Oya’s Vainas

The vaina is Oya’s sacred musical instrument, used to call the presence of the deity of transformation to be present. It is the seed pod of the flamboyán tree (Delonix regia) which has beautiful flame-red flowers when in season. The pod acts like an ashere (rattle) unique to Oya.

I really enjoy making these vainas as the colors are wonderful and varied. Oya traditionally takes the maroon beads with white and black stripes. She also takes nine colors, which can be of any hue. When I make a vaina, I select a seedpod that has a great sound when shaken. I then embellish the vaina in a velvety copper base color. I then bead a tight net of beads that include Czech beads, copper metal, semi-precious and red coral beads. The finish vaina includes many glittering, highly polished beads that give the piece a lot of sparkle as befits Oya.

 

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