Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Ṣàngó Pouch

Catalog Number: D024




33 cm x 28 cm



13 in x 11 in


Religion and Denomination: Yoruba indigenous religion (Yoruba)
Country of Origin: Nigeria
Ethnographic Origin: Yoruba
Materials: Beads
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

The god of thunder and an ancestor of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. He is the son of Yemọja the mother goddess and protector of birth. Ṣàngó has three wives: Oya, who stole Ṣàngó’s secrets of magic; Oshun, the river goddess who is Ṣàngó’s favorite because of her culinary abilities; and Oba, who tried to win his love by offering her ear for him to eat. He sent her away in anger and she became the River Oba, which is very turbulent where it meets the River Oshun.

Ṣàngó is portrayed with a double axe on his head (the symbol of thunder).  His symbolic animal is the ram, and his favorite colors are red and white, in alternating combination. In Brazil, Ṣàngó is worshipped as a thunder and weather god by the practictioners of the Umbanda and Candomblé religion. In Santeria, Ṣàngó (Chango) is the equivalent of the Catholic saint St. Barbara.  “This style of Ṣàngó pouch, beaded and inscribed with the god’s name in Roman orthography, is new.