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Description of Ogum

Yoruba people worship Ogum/Ogun as their deity of iron and warfare. Ogum/Ogun is a violent deity, yet despite this, he is kind and will aid people who pray to him. Yoruba blacksmiths often offer dogs as sacrifices to Ogum/Ogun, and they also organize an annual three-day celebration in his honor. According to Yoruba tradition, Ogum/Ogun and the other gods rode a spiderweb to the surface of the world. The gods saw the need for greater land clearing once creation was complete since that was where they were living: in the forest. Sadly, the only equipment in hand was composed of soft metal, which is not a suitable material for felling trees. Ogum/Ogun, however, used an iron ax to clear the forest after receiving the secret to iron from Orunmila, the son of the supreme god Olorun. The other gods and humankind subsequently learned the iron’s secret from Ogum/Ogun. Along with that, he showed them how to forge iron into weapons.

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