Sango (Shango in Afro-cuban practice) is known as the owner of thunder and lightning. The god of courage, strength and male virility. He is Oyo’s king and Oya’s husband. It is the Orisa who came down to Earth through the beam sent by Olodumare to impose justice on enemies. He is known as the one who destroys his enemies with the 201 stones. His weapon is the ax.

Who is Sango?

When thunder falls on the ground the Sango priests are called to perform rituals to bring out the secret of this Orisa. This is known as the Ayooosa, person in charge of extracting the representation of this Yoruba deity.

As he is the Orisa of masculine virility, he cannot be represented under any circumstances in the figure of a woman because, certainly, he would not be consistent. This is one of the errors of Afro-Cuban practice, which has syncretized this warrior deity with Santa Barbara from the Catholic religion.

He is an Orisa who works hard to collaborate with the work of Olodumare, that is why he is one of the most popular Orisa within the Yoruba religion, both in Afro-Cuban and Traditional practice. Despite this, he is an Orisa who has important differences between both practices, from his representation to his propitiation.

Orisha Shango Sango

How to get initiated in Sango

The person who wishes to be initiated into Sango must first acquire knowledge of this Orisa. After she is able to take care of herself, she can begin her initiation with the babalawo with whom she receives her learning. We must remember that in Traditional Yoruba practice the person interested in initiation must acquire knowledge before initiating. Sango’s initiation is no exception. At Ilé Awo we help you check your knowledge of Ifá and the Orisa with the exclusive tests that you can find in Ojú Odù.

The initiations are not carried out by chance, because each initiation must have an objective in the person’s life and these are recommended in our Odu de Ifá, either the Isefa (first Ifá initiation) or the Itelodu (Ifá initiation) , as well as within divination with an Olorisa (a person initiated into an Orisa).

How to feed Sango

Sango is conducive to defeating enemies and male power and is represented by the ray stone (Edun Àrá) an ax-shaped stone, which is his most characteristic weapon of war, along with the sling. He is a warrior Orisa, but he is also the lord of the dance and of the Batá drums, which are used to anger him and also to placate him.


An adimu for Sango can be made with yam flour (Àmàlà), with Epo and with spicy.

Some taboo

He should not be propitiated with red-tailed walnut (Obi Abata) because we will awaken his anger.

Shango Festival in Oyo

Types of Sango in traditional practice

There is only one Sango. However, he has various nicknames, like many other Orisas in traditional Yoruba practice. Among his nicknames is Olu Koso, Sàngó Arékùjayé, Aláàrámokà tì dérù bojo, Káwòó kàbíè Sílè káárá wòó wòó wòó erroneously known in Afro-Cuban practice by Kabiosile, among others.