Ore Yeye O & Omi O Yemaya: Goodness and Water Shout Outs!

Each orisha has a series of praises that are exclaimed at important times in ceremonies and celebrations. For example, when you hear someone singing for Elegua, you may hear a cry of “Laroye!” It is a way of honouring the deities, and flattering them. Two of the most commonly heard praises are for Oshun and Yemaya, and these are also the ones most commonly misspelled.

It is ORE YEYE Onot Ori Yeye O. Ore means goodness, and also denotes spreading, therefore the praise phrase can be rendered as Mother of Goodness.
Omi O Yemaya! Is an exclamation, something akin to Yemaya’s Water, or, Water of Yemaya! Denoting to watch out because just like water, Yemaya is expansive, fundamental for life and worthy of great respect. Confusingly, you could also write it as O mio Yemaya! which would be a natural assumption to Spanish speakers as it sounds like, Oh my Yemaya!
Let’s spread goodness, Ore Yeye oooo!
 
And let’s respect our mother’s element, Omi oooo Yemaya!

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