|Oxumare (O Shoo Mah Ray) is the rainbow. Oxumare is also one of the Orixa that changes sexes. Some Orixa such as Oxossi have a path of the opposite sex (i.e. La Penya). Oxumare is male part of the year and female part of the year. In some Houses, Oxumare spends half the year with a male top and female bottom, and half with a female top and male bottom. Damballah Wedo is Oxumare's counterpart among the Fon based Lwa of the Vodoun religion. Like Damballah Wedo, Oxumare is a rainbow serpent. He/She is the messenger from Olodumare.
Among the Yoruba, Olodumare (God) is essentially unreachable. Thus the Orixa. They are our intermediaries and helpers, because Olodumare has more important things to do than worry about the lives of insignificant humans (sorry about that). Oxumare is something of an exception to that generality. Oxumare brings messages to us directly from Olodumare. As such He/She is very important for our welfare.
When a Spirit Medium is working, it is very often Oxumare who holds place while another Orixa is being called.
In some groups, Oxumare is said to be a messenger of Xango. I have not found Him/Her to be that limited.
|Alternating rainbow colored beads, or the tradition green bead with yellow stripes.|
|Oxumare rarely accepts offerings. Sometimes pure water is accepted.|
|Colors and Day of the Week|
|Oxumare's colors are green and yellow or rainbow. I work with Him/Her on Sunday.|
|Oxumare's children are quiet and gentle people. They rarely speak, but when they do you'd best listen carefully. It is easy to confuse Oxumare children with Oxala children. Oxumare children tend to be quieter.|
|Back to the Orixa page.|