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About Xangô and Oyá

Xango was the fourth legendary King of Oyo (Nigeria, Africa), made the Orixá of violent and vengeful character, whose manifestations are fire, Sun, the Rays, the Tempests and thunder. Son of Oranian, Xango had several wives, the most known: Oyá, Oxum and Obá.
Xango is virile and vigilant; He punishes liars, thieves, and malefactors. His tool is Oxê: the double-edged ax. Xango is the Orixá of Power, he is the maximum representation of the power of Olorun.

While Oxossi is considered the King of the ketu nation, Xango is considered the King of all the Yoruba people. He is the Orixá of fire, of rays and of storms.

In Yoruba mythology, the name Oyá comes from the river of the same name in Nigeria, where its cult is held, currently called the Niger River. She is a deity of waters like Oxum and Iemanjá, but she is also related to the air element, being one of the deities that controls the winds. Oyá is usually revered before Xango, like the personified wind that precedes the storm. Like Orixá Obá, Oyá is also related to the cult of the dead, where she received from Xangô the task of guiding them to one of the nine skies according to his actions. Oyá is the third most aggressive temperate Goddess, the first being Opará and Obá being the second. The name Iansan is a title that Oyá received from Xango that refers to the evening, Iansã = The mother of the rosy sky or The mother of the evening.

Words from the Composer,

Though I am not of the Santeria religion, I am infatuated with the practice, the followers and the associated ceremonies. My many trips to Northern Brazil (Salvador, Bahia) have affected me both spiritually and compositionally. This piece aims to be a respectful homage to the strength of spirit held in the legend of these great Orixas. It begins with a customary prayer (Oração) and continues as a tone poem that depicts a battle fought and won by Xango with Oyá at his side, as legend often portrays.


Xangô and Oyá for Flute and Rhythm Trio

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