1992, and interviewed some Babalawo for Clarification of the relationship between Esu and Elegbaa.

The first Babalawo that I contacted was a friend who is an Ifa Minister and very well respected Babalawo in Lagos, Oloye Adeboye Oyesanya who is the Chief Priest of Ijo Orunmila ATO (temple) in Lagos, Nigeria. I asked him who Elegbaa is. 

Oloye Adeboye’s reply was concise. He said Elegbaa was one of Esu’s attributive names. He thereafter gave me information about”

Fama continued, “I then moved to Ibadan to interview highly respected Babalawo, Oloye Awopeju Bogunmbe. I posed the same question to him who had visited America in the past. Oloye Bogunmbe’s contact with Orisa worshipers in America enables him to evaluate my question deeply.

 He, therefore, went into a long explanation and told me that he too was aware of some confusion in a certain aspect of Yoruba religion in the Diaspora. 

One of the confusion according to him is the word Elegbaa.

He explained that Elegbaa is a corrupt pronunciation of the word Alagbara.

 He further stated that Alagbara means, “A POWERFUL PERSON” and that Esu being a powerful Orisa, devotees gave him the appellation, Alagbara, which portrays him as a powerful Orisa.

 He said brothers and sisters in the diaspora should note that Elegbaa, which proper pronunciation and spelling should be Alagbara is Esu’s appellation and that it is not a different Orisa”.

Consequently, it should be noted by now that Alagbara is the real Pronunciation while Elegbaa is an appellation. 

To reinforce this fact below is an Esu Oriki that involves the word Alagbara.

Esu okiri oko
Esu, ota Orisa
Omokunrin dudu ita
Baba kekere
Esu odara omokunrin idofin
O le sonso sori ese elese
A kii lowo lai mu ti Esu kuro
A kii layo lai mu Esu kuro
A kii se ohun rere lai mu ti Esu kuro
Esu mo juba
Esu, ma se mi
Eni ti ko sebo ni ko se

Esu, the stone bearer
Esu, Orisa’s avenger
The great fighter
The powerful (ALAGBARA)
The dark-skinned man of the outside
Smallish baba ( small revered man)
Esu Odara from Idolofin town
He that sits himself conspicuously on his victim’s leg
To enjoy one’s wealth, one must give Esu his due
For happiness to last, one must give Esu is due
To hold on to one’s ire, one must give Esu his due
Esu I give reference
Esu, do not undo me
Undo whoever fails to appease and respect you

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