Shokunin: An Active Attitude to your Skill and Craft

I really like the Japanese idea of Shokunin, where you practice your craft with diligence and precision, striving for you to work your best for the betterment of the person and the process. “The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does…

Asohano’s Ha and Kacha

Asohano – Babalu Aye uses a straw broom to clean people and restore health. The ha (ha is a Fon word meaning broom) is made from palm fibers. Within the beaded handle part is an elaborate concoction that is wrapped in cloth imbibing the straw broom with the power to heal. The ha is handled…

Agogo Oduduwa Orisa Aiye

This is an agogo (sacred bell) used in the worship of Oduduwa. Oduduwa or Oddua is an orisha funfun (white orisha), he is the closest Lukumi deity we have to Olodumare. The difference between Oduduwa and Olofin in the Lukumi religion is that Oduduwa set foot on the earth, Olofin did not. Odua’s agogo is…

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…

Oshun Akuaro ide

This is a new ide made for an old friend who is about to crown his second Oshun. Oshun Akuaro, also called Aparo or Acuaro is Oshosi’s wife. She is a hunter and uses a net. She also takes the skins of birds, such as the quail and pheasant. There are several different ways of…

My Beading Manifesto

I have made a lot of beadwork for a lot of people and it has been wonderful. I have a day-job so I try and bead for others in my spare time and can be a little slow when my bread-and-butter work gets hectic. I wrote the following a while ago when I had time…

Book Vlog: Botánicas by Joseph Murphy

This is a wonderful book on the healing and spiritual stores called botánicas dotted across the US but especially concentrated in cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They are a mix of Afro-Atlantic and Latin American religions, traditions, and aesthetics. Joseph Murphy is an exceptional and insightful scholar on Afro-Atlantic religions…

Dada Omolowo Ori Omo Lube o

Dada and Abayani Dada is the deity of riches, and protector of children and therefore related to the development and care of the human embryo and especially the human head alongside Obatala. The Lukumi believe Dada is Shango’s junior siblingl. Dada’s children are ordained to Shango. Dada is male and his consecrated materials are kept in…

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…