Ask the Yoruba “Who is God?” and they will answer by saying, “He is Olorun” or “Olodumare” or both together. According to Idowu, Olodumare is the traditional name of the Supreme Being and Olorun, although commonly used in popular language, appears to have gained its predominating currency in consequence of Christian and Muslim influence on Yoruba life and thought. As among some other African people, the concept of Olodumare is discernible from the names, myths, sayings, and attributes of God.


The riddle of the word remains in doubt. Its esoteric character, however, suggests it is of ancient origin. Idowu explains that Olodumare is a compound word derived from two words: odu and mare, and the prefix ol results from the word Ont, which means “owner of,” ...

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