Here’s a little-known fact…Erinle takes a beaded staff. Ideally, it should be made from palo vencedor and beaded. It lives outside not inside his vessel. Here you see the tops of three staves for Inle that I beaded for a good friend. She asked me to make one for her, her goddaughter and a close friend. I made each one with different colors in the Erinle colour-spectrum. I did make sure to include Inle’s signature yellow bead that has green and red stripes. Stripey beads in Lukumi religion signal the origins of the orisha, particularly those that are known as Egbado by Afro-Cubans. The distinction being that those referred to as Oyo orishas in Cuba, such as Shango, Yemaya, Oshun, and Obatala do not normally have striped beads. Oya is said to be from the Tapa/Takwa people and she joined Shango, bringing with her her striped beads.
Getting back to Inle – the staff is an insignia of royalty and authority. It is given after a particular ceremony. Erinle’s palette of greens, blues, yellows and coral really are a visual feast, offering a restfulness to the eye, and an aquatic quality that evokes his underwater kingdom.