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PATAKI OF YEMAYA

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Olofi, the creator, was arranging for a party and sent out invitations to all the Orisha through Elegua. Elegua in joy thinking of the many sweets he would receive, came down to Earth and went forth inviting all of the Orishas. Spreading word, house to house, he went while receiving candy, smoked fish, and oti as payment.

When entering the heavens, you could not go empty handed. All of the Orishas decided to take a gift to the great Olofi, something suitable for king. So came there gifts, Obatala made a white staff with pearls and gold. Oshun took her perfumes, and so on the Orishas went picking up the gifts for Olofi.

Yemaya was busy tending to the seas and her children. Maintaining life as it was and bearing gifts for her followers. The date of the party was soon just ahead and she had still not gotten her gift for Olofi. She had forgotten from all she had to do about Olofi’s party. When Elegua came to remind her, she had just realized that she had not gotten a gift!

She sent out for her quickest fish and speeded through the ocean and up to land. Yemaya entered the marketplace where Oya was attending and asked Oya what she was getting for Olofi. Oya replied “Baskets of the most beautiful fruits so Olofi can feast on”. Yemaya hurried to get her gift.

Yemaya searched the markets and stores, to find either nothing or something not suitable for king. At the end of the day, she went to a shop and asked what there was. Only three fish heads were left and Yemaya knew she could not enter the party empty handed so she took them. Yemaya soon went back to her home.

She dressed in her finest dresses with adornments of cowrie shells and pearls. She must look her best to enter the kingdom of Olofi. Yemaya worried about her gift and pushed it to the back of her mind. Yemaya arrived at the party and was saluted by Elegua at the door.

Yemaya mingled and chatted with the Orishas, soon the trumpet sounded and Olofi entered, sitting on his throne. One by one ever Orisha went to give their gift to Olofi. He was joyful and blessed ever one of them. Yemaya stood in the back since she knew her gift was a mockery.

Olofi called to Yemaya and she walked over to him, telling him that she had brought him nothing. He was wise and knew all, soon asked what Yemaya brought in the basket. She shrugged and said nothing, but he told her to show him. She bowed and gave Olofi three fish heads in a white plate.

Olofi looked at Yemaya and soon he began to laugh, all the Orisha following. Olofi told her to keep her head straight and explained that all had brought him gifts of beauty but she had brought him something with meaning. She wondered and he stood up, he took the plate. Just the way he had brought him three fish heads he would make her head of all waters. The first fish head became a crown and was placed on her head. She will now be Queen of the Seas. Olofi placed another and told her that now she will be Queen of the Lands and the last was placed, stating that now she will be Queen of the Heavens.

The 3 crowns became one and glowed. Yemaya saluted Olofi and he told her to face the Orishas, all coming to respect the New Queen of the Heavens, Seas, and Land. She went back to the sea and found a castle that Olofi had given her. She looked up and Olofi was looking at her. She asked why he had made her a triple queen. Olofi told her that each gift she had brought to him was from the heart. She cared so much for her children that she did not have time to bring him a gift, he saw where her heart lies.
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