Yoruba- The Creation of the Universe and Ife

The World of Ife


1. Narrator: In the beginning, only the sky was above and water and marshlands were below. Olorun, he had all the power! Not only this… but he was the ruler of the sky! And then there was Olokun. The goddess ruled the waters and marshes. It didn’t have any vegetation or life (wind noises)
Only the sky was above and the water and marshlands were below.

2. Obatala: (Sigh) Below is just so boring. I think what we really need is life! Everything is soaked and wet; things need to change around here. Let me go talk to Olorun, because seriously conditions are stolid!
Orunmila's gold chain
3. Olorun: Well, I do agree with you. But the only problem is, I don’t know who is capable of doing such a thing. If you can find a way, you have my permission.

4. Obatala: Don’t you worry about it! Now that I have your permission I can get started. Let me go straight to Orunmila for he has wisdom
5. Obatala: Can you help me create new land, I can’t do it myself and I know you can help me.
6. Orunmila: Ok ok, I will help you but it is not going to be easy. I am going to need you to get a long gold chain. The longest you can possibly find.


7. Obatala: (Footsteps) Is this enough gold?
8. Olorun: No, not really, but I guess we can still make a pretty long chain.
9. Narrator: Olorun fixed one end of the gold chain to the heavens above and preceded to lower Obatala downward. With him, Obatala brought a
Obatala's black cat
black cat, a sand-filled shell, a white hen, and a palm nut.
10. Olorun: You are going to run out of chain. That’s ok my friend. Use the sand! Now use the hen for it will scatter the sand.
11. Obatala: I like this place. I will call it…IFE! Boy I really do like this land. I think I will plant the palm nut first. When it grows, I can use the bark to build my house and the
Palm tree that Obatala uses to build his house.
leaves for my roof (digging noises)
12. Obatala: With only the cat for company, I am getting lonely in this darkness. Chameleon, will you tell Olorun to send some sun?

13. Chameleon: I shall do that

14. Obatala: I am just so alone right now. I love my cat, but it doesn’t do much for me (sigh)
Hmm, let me make humans out of clay. But first let me drink some palm wine.
15. Narrator: It wasn’t long until he was drunk.
One of Obatala's deformed villagers of Yoruba
Ok I think I’m happy with what I have now. Olorun, oh Olorun where are you! Can you transform these clay figurines into real humans? I need friendship, so please!

17. Olorun: I must respect his wishes and transform these deformed clay humans into real people.
18. Obatala: (Yawn) Oh wow was I drunk?
Palm wine that Obatala drinks.
Oh my gosh, what have I created? None of the humans are normal looking. What to do, what to do? I am never ever going to get drunk again. I cannot run away either, now I must devote myself to my deformed people of Yoruba village in Ife. I will look after them with all my heart (ticking noises)

19. Obatala: As time has gone by, I am getting very bored of being the ruler. Why don’t I just spend half the time at home and the other half down below? Oh it’s perfect!
20. Olorun: Many of the kings are pleased with your city, but never forget they are your responsibility.
21. Olorun: “One thing to remember Obatala, you will have to protect them and listen to their prayers. I must give you some task to do while you are down there.”
22. Narrator: Not every god was happy about Obatala’s success, especially Olokun. Olokun was very angry that Obatala was taking control of HER territory.
Mad Olokun!
23. Olokun: (angrily) Obatala has not right to take over my marsh lands! I must conceive a plan to destroy the human race he has created down there.” (Sounds of waves)

Narrator: When Obatala returned to the heavens, Olokun created
"Big waves to destroy everything on Obatala's land."
big waves to destroy everything on Obatala’s land. People died and plants were ripped out of the soil. The survivors went to the hills and begged Eshu, a god, to help them warn Obatala about the flood.

25. Survivors: (pleadingly) Please Eshu! Help us warn Obatala! Our people are drowning and our land is getting destroyed!
26. Eshu: “First you must sacrifice an offering to the gods or else they won’t listen to you.”
27. Eshu: (selfishly) I need an offering, too. Thank you for your goats. Obatala, let me warn Obatala,
28. Obatala: “Orunmila, what can we do to stop Olokun!”
29. Orunmila: (reassuringly) “Obatala, don’t worry. Sit and relax. Watch me appease these waters and make the land appear once again.” (Indiana Jones soundtrack)
30. Narrator: Orunmila slid down the golden chain and abated the waves. Olokun’s attempt to recover her lands had FAILED! The people shouted for joy.
31. People: (happily) “Our hero! Stay with us and protect us!
32. Orunmila: “I do not want to stay her, but I’ll stay long enough to teach you some of my tricks.


33. Olokun: With my master weaving skills, I will challenge Olorun to a weaving contest (evil laugh)
34. Olorun: What to do? She is an expert and I am only mediocre compared to her skills. I must not let her know that. I must appear superior and discreetly get out of the challenge. I know what to do! I will send a chameleon to go before Olokun to pretend to test out her skills. This is a great plan indeed.
Chameleon 35. Chameleon: I am here to see if your skills are even worth competing against. Are you good enough to challenge Olorun?

36. Narrator: As Olokun displayed her brilliantly colored clothing, the Chameleon mimicked all the colors she produced until she gave up for she had no more.
37. Olokun: If a lonely messenger can match my colors, then imagine what a great god can do! Tell Olokun that I recognize him to be my superior and rescind my challenge.
38. Narrator: From that point on, the gods remained in unity and all the peace that was once lost was once again restored (appluase).