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File:Statue of Sango.jpg
Statue of Sango in Lagos Nigeria.

Shango (known as Changó or Xangô in Latin America; and also known as Jakuta)[1] (from '=shan, 'to strike') is an Orisha. He is syncretized with either Saint Barbara or Saint Jerome. Shango is historically a royal ancestor of the Yoruba as he was the third Alafin (king) of the Oyo Kingdom prior to his posthumous deification.

Historical Shango

Following Oduduwa, Oranyan, and Ajaka, Jakuta was the third Alafin of Oyo.[1] Jakuta brought prosperity to the Oyo Empire during his reign.[2] In Professor Mason's mythological account of heroes and kings, contrary to his peaceful brother Ajaka, Jakuta (meaning: someone that fight with stones) was a powerful and even violent ruler. He reigned for seven years, the whole of which period was marked by his continuous campaigns and his many battles. The end of his reign resulted from his own inadvertent destruction of his palace by lightning. During his lifetime, he was married to three wives namely Oshun, Oba, and Oya. The worshiping of the Shango deity in Yoruba land is actually the fifth day of the week in which is named Ojo Jakuta. The worshipers worship varieties of edible foods such as: Guguru (Pop-corn),Bitter cola, prepeard Amala and Gbegiri soup and the likes. Also, it is also worshiped with Bata drum. One significant something about this Deity is that it is worshiped with red cloth, Just like himself admired red attires during his lifetime. [3]

Veneration of Shango

In the Americas

Shango is venerated in Santería and Haitian Vodou as "Chango". Palo recognizes him as "Siete Rayos", while in Candomblé this Orixa is referred to as "Xango".

His necklaces are composed in varying patterns of red and white beads; usually in groupings of 4 or 6 which are his "sacred numbers". Ceremonies for Shango devotees in the New World are focused on achieving power and self-control over their lives.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bascom, William Russell (1980). Sixteen Cowries: Yoruba Divination from Africa to the New World. Indiana University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0-253-20847-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Lum, Kenneth Anthony (2000). Praising His Name in the Dance. Routledge. p. 231. ISBN 90-5702-610-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Johnson, History of the Yorubas, 149-152.


  • Johnson, Samuel, History of the Yorubas, London 1921 (pp. 149–152).
  • Lange, Dierk: "Yoruba origins and the 'Lost Tribes of Israel'", Anthropos 106 (2011), 579-595.
  • Law, Robin: The Oyo Empire c. 1600 – c. 1836, Oxford 1977.
  • Seux, M.-J., Épithètes royales akkadiennes et sumériennes, Paris 1967.
  • Tishken,Joel E., Tóyìn Fálọlá, and Akíntúndéí Akínyẹmí (eds), Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2009.

Further reading

External Links