What is Oxóssi:
Oxossi is a deity of African religions, also known as orisha, representing knowledge and forests.
Normally, he is represented by the figure of a man with a bow and arrow in his hands, and is considered a kind of guardian.
For African religions such as Umbanda and Candomblé, Oxóssi is very attached to nature, always praising everything it can provide us, according to human need. For this reason, he is also known as the orixá of hunting, plenty and sustenance.
In ancient Africa, Oxossi was considered the guardian of hunters, for they were responsible for bringing sustenance to the tribe. Today, he protects everyone who leaves home every day for work , because it is from this effort that comes the livelihood of families.
Oxóssi is also considered an orixá of contemplation, lover of the arts and beautiful things, and is also an axé hunter, looking for good influences and positive energies for an ilé, space where the Candomblé public parties are held.
The followers of this spiritual entity are known as “sons of Oxóssi” and, according to religion, are endowed with some characteristics that define their behavior and refer to the orisha.
People considered daughters of Oxossi are considered, according to the interpretation of this belief, very pleasant, cheerful and communicative, and are great company.
The element of Oxossi is earth and freedom of speech. Usually your greeting is “okê arô” or simply “okê” .
In the history of the African gods, Oxóssi is the son of Oxalá and Yemanjá and his name originates from Yoruba, specifically African language, meaning “popular guardian”.
He is considered the king of Ketu, because he freed the population of one of Eleyé’s birds (owners of birds that have evil spirits), managing to break a spell that he cast on that people.
According to legend, Oxóssi does not need more than one arrow to hit its target and for this reason is also called Otokan Soso .
Oxossi and Syncretism in the Catholic Church
In the traditions of the catholic church, the orixá Oxóssi is syncretized with São Sebastião, being honored on January 20th.
However, in the state of Bahia, he is also syncretized with Saint George, Saint recognized for his strength and grit, and for facing whatever lies ahead.