Orishas are manifestations of the supreme divinity Olodumare in the traditional religions of the Yoruba people in West Africa.
Orishas are manifestations of the supreme divinity Olodumare in the traditional religions of the Yoruba people in West Africa (YTR). They are also known as Voduns in the Dahomean (now Benin) religion (also known as Vodun). To diminish their beliefs, slave traders and colonisers used to tell that African people were polytheists (worshipping several gods).
These traditional African spiritualities were brought to the Americas via the Atlantic slave trade. You can find the same divinities in Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda, Cuban Santeria, Haitian Vodou, Trinidad Shango etc...
Orishas represent forces of Nature. They provide a connection between the supreme divinity and humans (as there's no way for humans to grasp this unfathomable power of creation).
It is said that there is an infinite number of Orishas. These are a few of the principal ones.
Eshu (Eleggua, Exú, Esu, Elegba, Legbara, Papa Legba)
Eshu is the messenger between the human and divine worlds, god of duality, crossroads and beginnings, and also a phallic and fertility god (a god of Life) and the delieverer of souls to the underworld (a god of Death). Eshu is recognized as a trickster and child-like.
Oya (Oyá, Oiá, Iansã, Yansá, Iansan, Yansan)
Warrior deity; divinity of the wind, sudden change, hurricanes, and underworld gates, a powerful sorceress and primary lover of Shango.