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The Orisha Ogun In Maleficent

The Orisha Ogun In Maleficent. | IMAGE: The Pew Centre

The idea of a supreme being is very prevalent in every society religion and thought. This seems to have aided in fulfilling self-purpose in life and understanding one’s position and role. It also assists in letting go of what the human brain and understanding cannot phantom by scientific understanding and reasoning. 

Ogun is a very popular and feared god among the Yoruba pantheon of gods, called the god of iron and war. He is known for his creativity alongside his destructive nature which amounts to the misunderstood nature of his aura.

Usually, humans would always break the laws of nature; Ogun thus stands as the guardian to execute the repercussion of such actions. For this, he is feared. Despite that, when called on Ogun comes to the plight of his followers, blessing and protecting them.

In present times, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka reverences Ogun as his patron, asides being his muse and inspiration, likewise his compatriots in literature.

In Soyinka’s Myth, Literature and the African world, he says “Ogun is the master craftsman and artist, farmer, warrior, essence of destruction and creativity, a recluse and a gregarious imbiber, a reluctant leader of men and deities”.

All these words clearly describe the nature and elements of the most revered Ogun and the frightening Maleficent who is a true example of “do not judge a book by its cover.”

The wrath and power Ogun has thus been explored extensively in literature since it has habitually been the mirror of the society, therefore, depicting, portraying thus documenting series and stories of the supreme being that we watch or read getting carried away by what seems like fiction but not understanding its foundation in reality perhaps history.

The myth and legend of Ogun’s origin begin with his descend to earth and through his connection with the element iron, he creates a tool used to make a pathway for other gods. He is the most revered and feared due to his quick temper. Maleficent in her character displays being quick-tempered which just like Ogun makes her revered and feared.

The long-awaited Disney film “Maleficent” is out, and it is a story of good and evil. Though a cliché, it never gets old. Maleficent is a misunderstood character and thus terrified by all in the land. Being a dreaded creature who nurtures and grooms a human, this act is not convincing enough to mellow and water down the negative perception of this character.

Like all beings, she has in her existence the will to be good and bad though she would rather have them think the worst of her. The new release of the film has a lot portrayed in it with the glaring reversal of roles of good and evil highly represented through the colours of clothing and actions these characters let out. While white represents purity and good, in the film it represents evil.

Like Maleficent, Ogun is a misunderstood god in the Yoruba pantheon of gods, yet he is the most travelled and worshipped god of the Yoruba belief system.

Maleficent holds a lot in semblance to her male counterpart Ogun in character and will. Being a supreme being, a recluse and also the last of her kind, she holds more power than her newly found race.

Ogun is a walking army and these traits are evident with Maleficent. Just as Ogun, she is gifted with the ability to kill, destroy, bring life, and filled with creativity; having the dark side of a bad temper which when carried away by rage indiscriminately affects all.

In Soyinka’s Myth, Literature and the African world, he says “Ogun is the master craftsman and artist, farmer, warrior, essence of destruction and creativity, a recluse and a gregarious imbiber, a reluctant leader of men and deities”. All these words clearly describe the nature and elements of the most revered Ogun and the frightening Maleficent who is a true example of “do not judge a book by its cover.”

In an uncommon war among women, Maleficent fights for the protection of her daughter hence ready to burn down all and anything in her path. Due to this hot energy exhumed by Ogun same as Maleficent, they both have the power to instantaneously create and also destroy.

Nature too has been a fundamental part of the development of the world. For Ogun to exist in peace he secludes himself from the people living at the top of the hill while hunting to survive therefore having dominion over the forest, this is also relatable of Maleficent who also lives the same life of seclusion like a hermit in the forest.

The duality of Ogun in Maleficent is unmistakable as well as the symbolic use of colour they share in common. Traditionally Ogun’s colours are green, red, and black. And black being one of the colours of Ogun, Maleficent wears it well.

Undeniably the film portrays the betrayal of kind and the rivalry of these kinds. This persistent rivalry of kind has Maleficent feeling like a fish out of water and constantly seeking for a sense of belonging. Maleficent is filled with awe with she realises her kind living in hiding after they had long ago been threatened off the land. 

In this article:
Chinelo EzeMaleficent
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