OYA (pronounced OH-yah) is the Yoruban Goddess of the wind, fire, thunder, and earthquakes. She is the force of change--with her power over storms and her sword of truth, she clears the path for growth and action. In her role as Goddess of the wind, she is the breath in our bodies, and the one who carries us away to the otherworld when our breath ceases. Oya is also known as OYA-YANSAN which means "mother of nine"; the nine tributaries of the Niger River are her children, and she represents the power of all women to create life. She is a warrior Goddess, strong and courageous. Variations on her name include OIA, IANSA, and IANSAN, and epithets associated with her are "THE ONE WHO PUTS ON PANTS TO GO TO WAR" and "THE ONE WHO GROWS A BEARD TO GO TO WAR".
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