The Origin Of The Iyewa Lagoon( An African Myth)

The Iyewa lagoon located in Ogun State, Nigeria  is  said to have been a woman.


The story runs that a poor woman, named Iyewa, had two children, whom she had a hard struggle to support; but she used every day to go with them into the forest to gather firewood, which she carried to the town and sold for food.

One day, when following her customary avocation, she and the children, finding wood scarce, wandered further into the forest than usual, and, when it was time to return, they could not find their way out. They walked hither and thither looking for the path, but in vain, and at last, tired out and tormented with thirst, they lay down to rest under a large tree. This rested their limbs, but their thirst increased, and the two children filled the forest with their lamentations, crying to their mother for water.

The poor woman, half distracted, sprang to her feet, and again searched in every direction for the path and for water, but fruitlessly, and when at last she returned to her children she found them almost at the last gasp. Then, prostrating herself upon the earth, she called upon the gods to come to her assistance and save her children.

The gods listened to her prayer, and Iyewa was at once changed into a lagoon, at which the children drank and so recovered; while next day they were found by neighbours who had come in search of them, and taken back to the town.

When the children grew up they built a house by the side of the lagoon, which, in memory of their , they called Odo Iyewa, “The Lagoon of Iyewa.”



  1. There are great many great stories of Yoruba Orishas in Alex Cuoco’s book “African Narratives of Orishas, Spirits and Other Deities”, available on His 998 page book is very informative and a great asset to any home library. The above Yewa story is in that book and is told with great details. Check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

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