Categorized | Feature, News, Priests & Elders

Orishada Travels to Cuba

Posted on 31 December 2012 by Babalawo Aworeni

This past month, Orishada traveled to Cuba.  We were pleased to see the level of devotion Ifa practitioners had for Ifa and the Orisha.  It was wonderful to see that devotion to the deities was at every level of society and crossed many ethnicities.  There were Orisha songs being sung in many facets of life.  There are many very good things about Orisha worship in diaspora.
There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge in this Yoruba religious and it is up to us to use this wisdom in the right way.
There are some issues that I noticed during our trip to Cuba should be corrected.  These issues are not only for the devotee in Cuba but for many of the other people that practice in different places in the diaspora.  Respect is of the utmost importance in Ifa culture.  Respect for Olodumare, Ifa, Orisha, one’s elders and to one’s self.  Another common mistake I saw was that the term Iyawo, which mean Wife in Yorubaland.  I saw males calling themselves “iyawo orisa” and they said when have to wear with cloth for one year.  It is also not necessary to always wear white clothes.There are certain circumstances where this is necessary and may be part of a sacrifice for some but it is not mandatory.

Just because someone is initiated to Ifa or any other orisha, it does not make them a Babalawo or an Orisha priest.  Becoming a priest is a long and arduous process and takes many years of devotion and apprenticeship.
An Omo Awo must have respect and give his Oluwo the full honor. If any Omo Awo disrespects his Oluwo, the Omo Awo can be dismissed.  How a Oluwo treats an Omo Awo will come back to them and vice versa is true as well.  In this case what you give is what you receive.
It is not correct for an Oluwo to keep knowledge from his Omo Awo.  There is a Yoruba proverb: A ki juba a fi ifa sinu ku.  The meaning is that we will not salute the person who keep his ifa knowledge inside is stomach.  Knowledge should be given freely.  If the Oluwo dies with his knowledge and it goes back to heaven, it is not good and the Oluwo is not following the mandate as given by Olodumare.

It is the responsibility of a Babalawo comfort those that come to them for help.  It is not right to give bad news and not offer a solution.  In Ifa there is a solution to every problem (with the exception of death).  A Babalawo must use Odu Ifa to offer a solution to a client’s problem not just state a problem and leave the client feeling sad.

Lastly, it is important for the Orisha shrine protocols to be followed.  Some shrines cannot be placed near each other, some have to be outside and some need to have separate rooms in the house.  When a woman is menstruating, she should not handle the Orisha.  After one has had sex they cannot go before nor do any work with the Orisha without first showering.
Also each Orisa has their own beads and cloth it is important that we provide the right bead or cloth for our Orisa.
We have to be careful about the food of Orisa because the food of one Orisa can be the taboo of another Orisa.  An example is the food of Ogun is the taboo of Obatala and when we are feed Ogun we have to be careful not to let the food to go Obatala shrine.  This is very important for any Babalawo or Babalorisa to follow these protocols.  I have seen a Babalawo make the sacrifice for the client and not know if that sacrifice was accepted.  It is vital to check you not only that it was accepted but that the food that you used to feed the Orisa has pleased the Orisa.  This is not just at the discretion of the Babalawo or Olorisa, let us follow the warnings as given by Ifa .

There is now an Ifa temple in Cuba that takes after the traditions as they are taught in Ile-Ife.





We here at regret to announce the death of Akanni Falolu ( Agbongbon Awo Agbaye) who died on 29 / 12 / 2013 .Our condolences for the passing of the beloved father and grand father Agbongbon. Our condolences to the Akanni family, Awolodumerindinlogun and the people of Ife.
The funeral is on 5th and 6th with ritual (oro Ifi eyin rin wole Awo)
Ojo ajina sira o ase
Awo ki sunkun iyere leku awo
Awo ki gbo iku awo ki awo sun legbe
Ki awo rere ma je ni moore agbada.
Babalawo Owolabi Aworeni.

12 Comments For This Post

  1. Ifaponle Odutola Aworeni Says:

    Aboru Aboye Baba mi Owolabi, my heart’ll be together all that day.

  2. godson Says:

    wow ,this is very important take note all the charlatans and scammers in the diaspora ,mexico, Puerto Rico ,venezuela and every where else.Not because you are an ifa initiated that doesnt make you a babalawo ,suck that up people .

  3. godson Says:

    ahora tanbiem los mejicanos salapastrosos se estan robando el dinero de la gente diciendo y prometiendo milagros con los orisas ,dios quiera que el araba haga algo con los enganadores

  4. jose Says:

    buenas tardes mira yo soy mexicano y me inicie en ile ife con el aragba agbaye y nose de donde eres pero en todas partes no nada mas en mexico se lucra con el culto y tengo muy buena relacion con awolabi he estados en su casa incluso viviendo ahi con el y te vez mal hablando sin argumentos

  5. Ifalana Ifayemi Says:

    Yes INDEED. Ase to you!! Modupe for posting these discrepancies.

  6. ALEJANDRO Says:




  7. William Angel Viera Bravo Says:

    Dirección :

    Calle Infanta 651
    e/ Salud y Jesus pelegrino
    Rep Centro Habana
    10200 La Habana

    +53 5 281 9557

  8. Obara Meji Says:

    I love it that you made these clarifications so that people will see and know thees things. often times Yoruba Babalawos knows the truth but when they travel out and see the tradition not being practiced correctly, or people claimimg to be who they are not they keep their mouths shut and do not say anything, so I applaud you for this!

  9. Frank Says:

    Baba,Aboru,aboye,iboshishe!There is an element that is being discovered:The TAino Indians merged some of their practices with the Yoruba qas well as with the “Palo”,Bantu-Congo traditions,and it happened”organically”,out of necessity,and became it’s OWN thing-Those ANCESTORS who had those SHARED experiences survived and developed in diaspora in these ways-could it be then,that these ancestors and cultural traditions are”true” to what they became?…as have happened even in Africa? Yes,one can have a”pure” Ile Ife tradition,but maybe not to exclude the specific ones developed in the diaspora created by the SUFFERINGS of the Africans AND the Indians there,TOGETHER.(Tabaco,is only one simple example of the Indian influence,I will not get into the greater details here.) Thank you,and may you be blessed by Olodumare abundantly! Ashe-0!

  10. Sango Kainde Says:

    I think that we should return to as pure state as possible and that means returning to something pure like what lies in Ile Ife. Yes we have had conditions that have soiled us, hurt us and as well as limited us. We had to adapt to certain realities but let’s not forget we have strayed the path despite. I suggest we come as close to Ile Ife as possible at least a fraction of us so the connection isn’t lost. Peace.

  11. Ery Angenis Says:

    Aboru aboye
    Quisiera agradecer por su interés en la tradiciones de la diáspora ya que en ella hay muchos como yo que hoy hablare en sus nombres para pedirles a ustedes los Bàbá-Ifá a que nos guíen y nos ayuden mediante encuentros a superar esas diferencias, muchos de nosotros somos fieles seguidores de los ritos Yorùbá pero es muy poco lo que contenemos, para que las fuerzas nos apoyen, doy mil gracias a los nativos que nos tienen en sus miras, pero debemos afiliarnos en un egbe que nos fomente. Aseooooo

  12. Doudou Suyi Says:

    Et voilà, on retombe dans les travers du fanatisme religieux, comme si la religion pratiquée par les yorubas actuels est la même qu’il y a 500 ans!

    Si elle a évolué au Nigéria , pourquoi n’évolure-t-elle pas ailleurs? La santéria pratiquée à Cuba est cubaine et témoigne de la culture et de l’histoire des Cubains, et elle a du sens pour les cubains. Si elle diffère de celle pratiquée au Nigéria, c’est parce qu’elle est une religion vivante qui s’adapte avec les changements.

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