Creation Story According to Yorùbá mythology

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Ọ̀rọ̀ kì í gba àárọ̀,
Kí á fi alẹ́ sọ ọ́;
A díá fún Òkòkó nìyẹ̀lẹ̀
Tí yóò bá ni túlẹ̀ yí wò.
Nígbà tí Olódùmarè kọ́ ṣe ẹ̀dá èèyàn s’ílé ayé,
Wọn ò rí ibi gbé
Nítorí pé ògédé omi ni gbogbo ilẹ̀ ayé.
Ni Ọ̀rúnmìlà bá lọ sí ọ̀dọ̀ Olódùmarè.
Olódùmarè wáá fún Ọ̀rúnmìlà
Ní ẹyẹlé mẹ́rin àti àkùkọ adìẹẹ̀ kan.
Àwọn ni wọ́n tan èrùpẹ̀ inú agbọ̀n.
Tí Olódùmarè sọ̀ kalẹ̀ láti òde ọ̀run.
Ni gbogbo ayé fi di tigbótijù báyìí.
Ijó ni àwọn ọmọ aráyé ń jó,
Ayọ̀ ni wọ́n ń yọ̀;
Wọ́n ń yin Ìwòrì Méjì,
Ìwòrì Méjì ń yin Ifá.
Wọ́n ní, ‘Kín ni ó bàá ni túnlẹ̀ yí ṣe?
Òkòkó nìyẹ̀lẹ̀
Ni yóò wáá bá ni túnlẹ̀ yí ṣe.’ (sic.)

– Abimbola, W. (2009:17-18), Àwọn Ojú Odù Mẹ́rẹ̀ẹ̀rìndínlógún, Ìbàdàn: University Press Plc.

(Morning discourse,
Should not be postponed till night;
Divined for Òkòkó-nìyẹ̀lẹ̀ (Fowl)
That will help to create the world.
When Olódùmarè created man on the planet earth,
Man has no dwelling place
Because the whole earth was flooded with water.
Ọ̀rúnmìlà consulted Olódùmarè.
Olódùmarè gave him
Four pigeons and one cock.
They were the ones who spread the sand in the basket.
That Olódùmarè lowered from Heaven.
Which formed the forest and the wilderness of today.
Man began to dance,
And make merriment;
They were showing gratitude to Ìwòrì Méjì,
Ìwòrì Méjì in turn rendered praises to Ifá.
They chanted: ‘Who will help us to reform our land?
Òkòkó-nìyẹ̀lẹ̀,
Will help us reform our land.’)

Although some Yorùbá mythologies believe that Odùduwà is the messenger that Olódùmarè sent for the creation work, after Ọbàtálá failed. The account according to Odù Ìwòrì Méjì verse three narrates thus:

In the beginning Man has no dwelling place because the whole earth was flooded with water. This prompted Ọ̀rúnmìlà to consult Olódùmarè. Olódùmarè (The Supreme God) gave him four pigeons and one cock. He then lowered a basket filled with sand from Heaven to Earth. The four pigeons and the cock began to spread the sand in the basket all over the surface of the earth. This action is what sprouted out land, which brought about desert and wilderness. The more they spread the sand in the basket, the more the world began to expand to what it becomes today. This is what brought out Ilẹ̀ tó ń fẹ̀ (meaning the land that is expanding) which later metamorphosed to Ilé-Ifẹ̀, the cradle of human race. It’s no doubt that the world began at Ilé-Ifẹ̀. This excerpt from Ifẹ̀ praise poem ascertained this fact:

‘Ifẹ̀ Oòdáyé,
Ilẹ̀ òwúrọ̀,
Ibi ojúmọ́ rere ti ń mọ́ wáyé.’
(Ifẹ̀ Oòdáyé,
The ancient land,
Where the breaking of the day began on earth).
NOTE: Ilé-Ifẹ̀ is the cradle of human race.

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