As the Orisha of change, She brings down the dead wood to make room for the new, and She uses Her machete or sword to clear a path for new growth. She is believed to watch over the newly dead and assist them as they make the transition from life. She is equated with the Vodou Lwa Maman Brijit, Who, like Oya, guards graveyards.
Oya is the Orisha of the Niger River, and Her violent rainstorms are said to be its source. Like Oshun, She is worshipped not only in Africa but in Brazil, where the Amazon is said to be Her river, and where She is equated with the Virgin Mary as Our Lady of La Candelaria. Oya, who is an Orisha of a very fiery demeanor, also seems to have a far-flung connection with the Celtic Bride or Bridgit, both in Her Vodou counterpart Maman Brijit, and in Her associated Catholic saint, Our Lady of La Candelaria, whose feast day, February 2nd, is shared with Bride.
Oya's attributes are the sword or machete and the flywhisk, and Her animal is the water buffalo, in Whom She sometimes manifests. Her mother is said to be Yemaya, the Great Sea Mother. Oya Herself is said to be the mother of nine children--Egungun and four sets of twins.
Her number is nine, Her color is burgundy or purple, and Her metal is copper. Offerings to Oya include eggplants, coins, red wine, and cloth.