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The demonization of Esu and Ekwensu

Started by Omowale, Oct 17, 2022, 03:10 PM

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Omowale

In this thread I will be expressing my thoughts about the article: THE HELLENIZATION OF AFRICAN TRADITIONAL DEITIES:THE CASE OF EKWENSU AND ESU

When I have time I will be noting what I find interesting. Please feel free to join me. I would love to hear insight from others. The article will discuss the demonization of Esu and Ekwensu (Igbo). These two important spiritual beings are both described as negotiators and bargainers. Likewise both were translated by Christian missionaries to mean "Satan". Which has contributed to the spread of misinformation, misunderstanding, discrimination and demonization of both Yoruba and Igbo traditionalists.

Esu


Ekwensu
~Manifest destiny from within~

Omowale

According to the author, the rebranding of Esu to the Christian "Satan" can be traced back to Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who was kidnapped in 1821 from Osogun by slavers. His mother and siblings were also kidnapped. Later he converted to Christianity and became a leading missionary in promoting Christianity in West Africa. He was also at the forefront of translating the Bible into Yoruba. Apparently he was responsible for the Yoruba adaption of "Jesus" to Jesu. The author references the article "Esu: The Revenge of Bishop Ajayi Crowther", that apparently argues that Ajayi Crowther may have chose to demonize Esu this way as an act of revenge against his people for selling his family into slavery... I will have to find this article to dig up more.

The author also describes Ekwensu as a being that would be held responsible for people who commit random violent acts and chaos. Though the author did not really dig into detail about Igbo missionaries. Which is disappointing. I will dig deeper into this.
~Manifest destiny from within~

Omowale

Oh and here is a poem "Ekwensu" written by Mogo (2016) that the author references:

QuoteViolence to the language
is violence to the soul is
violence to a people is
violence to their history is
violence to their future is
violence to their identity is
tangible violence
Like Ekwensu
the trickster in our cosmology, simplified
into a white God's black devil so chi
became a white God and chukwu
became a white God and ekwensu
became evil this is what they do to us,
simplify us fit our glory into a story
where they are the hero flatten our
hair, our noses, our tongue whip us into
conformity then blame us for the mess
they left
and the mess we have made
of the mess that they left
Sorry ekwensu
for how they destroyed your reputation how
they maligned your character how, because
they did not u
nderstand you they decided to
spread vicious lies about you
you go on being you who
cares what they say?
~Manifest destiny from within~