Obatalá is the father of all the orishas and all humanity. Obatalá is the owner of all things that are white, as well as the human head and all of its thoughts and dreams. Though it was Olorun who created the universe, it is Obatalá who is the creator of the world and humanity. Obatala is the owner of all heads, because it is said that he molded the bodies of humans before Olodumare breathed life into them. As such, Obatala protects all people, and acts as a guardian for those who do not yet know who their tutelary orisha is. Obatala’s shrine is always placed higher than any other orisha in the home.

Obatalá is the source of all that is pure, wise peaceful and compassionate. Obatala encourages us to be patient and to handle matters with calm and reason. He has a warrior side though through which he enforces justice in the world. Obatalá is the only orisha that has both male and female paths.

He is always dressed in white and all of his offerings are white to reflect his spiritual purity and the coolness of his energy. White is our most sacred color because it represents Obatala. When devotees attend ceremonies we wear white clothing to surround ourselves with Obatala’s protective energy.

  • Number: 8
  • Color: white
  • Offerings: meringues, pears, green grapes, white yams (ñame)
  • Eleke: white
  • Sacred Place in Nature: hills, mountains or high places
  • Temperament: Calm, reasonable, quiet