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Alusi of bargains, chaos, and change
Symbol Tortoise

Ekwensu is an Trickster God (Alusi) of the Igbo people who serve as the Alusi or God of Bargains and the tortoise. Crafty at trade and negotiations, he is often invoked for guidance in difficult mercantile situations. Like most Trickster Gods, the deity was a force of Chaos and Change, thus in his more violent aspects, Ekwensu was also revered as a God of War and Victory who ruled over the wicked spirits and the chaotic forces of nature. His companion was Death. With the advent of Christianity, the more beneficent aspects of the deity were supplanted by missionaries who came to misrepresent Ekwensu as Satan.[1]

He was the testing force of Chukwu, and along with Ani the Earth goddess, and Igwe, the Sky God, make up the three highest Arusi's of the ancient Igbo people. During the colonial enslavement-missionary period Ekwensu was transcribed to become the Igbo word for Satan.

See also


  1. A.I. Bewaji, John. "OLODUMARE: GOD IN YORUBA BELIEF AND THE THEISTIC PROBLEM OF EVIL.", University of Florida, Gainesville, April 03, 2010

Further reading

  • Opata, Damian U. Ekwensu In the Igbo Imagination : a Heroic Deity Or Christian Devil, Nsukka, Nigeria : Great AP Express, 2005.
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (New York: Doubleday, 1993).
  • Opata, Damian U. Haunted Ontologies: Translation and Trauma in Postcolonial Igbo Society of Southeastern Nigeria.