Aganju- A Misrepresented Deity

Aganju- A Misrepresented Deity

It has been a while since I heard from you, though faint but your voice was as clear as the sky in the desert

Aganjùs’olàkíní ‘bakíní ‘bas’óògùn.

A yàròròkíní `ba ‘ko e gbé mi ni


Etalabòjúbàgàbàgbà a júbà.



Today we will be examining a Yoruba god who is not well known and often misrepresented, Aganju

His heart aches for his people who have lost sight of him, he longs for his followers.

Aganju was a deified warrior king from the town of Shaki in the present-day Oyo State of Nigeria, and during his reign he was upheld as second only to the gods by his subject “Alaseikegiorisha”. The deification of King Aganju after his death turned him to an Orisha.

Aganju is believed to be the third Òrìsà who descended from the heavens to earth, but this does not make him any less powerful. Aganju is usually depicted with his sacred symbol the sun and his chosen weapon is said to have been a sword.

Through history, Aganju has been strongly associated with Shango the thunder god, portrayed as being either his father or his brother or twin; as deductions from both Orishas being members of the deified royal family of Oyo. He lived in the shadow of Shango which created a rift and later jealousy between the two of them.

Aganju the controller of all the volcanos, the wilderness, and the river is an Òrìsà of great antiquity. Also he has often been associated with Oshun, with whom it was rumored he had a relationship, as well as with Yemoja.

Aganju- A Misrepresented Deity

The above history is however disputed by Babalawo Obanifa who believes that Aganju is Ajaka’s son. Ajaka was Sango’s elder brother who was exiled to Igboho when Sango was King.

Babalawo Obanifa contends that while Aganju accepts same sacrificial ingredients used for Sango, his initiation process differs from each region and he would easily be the patron god for beauticians, musicians and the movie industry.

Babalawo Obanifa holds the view that since volcanoes are a strange event to the Yorubas, it is wrong then to see Aganju being deified as the god of volcano and attributes this to being a need for slaves to identify with their culture in a strange land thus adopting a phenomenon that embodies the personality of Aganju.



Aganju is a recognized member of the deified royal family of old Oyo, and considered “one heart” with Oya by all of Shango, Oshun and Oya’s followers.

Aganju is highly regarded by Lukumi practitioners for his role in assisting humans in overcoming great physical as well as psychological barriers, and where ever there is a thriving Yoruba city

Aganju was a force that was essential for growth, as well as being the corner stone of civilizations, upon which society was built and the catalyst for the production of vast amounts of wealth and commerce needed for advanced development.

Amazing how Aganju is seemingly a stranger to the Yoruba race, while being well known to the Latin Americas especially in Portugal as Agayú or Aganyú. In his lifetime Aganju was honored for his bravery, his fearlessness and today he has been forgotten and is misrepresented, even though we owe to him the none existence of volcanic mountains not to talk of eruptions.

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