In the native religion of the Yoruba people, Orisha (spelled òrìṣà in the Yoruba language, orichá in Cuban practice and orixá in Brazilian practice of Latin America) are spirits sent by Olodumare. for the guidance of all creation and of humanity in particular, on how to live and be successful on Àiyé (Earth). Most Òrìṣà are said to have previously existed in the spirit world (òrún) as Irumole, and then become incarnated as human beings here on Earth. Others are said to be humans who are recognised as deities upon their death due to extraordinary feats accomplished in life.
Many Òrìṣà have found their way to most of the New World as a result of the Atlantic slave trade and are now expressed in practices as varied as Santería, Candomblé, Trinidad Orisha, Umbanda, and Oyotunji, among others. The concept of orisha is similar to those of deities in the traditional religions of the Bini people of Edo State in southern Nigeria, the Ewe people of Benin, Ghana, and Togo, and the Fon people of Benin.
Orishas, Goddesses and Voodoo Queens: The Divine Feminine in the African Religious Traditions