Wednesday, July 23, 2014

African Orisha: Erinle

Erinle (also known as Inle or Eyinle) is a hunter and a healer. He spends some of his time with Oggun, Osoosi, and Osanyin in the forest and some time with Oko on the farm. He is the patron of fisherman and is said to hunt primarily in rivers. In some traditions, he's also considered a patron of same-sex-love

A story about Inle concerns Yemaja. After Yemaja decides to leave Obatala, she goes away to live in her castle under the sea, happy to be alone and with her children running the kingdom. One day she sees a handsome young fisherman—it is Erinle. They fall in love immediately. Yemaja tells Erinle that she is the queen of this kingdom but that it could be lonely at times.

Erinle promises to keep her company when she is lonely. He cares nothing about power or riches, only her beauty. Yemaja and Erinle go to live in her castle at the bottom of the sea and they are happy for some time. After a while, however, Yemaja begins to take Erinle for granted. She ignores his complaints and takes him for granted.

Erinle became unhappy and wanted to leave. Yemaja saw this, but was afraid that Erinle would tell her secrets to the rest of the kingdom. She wanted to silence him but she cared about him too much to kill him.

Her compromise was this: one night, when Erinle fell asleep, she cut out his tongue. Then he could live but would never be able to tell her secrets. This was when boredom in relationships was born into the world.

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