[Miami, ca. 1981]
Alberto del Pozo
"OBA. Guardian of the hearth, Oba is the iyare, or first wife, of Changó. She is the legitimate landlady of all cemeteries. According to an old Yoruba tale, to guarantee Changó’s love for herself she cut off one of her ears and offered it to him to eat in an okra stew. He fled their home in horror. Obatalá gave her his white scarf in pity, so she could hide her missing ear." - University of Miami Library
Yewa crown by Beth Pert Weekes.
This crown gorgeously incorporates a mixture of Brazilian Candomblé, Cuban Lukumí (Santería), and traditional Yoruba crown styles. Yewa is the Orisha who lives in the grave. She is the Orisha of virginity, and is very austere. It is strictly taboo to swear in her presence, and men are not supposed to cook for her. Ideally, the people who serve her are virgin women and post-menopausal women. Along with Oya and Oba, she is one of the rulers of the cemetery. She lives in the grave because Shango tried to have sex with her, and she ran away, only finding refuge in the grave which is the one place Shango will not go.
The artist Beth Pert Weekes recently made a crown for my Yemoja Ogunte, which is stunningly beautiful.
Yemaya Okute by Maria Alemanno
Yemaya Okute (or Yemoja Ogunte) is a young, warrior Yemaya. She is the wife of Ogun and lives half the year in the ocean and half the year in the woods. The machete is her tool.
Lukumi/Yoruba proverb from the Odu Ejiogbe.
In Yorubaland, rat head is a delicacy and must be eaten slowly and with care, as there are many tiny bones that you have to avoid.