Erinle

elephant

ERINLE

Orisa Erinle is not an Irunmale, that is to say Erinle is not among the “igba/irun/otalelegbaje-imale” that descended from ikole Orun (heaven or better put the spiritual world) to Ikole aye (Earth or better put material world).

This Orisa is very popular and well known all over Yoruba land and of course among the Yoruba Americans, Cubans, Trinidadian, Latinos and many more outside the Yoruba nation in Nigeria. Many Erinle worshippers are in Remo, Ijebu, Abeokuta Egbado in Ogun state. In fact there are families in the above areas that bear Erinle and Abatan (known as a path in Erinle).  Erinle is also known to be the patron Orisan to llobu an Ijesha town in Osun state. The town lies along river Erinle that takes its source from river Osun along Ogbomoso-Osogbo road. Ketu and Okuku are other towns where people worship Erinle a lot.

Erinle means land elephant.  This super human being turned Orisa is recorded in history to be an herbalist, hunter and farmer of all kinds – fishing, animal husbandry. He is known to be an extremely wealthy and always well-dressed deity in refined garments adore with cowries, coral beads and plumage from hunted game.

Erinle is known to be a male Orisa in Yoruba land. Erinle’s uniqueness is all about his inhabitation of two worlds i.e. water and earth. Erinle heals with water (from ocean) and leaves and herbs from the forest, he hunts on land for animals and for fishes in the water.

Yemoja is known to be married to Erinle at one time. But Abatan, which some people called a path of Erinle, is the power wife of Erinle.  Some say Erinle is male while Abatan is female. When someone takes initiation into Erinle and the Orisa is consecrated for him\her, he\she would also receive Abatan just as in Obatala and Osun in many parts of Yoruba land.  Erinle’s color is white while Abatan’s color is yellow\gold. Abatan is known to be Erinle’s perfect mix of female energies.

Symbols of Erinle

Erinle’s symbols are the clay pot called “ Ogun Erinle” or Awo-ota Erinle. Erinle’s pot comes in different sizes, shapes and designs, particularly the lid or cover of the pot holding “ota”, “omi” etc., depending on where you are in Yoruba land. Some come with a bust on the lid, some with a crown structure, some have raised relics where other instruments like “aaja – two edged bronze or metal bell, “agogo”-flat edged bronze\meal gong which is struck with stick are kept. The bust is usually adorned with earrings, “gele” cloth or headscarf, etc. It is also very common to see Abatan’s container placed next to Erinle, while some Erinles pot lid\cover is called Abatan or have Abatan placed on them.

Another symbol at Erinles grove or shrine is the Opa Erinle i.e. Erinle’s staff. It is considered to be an Orisa in itself like the opa in OBATALA. It is about 20-30cm in height with one apical bird surrounded by four smaller ones each attached to the staff separately at a lower level to the apical one in the center. An elephant image and metal chains can also be found as Erinle symbol.

Feeding Erinle

Erinle can be fed in a shrine where one or all of the above symbol exist and consecrated as Erinle or by the side of a river, swamp or marshland where Abatan is believe to reside, where two water bodies meet, such as river and ocean or sweet and salt water or clean and dirty water.

Feeding Materials

Erinle can be fed with one or all of the following oil (liquor), epo

(Palm oil) oyin (honey), Akara (Bean cake) dodo (fried plantain) ekuru and oole (made from beans) eko (corn meal)

Erinle praise songs

The following are some among way praise songs of Erinle

  1. Okunrin gidigidi bi oke (A strong, brave and firm man like the rock\mountain)

2. A fun gbeleje bi oju Olodumare ti ko ni koreros (The clean and clear eye\face of Olodumare that does not grow any weed\grass)

3. Oloye nla (A high and important chief)

4. A ri ododo se igbanu fesin (One who uses a flower-like o wrap around his horse)

5. Erinle ajaja (Erinle, the powerful and ferocious one)

6. Panti oko (An embodiment of everything in the farm)

7. Agbele san omo sita (One who stays in the house and look\care for children outside)

8. Agbeta san omo sile (One who cares for children outside the house while in the house)

Appeasing\Feeding Erinle

The first thing is assembling what to appease Erinle with among those listed above or as prescribed in a divination or possession\manifestation.

Start by calling Erinle ajaja, three times (Erinle he powerful and ferocious one) Oba omi ni Igbo ajagusi, three times (The king in the forest of ajagusi)

Then say “Erinle come from wherever you are to listen and approves of our request\demands”. After this you chant as many as you know praise songs of Erinle to bring out the energy, and make your request while enumerating one after the other what you brought for Erinle.

This will be followed by the throwing of kolanuts (obi seeds) to know if your request is well taken or not or if something else needs to be done.

Prepared by Babalawo Olatunji Somorin of the Eleda Witness International, Ode-Remo , Nigeria .

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15 Comments »

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  1. Greetings, I thank you for your article entitled “Initiation and making of Iyanifa”. It is a bright light that shines on this subject of the initiation of women into Ifa.

    After meditating for some years on this subject, it seems that the initiation and title of Iyanifa is ancient and not as new as many think. Your article is enlightening and confirms the ancientness I have always felt with our traditions even before I was initiated into orisa and then later Ifa. Your explanations is also in line with how I have been initiated and trained by my teacher who was also initiated many years ago in Ode Remo. I thank you.

    Can you tell me where I can get the book by Oluwo Olatunji Somorin as I am unable to get it on Amazon.

    This is a very good site

    Many blessings
    Iyanifa Fasina Oyasanya

  2. As above

  3. Thank you for this article. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. May Ifa Bless you!

  4. THANK YOU

    • My great, great, great father established Erinle Township in Kwara State – and yes, we remain the priests and caretaker of the Oracle.

      Thanks for your reseach.

      Awo.

  5. hello I have received Elekes from a santero, and guerros I am considered a aleyo. I do not really have a house for I received these my collares like 8yrs ago and received guerros like 2 years ago. My padrino that gave me guerros past away. For I am not really in house. I received ide de orula and collar but I no longer continued with that babalow. With in the past year I finally found a amazing babalow for he brought down my guardian angle in which came out to be Inle or Erinle. For he has been the best spiritual teacher who has answered many question for me. Recently I went to give him the money to receive mano de orula for Orula will give me the gowning I need in my life. When listening to him speak he has just recently enter a higher level of IFA in Yoruba. For he tells me in receiving Mano de Orula my guardian angel will be locked into place, for he has a problem with Inle being my guardian angel. Because according to the Babalow in Nigeria Yoruba they don’t have Inle as a Guardian Angel. I couldn’t understand for I was left lost. Can you please help with a bit of clarification. For many years I believed yemaya was my guardian angel but when asked it came out to be inle, in which I 1yr later have praised and accepted Inle. For I prayed to the spirit of Inle and he has made many things happen for me. For I even ask him to help me to get the money for Mano de orula and my job gave me a bonus of 753 dollar which was how I have been able to get the money for Inle. Can you please help me with clarifying this or helping me to understand, for I am a bit nervous about someone trying to place another orisha in which it not rightfully my correct crown if one day I decide to get crowned in ocha

  6. I need ur help Ifa herbalist.PLS WHERE ARE u located.AM IN A TERRIBLE SITUATION.MY PHONE NO IS 07035671272.

    • My sincere apologies for this late response. I have not been on this site for a long time and did not see messages. If you still need to get in touch with Oluwo Somorin, you can contact him via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/somorin.muyiwa

  7. I thank you for enlighting me about Erinle.May Orisa bless you.

  8. God bless you. Continue, i love this

  9. I was taught that Erinle doesn’t mean land elephant but rather mud elephant (ie. hippopotamus.)

  10. I am very happy to be able to talk as much information on your blog.
    You are a person enlightened, knowledgeable and wise.
    My father’s protect yourself and your family, always.
    I need a little help.
    There is a oriki of Erínlè that says:
    Erinle aganna agbo.
    I can not translate into English.
    If the phrase was:
    Erile a gan na agbó..
    I would read:
    Erínlè is very restless.
    Which sentence is correct?
    Thanks for your time.
    Erinle gbe wa ooo.

  11. thank you for this write up
    pls my surname name is “Abatan” and I will like to know more about the goddess “Abatan”
    Thank you
    e-mail address : abatan2015@gmail.com

  12. In the Yoruba Diaspora of Cuba, Brazil, and the United States (Afro-Cuban tradition brought by Cuban exiles), it has always been customary that Erinle and Abatan are consecrated by Orisha priests or priestesses. What is the custom in Yorubaland? Do Awo Ifa now consecrate these Orisha? If yes, was that always the case? In the past, there was an Erinle priesthood. Does that still exist?


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