American Gods Wiki
American Gods Wiki

The Orisha are spirits worshipped in the Yoruba religion, sent by the supreme god Olodumare to guide human beings into living a good life. In the television series, five of them appear: Oshun, orisha of love, fertility and the river, Chango, orisha of thunder and lightning, Yemoja, mother of humanity, and the sea, Aye the orisha of the earth, and Iku, the spirit who claims those whose lifespan came to an end.

Significance in the series[]

The Orishas appeared in history to a group of Africans who were enslaved in America. They comforted and healed the slaves, granting them courage to resist their oppressors.

Some Orishas also appeared to Bilquis to help her know her self-worth and realise her powers as a goddess.

Powers and abilities[]

As spirits or gods, they have the ability to perform various supernatural acts of a magical nature.


Cultural background[]


  • The Orisha do not appear in the original novel.
  • The Òrìṣà are the human form of the spirits (Irunmọlẹ) sent by the Supreme God in the Yoruba traditional account of the dawn of time.
    • Irunmọlẹ guide creation and particularly humanity on how to live and succeed on Earth (Ilé Ayé).
    • Irunmọlẹ are primordial deities previously existing in the spirit world (Òrun), the most well known Òrìṣàa are Irunmọlẹ as well. Osun/Oshun is an example.
    • Some humans are said to be deified, recognized and elevated as deities upon their deaths due to extraordinary feats during their lives on Ilé Ayé. Shango is one example.
  • In contrast to most Old Gods, the Orishas are among those who are more benevolent towards humans, like the Jesuses.