Oya's Betrayal

Oil on wood Panel, 24" x 36"

The god of metal and war Ogun, in olive green and gold, is known for his aggressive personality. In order to calm his demeanor, the Supreme Being Olodumare betrothed Oya to Ogun. Ogun and Shango often fought bitterly. Seeing an opportunity to upstage Ogun, Shango returned Oya's attention and passion. Ogun surprises the two lovers, springing upon them from the left, catching them together, while the Ibeji twins, Shango’s children, look on, as visualized in the painting. This event sparked the bloodiest war among the orishas.

Notably, the Adinkra symbol “wawa aba” decorates the stone arch, imbuing the meaning of hardiness, resilience, and perseverance into the architectural frame. The rust-colored ground, composed of iron oxide, locates the story on the red soil of Africa. The golden circular Orís have the names of their bearers carved into them in Spanish, Yoruba, and Brazilian Portuguese, an indication of the extent of West African and African diasporic communities.