Obatala (known as Obatalá in Latin America and Yoruba mythology) is an Orisha. He is believed to be the Sky Father and the creator of human bodies, which were brought to life by the smooth breath of Olodumare. Obatala is the father of all Orishas and the owner of all ori. Any Orisha may claim an individual, but until that individual is initiated into the priesthood of that Orisha, Obatala still owns that head. Obatala’s principal wife is Yemoja (known as Yemaya in Cuba).
Obatala is the second son of Olodumare and was authorized by Him to create land upon the water beneath the sky. Due to his efforts, the first Yoruba city, Ife, was founded. Obatala is Olodumare’s representative on Earth and the shaper of human beings.
According to the oral traditions of Ife, the mortal Obatala served as king of Ife during its classical period. His throne was lost to the lineage of his rival Oduduwa at some point during the 12th century CE.
Following Obatala’s posthumous deification, he was admitted to the Yoruba pantheon as an aspect of a primordial divinity of the same name.