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PATAKI OF OSHUN

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Oshun one day was preparing for a party. She gathered her gold, jewelry, and perfumes heading towards the river. She sat down and started to dress her body in the silk and perfuming herself from head to toe. Oshun put on her gold bangles and many jewelries on. Her hair she braided, decorating it with shells and placed her head scarf in a way her style showed. Oshun looked at her beautiful reflection in the water.

Oshun then started walking through the village heading towards the party when she passed a small group of children. They were playing, jumping, and laughing bringing her a smile to her face. She walked passed them and she sprinkled honey on them, making them happier and they bowed to her. Oshun’s thoughts were deep with the fact she wanted some youth activity and say down near Iroko, a Cieba tree. She was deep in though and a tear dropped.

Iroko asked her what was happening to her. Oshun told Iroko how much she missed having children around her. He told her that children are truly a gift and Oshun asked Iroko to help her bare children that she could raise. Iroko told that he would help her and her payment was for her to accompany him once in a while. Oshun promised.

Time passed and she bared a small boy. Oshun raised him with love and he was her joy. One day she passed by Iroko and he greeted her, telling Oshun that he had heard that she had a child. She responded Yes and kept on walking, forgetting her promise to Iroko. He asked if she was going to keep him company and she promised she would bring him a goat. Iroko agreed to this.

Many years passed after this and Iroko found Oshun passing by him again. She sat for 2 minutes fixing her scarfs, Iroko was happy Oshun was sitting with him and tried for some conversation. She soon stood up and gathered her things. Iroko asked if she was going to stay for a while, she apologized and said something else was pending. Oshun realized that Iroko was bothered that she did not keep her promise, she promised to bring him some amala(cornmeal). He agreed once more.

Another couple of years passed by and Oshun headed for the marketplace passing by Iroko. She was in great hurry and saluted him, giving him a smile. Iroko mentioned that he was tired of waiting since he did her a favor and she was not living up to her words. Oshun felt very bad for the great Iroko and told him that she would bring him the child to spend some time with him. Iroko soon agreed again.

A total of 5 years passed and Elegua walked through the forest, seeing his friend Iroko. Elegua walked over and greeted the great Iroko. He sat under the shade and talked for many hours with him. He listened to Iroko’s stories and Elegua sat there drinking his rum and playing with 5 precious stones in his bag. Iroko was grateful that Elegua had stopped to talk to him and told him that he loved for people to sit under his shade.

Iroko soon started telling Elegua of how Oshun had not came in a awhile and how she had promised him a goat and some amala. Elegua knew how Oshun was told Iroko not to worry. Elegua soon heard some gossip in the winds and Iroko knew how Elegua was, telling him to go about and to stop by whenever he wished.

Many weeks later Elegua stumbled on a village and saw children playing. He stopped and played with them, seeing one of them who was dressed in yellow. Elegua followed the kid as he was heading for the road, telling him that he was taking the long way and he rather take the forest. He gave him the 5 precious stones and laid a path for him into the woods.

Ideu walked and came across Iroko. He sat under Iroko and began playing with the 5 precious stones that Elegua had given him. Iroko grew happy and spoke to the little one. Ideu told Iroko he was child of Oshun  Iroko hearing this thought that Oshun had finally lived up to her promise. He began telling Ideu stories and he was intrigued. He told Iroko not to stop and Iroko brought him into his domain under the Earth to continue story telling.

Oshun became frantic at not finding her beloved child. The days turned into weeks and she searched everywhere with no success. 5 years soon passed and Oshun lost her sweetness and became depressed. She passed by Iroko and did not speak to him, Iroko say that the Orisha was no longer happy.

The next morning Oshun made her way throughout the forest and noticed Iroko standing happy. She greeted him and Iroko asked Oshun if she had found her son, she responding no. He told her that she should always live up to her word and not promise something without paying. She nodded her head and understood. Iroko looked at Oshun and told her he had a gift that would bring sweetness to her. The Earth opened and a hill filled with gold, jewels, and riches came out with Ideu on top of it. Ideu was happy as can be by the many stories Iroko told him. Oshun cried and grabbed her son. Ideu told Oshun the many stories and the riches of Iroko. Oshun told Ideu that he would guard her riches the way he guarded Iroko’s. Oshun looked at Iroko and thanked him but told him he should not have done such a thing. So from now on, children of Oshun cannot go near Iroko.
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