Elegua: Who is it? How to take care of it, history and more

Elegua Image

Elegua who is considered an Orisha Of great relevance in the Rule of Osha-Ifa or Santeria, it must be attended before any other, since, it is considered the transmitter of the offerings to the other Orishas, ​​therefore, it must be entertained in the same way to inform them of the works to be carried out and the request of the request. Ultimately, all ceremonies begin by giving you knowledge of what will take place.

Who is Elegua?

It is recognized by the names: Elegua, Eleggua, Elegba, Elegbara, Legba, Elewa. In Santeria Elegua It can be found on the corners, the crossroads, the roads, the entrances and exits of the city, the mountain and the savannah. Reach earth through the oddun Ogbe Ate (Odu Isalaye of Elegua). Elegua is a traveler in constant movement. It symbolizes an ethereal element, energy in business, commerce, jobs, travel, changes, revolution, languages, the concrete mind. Considered a major Orisha. Holder of the keys to the paths of destiny. Porter of the border between misfortune and happiness. He is the first of the group known as: the warriors (Elegua, Ogún and Ochosi).

It is clear that for the Yoruba culture and its derived practices, the Orishas come to fulfill an intermediary role between the humans incarnated on this earthly plane and the sacred trilogy: OloddumareOlofi, Olorum. They consider that almighty God does not intervene in the vicissitudes of the course of human life, since, for this, he granted that power to the Orishas. Thus, each Orisha has powers and virtues, through which, intervenes in the circumstances of men according to the need of the case.

Relationship between Elegua and Eshu

In Nigeria Eleggua is known as Is U (Eshu). Its scope is such that without the participation of Eshu the ritual practice would not exist. His intervention by not taking it into account would obstruct the benefactor energy channels and activate the harmful pathways for human beings. That is why it is feared and adored. Therefore, it is necessary to insist on clarifying that the practitioners of the Yoruba and Afro-American religion do not see Eshu as a demonic deity. He is simply a spirituality that balances this plane.

In Santeria or the Rule of Osha, Eshu is related to Eleggua. However, Elewa, is more docile and gentle; in the case of Eshu, his unattached energy moves at great speed in all places acting at his pleasure and influencing all existing creatures. The duo: Eshu Elegua presents the undeniable reference between the positive and the negative. Two parallel energies in themselves that walk hand in hand and always represent a contrast, but that undeniably must be entertained to avoid setbacks and drive sacrifices to their desired destination.

Normally, the foundation of Elegua rests on the doorstep of homes, while Eshu can be easily located in external areas. They represent the border between two energies that perfectly balance, the security of the home and the danger and unexpected outside.

Elegua is bad?

It is necessary to understand that talking about Elegua is not talking about witchcraft. Elegua is beyond good or evil. It embodies a balance that punishes or benefits equally. It represents the perfect balance in nature, being able to cause havoc or rewards to its followers, depending on their behaviors.

He is aware of the disorders that harm humanity and their solutions. Their actions always have a justified motivation even though in some cases it can be difficult to understand. In other words, "Eleggua never acts irrationally."

Elegua told Orunmila:

My friend is the one who feeds me and respects me, while my enemies are those who despise me and starve me ...

Elegua. Santeria: Afro-descendant religion.

How is this Orisha?

According to the path (scale or avatar that the Orisha represents), it can be personified Elegua as a mischievous and greedy child; in other cases with a jovial, energetic and dynamic personality; other images describe him as a strong and virile man or a very old man.

It can be as benevolent as it is relentless. Calm and protective while indifferent. Its energy represents the constant ambiguity of nature and therefore a balance. Knowledgeable of all the paths between the physical and spiritual and of all the possible pitfalls. With a very delicate character that leads him to resent the slightest fault received.  

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Characteristics of this Orisha

Colors: White, Red and Black

Elegua's colors are red and black (white on some occasions), her necklaces are made with beads of those colors. representing life and death, the beginning and the end, war and tranquility, the one and the other.

His day is Monday. Its number is 3 or any of its multiples, especially 21. It is usually honored on June 13, thanks to syncretism. Eleggua is cheerful, humorous, he likes to make jokes, he can also be implacable and severe.


Its foundation is constituted by a stone consecrated to Elegua under the corresponding rituals of the Osha rule, accompanied by a hand of snails (21 cowries) given to initiates in Santeria, which is used for the usual divination work of the Olorisha ( consecrated). In the rule of Ifa, "Eshu" is based on a mass of cement, with a stone (Otá), cowrie snails that represent its eyes and mouth; in the company of a secret cargo depending on the way; subjected in the same way, to the respective ritual by the Babalawos.

The Image of Elegua

Image of elgua

Elegua's image is represented with clothing and accessories that include a small vest, tight knee-length trousers and a crossbody bag on the chest, usually made of sackcloth or cotton fabrics. red and black color; he uses a straw hat, with a power cane known as a “doodle” made from sticks obtained from the guava plant. You can not miss güiritos loaded with brandy.

Elegua history

Elegua history

Much has been said about this Orisha, but let's go back to the beginnings of Elegua history that begins in an African tribe that the King and his wife had a son whom they called: Eleggua. Once, during the adolescence of that Prince, he went out for a walk until he reached a crossroads, that is, where four roads joined; After stopping for a long time, he observed on the floor a dry coconut that emanated a light of its own, immediately picking it up.

Without hesitation, he brought the amazing object to the palace, telling his parents about the strange light he had observed in it. No one believed such a story, so he ended up abandoning it. Once on the ground, the coconut rolled until it was hidden behind a palace door. Until one day, in which many important characters of that kingdom were present, the coconut again emanated those inexplicable lights, surprising and frightening everyone present.

Three days after that event, the young Prince died and during the time that his funeral services lasted, the coconut kept shining, for which he was feared and respected by all.

With the passage of time the town was filled with conflicts and losses. The elders of that region after much deliberation concluded that this situation was motivated by the state of abandonment in which the coconut left by Eleggua was found, so they decided to worship it. However, when looking for it, they realized that it was in very bad condition due to the passage of time, so they decided to replace it with a stone that had the ability to last in perfect condition regardless of its age.

This story symbolizes the birth and origin of Eleggua. As well established by a Yoruba proverb that says: "Ikú lobí Osha", which translates into: "the dead gave birth to the saint." The death of the Prince resulted in the worship of his spirituality by his descendants through the stone as an element that replaced the coconut.

What are Elegua's children like?

Elegua's children Upon being consecrated they receive their guardian angel twice, both foundations are known as: Elegua Vocero and Elegua de cabecera. His children are intelligent, sociable, charismatic, eloquent, travelers, outgoing, enthusiastic, agitated, curious, convincing, persuasive, pleasant, kind and charming; lovers of parties, food and drink, music, children and the pleasure of socializing with others.

In the same way, to balance this nature as it usually happens with everything that concerns Eleggua, her children in contrast to the above may be: unstable, unsociable, fickle, withdrawn, restless, entangling, liars, indiscreet, swindlers, changeable nervous, prone to illicit, superficial and self-centered activities, with thoughts that make them consider themselves more skilled and intelligent than others.

Santo or Kari Osha names for your children

  • Eshu Okuboro:
  • The one who kills quickly.
  • Eshu Elegua Alaleilu.
  • The cloak of the devil.
  • Eshu Yinka:
  • The watchman of the roads.
  • Alaibode:
  • King or Lord of the Roads.
  • Eshu Aquileyo:
  • Eleggua Picaro and unruly.
  • Elewa Okan Laroye: The heart of Eleggua.
  • Eshu Iba Owo: The gourd of money.
  • Eshu Dina: Eleggua de la candela.

How to attend Elegua?

It can be given to Elegua offerings such as: varied sweets (especially those made with guavas and coconuts), desserts, candies and other sweets, yams, popcorn, cane liquor, tobacco leaves, roasted corn, fish and powdered smoked jutía; You are also offered fresh water or coconut water, a head of white candle; Honey and palm oil, better known as "corojo butter", is smeared on it.

His favorite fruits are guavas, coconut and tropical fruits, they are usually sprinkled with honey. Your favorite adimú could be whole fish fried with corojo butter (usually sardines are added). Also, they are offered corn or yam buns wrapped in banana leaves and balls made with the same ingredients in multiples of 3. This Orisha is given money, piñatas are also offered, and parties to which many children are invited .

That eats?

A Eshu Elegua Goats and goats, chickens and chicks (gio gio), roosters, mice, jutías, deer, jicoteas, chickens and pigs are sacrificed to him.

In some cases, doves and bananas are offered to him through very specific ceremonials and under his authorization, since these animals constitute a taboo for Eleggua.

Fruits for elegua


A great variety of herbs are attributed to it, among which we can highlight: white piglet, canutillo, grass or fine grass, guava, atiponlá or tostón, yellow aroma or vira mundo, dominador or rascabarriga, corn, cress, marjoram, yam, tobacco, mouse eye, paradise, pica pica, chicken leg, pineapple pine nut, remove the curse, scrape tongue, siguaraya.

A great variety of herbs are attributed to it, among which we can highlight: white piglet, canutillo, grass or fine grass, guava, atiponlá or tostón, yellow aroma or vira mundo, dominador or rascabarriga, corn, cress, marjoram, yam, tobacco, mouse eye, paradise, pica pica, chicken leg, pineapple pine nut, remove the curse, scrape tongue, siguaraya.

Roads of Elegua

It is said that there are 21, 101 and even 121 Elegua paths or avatars of this Orisha, who are always preceded by the name "Eshu". An example of them are:

  • Elegua Añaki or Añagui (Eshu Añaguí): It's a Elegua woman, considered the mother of all Elegua. Guardian of Odduduwa and his secret.
  • Elegua Laroye (Eshu Laroye): He is a naughty and revolutionary boy who hides behind doors.
  • Elegua Eshu Bi (Eshu Bi): Quarrelsome and malicious, he lives in the mountains, he is syncretized with the soul alone.
  • Elewa Afra (Eshu Afra): The color of this Elegua is black and white. He is Asojano's partner, he lives in hospitals.
  • Elegua Alaguana (Eshu Alaguana): He manages the Egungún, he lives deep in the forest, he is an excellent sorcerer.
  • Eleggua Baralayiki (Eshu Bara Alayiki): Turbulent, rumbero, very gluttonous and drinker.
  • Elewa Barakikeño (Eshu Barakinkeño): He is a mischievous child and prone to doing evil.

Elegua in the Catholic Religion (Syncretism)

Elegua that is so dynamic and it is kept in constant movement, it has been related to the Anima Sola, the Santo Niño de Atocha, San Francisco and San Roque. Even as the same demon Elewa has been interpreted. It could be said that it has a variety of representations.

But, in the Catholic religion, that is, its syncretism as such, acquires greater relevance with Saint Anthony, who in parallel is an all-powerful protector who is always very close to his devotees and who has the ability to always adapt to their needs, allowing them to his cult can be incessantly renewed, in the same way that Elegua does.

In addition, there are innumerable prayers collected in traditional Spanish songbooks and romanceros related to that saint, which indicate superstitions associated with the need to pray his prayers 3 times because it is the perfect number, and as we already know, 3 is the most representative number of this Orisha.

The Antonian cult spread enormously thanks to the action of the Franciscan order, with the support of the monarchy it had a decisive role in its dissemination, in fact, it is considered that thanks to them, the image of Saint Anthony was known all over the world. world, since the Spanish and Portuguese colonizers were accompanied by Franciscan friars on all their journeys, being another important point that would determine their syncretism, since it highlights the natural characteristic of Eleggua to be in all places and on all roads .

On the other hand, San Antonio also has traditions related to the military. These powers were born in Portugal in the seventeenth century during the peninsular wars and intensified during the struggles against the French. Consequently, he was the depositary of faith in the victory that the soldiers entrusted to him, a characteristic that can be compared to Eleggua when he is considered a Warrior.

Prayers to Elegua

Prayer or prayer in praise of the Warrior who is the Divine Messenger

The royo aki loyo. Aguro tente lonu. Apa Gunwa. K'a ma sese  are'you tunse.

(It is you who can look at Oyo without being in Oyo. You have evaporated the red hat on your head. The prodigal son who enjoys sitting in the real place indicated for him. If we have an accident, the head of this household corrects him for U.S).

Oba mule omo coat. O coalo ofofo. O coalo òneither nor. O coalo to ni kan.

(The King negotiated with the boy who wore shoes because he is the owner of the stories. He is the one who gives us stability with money because he makes sure that it is enough).

Ofo omo ro Ogun olona. Alajiki to júbà. TOse.

(The children's spell appeases the spirit of El Hierro, the master of the road, whom everyone greets by retreating, we pay our respects. Ashé).

Prayer for love

Elegua, Orisha with power over all things, owner of all paths.

Senior of the way my father, grant me a fresh path that leads me to love

Take all the bad and all the delay to be able to walk towards my true love.

May there be no loss, no separation, no setback, no revolution.

On behalf of all the children of the house, I thank you Elegua my father, Ashe.

Song of Elegua

Through the songs Elegua is drawn and its propitiated energy to obtain the blessings that we are looking for. A very popular Elegua song is as follows:

Akuón: Bara loyuro sokeboda

Omoni Alagwana komamakeña irawo e.

Translation: The business has come before us. We pray that this is allowed to be good for your children today. Do not follow the problems that the stars / the sky send us.

Chorus: Bara suayu

Omoni Alagwana komamakeña irawo e.

Bara suayu

Eké Eshu Odara

Omoni Alagwana komamakeña irawo e.

Translation: The business is before your children, today we pray that you do not follow the problems that the stars / the sky send us. The business if it exists, it is present. Eshu has been appeased. It's good for this land and its children today

Cantos (Suyere) of Elewa:

So mo júbà Òrìsà Mo júbà o. Mo Júbà òrìsà

The authority, I pay tribute to Òrìsà.
I pay tribute. I pay tribute to Òrìsà.

Mo júbà o. Mo júbà Òrìsà

I pay tribute. I pay tribute to Òrìsà

Àsẹ mo júbà Òrìsà

Authority. I pay tribute to Òrìsà.

Ìbà Òrìsà ìbà alàyé or, àsẹ Mo júbà

Tribute to Òrìsà homage to the owner of the world. Authority I pay homage

Ìbà òrìsà ìbà alàyé or,

Tribute to Òrìsà

Tribute to the owner of the world

Àsẹ mo júbà

Authority I pay homage

L - Ìbà (a) rá (Ò) gọ Àgò mo júbà

Tribute to the family of the garrote. Make way, I pay homage

Ọmọdé kóni'ko ìbà (Ò) 'gọ. Àgò mo júbà Elegua Èsù l'ònà

Child who teaches the doctrine of beneficial homage to the lineage, Make way, I pay homage to Ẹlégbá, Èsu is the one who owns the way.

Sóńsó abẹ Sóńsó

A pointed knife, a pointed knife,

Òdàrà ko l'erí É yò Baba se (ẹ) mi

The charmer has no head for you to mock Him.

Parent who blocks and restricts breathing.

Works (Ebbo) with Elegua

Work to solve problems:

3 small cooked fish are prepared for him. They are left to cool and palm oil (corojo butter) is spread on one side and cocoa butter on the other. Make 3 balls with honey, fish and smoked jutía powder. Each of the balls is placed in the mouth of each fish. They are presented to Eleggua and asked. The next day they are taken to the mountain or to different corners, as the Saint wishes.

Work with Elegua to open the roads:

Make three cornmeal buns. Honey, brandy, fish and powdered smoked jutía and corojo butter are added to the dough, it is wrapped with banana leaves, they are put to cook and after being properly cooked they are allowed to cool. The interested person is cleaned in front of Elegua with each bun or tamale, giving him knowledge of the reason for the work, they are placed 3 days at the foot of Eleggua and then they are taken to the mountain.

Work with for love:

It is made dust with cress and lodestone, it is watched at the foot of Elegua for three days and knowledge is given. He is asked on the third day if he is ready and is thrown into his hands, with that powder he touches the person he wishes to attract by invoking the dominating action of Elegua.

Ebbo to dominate and love tie:

A chicken, two pigeons, the chicken for Eleguá and you stick out your tongue and say:

"Eleguá this is the language of so-and-so, so and so can not have harsh words for such.

The two doves are given to Obatalá and it is said the same and with the three languages ​​and the name of the person, orí, efún, an atiponla root, quiet balsam oil, punctured and white thread, a cigar end or the trace of the desired person; All this is put on a cotton ball, then the name of the dominator is chalked over the name of the one who wants to dominate, then a piece of yam is taken and the Inshe is put inside and covered with the same yam, it is anointed orí, and efún on the outside, is put inside Baba and it is said:

"Father Elewa, so and so are here so that I will never let them fight that they are together always."

Elegua phrases

Elegua says: "He who leaves me behind, does not get me forward"

Elewa says: "Intelligence dominates force."

Patakie or Histora de Elegua:

When ELEGBA was left one-eyed.

The Orisha Elegua, walking on course, reached a land where a river crossed it, where on the other side there was another land, the first land was very firm but it lacked everything and its inhabitants were used to having everything without working for their fortress, and here Oya was the wise one and had called attention that it was necessary to find a way to work, in order to survive, but she was never heard and Elegua, seeing that, spoke with Oshun, who wanted to go to the other shore or land that was on the other bank of the river and OSHUN, who was the owner of the river, said yes.

This strange way of thinking about this deity was because in the other land he saw it as wet and even muddy and its inhabitants were hardworking and there were trees, vines and dry leaves on the land, as they were also wiser, because Ikú, that she was the one who commanded, she was obeyed by all.

Elegua, the next day, ordered that many holes be opened and that they put sticks through them and leaves on top, so that he could hide when necessary where Elebara said: There is war here soon, and he went to the river and began to talk with Oshun , and this one told him that the war was about to break, and be careful when you go to sleep, do it with one eye closed and the other open, so that you can see everything.

This is how Elebara was and covered herself with the dry leaves, it caused that when the war came, people fell into the holes and stepped on his open eye, because he saw everything that was happening and when he stepped on his open eye, he was left one-eyed , where Ikú prevailed and remained commanding in this Ifá.

More about Elegua:

Learn more about the Warrior Orishas of the Yoruba religion:

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