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What are Orisha and the Manitou in the Context of Divinity?

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  • What are Orisha and the Manitou in the Context of Divinity?

    Creating this thread since my question on the answer thread was unanswered. Basically I’m just wondering if there was anyone knowledable enough to help clarify some stuff for me. Now on to the question.

    What are the Orisha and Manitou in the context of Divinity. Now I know no that these two don't really consider themselves as Gods in the classical sense, thus I wanted to ask on what they do consider themselves as.

    Orisha's consider themselves to more on a monotheistic point then the others, that is they believe there is a big great God at the center of everything. Then what are the Orisha then? If there not Gods then what are they and there place in Yoruban cosmology. They aren't mortals tho they have lived and ruled in actual kingdoms as kings, so they are closer to humanity then distant Gods would be, but what is their position? What are Orisha?

    Similar question for the Manitou, from what I gather Manitou consider themselves like spirits. That there is a spirit for everything and that is a Manitou. This what are the Manitou that we have in the Pantheon line up. What makes them different from the other smaller Manitou. Do they represent things so broad that they have such a special place? Also what qould have been there relationship with their believers? If there not Gods why would people invoke them and try to appease them. What do they represent for such a thing, are they considered to be different from the other minor manitou?

    Basically that's my question. Hope it ain't much, just wishing to understand it better


  • #2
    I guess you could say that they're not gods in the technical sense, but they're still at about the same level in terms of influence on the world and general cosmological role.

    With the Manitou (and the Kami, amongst others), only the absolute mightiest of their kind would be considered divine. Most Manitou would just be considered spirits, but the ones on the pantheon roster are unquestionably divine-tier at least.

    With the Orisha, I feel like the issue stems from two distinct definitions of what constitutes a god. The Orisha are very similar to "Pagan" gods in terms of how they act and manifest, but they use the actual word "God" in the same way as in the Abrahamic religions, a supreme omnipotent being, which in game terms we would call a Primordial.

    Every pantheon has a distinct definition as to what constitutes a god, and some pantheons don't even like to use that word. "God" in the game sense just roughly refers to powerful, anthropomorphic beings of rough equivalence in role with the traditional-style pantheons like the Theoi. It's tricky to come up with an exact definition, and there's tons of debate as to which beings qualify. Are the Archangels gods? Which beings are gods, which are Titans, and which are Primordials? It's quite a subjective thing honestly.