Oxossi Kills the Witches´ Bird
Every year, to celebrate the harvest of the yams,
the king of Ifé held a grand celebration.
That year, the ceremony was going smoothly
when a big with huge wings landed on the roof of the palace.The bird was monstrous and terrifying.
The people were scared and asked where it came from.
The bird was sent by the witches,
the Iá Mi Oxorongá, our mother witches,
offended because they were not invited.
The bird threatened to ruin the party,
the people ran in fear.
And the king called upon the best hunters in the kingdom to kill the huge bird.
From Idô, came Oxotogum with his twenty arrows.
From Morê, came Oxotogi with his forty arrows.
From Ilarê, came Oxotadotá with his fity arrows.
They promised the king that they would destroy the perverse beast,
Or lose their own lives.
Nothing worked, in the end, for the three odés.
They wasted their arrows and failed.
They were imprisoned by order of the king.
Finally from Irém came Oxotoncanxoxô,
the hunter with only one arrow.
If he failed, he would be executed
along with those who preceded him.
Scared for the life of her son,
the mother of the hunter went to the babalaô
and he recommended that the desperate mother
make an ebó to please the witches.
The mother of Oxotocanxoxô sacrificed a chicken.
In this moment, Oxotocanxoxô took his ofá, his bow,
pointed it with great attention and shot his only arrow.
And killed the terrible pernicious bird.
The sacrifice had been accepted.
The Iá Mi Oxorongá were placated.
The hunter received honors and half of the riches of the kingdom.
The imprisoned hunters were liberated and everyone celebrated.
Everyone sang to honor Oxotocanxoxô.
The hunter was very popular.
They sang in his honor, calling him Oxossi,
that in the language of the place meant, “The Hunter Oxô is Popular”.
Since then Oxossi has been his name.
You can find this book, filled with many wonderful myths, in the FICA-DC archives (in very easy to read Portuguese).