Gala elekes and ides for Obatala and Elegua

Obatala and Elegua ides and gala elekes     I made these for a friend who is crowing their first two santos. The “gala” elekes are multi stranded ones used to identify who is the guardian angel of the iyawo as it is bigger and fancier than the other elekes worn. I like to make…

Olokun Tinaja Decorated with Seashells

Below you will see a video of an Olokun tinaja (tall lidded urn) I recently finished. It is covered in seashells, including cowries which are cemented in place. Some might think that this is for “Olokun de Ifa” as the Olokun that babalawos give is covered in cement with some shells. This tinaja is for…

Santeria: African Spirits in America by Joseph M. Murphy

This was one of the first books I ever read on the religion, when I could only dream about visiting a botánica in NYC as beautifully written about in this book. I recommend this book and others by Joseph Murphy to anyone interested in the religion, from  personal to academic inquiry. Murphy started the book…

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…