Brass and parrot feathers on a velvet skin.
White cowrie shells on black buttocks.
Her eyes sparkle in the forest,
like the sun on the river.
She is the wisdom of the forest.
She is the wisdom of the river.
Where doctors failed, she cures with fresh water.
Where medicine is impotent, she cures with cool water.
She cures the child and does not charge the father.
She feeds the barren woman with honey,
and her dry body swells up like a juicy palm fruit.
Oh how sweet is the touch of a child’s hand
Traditional Oriki from "Yoruba Myths" by Ulli Beier.
Photo of Temple of Oshun in Nigeria, by J. Oliveira.
Also in the Honor Section