(redirected from Orishas)
Related to Orishas: Yoruba


n. pl. o·ri·shas or orisha
1. Any of various spirits in West African and especially Yoruban religious belief that can interact directly with human beings, often ritually invoked to influence human affairs or communicate messages from the spirit world.
2. Any of various similar spirits in African-based syncretic religions such as Santería and Candomblé, often in which traditional African spirits are identified with Roman Catholic saints.

[Yoruba òrìṣà.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(əˈrɪʃə) or


(Other Non-Christian Religions) any of the minor gods or spirits of traditional Yoruba religion and its S American and Caribbean offshoots such as Santeria and Candomblé
[from Yoruba orisha and the Portuguese spelling orixá]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
Eighty-one works from the last six years of her too-brief career are displayed in seven sections addressing key themes: Afro Brazilian religions such as candomble and Umbanda and their personified spirits, known as orishas; self-portraits; couples; rural; urban; interiors; and popular events such as carnivals.
The system is essentially based on the events that took place in the first days when Olodumare, the creator, made the world and then sent the Orishas to create humans and fashion culture.
They often request favors from their orishas, rewarding them with gifts when these are granted and chastizing them when prayers go unanswered.
African Narratives of Orishas, Spirits and Other Deities
Some of the styles of dance you can expect to learn include samba, samba reggae, afoxe, maracatu and dances of the Orishas, all blended with a unique street funk and a West African twist.
(12) Although in Santeria these forces have been anthropomorphized and mythologized, most orishas have ambiguous characters and personalities, thus diverging from the dualistic perception of the good and evil of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
As alluded to in the previous example, part of this cosmovision also deals with the use of AfroCuban deities such as the orishas, a group of powerful entities akin to saints in Afro-Cuban religions.
Religion as Art: Guadalupe, Orishas, and Sufi is an anthology of essays by learned authors examining religious icons, and their spiritual value above and beyond symbolism.