When land and sea were first allotted their territories, each one was content with its share. But came a day when Yemayá’s brother, Olokún, got ambitious:
“Why not let my waters bulge out and spread over the land?”
Convinced that this was the best idea that anyone ever had, he started to pass the word around.
“Ha!” Eleguá mocked the idea when it came to his ears.
“Don’t even try,” said Oshún. “My rivers would never be confused with Old Briny.”
“Bah, no way! Water would sap my strength,” was Changó’s reaction.
“And you would see me lose the forge?” was Ogún’s incredulous query.
Nobody supported the idea of sea penetration. Olokún dug in stubbornly and threatened to get going on the idea real soon.
Recognizing this, the others got running scared. Off to Olofi! He was the most powerful of them all. They implored his help. Olofi used to furrow the land everyday and he was concentrating on his job. He pulled his head up from the plough and said, absent-mindedly:
“Can’t see that it is my business. Solve it best you can.”
Then they went to see the wise Obatalá.
“Wait here. I’ll solve this one,” was the immediate reply.
Obatalá descended the deepest trench to the seabed and sang out to Olokún:
“Olokú—n, cooome here.” I’ve got something for yooou”
Now the stubborn one, optimistic that he would find some new thing to help him to his goal, came slip-sliding through the deeps. Everything was so dark, he couldn’t see a damned thing on the the sea bed. He did not even see when Obatalá linked one of his feet to a rock. The chain had been forged well by Ogún. After seeing nobody, Olokún thought it had been a joke and tried to grope his way back. But his chained foot stopped him. No matter how much Olokún howled, nobody cared a hoot. He had no other choice but to hunker down, there on the seabed. From then on, it became his sorry kingdom.
Time has passed by. Everyone has forgotten what he looks like.