Book Vlog: African Narrative of Orishas by Alex Cuoco

This is an interesting book. It contains hundreds of patatkin (narratives) of the orishas. It is almost 1,000 pages long. It could have really done with an index, however I believe that this book was independently published which means that indexing a book of this size would be prohibitively costly. Please see my short Vlog…

Sizing Beads

So, seed beads, as mentioned in a previous post come in various sizes. They are written in “4/0 or 5/0” and are called “three o’s” (etc) the smaller the first number, THE BIGGER THE BEAD. It used to mean that if you laid down a row of beads, end to end, the first number would…

Oshun Fans

I really love making Oshun fans. I buy these fertility fans and then paint them gold. I use a different shade of gold to highlight the lips, eyes, and some yeza or facial marks. I weave the beads to the body in different colours depending on the road. I then give her necklaces and earrings….

The differences between a Babalawo and a Santero

This isn’t going to be the in-depth treatise about the philosophical and liturgical differences between babalawo and olorisha (in Lukumi). I don’t have the energy for that post while I am on the road. But this is just to give newbies a cheat-sheet as the terms can get confusing. First off, a babalawo is a…

Seed beads

Seed beads, also called ‘rocailles’ and sometimes ‘pony’ or ‘crow’ beads are the most commonly-used type of bead in Lukumi religious practice. The historical centres for their production have been Italy/Venice and also The former Czech Republic and Germany (Bohemia). French also had a nice little seed bead industry going on for a while, too….

Books, books, & more books

I really can’t get enough of books. I have them scattered like the four winds all over the place. Funny story, my older brother used to tease me as a kid by asking if I had piles. Of course, I would say yes; that I have piles of paper, and piles of books! At this,…

Yewa’s Pink

You might think that Yewa’s primary colour is cute and girly, it is for many of us in the west but in Yoruba culture and religion colours are described and categorised differently than how many of us were taught. Pink belongs to the pupa or red family, the colour of life and vibrancy. Furthermore, many…

Ogun Arere

What is matipo and what are we singing about when we sing for Ogun?

Welcome!

I started this blog to talk about orisha books and beads – two things I absolutely love! I am a voracious reader of anything and everything on Afro-Cuban religions – actually I like anything on the Afro-Atlantic: anything from Africa to the Americas and the diversions and intersections in time and space. I also have…