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….

Pin ada o (pinaldo), Obe, and Cuchillo

After kariocha, or becoming an olorisha, a further initiation some go on to receive (usually after many years) is the ceremony of knife. It permits the person to sacrifice but is more of a rite of passage to elder hood and symbol of attainment and authority. The obvious deity central to the initiation is Ogun,…

Nana Buruku

Nana Buruku, the mother of Babalu Aye is another austere deity that is connected to the mysteries of the earth and thus she takes pink. She also takes black  and accents of coral and mother of pearl.

The Beauty and Power of Coral

  Coral is the precious material from the sea which is becoming increasingly endangered due to a loss of the pristine water conditions and natural ecosystem that allows it to grow. If we were to take better care of our environment and minimise pollution, we would all be better off, but that is all for…

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?

Olokun the Owner of Beads

Have you ever looked at various necklaces (elekes) for Olokun and noticed that they vary a great deal from house to house? Obatala Ayaguna you can pretty much tell will be the same wherever you go, with minor variations, the same with Oshun Ibu Kole, and Shango is always red and white. Well, it turns out…

Opa Erinle

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 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…