Mala Lengua  
  Home - Portal | Music - Música | Authors - Autores | Arts - Artes 
  Site Map - Mapa del Sitio | News - Noticias | Search ACW - Buscar en ACW 
  Mala Lengua

Yoruba - Lukumí

The Lukumí community in Cuba originated with kidnapped Africans from Oyo, Egbado, and other Yoruba areas in Nigeria and Benin. The Regla de Ocha, the orisha religion based in Yoruba culture, has now spread up and down the Americas and beyond.

Ilé Tüntun, a Havana house with an extensive presence in Latin America and Africa - many documents available here

Lazaro Ros, a famous akpwon, yoruba singer, now with the ancestors

Oggun: An Eternal Presence, film by Gloria Rolando on Lazaro Ros

Jesús Pérez and the Transculturation of the Cuban Batá Drum, by Ivor Miller, 2003

Martha Galarraga, singer, akpwon

Proyecto Orunmila, Regla, extensive set of Letra del Año materials

Los Villamil - family in Matanzas with strong lukumi background
Centro Cultural Yoruba "Concha Mocoyu", in the Solar "La California", Havana

Carlota, leader of the 1843 slave rebellion, Triumvirato, Matanzas

John Mason: Babalawo and author

Wande Abimbola, spokesperson and ambassador for the Yorùbá religion in the world

Cabildo Santa Teresa, Matanzas

Cabildo Nilo Nille, Matanzas

La Santería en el ámbito social cubano, Víctor Betancourt Omolófaoró, Yesenia Selier Crespo, 2003

About the term ‘Lukumí’  12/13/2018 Orisha Image: "Many people initiated into the Cuban system of Òrìshà worship call themselves, their religion, or vocabulary ‘Lukumí’."


Tato Quiñones nos adelanta una parte de su investigación sobre la homosexualidad vista desde la religión popular cubana de los Orishas  9/20/2019 LGBTIQ+: "A raíz de esos debates que se intensificaron por cada rincón del país, personas se preguntaban sobre cómo la religión Orisha apreciaba el asunto, pregunta qué le fue dirigida a Tato quien al no saber responder, se interesó en realizar una exhaustiva, seria y rigurosa investigación que aún no ha terminado."

Letra del año 2019 - La Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba hace públicas sus predicciones para este año.  1/3/2019 IPS: "A los sacerdotes de Ifá, a los hermanos Oriaté, Babaloshas, Iyaloshas e Iworos.Pueblo religioso en general y a quien pueda interesar. El día 31 de Diciembre del 2018 se reúnen en la sede social de la ¨Institución Religiosa¨ Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba (ACYC) los miembros de la Comisión Organizadora de la Letra del Año, para realizar la Ceremonia de Apertura del Año 2019. Presidida por el Sacerdote de Ifá Ángel Custodio Padrón “Awo Baba Eyiobbe” y el respaldo de los Sacerdotes de IFA de todas las familias de Cuba y sus descendientes en el Mundo, sacó La Letra el Sacerdote más pequeño."

Percusionista cubana transmite la herencia africana  1/2/2019 IPS: "Con la misma energía y pasión que derrocha en sus conciertos a teatro abarrotado en escenarios de Bélgica, Estados Unidos o Nueva Zelanda, la artista cubana Brenda Navarrete enseña percusión y tambores batá a chicos y chicas en el Centro a+ Espacios Adolescentes, en La Habana Vieja. De 28 años y habanera de nacimiento, se describe a sí misma de la manera más sencilla posible: “Brenda Navarrete es una artista que le encantan los niños y le encanta el trabajo social”."

Adelanto: Letra del Año 2019 para Cuba  1/1/2019 CiberCuba: "La ampliación del documento se dará a conocer este miércoles 2 de enero a la una de la tarde en la sede de la Sociedad Cultural Yoruba de Cuba."

Ibeyi: The French-Cuban twins who sing in Yoruba  12/18/2018 BBC: "In this BBC Africa One Minute Story they explain why the language means so much to them."

About the term ‘Lukumí’  12/13/2018 Orisha Image: "Many people initiated into the Cuban system of Òrìshà worship call themselves, their religion, or vocabulary ‘Lukumí’."

Matanzas, un trozo de África en Cuba  11/26/2018 Cuba Ahora: "“La presencia de esta amplia gama de religiones y culturas desarrolló en Matanzas uno de los entornos más significativos de la mezcla de sus raíces. Surgieron así denominaciones y grupos étnicos que manifestaron sus religiones a través del renacimiento de sus creencias expresadas en la Regla de Osha o Santería de origen Yoruba, la Regla Palo Monte de origen Bantú, la Regla Arará de origen dahomeyano y la Regla Enklori Enyeni Abakúa de origen Calabar”, explicó Yoelkis Torres Tápanes, líder del proyecto AfroAtenas."

Brazil Adopts Yoruba as Official Language  10/2/2018 African Exponent: "The Brazilian Minister of Culture, Dr Sérgio Sá leitão, while speaking at the Institute of African Studies, University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil paraded important dignitaries including Nigerian artists and historians, as well as professors of arts and African studies at a lecture on the importance of Yoruba language in the Brazilian culture and tradition. According to him, the inclusion of African History and Yoruba Language in the curriculum would help bring the African Brazilian people close to their roots, and thus encourage the understandings of the language among other important languages in Brazil apart from Portuguese which is the official language."

La reverencia de los artistas a Matanzas  10/1/2018 TV Yumuri: "En los festejos de octubre las tradiciones tendrán protagonismo en sus diferentes manifestaciones con guateques campesinos, festivales de danzón y música mexicana, demostraciones de rumba y, como elemento distintivo, un mano a mano entre los exponentes más importantes de la rumba en el territorio (Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Afrocuba y Los reyes del tambor) cerrará el espectáculo que, el 12 de octubre, se transmitirá en vivo por la televisión nacional."

Yorùbá and Lukumí Animal Names  9/6/2018 Orisha Image: "I have a huge collection of Cuban books in Spanish language about Orisha. Reading these books I came across many Yorùbá names of sacrificial animals or animals mentioned in mythological stories. They were written in Lukumí: what some generations ago was spoken Yorùbá language is now a vocabulary known through these publications in a Spanish-influenced orthography, or is passed on orally on the island until today."

Callejon de Hamel, the Most Visited Place in Havana  9/1/2018 PL: "Cosmopolitan and animated, with African dances every Sunday at noon, the description of Callejon de Hamel, a perennial Cuban festival for those who love joy, can be simple and complex."

Homenaje a Afrocuba de Matanzas  8/14/2018 brendanavarreteofficial, Instagram: "A few hours after landing in my land, with the help of technology ... it has occurred to me to recreate and honor these greats of the Cuban Rumba, of Matanzas, Afrocuba! I get through the pores the joy of landing in Cuba!"

In Cuba, Santería flourishes two decades after ban was lifted  7/31/2018 Ground Truth Project: "It’s a part of Santería, a monotheistic religion founded on the small Caribbean island around 100 miles off Florida’s coast, which exists as a mainstream option for Cubans who have had the freedom to practice since 1992." [Yoruba culture is polytheistic.]

A guide to the Sacred Groves of Ò?ogbo  7/9/2018 Orisha Image: 'This guide through the Sacred Groves of ?`?un Ò?ogbo was written by Àdùnní Olórì?à Susanne Wenger, several versions exist. It was published in the book “The Sacred Groves of Oshogbo”, edited by Augustine Merzeder in 1990 and distributed in Nigeria."

Obiní Batá of Cuba  4/18/2018 Vimeo: By Amberly Alene Ellis. "Obiní Batá is Cuba's female Afro Cuban folkloric group, famous for playing the bata drums. Historically, women have been banned from playing the bata. The group was founded in 1993, making it the first ever of it's kind. The bata drum in Cuba originated as an instrument that was used by African slaves. The Obiní Batá proudly break the gender norms and challenge the notions of the role of women in Yoruba religion."

Hamel Alley, a Meeting with Orishas in Havana  3/16/2018 Pan American World: "Hamel Alley (El Callejón de Hamel) is one of the most peculiar spots in Havana. To drop in there, it is best to go on Sundays, when it really takes a true shape, because the neighbors, dressed like old gods of the Yoruba pantheon, the Orishas, get out to welcome visitors and also you can listen to the strong drums stokes. The entrance to the alley was designed with rocks on top of rocks. They represent the immortal of God and the Orishas, and according to the popular wisdom, in them, also called Otanes is where Elegguá, Oggún, Oshosi and Oshún, the warrior Gods, consecrate."

Yorùbá Iron Walking Sticks  2/14/2018 Orisha Image: "Some months ago I was chatting with Baba Nathan Lugo, searching for an ?bàtálá symbol to include in an artwork. He suggested: “You could draw an ?`pá Ò?ooro!” ­– I had no idea what that was. While I waited for his detailed explanation, I started to read about other Yorùbá ?`pá, translated as "walking sticks" and gathered (often confusing) information from these books. Let me share what I found out! This is a brief introduction to this topic."

Painter and Muralist Salvador Gonzáles Escalona Brings Afro-Cuban Vision to Columbia  1/3/2018 Free Times: "For Escalona, who in addition to his ongoing work on the vibrant, rumba-filled Callejón de Hamel has installed murals throughout the United States and around the world, it’s of vital importance to reach for the true roots and origins of his culture. The son of a Catalonian father and Congolese mother, he sees the African and Native American roots of so much Caribbean and American culture that often get marginalized."

La Bella Cubana honra a Daisy Brau  11/30/2017 UNEAC: "La Bella Cubana del sábado 18 de noviembre se colmó de colegas, familiares, compañeros de andares y amigos de la cantante Daisy Brau, directora de la agrupación vocal OBBÁ AREANLÉ (La gran familia de Changó) para honrar y enaltecer una trayectoria artística de cuarenta y nueve años al servicio de la cultura cubana, y en específico, de la interpretación de cantos ararás procedentes de la actual República de Benin, uno de los asientos de nuestra identidad como nación."

YORÙBÁ, LUKUMÍ AND NAGÔ: THE ILÉ-IFẸ̀ PERSPECTIVE  11/25/2017 Orisha Image: "I tried my best to greet in Yorùbá language and after a few words in English we quickly switched to Spanish a lo Cubano, before ending our conversation in German. This is how I met Felix Ayoh’OMIDIRE, who lived and worked in Brazil, Cuba and many other countries, where he taught, studied and contributed to Yorùbá culture. I am honored that he found time to answer my questions! Read about the unique experience of Felix Ayoh’OMIDIRE – between Òrì?à, Oricha, Orixá and Orisha!"

Agba-lagba: un acercamiento a las iniciadoras de la Regla de Ocha  11/20/2017 Negra Cubana: Por Adonis Suárez Cervera - "Escribir un texto sobre las sacerdotisas fundadoras de la Regla de Ocha en Cuba, las madres espirituales de la Santería, exige un gran compromiso histórico, religioso y de género ?además de la extensión y necesaria exhaustividad que el tema amerita, para evitar herir susceptibilidades?. La genealogía de la Santería nos devela una práctica liderada por mujeres que ejercieron su poder, durante la primera mitad del siglo XX, como maestras de ceremonia, hasta que fueron iniciando a hombres y con ello arribó el fin de la línea matrilocal santera."

Osain en Matanzas-Arará-Lukumí-Mayombe  11/18/2017 Ivor Miller YouTube: "With Felipe Estebes Cairo in the forest around Jaguey Grande, Matanzas, requesting permission from Osain, master of the forest, to cut a cedar tree to create a sacred Arará drum. October 2017 Con Felipe Estebes Cairo en el monte cerca de Jaguey Grande, Matanzas, pidiendo licencia para cortar un cedro para crear un tambor Arará de fundamento. Octubre 2017."

Georgina Herrera: Hija de Oshún hablándole a su madre  11/17/2017 Negra Cubana: Poema de Georgina Herrera

ESTRENA EL BALLET FOLKLÓRICO DE CAMAGÜEY  11/16/2017 Cuba Escena: "Para el último fin de semana de noviembre, en el propio coliseo yumurino, subirá a escena el estreno Odí-Oché, una coreografía de Reynaldo Echemendía, que se adentra en el recorrido de los procesos del ritual ceremonial de la Santería Cubana, heredera del Culto a los Orishas de la religión yoruba."

Sandy Perez and Vanessa Lindberg welcomed Prof. Wole Soyinka  11/15/2017 Ivor Miller YouTube: "November 15, 2017, Sandy Perez and Vanessa Lindberg welcomed Prof. Wole Soyinka to Harvard University with chants and rhythms from Ará Okó 'land of Matazas', a center of African heritage in the Caribbean, to support Soyinka's presentation about the reclamation of Yoruba heritage in the face of colonialism. Ivor Miller. 15 Noviembre, 2017, Sandy Pérez y Vanessa Lindberg dieron la bienvenida a el Prof. Wole Soyinka a Harvard University con cantos y ritmos de Ará Okó 'la tierra de Matazas', la cuña de raíces africanas en el Caribe, para apoyar la presentación de Soyinka sobre la reclamación de la herencia Yoruba en resistencia al coloniaslimo."

Photo Essay: Ibeyi at Brooklyn Steel  11/7/2017 Afropop Worldwide: "Ibeyi largely sings in English, peppered with bits of Spanish and French. But key to their lyrics, though, is Yoruba, the language of many of the enslaved people who were brought from West Africa to their father's birthplace of Cuba (Ibeyi means "twins" in Cuban Yoruba and the kaindé in Lisa-Kaindé designates that she was the second born ). It's also the liturgical language of the syncretic Cuban religion Santería, whose deities-- or orishas--feature prominently in Ibeyi's music."

Los Patakis en la literatura Afrocubana  11/1/2017 AfroAtenas: "Lo más hermoso en la literatura afrocubana se corresponde a los PATAKISEl Patakí es una narración de leyendas y fábulas referidas a los ORISHASsus caminos (o avatares), con una moraleja que ayuda siempre a la definiciónde sus dones o atributos. A ellos se vuelven los creyentes para esclarecer hechos de la cotidianidad opara entender el diloggún e Ifá, sus odduns u oráculos."

Intersect: Why the Yoruba Roots of Ibeyi’s New Album ‘Ash’ Are a Necessary Force in Latino Culture  9/26/2017 Remezcla: “When you sing Yoruba, you feel something,” Lisa-Kaindé explains. “When you see an audience singing Yoruba and you have no idea what Yoruba is, they feel it. You can see it in their eyes. What’s incredible is that it’s like singing jazz standards — you hear a thousands of women who have sang that, you hear the old man who sang that, behind your head.”

Piedra para Obbatalá regresa en Mayabeque  9/20/2017 UNEAC: "Al 250 Aniversario de la fundación de Melena del Sur y a la Rumba, como expresión del Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial de la Humanidad estará dedicada la IX edición del evento Piedra para Obbatalá se desarrollará entre el 21 y el 24 de septiembre en ese municipio de la provincia de Mayabeque. Según informó José Alberto Brito León, comunicador de la Dirección Municipal de Cultura, dentro de las actividades más destacadas sobresalen el desfile inaugural, donde actuará el conjunto Orishaoko, un conversatorio con la destacada etnóloga Natalia Bolívar, presentaciones de las agrupaciones Bantú Yoruba, de Santiago de Cuba; La cinta, de Ciego de Ávila; Raíces, Magino Arará 1802, de Artemisa. Mientras que de la provincia sede estarán Nago, Kaidara, Rumberos de Mayabeque, Los Tatagüinitos, Banguala, así como los proyectos socioculturales Soy de Hamlet y Soy Cubano."

Santeria  8/9/2017 College of Charleston: "Santería developed in Cuba during the 19th century and has continued to spread in America, particularly in large cities like Miami, New York, and Los Angeles primarily through Caribbean island immigrants. Originating in West Africa among the Yoruba, brought to Cuba by captured slaves, the “saints” tradition is named by participants as Lukumi (Lucumi) or Regla de Ocha (Rule of the Orisha)."

Cuban Orisha Music  7/13/2017 Orisha Image: "We had the honor to speak with Thomas Altmann, a professional jazz drummer and percussionist. Since 1976 he is active in Latin American, especially Afro-Cuban music in Germany. He teaches and performs in numerous bands, orchestras and studio productions, Thomas is the founder and was director of the performance ensemble Ayé Ilù (1994-2005). He is omoañá, olórisha initiated into Obatalá and babaláwo. He runs two websites predominantly in German language, is author of several articles and publications and best known perhaps for his book "Cantos Lucumí a los Orichas"."

IU Bloomington's African American Dance Company to travel to Cuba for international festival  6/28/2017 Indiana University: "The African American Dance Company will visit Santiago, Cuba, July 2 to 10 to participate in Festival del Caribe, an annual international dance and music festival."

Las Brujas del Norte  5/28/2017 Afroféminas: "Brujas del Norte es un estudio fotográfico afro-futurista que re imagina los Orishas dentro del territorio de Amiskwacîwâskahikan (????????????) en Canadá. Dentro de estas fotografías cautivadoras, las artistas Ruby Smith Díaz e Isha Adams exploran las tradiciones Yoruba que aun prevalecen en un contexto afro-diásporico del norte, sobreviviendo los efectos de la supremacía blanca y la destrucción de la tierra debido a la explotación de recursos naturales ."

Callejón de Hamel: Calle de todos  5/27/2017 Cubadebate: "La rumba vive en ella. La siente. Basta el leve toque de un tambor para romper su inercia. Tairumi no conoce de es"cuelas de arte ni de técnicas, “porque este ritmo es libertad y soltura”."

"El Negrón": el rico cóctel que solo podrás disfrutar en el Callejón de Hamel  5/25/2017 CiberCuba: "Con un poco de albahaca, miel, hielo, agua, ron y algún que otro ingrediente secreto de su creadora Maritza Galano, podrás disfrutar de este rico cóctel llamado “El Negrón” en el famoso Callejón de Hamel de La Habana. Refrescante y perfecto para el eterno verano que se vive en la Isla, esta bebida se ha convertido en el refrigerio estrella de los visitantes."

YORÙBÁ GESTURES  5/24/2017 Orisha Image: "Like many people I came into direct contact with Òrì?à worship through the traditions of the Cuban diaspora. Yorùbá culture and language survived the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but was turned into a religious sphere. African traditions often are only performed within a ritual setting in the diaspora, while in the past they were part of the daily life. A language example would the Afro-Cuban word “aleyo” for Yorùbá “àlejò“. This originally means “outsider, visitor”. In Cuba it is used in the sense of “a person not (yet) initiated into Òrì?à”. Cubans speak Spanish and the remains of Yorùbá language are only used in ritual settings. The “outsider” became “someone not initiated”. The same process can be applied to body gestures. I stumbled across a few of them traveling to Cuba and Nigeria."

Lázaro Ros, el gran akpwón  5/19/2017 Jiribilla: "Lázaro Ros (1925-2005) fue un famoso intérprete de la música yoruba afrocubana. Figuró como invitado especial en el disco Cantata a Babalú, de Chucho Valdés e Irakere, nominado a los Premios Grammys en 1999 en la categoría de Música Tradicional. En el año 2001 recibió el Premio Cubadisco por su obra discográfica Yemayá y Ochún, en la categoría Música Folklórica. Ese mismo año le fue otorgada la nominación a los Grammys Latinos [1] por su composición Yemayá, y en 2002 vuelve a optar en esa importante convocatoria con su disco Changó, del Sello Unicornio. A Lázaro Ros se le conoce como el más célebre akpwón [2] cubano en materia de cantos folklóricos correspondientes a la Regla de Ocha [3]."

Las Ibeyi compran una casa en La Habana  5/6/2017 Cibercuba 

On Being a Lukumi Patient  5/5/2017 Cuba Counterpoints: "Although many Lukumí people work in hospitals, thus contributing to their understanding of diversity with regard to patient care, my decades-long work training hospital staff in Miami have provided me with first-hand knowledge of the current situation. Even though culturally-specific care is generally addressed in hospital policies and taught at nursing schools, there are still barriers that need to be overcome by Lukumí patients as well as providers."

Recibe Bis Music 24 nominaciones a Cubadisco 2017  4/26/2017 Travel Trade Caribbean: "Insertado en el grupo Patrimonial, y en especial en la categoría de Tradición afrocubana, compiten los discos The Arango ´s World, de los Hermanos Arango —que además espera ganarse el reconocimiento en Espectáculo Musical Audiovisual—; y The suite abakua, de Kervin Barreto & Afrocuba de Matanzas. A su vez, en Raíces soneras y campesinas, se encuentra El tren de la vida (Homenaje a Faustino Oramas, El Guayabero), en el que intervienen un número importante de intérpretes y contó con Tony Ávila como productor musical."

LYDIA CABRERA IN TRANSLATION  4/20/2017 Harvard University: "Speakers: Marial Iglesias Utset: Translating Cultures: Lydia Cabrera’s Liminal Worlds; Erwan Dianteill: The French Translation of El Monte (2003): Genesis, Difficulties and Reception of a Cuban Classic; Patricia González Gómez-Cásseres, and Ivor Miller: Translating Lydia Cabrera’s La lengua sagrada de los ñáñigos. Lydia Cabrera’s two decades of ethnographic research among Afro-Cuban communities produced an extraordinary body of publications on Afro Caribbean religions and folklore. Nevertheless, her oeuvre remains relatively unknown outside the Spanish-speaking world and very little of it has been translated."

Para todos los hijos de Oshún desde el Callejón de Hamel  3/28/2017 CiberCuba: "Si hay un sitio en La Habana que hace gala y recoge un pedacito de la cultura cubana, ese es el Callejón de Hamel. Este pequeño espacio ubicado en pleno corazón de la barriada de Cayo Hueso, exactamente entre las calles Hospital y Aramburu, se ha convertido en el verdadero epicentro de la cultura afroamericana desde que abriera sus puertas a finales de 1989 y principio de los 90."

Con toques de tambor batá despiden al babalawo cubano 'Enriquito'  3/23/2017 Nuevo Herald: "Cientos de personas acompañan el jueves 23 de marzo de 2017, el féretro de babalawo Enrique Hernández Armenteros, conocido popularmente como “Enriquito” o “Tata Nganga” y el de mayor edad de Cuba, quien falleció el miércoles a los 99 años de edad en el barrio “La Hata”, en Guanabacoa, La Habana."

Fallece ‘Enriquito’, el sacerdote mayor de la santería cubana  3/23/2017 Nuevo Herald: "El célebre sacerdote de las religiones afrocubanas Enrique Hernández Armenteros, conocido popularmente como “Enriquito” o “Tata Nganga” y el de mayor edad de Cuba, falleció el miércoles a los 99 años en el barrio La Hata del municipio habanero Guanabacoa, que lo había declarado su “Hijo Ilustre”. El “babalawo” (sacerdote) “Enriquito” era practicante de cuatro cultos de origen africano, principalmente el Palo Monte (Palero), procedente del Congo. Además era miembro de la sociedad religiosa secreta y masculina Abakuá o Ñañiguismo, como también se conoce en Cuba; era devoto de la religión Regla de Ocha en la que estaba consagrado con el orisha Elegguá y pertenecía a la etnia Ifá, según él mismo explicó en varias entrevistas."

Everybody Wants To Be A Bruja But They Ain’t Really Bout That Life  3/6/2017 Negra with Tumbao: "… there’s a certain amount of accountability and responsibility that comes with being a “witch” and I can assure you that it isn’t always pretty. Typically, witches were the first to be killed when Europeans invaded Africa."

Regla de Ocha in the Hospital  3/6/2017 Cuba Counterpoints: "The nurse I spoke to in the New Orleans E.R. didn’t have La Regla de Ochá on her form and it would take a great deal of explaining for me to add it. Would I have gotten blowback from her? Maybe yes, maybe no. Our reactions are based on our expectations, and the expectation of a negative reaction is a very real one. I hear derogatory comments about my religion all the time, from people on the street, to politicians, to advertisers. It is heartening to know that some in the religious community have addressed this issue with the medical establishment, but we still have a long way to go before I can fill out a hospital form without bristling."

Writing Retreat In Cuba By ‘Tope Oriola  3/3/2017 Sahara Reporters: "The songs sounded familiar and of course imbued with several Lucumi words that I could recognize. This was neo-Yoruba culture on display. The immanent hybridity of the cultural repertoire from which the performance drew demonstrated European inflections mixed with African percussion. This was by far the most emotional moment of the trip. My Russian friend noticing how engrossed I was in watching and taking note of the dance said: “I think I have lost you.” I was indeed lost in the moment. We sold their ancestors into slavery. I too bear the responsibility of what happened. Slavery is a bad thing. No one should enslave another."

Writing Retreat In Cuba By ‘Tope Oriola  3/3/2017 Sahara Reporters: "The immanent hybridity of the cultural repertoire from which the performance drew demonstrated European inflections mixed with African percussion. This was by far the most emotional moment of the trip. My Russian friend noticing how engrossed I was in watching and taking note of the dance said: “I think I have lost you.” I was indeed lost in the moment. We sold their ancestors into slavery."

La veneración de Santa Bárbara en el centro de Cuba, ¿se evita el comercialismo? Read more here:  2/23/2017 Nuevo Herald: "Pero ahora, entre los fieles de la santería hay personas de todas las razas y procedencias, y la Sociedad Santa Bárbara cuenta incluso con una página de Facebook, que tiene varios mensajes del Obá Ernesto Pichardo, a cargo de la Iglesia Lukumí Babalú Ayé en Hialeah. Pichardo y la iglesia, que no es sincrética y practica los ritos lucumíes, ganó una decisión histórica en la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos que estableció los ritos lucumíes como religión."

Santería rites practiced much as they were during times of slavery in Cuba  2/18/2017 Miami Herald: "The Sociedad Santa Bárbara in Palmira serves as a living museum, a repository of history and current spiritual belief where the rites of the Lucumí religion, popularly known as Santería, are practiced much as they were during the times of slavery in Cuba.'

Interview with Wolfgang Denk on Susanne Wenger  2/13/2017 Orisha: "We had the honor of speaking to Professor Wolfgang Denk, the founding director of the Susanne Wenger Foundation in Austria, an archive and exhibition space dedicated to the work of the Austrian artist. Together with his wife Martha he accompanied Àdùnní Olórì?à Susanne Wenger over decades as an artist, close friend and curator and supported her work. He organized her major international exhibitions and published several books about her artwork."

Meet ibeyi: the soulful melody making sisters  2/8/2017 The Fifth Sense: "Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi are twins who celebrate their differences, whether it be on stage in their band Ibeyi or in the studio. Born and raised with music (their father was one of the talented percussionists of Buena Vista Social Club) Naomi plays the cajón, a box like drum traditionally from Peru, and the batá, a traditional Yorùbá drum, while Lisa writes and sings."

Conozca "El Callejón de Hamel" en La Habana, un sitio que es pura magia  1/24/2017 CiberCuba: "Arte, religión, música, pintura, teatro... son tantas las manifestaciones que se dan la mano en ese pequeño lugar de la Habana, llamado El Callejón de Hamel."

El Callejón de las tradiciones resalta por su gestión cultural e intervención comunitaria  1/20/2017 TV Yumuri: "El proyecto de integración, intervención y transformación socio-cultural Afro-Atenas, más conocido como el Callejón de las Tradiciones, se encuentra ubicado en la barriada de Pueblo Nuevo, de la ciudad de Matanzas, y tiene como objetivo garantizar la salvaguarda y revitalización de la herencia cultural legada por nuestros ancestros."

The secrets of Santería lie deep in these Cuban families  1/19/2017 Miami Herald: "José Entenza Montalvo, a babalawo, or priest, shows the faded handwritten books, some more than a century old, where special knowledge of medicinal herbs and plants and the names of those initiated as babalawos are recorded. For Entenza, the book has a direct link to his own family history. He is the great-great-grandson of the former slave who first began the veneration of Santa Bárbara in Palmira, a town in the central province of Cienfuegos."

Letra del Año para el 2017 de la Asociación Yoruba de Cuba  1/1/2017 Cibercuba 

Letra del Año 2017 completa (Miami y Cuba)  1/1/2017 Negra Cubana: "Hasta el momento, primero de enero, 12 m, solo ha sido emitida la Letra 2017 de Miami por parte de la Church Of The Lukumi Babalu Aye."

Consejo Cubano De Sacerdotes Mayores De Ifá - LETRA DEL AÑO  1/1/2017 Proyecto Orunmila 

Firman acuerdo de 'Empoderamiento Lukumí' entre Cuba y EEUU  12/20/2016 Diario las Americas: "Durante una emotiva ceremonia en la que se recordaron y homenajearon históricas luchas por la independencia y autodeterminación de la identidad Lukumí, el jerarca de la Iglesia Lukumí Babalú Ayé, Oba Ernesto Pichardo, junto al Babalawo Víctor Betancourt, presidente de Yoruba Ifá Iranlowo, rindieron tributo en Miami a los Babalawos y Olorishas de Cuba reconociendo las directivas Olófin, que juicio de ambos líderes religiosos, buscan promover el orden y el reconocimiento jurídico y social de los seguidores de este culto en todo el mundo."

Un Babalao denuncia "arreglos" entre el Estado cubano y la Asociación Yoruba de Cuba  11/2/2016 Cibercuba: "Ahora las revelaciones realizadas por Jorge Michel Sánchez confirman, lo que muchos ya suponían, que hay que ejercer una suerte de militancia en la Asociación Yoruba para resultar beneficiado del tráfico de influencias generado por extranjeros atraídos por la religión."

Cineasta acusa la religión yoruba en Cuba de “machista e ignorante”  10/29/2016 14 y medio: "Tras la clausura de la muestra audiovisual internacional Almacén de la Imagen, celebrada en Camagüey del 26 al 29 de este mes, el director Noel Rodríguez Portuondo se sentía satisfecho de que su documental Iyanifá hubiera tenido una buena acogida por parte del público. Con el tema de la mujer en la religión yoruba, el audiovisual recopila varias entrevistas e imágenes de ceremonias que se muestran por primera vez ante los ojos de muchos espectadores. La obra se adentra en un tema polémico como ha sido la iniciación de mujeres en el Ifaismo o Regla de Ifá. Una realidad que el joven realizador muestra con acierto y detalles."

Callejón de Hamel: Yo puedo esperar más que tú, porque soy el tiempo.  10/24/2016 Radio Havana: "En el Callejón de Hamel, bajo uno sus más populares mensajes estampados en una fachada Yo puedo esperar más que tú, porque soy el tiempo su creador Salvador González Escalona nos recibe. Ubicado entre las habaneras calles Aramburu y Hospital, en la barriada de Cayo Hueso, el proyecto que lidera el muralista cubano, es parada obligatoria de nacionales y foráneos en los vaivenes de una de las principales arterias de la ciudad capital."

Activistas recuerdan héroes afrocubanos sin nombre  10/21/2016 IPS: "La actividad, organizada por la Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba, el grupo Anamuto y el Cabildo Ifá Íránlówo, conmemoró los 175 años de la rebelión de esclavos y esclavas yorubas en el Palacio de Aldama, hecho acontecido un día 9 de octubre, explicó el investigador Tato Quiñones."

“Los esclavos que son suyos hoy, usted será esclavo de ellos mañana”  10/17/2016 Havana Times: "La sospechosa intromisión estatal alcanzó tope significativo con la llamada unificación de la letra del año, predicción máxima del oráculo Ifá. Desde 1986 Miguel Febles Padrón, Awo Odi Ka, lideró el resurgimiento de la religiosidad yoruba, “halando” la letra desde La Casona de Diez de Octubre, sin injerencia gubernamental. Al paso de dos décadas la ACYC compitió promulgando su otra letra, generalmente considerada oficialista. La unificación se realizó y anunció desde El Prado."

Thanks To Santería, Cuba Is Experiencing An Economic Boom  10/3/2016 Vibe: “People who become santeros are often waiting for a foreigner to come from the outside so that they can make money. You can’t survive with what the government pays you, so santeros do whatever it takes to survive like charge tourists a lot of money for their services and, in a way, are obligated to do these illegal things. It’s all about survival.”

One of Cuba's fastest growing economies is inspired by the life of saints  9/29/2016 Fusion: “Santeria has become really trendy,” he told me in his living room, as his son’s stereo thumped U.S. rap songs in the next room. “Whites have been coming to Cuba and practicing this black religion and stealing our secrets. They began to realize that there was money to be made and they started taking advantage.”

The Orishas Returned to the Street in Regla  9/13/2016 OnCuba: "According to Angelito, one of the island’s most respected Obba Oriaté, in that last Cabildo held in 1961 the images had to enter before because of an incoming storm. Since then the town of Regla has never again been able to stroll its orishas (Santeria deities) to the rhythm of the batá drums, but this September 9 Saint Barbara and Our Ladies of Mercy, Charity and Regla were again out in the street."

Neo-soul duo Oshun spreads a message of peace through traditional African spirituality  7/13/2016 Fusion: "The 21-year-old D.C. natives behind the band Oshun started making music together in their freshman year at New York University, where Thandiwe studies music and Niambi studies Africana Studies. At first the duo jokingly sang Drake covers, but later formed the neo-soul hip-hop band named after the traditional West African deity, the goddess of fresh waters and mother of womanhood, creativity, love and fertility. The duo embodies Yoruba culture in more than just name. They wear all white to express purity and cover their faces in traditional Yoruba body art."

El misterio de Ibeyi  6/24/2016 Granma: "De hecho el magnetismo que desprenden en vivo es otra de las virtudes de estas gemelas, algo que por fin descubrieron los cubanos el pasado mes de mayo cuando tocaron en la Isla por primera vez durante el festival Mu­sicabana, donde trajeron ese mundo lleno de magia, evocaciones, y luminosa oscuridad que han construido a partir de sus raíces, su trama espiritual y el latido perenne de sus ancestros."

Yimi Konclaze: ¡Eleggua Panda!  5/25/2016 Vistar 

Yoruba Drums and Cuban Batá  5/23/2016 KCRW: "I had my brain seriously stretched by a recent podcast of Afropop Worldwide. It was a superb program about “drum speech”–a fascinating subject that has interested ethnomusicologists for a long time. Ned Sublette writes about it in his masterful study, Cuba and its Music: From the First Drum to the Mambo. He’s part the Afropop Worldwide team. I wanted to share just a few things that I learned from this terrific program on how drums can serve as a surrogate for speech in Africa and Cuba."

Ibeyi: Re-nacen dos estrellas en el cielo de La Tropical  5/10/2016 La Ventana: "El país que viene sonará, también, a Ibeyi, estas muchachas franco-cubanas cuya propuesta musical es un arbusto fertilizado por las culturas del Caribe y Europa, junto al dominio de las posibilidades tecnológicas del siglo XXI y las futuridades de un mundo que ya no puede vivir sin los dioses de la música del maltratado continente africano."

Why Beyoncé's Yellow Dress Is So Much More Than A Piece Of Clothing  4/27/2016 Refinery 29: ""[Oshun] has been a victim of abuse, neglect, and loss, which is the reason so many women whom have experienced those actions worship [her]. When she seeks out revenge for those who have hurt her– and her children– she is unpredictable in her methods and temper. She can show herself laughing, dancing and joyous, all while unleashing a wrath on those who cross her. It only makes sense that Beyoncé would allude to Oshun's imagery and personification in an album that is intended to conceptualize a woman's journey of self knowledge and healing, specifically that of a black woman's journey. Oshun symbolizes just that.""

This Beyoncé 'Lemonade' Meaning Theory Involving the African Goddess Oshun Is Mind-Blowing  4/25/2016 MIC: ""Y'all think Beyoncé was just breaking windows, twerking and playing in water. No, she was portraying Oshun, a Yoruba Orisha," Facebook user Tasha Robinson wrote in a post Sunday. "Sensual, sexual, beautiful Goddess [and] deity who is a healer, gives life, growth, luxury, change and prosperity. That was the message of Lemonade. Love, change and prosperity." "

El Orisha esta en nuestro AND  4/1/2016 Ofrani Òdùlámì: "Religious Bookstore in Bahía Honda, Cuba"

Ancient Text Messages: Batá Drums in a Changing World  2/15/2016 Afropop Worldwide: "In Africa, drums don’t only play rhythms, they send messages. “Ancient Text Messages: Batá Drums in a Changing World” explores an endangered tradition of drum speech in Nigeria, and how that tradition changed and thrived in Cuba, where large numbers of enslaved Yoruba arrived in the 19th century. Producer Ned Sublette speaks with ethnomusicologist Amanda Villepastour, language technician Tunde Adegbola, and drummer Kenneth Schweitzer about how language and music overlap."

Ancient Text Messages: Batá Drums in a Changing World  2/11/2016 Afropop: "In Africa, drums don’t only play rhythms, they send messages. “Ancient Text Messages: Batá Drums in a Changing World” explores an endangered tradition of drum speech in Nigeria, and how that tradition changed and thrived in Cuba, where large numbers of enslaved Yoruba arrived in the 19th century. Producer Ned Sublette speaks with ethnomusicologist Amanda Villepastour, language technician Tunde Adegbola, and drummer Kenneth Schweitzer about how language and music overlap."

La Asociación Cultural Yoruba protesta contra la serie 'Santería' de Alejandro Brugués  1/25/2016 14 y Medio: "El conocido director, quien saltó a la fama con su película Juan de los muertos, anunció que trabaja en un thriller sobrenatural sobre dos policías que investigan unos misteriosos crímenes relacionados con la santería. La serie será proyectada por el canal de cable estadounidense Starz y se filmará en su mayor parte en la Isla."

Cuban art exhibit opens at Melbourne museum  1/14/2016 Florida Today: with video and discussion of how FIT's Foosaner Museum brought up Gordillo and his paintaings. Plus “Afrocuban Painting,” a lecture by Alejandro de la Fuente, the Robert Woods Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics and director of the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University. 10:30 a.m. Jan. 16, Harris Community Auditorium at the Foosaner Art Museum. Free."

Modupue Cuba  1/13/2016 Arte Aché: "Increíblemente hace algunos años atrás la Letra del Año dejo de ser privativa de religiosos a nivel de difusión para convertirse en un discurso para todos los cubanos, ya que guiaba y ofrecía una nueva visión de como deberían de pensar y actual millones de cubanos de aquí y de allá. Antes de su nueva forma de transmisión la letra pasaba de mano en mano de los religiosos en volantes, memorias flash o de boca a boca, hasta que su expansión salió del la sede social de la Sociedad Cultural Yoruba para ser divulgada por los grandes medios de difusión masiva del país, prensa plana, digital y televisión."

Aggayú Solá  1/12/2016 Arte Aché: "Aggayú Solá es el Orisha de los desiertos, de la tierra seca y de los ríos enfurecidos. Es el gigante de la Osha, Orisha del fuego, de carácter belicoso y colérico. Es el báculo de Obbatala. Confundido en algunos casos con Aganjú el 6° Alafín de Òyó. Su culto proviene de tierra Arará y Fon. Su nombre proviene del Yorùbá Aginjù Solá (Aginjù: desierto – So:voz – Àlá: Cubrir), literalmente “El que cubre el desierto con su voz”. Es un Orisha que no se coloca a la cabeza en las casas Lukumís, se hace Shangó con oro para Aggayú y en algunas casas hacen Oshún con oro para Aggayú. Se coloca a la cabeza en algunas casas de origen Arará."

Roman Diaz: L’ó dá fún Bàtá Album Release  1/9/2016 Joe's Pub: Jan 12, NY City - "The long-awaited debut album ‘L’ó dá fún Bàtá’, from master percussionist, scholar, composer and living repository of Afro-Cuban music, Roman Diaz, is out on Motéma. ‘L’ó dá fún Bàtá’ CD Release party: Come for a night of spiritually transcendent music in the deepest of Afro-Cuban musical traditions featuring Román Diaz and his batá ensemble with the albums producer and featured performer Pedrito Martínez accompanied by a Yoruba choir."

Cuban Yoruba priests release predictions for 2016  1/3/2016 On Cuba: "The annual predictions and recommendations known as “Letter of the Year” were released by the Cuban Council of Elder Priests of Ifa (Yoruba religion), and the “Miguel Febles Padrón” Letter of the Year Organizing Committee. Under events of social interest, this year’s reading foresees migration waves, increased foreign investment, new agreements and talks between countries, and social unrest fuelled by despair. Three diseases were singled out as particularly dangerous for the year, namely, digestive tract diseases, specifically pancreatic problems; neurological conditions; and epidemics and mass poisoning."

Cuba's Santeria priests predict explosive migration, social unrest in 2016  1/2/2016 Reuters: "Priests offering New Year's prophecies from Cuba's Afro-Cuban religion forecast an explosion in migration and social unrest worldwide in 2016. Many on the Caribbean island eagerly wait for guidance from the Santeria religion's annual forecast. Santeria, with roots in West African tradition brought to Cuba by slaves, is practiced by millions of Cubans."

Letra del año 2016 (COMPLETA)  1/2/2016 Negra cubana: "El día 31 de Diciembre del 2015 se reúnen en la sede social de la Sociedad Cultural Yoruba los miembros de la Comisión Organizadora de la Letra del Año Miguel Febles Padrón “Awo Odi Ka” y el Consejo de Mayores de Cuba, para realizar la Ceremonia de Apertura del Año 2016. Esta ceremonia fue Presidida por el Sacerdote de Ifá Ángel Padrón Cárdenas “Awo Baba Eyiobe” y el respaldo de los Sacerdotes de Ifa de todas las familias de Cuba y sus descendientes en el Mundo, sacó La Letra el Sacerdote más pequeño."

Aqui el que baila paga (Documental)  1/2/2016 Havana Times: "Un análisis, desde el punto de vista de estudiosos y practicantes, del aumento en número de seguidores de la religión Yoruba, a partir de la tesis de que puede ser una práctica muy lucrativa, teniendo en cuenta la cantidad de personas que participan en sus ceremonias de iniciación, entre otros rituales. (Doc. 15 minutos)."

Cuba’s Fascinating Babalú-Ayé Procession Honors African and Catholic Traditions  12/16/2015 Smithsonian: "On December 17, Cubans perform a ritual pilgrimage for a powerful deity that can bring good health or can take it away image: Rincón, Cuba On December 17, pilgrims flood the streets of the Cuban town of Rincón, home to a leprosarium and a church dedicated to St. Lazarus. (Alejandro Ernesto/epa/Corbis) By Michael Atwood Mason December 16, 2015 1.4K 16 1 1 1 1 1.5K 1.4K 16 1 1 1 1.5K After more than 50 years of economic embargo and political brinksmanship, the announcement one year ago of the renewal of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States came as a surprise. Washington, D.C., had been awash in rumors that a change was in the offing, but almost no one guessed at the magnitude of this remarkable development in global geopolitics. For many, particularly Cuban exiles around the world, it was one of those unforgettable historic moments, like the first man on the Moon or the fall of the Berlin Wall. Some called it a miracle, as it occurred on an auspicious day for Cubans. Advertisement Advertisement “Isn’t it amazing that this occurred on December 17,” exclaimed Cuban-American anthropologist Ruth Behar in a piece she wrote for the Washington Post. “It’s a day of great significance to Cubans, when thousands of them make an annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Rincón to mark the feast day of San Lázaro.” Many of my Cuban friends and colleagues told me that this momentous event “had” to take place on this day. Since 1992, I have been visiting Cuba as an ethnographer and researcher of a unique Afro-Cuban tradition that honors both the Catholic St. Lazarus and the African-inspired Babalú-Ayé. (Yes, this is the same Babalú that performer Desi Arnaz sang to in “I Love Lucy.”)" [San Lazaro does not correspond to any catholic saint]

Ibeyi  12/1/2015 On Cuba: "The French-Cuban Ibeyi – daughters of the great Cuban percussionist Miguel Díaz (Angá) and the French-Venezuelan singer Maya Dagnino – have won over great stages, and have gotten vehement praises from the most demanding critics. They sing with the noble intimacy of the ancestors."

Transculturación de la Regla de Osha  11/27/2015 Negra Cubana 

Dia de Reyes with Yesenia Selier and Global Rhythms in Madison Square Park  10/15/2015 YouTube 

Amara Tabor-Smith honors the dead through dance  9/23/2015 SF Gate: "Tabor-Smith’s dance is influenced by her experience as a priest in Lukumí, a branch of the Santeria religion that started in the Caribbean. She says that Mendieta “was a student of indigenous cultures from around the world, with a focus on the orishas or spirits of Santería, Taíno and Mayan mythologies.”

I am La Virgen de la Caridad  8/1/2015 OnCuba: "The beautiful icon of the mother of Christ was spotted floating on the waters of the Bay of Nipe in 1612. After three stormy days, she appeared at dawn on a piece of wood that bore the words “I am the Virgin of Charity.” The men now known as the “three Juans,” who had gone to Nipe in search of salt, picked her up and took her to the village of Barajagua, and years later, she was taken to the parish of El Cobre. She disappeared from both of those sites, and then appeared on top of a hill in El Cobre. One night, a shining brightness was seen on that hill: it was where the Virgin wanted to be."

Santeros cubanos sacarán versión única de Letra del Año a partir de 2016  7/6/2015 Café Fuerte: "Lázaro Cuesta, babalawo fundador y organizador de la Comisión de la Letra del Año, y José Manuel Pérez, presidente de la Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba, ofrecieron una rueda e prensa para anunciar el acuerdo para la letra única y saludar este paso como una consolidación de la comunidad nucleada en torno a los cultos religiosos afrocubanos."

Oyalogy – a poetic approach to African feminism  5/28/2015 Afropolitan: Honoring Oya - "They arrived during lunch break, and as the men began to exit the hall, Gbowee shouted, “No one will come out of this place until a peace agreement is signed!”. They threatened to arrest her. She responded, ”I will make it very easy for you to arrest me, I’m going to strip naked.” She took off her hairband, took off her lappa, started to take off her clothes. As many Africans might know, there is a powerful symbolism attached to women stripping publicly. The belief is that if a woman exposes the parts of herself through which men have been given life, she is indirectly taking back the life that man has been given. Therefore, this act shook the men thoroughly. While the war did not end there and then, what the women did that day marked the beginning of the end. On August 11, 2003, Charles Taylor resigned."

Voz de mágica raíz  5/16/2015 Jiribilla: "Que se deje oír entonces todo el pesar y toda la alegría de esa larga historia negra que también nos arma y nos cuida. Que otra vez nos cuente de sus dioses, de su luz y su monte, de sus mitos de altar y manigua, en ese todo mezclado que somos. Y que toda esa mágica raíz, se oiga en la voz nuestra del maestro Lázaro Ross."

La danza en la religión afrocubana Regla de Ocha-Ifá (+vídeo)  5/16/2015 Negra Cubana: "Uno de los legados fundamentales de Cuba a la cultura universal ha sido la música y consiguientemente la danza. Por ello comenzaremos esta serie de trabajos con las expresiones musicales y danzarias que tienen lugar dentro del ámbito de la Regla de Ocha-Ifá o Santería, una religión afrocubana de trascendencia no solo espiritual sino además portadora de tradiciones y costumbres definitorias en la identidad nacional."

Awa-Ni-Ye  5/16/2015 Jiribilla: por Natalia Bolívar - "Para los cubanos, es y será siempre, la voz por excelencia, salida del corazón de la selva africana, el mejor akpwón del rico y ancestral folclore cubano, quien nos entonó sus melodías con sonoridad inigualable, por su calidad y fortaleza. Cuando se habla de la voz más fiel de los orishas, sólo hay un nombre: Lázaro Ross."

“Debemos recuperar no solo la memoria, sino también el olvido”  5/16/2015 Jiribilla: Entrevista con Rogelio Martínez Furé sobre Lazaro Ross - "¿Existe algún momento que recuerde con especial agrado del tiempo que trabajaron juntos? Cuando fuimos a Bagdad en 1988. Era una ciudad preciosa. Estábamos almorzando en el Ishtar Sheraton, un hotel de lujo, y empieza a sonar el Concierto de Aranjuez. Lázaro se desconectó de una forma que dejó de comer, se fue de momento, se quedó y desapareció su espíritu atrás de la música. Y yo pensaba: si te viera la gente que cree que tú nada más eres cantor de santería y de tambor batá… Qué tonta es la mayoría que no profundiza en las identidades."

Un akpwón sincero y auténtico  5/16/2015 Jiribilla: "Era una auténtica confluencia de caminos en las que gente de pueblo, portadores folclóricos de enorme sabiduría, como Trinidad Torregosa, Jesús Pérez, Nieves Fresneda, Manuela Alonso, José Oriol, Emilio O’Farrill, y el propio Lázaro, hallaron una plataforma para encauzar escénica y musicalmente talentos que de otra manera hubieran sido minimizados."

Más que el akpwón mayor: el hombre  5/16/2015 Jiribilla: "Porque para Ros cantar desde niño, le trajo sus ventajas, complementadas junto a las enseñanzas de los mayores. Ya de grande, sus constantes viajes a Calimete, Perico, Colón, Jagüey Grande, Carlos Rojas y otros pueblos de Matanzas, le nutrieron aún más en pos de dominar “el difícil dialecto”, como declaró en cierta ocasión. “Para aprender a cantar yoruba hay que tener corazón y querer el canto. Y tener un oído muy fino”, siempre decía."

Oyalogy, repowerment and art talks  5/16/2015 Afropolitan: "On 25 May, I’ll be giving a talk at Trinity College Dublin’s annual conference to mark Africa Day. The conference will look at key issues in gender; movements towards equality for women and girls, barriers to gender equality, and how they can be overcome. My talk is titled “Oyalogy” – A poetic approach to African feminism” On 3 June, I’m giving a keynote address at WOMEN AND DEVELOPMENT – Twenty years after Beijing: what’s changed and what’s the same?, part of the European Development Days (EDD15), which will take place from 3-4 June in Brussels. My talk is titled “From Empowerment to Repowerment”."

«Es importante conocer el pasado de la religión»  5/10/2015 Diario de Cuba: "Raufe Rafael Montalván Herrera es Educador Popular, graduado del Centro Martin Luther King Jr, desde 2005. Realizó estudios Bíblicos y Teológicos desde 2006 hasta 2010. Ha ofrecido conferencias sobre el cuidado del medio ambiente y el respeto a la vida desde la religión yoruba, en el "VII Encuentro Internacional de Estudios Socioreligiosos" y otros eventos. Al final de su conferencia en el Festival Love in 2014, el investigador cubano Tomás Fernández Robaina, practicante de la religión yoruba, lo calificó como el Martín Lutero de esa religión."

La danza en la religión afrocubana Regla de Ocha-Ifá  5/3/2015 Global Voices: por Sandra Abd'Allah-Alvarez Ramírez

Yesenia Selier y Cafe da Silva  5/1/2015 YouTube 

Ibeyi: Afro-Cuban Religion Meets Experimental Pop  4/17/2015 Latino USA: "When it comes to mixing the old with the new, nobody does it quite like Ibeyi. The group, made up of twin sisters from a French-Cuban family, draws on Afro-Cuban religious chants to make experimental pop music, with tinges of hip-hop and electronic music. It’s proven to be a winning combo— Ibeyi has been getting a lot of love from audiences and music critics alike in the months since the band’s self-titled debut album dropped."

Yoruban twins to perform in Minneapolis  3/30/2015 MPR News: "Lisa-Kainde Diaz and Naomi Diaz of French-Cuban musical duo Ibeyi perform."

Ibeyi (full concert) - Live @ Les Inrocks Philips  2/19/2015 YouTube - Culture Box: 35 min

Interviews from Havana - Blacks in Cuba  1/28/2015 teleSUR English: 24 min - "The Cuban nation is a fusion of blacks and whites, European immigrants and African slaves and their respective descendants. Today, it is often difficult to determine whether a Cuban is black or white. In recent years there has been a surge of interest in black Cubans and the African influence in the formation of the Cuban nation. In today's program, host Cristina Escobar interviews documentary filmmaker Gloria Rolando of the Yoruba Cultural Association about the African heritage in Cuba, Afro-Cuban religions, and her own work in producing documentaries on these topics."

Interviews from Havana - African heritage in Cuba  1/28/2015 teleSUR English: 24 min - "The Cuban nation is a fusion of blacks and whites, European immigrants and African slaves and their respective descendants. Today, it is often difficult to determine whether a Cuban is black or white. In recent years there has been a surge of interest in black Cubans and the African influence in the formation of the Cuban nation. In today's program, host Cristina Escobar interviews documentary filmmaker Gloria Rolando of the Yoruba Cultural Association about the African heritage in Cuba, Afro-Cuban religions, and her own work in producing documentaries on these topics. teleSUR"

How Santería Seeped Into Latin Music  1/7/2015 NPR: "The Yoruba language is a tonal language," Santos says — that is, speaking a word with a different inflection can give it a different meaning. "So the drums are made to imitate the range of sounds, traditionally, of the voice of the person who commissions the drums to be made."

Letra del año 2015 Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba  1/2/2015 Yusnaby 

Letra del Año para el 2015 de la Asociación Yoruba de Cuba  1/1/2015 CubaDebate 

Afro-Cuban Culture at Havana’s Hamel Alley  10/27/2014 Havana Times: "“The project emerged in 1990, on April 21, 1990, to be exact, when Salvador decided to paint his first mural in a public space in front of his house. In 1989, he had already painted a mural in Old Havana’s Casa de Africa,” Elias Asef, assistant to visual artist Salvador Gonzalez and the project’s manager and leader, tells us."

Women drummers break barriers in Cuba percussion  6/11/2014 South Florida Times: "Instructors were warned that if they taught women, it could cost them a place in a traveling tour or a major performance. Over the years, doors slowly began opening for female drummers – just as women gradually took on greater roles in politics, academics and other areas of Cuban society. Today, experts say, the island is seeing a boom in women percussionists as the generation that first started playing in the 1990s comes into its own and inspires younger talent to follow. “I threw myself into the unknown,” said Eva Despaigne, the 60-year-old director of Obini Bata, Cuba’s first all-female bata orchestra, which takes its name from the Yoruban word for woman. “I have suffered many headaches.”"

Predicciones del "oráculo de Ifá" por Víctor Betancourt  6/9/2014 PLATAFORMA DE INTEGRACIÓN CUBANA: "Antes de revelar las predicciones de 2014 para Cuba, quiero destacar algunos acontecimientos de interés social durante la década 1989-98. Por tres veces apareció el Odù Éjìogbè y tomando en cuenta el postulado ancestral: “Ifá toma los modelos del pasado para adaptarlos al presente y mejorar el futuro,” puedo considerar dichos acontecimientos como modelos sugerentes para el presente año, ya que durante aquel período la economía y la sociedad cubana tuvieron su momento más crítico y lograron sobrevivir a la crisis."

Tribute to Havana’s Callejon de Hamel  6/5/2014 Havana Times: "During the recently-concluded Cubadisco awards, dedicated to drum playing, the Honary Award was granted the Callejon and Salvador Gonzalez, founder of the project. According to Cary Diez, folk music expert and lover, it was an opportunity to pay tribute to “all percussionists, rumba players, dancers and people who play instruments there.”

Yesenia Fernandez Selier - Performer, Researcher, Teacher  6/1/2014 Callejero Films: "Cuban born performer and scholar, Yesenia Fernandez Selier holds an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from NYU. Yesenia’s is the recipient of fellowships from CLASCO and the CUNY Caribbean Exchange Program of Hunter College and recognized for her work preserving Latino heritage by the “Save Latin America Organization”. Her work on Afro Cuban culture, encompassing dance, music and race identity has been published in Cuba, United States and Brazil. Yesenia is an accomplished actress and dancer, and instructor of Cuban and Afro Cuban dance. She founded in 2011 The Ibiono Cultural Association, with Master Afro Cuban Drummer Roman Diaz, focused on the continuity of the Afro Cuban Legacy, in New York City."

Jazz at the Crossroads – The Dance of Eleggua  5/24/2014 Jazz de la Pena: "This week’s show is a new work, El Gallo Mistico, is a celebration of the anniversary of Cuba’s birth as a republic (May 20, 1902), created specifically for the festival by the master percussionist Román Diaz. It’s an interplay between the potent ritual drumming and dance – of the Yoruba, Congo and Caribali cultures – with brilliant improvisational jazz piano of David Virelles, El Gallo Mistico (The Sacred Rooster) represents the exciting synergy between tradition and the avant-garde that has characterized the Negrista and AfroCubanismo movements of the 1920s and ’30s in Cuban culture. And tonight we had an unprecedented occurrence in the history of New York jazz – the presence of Africa, with all its potent magic, when Román Diaz invoked, with chants and drums, the Ireme, the masked, hooded sacred dancer of the Abakua religion. This ritual is the very source of jazz – the state of ecstatic possession, the direct communication with the deities of the West African pantheon – that must never be forgotten."

Influence Yoruba dans la poésie cubaine; Nicolás Guillén et la tradition poétique yoruba  4/4/2014 AfroCubaWeb: de Olabiyi Yai, Actes du XLIIe Congrès International des Américanistes, 2-9 Septembre 1976, Vol. 6, 643-58. Société des Américanistes de Paris.

As Santería grows and evolves, the increasing focus on Africa opens rifts among the sects  3/28/2014 Miami Herald: "Cheryl Grills, a Loyola Marymount University psychology professor and Ifá practitioner, last fall arranged for Elebuibon to visit Havana, where he met with a group of babalawos for an informal two-day conference to talk about the roots of the religion. “It was a wonderful and enriching experience,” Grills said. “The babalawos there were so incredibly appreciative.” The host, a Cuban psychologist and Lukumi practitioner named Dr. William Viera, was so moved that he traveled to Nigeria in December to be initiated. There, Elebuibon bestowed him with the title of Havana’s “Araba,” the highest position a Yoruba traditional priest can earn."

Mastering drums being a woman: Obiní Batá  3/25/2014 On Cuba: "A group of women master the Iyá, the Itótele and Okónkolo-names given to each of the bata drums. Furthermore they sing, dance and play the claves and chequeré deftly as wise connoisseurs of our folk traditions. It is Obiní Batá. This ensemble looks at the Afro-Cuban syncretism from culture and has been for two decades on the scene. It emerged in 1993 within the National Folk Ensemble. Eva Despaigne, their leader, says it is nothing new that women are interested in this kind of aesthetic proposal; they are faithful to the legacy of Rumba Morena and other women’s groups who cultivate the rumba."

Callejón de Hamel: un oasis de color en el centro de La Habana  3/15/2014 Jiribilla: "Según su creador y principal impulsor, el artista autodidacta Salvador González, “el objetivo es contribuir a que prevalezcan los valores de identidad, que las futuras generaciones respeten, conserven y conozcan nuestras raíces. Como lo reflejé en una de las frases que escribí de la autoría de Fernando Ortiz, nuestro gran maestro: Todo pueblo que se niega a sí mismo entra en trance decisivo”."

Obiní Batá: Veinte años y mucho más  2/2/2014 Soplo de sueños: "A lo mejor ya es frase vacía cuando decimos que 20 años no es nada, pues es el título de la canción de Gardel lo primero que nos viene a la mente cuando ese número se convierte en aniversario, conmemoración. Pero me apropio de ella en este caso, como muchos, luego de disfrutar durante este fin de semana de dos conciertos de la Compañía Folklórica Obiní Bata dedicados a su vigésimo aniversario."

In Memoriam: Katherine Hagedorn, Divine utterances: The performance of Afro-Cuban santería (2001)  2/2/2014 Ethnocuba 

Dime qué haces y te diré quién eres: Santería, mujeres santeras y representación social de sus funciones  1/1/2014 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul: "El presente estudio es una introducción alanálisis de las desigualdades de género en la religión Santería, Regla Ocha-Ifa, en Cuba. A partir de examen crítico de la representación social que poseen las mujeres de los roles que se les asignan en la Santería se pretende esclarecer las engranajes a través de los cuales las relaciones de poder se sustentan y reproducen en ella."

Things that Cannot Be Seen Any Other Way: The Art of Manuel Mendive  9/2/2013 California African American Museum, Los Angeles: "This exhibition is a newly-produced, career-spanning overview, while emphasizing the artist’s mature work. Whereas cubism and surrealism had been common among his predecessors, Mendive instead incorporates visual elements rooted in Lukumi/Yoruba visual traditions into his painting. The exhibition and publication trace Mendive’s drawing, painting, sculpture, and performances from the early 1960s to the present, giving special focus to discrete themes common across his work, including religion, nationalism, and memory. Mendive’s most significant work, which forms the central conceptual and physical focus of the project, are his 1960s and 1970s series “Yoruba Mythology” and “Middle Passage,” and his performances in the late 1980s, such as “La Vida.”"

Lista Cuba para la VI edición del Festival Folklórico Olorum 2013  9/1/2013 PL: "Añadió que los participantes reflexionarán en torno a la necesidad e importancia de la inclusión de las costumbres de la cultura popular tradicional y el folclor en las diferentes manifestaciones del arte (teatro, danza, música, cine, literatura, plástica, fotografía), como vía para su amparo y legado generacional. Esta VI edición estará dedicará a la Cultura Yoruba y al Ballet Folklórico de Camagüey, promotor principal del encuentro que busca promover el arte musical y danzario para lograr un buen nivel de confrontación en la manifestación y crear un espacio permanente para el desarrollo cultural de esa manifestación, y con sus directores y artistas."

Cuba lista para VI Edición del Festival Olorum 2013  9/1/2013 Telesur: "Echemendía añadió que los participantes reflexionarán en torno a la necesidad e importancia de la inclusión de las costumbres de la cultura popular tradicional en las diferentes manifestaciones del arte (teatro, danza, música, cine, literatura, plástica, fotografía), como vía para su amparo y legado generacional. Esta VI edición estará dedicará a la Cultura Yoruba y al Ballet Folklórico de Camagüey, promotor principal del encuentro que busca uimpulsar el arte musical y danzario para lograr un espacio permanente para el desarrollo cultural de esa manifestación."

ORISHAS: Yoruba dance, music and tradition tell the story of women everywhere  8/31/2013 Examiner: “When I was sixteen years old, a theater director chose me to play the main role in a play called “Virginia and the Orishas.” A play about a young black girl asking the African gods of the Cuban-Yoruba pantheon, the Orishas, to make her white. This bitter experience motivated endless reflections about race and identity that I have developed and shared in research, educational programs and performances in Cuba and the United States for the last twenty years.”

La bailarina, actriz y antropóloga Yesenia Selier presenta su espectáculo 'Orishas' en el Museo Cubano  8/27/2013 Diario de Cuba: "Selier obtuvo una Maestría en Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe en la New York University, y es becaria de CLASCO y del Programa Cultural de Hunter-CUNY. Su trabajo de conservación cultural se ha publicado en Cuba, Estados Unidos y Brasil. En la actualidad es profesora de danza del Center for African and Diaspora Dance."

The Cuban Museum to Present ORISHAS at Koubek Center, 9/7-8  8/16/2013 Broadway World: "A dance-theater performance by New York-based artist Yesenia Selier and her troupe, inspired in the traditions of the female orishas of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, the ancestors of Cuba's Afro-descendant population. ORISHAS uses dance, music and tradition to reflect on the struggles and circumstances of women today. Yesenia Selier's passionate interpretation of Cuban dances is already well-known. She highlights and blends both Iberian and African roots of the island's varied music and dance repertoire. Born in Havana, Selier holds an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University, and is the recipient of fellowships from CLASCO and the CUNY Caribbean Exchange Program of Hunter College."

Semana Santa: una mentira al descubierto en la Santería o Regla de Osha  5/23/2013 Negra Cubana Tenía Que Ser: Por Babalawo Ofunshi Obà Koso - "Mi reflexión se basa en un intercambio con un anciano babalorisa quien, sin respetar mi manera de pensar y actuar, me exigió no trabajar Ifa y cubrir con tela a mi ejército de orishas, simplemente porque era semana santa, lo cual, según este señor, en la tradición cubana es obligatorio. Después de dialogar de manera comprensiva, el anciano me abrazó y su última frase fue: ¨Que rico es tener la oportunidad de despertar a mi edad de 72 años” Mi pregunta es entonces: ¿hasta cuando vamos aceptar las imposiciones de quienes nos colonizaron?, creencias que con el tiempo se hicieron cotidianas y que desvalorizan nuestros ancestros y Orisas, que desde mi punto de vista es seguirle el juego a los que fueron participes directos del gran genocidio trasatlántico."

Sostuvo Díaz-Canel encuentro con miembros de la Asociación Yoruba de Cuba  5/21/2013 Granma: "Es muy importante toda la relación que mantengamos. Aquí reside una parte significativa de nuestra historia, cultura e identidad y podemos seguir acrecentando de manera sostenible el respeto, la unidad y la comprensión", precisó."

Cuba, santería oficial  5/21/2013 Café Fuerte: "La cultura de la pobreza impulsada por el castrismo ha conseguido alienar a buena parte de la población, que se ha entregado con entusiasmo a las prácticas de la Regla de Ocha como si los orishas de fundamento pudieran traer la libertad, la independencia y la riqueza a la isla, cuando no lo han conseguido ni para yorubas o bantúes en la mísera África."

Diaz-Canel visita Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba  5/21/2013 CubaDebate: "Díaz-Canel fue recibido por el presidente de la organización, Antonio Castañeda, y se reunió con varios de sus miembros para conocer además sobre el funcionamiento de esa institución, extendida por todo el territorio nacional."

EL IDIOMA DE SHANGÓ  2/18/2013 UNEAC: "Conocido fundamentalmente por la etnológica y la erótica, dos de las vertientes principales de su obra literaria, aunque no las únicas, el escritor cienfueguero Luis E. Ramírez Cabrera prosigue en Diccionario de la Regla de Osha o Santería (Editorial Mecenas, 2013) la labor de investigación en el primero de los terrenos referidos. Aché mi significa en la doctrina religiosa estudiada Mi palabra. Pues bien, puedo dar Aché mi de que este será el texto más buscado (y en breve agotado, como todos los anteriores del autor, en la provincia) de las novedades traídas por Cienfuegos a la Feria del Libro, al constituir abarcadora pieza sobre el tema."

Obbiní Batá con la bendición de los ancestros  2/7/2013 OnCuba: "Aché Eggun es el nombre del espectáculo que la agrupación femenina de música folclórica Obbiní Batá ofrecerá en la noche del 13 próximo en el capitalino Teatro Mella, en ocasión de sus 18 años de creada. Eva Despaigne, directora del grupo, dijo a OnCuba que la gala estará dedicada a los desaparecidos Mirtha Ocanto, una de sus fundadoras, y el declamador Joel Carreras."

Ministerio religioso Yoruba presenta página de cubanos y entidades deshonestas  7/30/2012 Sunset News: "Ministerio religioso Yoruba presenta página de cubanos y entidades deshonestas y que practican el apartheid social contra las religiones afrocubanas"

La división de la Habana: Territorial Conflict and Cultural Hegemony in the Followers of Oyo Lukumí Religion, 1850s–1920s  7/16/2012 Johns Hopkins: published in 2003 - "The Yoruba presence in the Americas, particularly in Brazil and Cuba, has been the topic of much research in past years. The role of the individuals who molded and guided the new directions taken by these cultural manifestations, however, continues to be virgin terrain. In particular and without doubt, women were the most important contributors to these acculturative processes. The present article examines the influence of three African women and their contribution to the evolution and survival of Lukumi religion in Cuba. In so doing, it brings to the fore other important issues that cast light on the lives of Afro-Cuban women in nineteenth-century Cuba forced to live in a Eurocentric society in which they occupied the lowest rung of the ladder. These issues highlight the hardships and impediments that in many ways all Afro-Cubans had to overcome in their struggle for power and respect--even among members of their own ethnic groups. Eventually, this struggle played an important role in the contributions made by these groups to Cuban culture and society."

Guanabacoa Museum: Cult to the Orishas  7/5/2012 Granma: "Popularly known as the land of the Babalaos (Santería priests), this locality, founded in 1554, was an important settlement, associated with the slave trade which began in the 16th century."

AFRO-CUBA Mystery and Magic of Afro-Cuban Spirituality  7/1/2012 Cuba Absolutely: "Anthony Caronia passion for photography came in the deserts of Qatar, documenting the the Bedouins. Given his own wanderings this seems appropriate, since having been born in Italy he has lived in Malta, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, U.S.A., Cuba, Mexico, and is now based in Brazil. This collection of work from his time in Cuba and the associated text is powerful, moving, evocative and well thoughts out. This is someone who has been there within the mysterious world of Afro-Cuban religion. Ultimately he spent four years researching the book, entering into a magical world where African spirits manifest their presence in everyday Cuban life. There is no sugar coating of his experience but a cool eyed assessment of what it meant for him and an attempt to show the hold that Santeria can exert. This is a magnificent book with beautiful images and a compelling story."

Callejón de Hamel: De La Habana… una arteria  4/22/2012 Cubadebate: "En el Callejón se rinde tributo a la cultura afrocubana, algunas obras están hechas de restos de viejas bicicletas o de bañeras abandonadas, relucientes ahora luego de tomar color. Además, existe un Nganga, lugar sagrado para la celebración de los ritos de la religión de Palo Monte."

Carlos Aldama’s Life in Batá by Umi Vaughan and Carlos Aldama, Indiana University Press  3/22/2012 EthnoCuba: "Batá identifies both the two-headed, hourglass-shaped drum of the Yoruba people and the culture and style of drumming, singing, and dancing associated with it. This book recounts the life story of Carlos Aldama, one of the masters of the batá drum, and through that story traces the history of batá culture as it traveled from Africa to Cuba and then to the United States. For the enslaved Yoruba, batá rhythms helped sustain the religious and cultural practices of a people that had been torn from its roots. Aldama, as guardian of Afro-Cuban music and as a Santería priest, maintains the link with this tradition forged through his mentor Jesus Pérez (Oba Ilu), who was himself the connection to the preserved oral heritage of the older generation. By sharing his stories, Aldama and his student Umi Vaughan bring to light the techniques and principles of batá in all its aspects and document the tensions of maintaining a tradition between generations and worlds, old and new. The book includes rare photographs and access to downloadable audio tracks."

Living Santeria: Rituals and Experiences in an Afro-Cuban Religion  3/4/2012 Powell's Books: "In 1992 Smithsonian anthropologist Michael Atwood Mason traveled to Cuba for initiation as a priest into the Santería religion. Since then he has created an active oricha “house” and has initiated five others as priests. He is a rare combination: a scholar-practitioner who is equally fluent in his profession and his religion. Interweaving his roles as researcher and priest, Mason explores Santería as a contemporary phenomenon and offers an understanding of its complexity through his own experiences and those of its many practitioners. Balancing deftly between a devotee's account of participation and an anthropologist's theoretical analysis, Living Santería offers an original and insightful understanding of this growing religious tradition."

Letra del Año  1/15/2012 Proyecto Orunmila: Haz click sobre 2012 en cada seccion para mirar la letra de todo los fuentes.

Cuba Babalao Predictions for 2012  1/3/2012 Havana Times: "The osorbo is marked by the ruling sign, the Baba Irete Meyi (the shadow of children with short lives) and the main deity Oya (the “Orisha” or saint of storms and cemeteries). This is accompanied by Oggun, the patron of blacksmiths and the military."

Living Santeria: Rituals and Experiences in an Afro-Cuban Religion by Michael Atwoo Mason  12/1/2011 Powell's Books: "In 1992 Smithsonian anthropologist Michael Atwood Mason traveled to Cuba for initiation as a priest into the Santería religion. Since then he has created an active oricha “house” and has initiated five others as priests. He is a rare combination: a scholar-practitioner who is equally fluent in his profession and his religion. Interweaving his roles as researcher and priest, Mason explores Santería as a contemporary phenomenon and offers an understanding of its complexity through his own experiences and those of its many practitioners. Balancing deftly between a devotee's account of participation and an anthropologist's theoretical analysis, Living Santería offers an original and insightful understanding of this growing religious tradition."

Obini Bata: All–Women Afro–Cuban music group  9/1/2011 Cuba Absolutely: "When Obini Bata was founded in June of 1993, it was the first all-female group featuring Bata drumming. Eva Despainge Trujillo, Artistic Director, left the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba (the National Folkloric Company of Cuba—until today a reference point in Cuban dance and culture) to found Obini Bata. She explained that chauvinistic attitudes have followed the group throughout its history. Unfortunately, some Cubans—both men and women—have not been able to separate the group’s use of the Bata drums for an artistic purpose as opposed to a religious one. As Eva stated, “we put the religious world on stage as art.”

Yemayá bendice el Caribe  8/1/2011 Casa del Caribe: "A Yemayá, dueña y señora de las aguas en el Panteón Yoruba, se le rindió tributo e invocó para la protección y el bienestar de todos los caribeños, este 8 de julio como en cada Festival justo en el encuentro del Río Nima Nima con el mar. A lo ancho del lugar, conocido como Juan González, por primera vez en el Festival, varias religiones de origen común con la madre África, unieron sus cantos, danzas y ritos para la oda a Yemayá. Junto a los tradicionales grupos practicantes de la Regla de Ocha en Santiago de Cuba se hallaban esta vez, los líderes y grupos religiosos de la Regla Bantú, los de la variante cubana del vudú, y del espiritismo."

A Bembé at the Arangos’ Home in Cuba  12/1/2010 Berklee Blogs: "Still running on the adrenaline from their concert at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Berklee’s Interarts Ensemble went directly to a bembé celebrating the Yoruba diety Chango at the home of the musical Arango family. The two percussionist brothers and vocalist sister perform with their band (Hermanos Arango) internationally, and Eugenio, who is known for his work with Irakere and Pablo Milanes, had just performed with the Berklee students at the museum. His brother Feliciano is a pioneer of the timba style of bass in Cuban dance music."


DEL TEATRO ENTRE LOS YORUBA  9/8/2010 UNEAC: Por: Heriberto Feraudy Espino

Santeria.el callejon de hamel  7/27/2010 Viaje al Centro de 

Yoruba por Flamenco estreno de la Compañía Flamenca ECOS  7/1/2010 Cuba Escena: "La Compañía Flamenca ECOS, que dirige el primer bailarín y coreógrafo Danny Villalonga, estrenará Yoruba por Flamenco hoy jueves 1ero. de julio a las 7:00 PM en la Sala Teatro del Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. La dirección artística es de la primera bailarina Ana Rosa Meneses y la dirección musical del cantaor Miguel Chávez, ambos han invitado a artistas del Conjunto Folclórico Nacional de Cuba para mostrar los puntos de comunión existentes entre estas dos culturas… Yoruba por Flamenco pretende mostrar la afinidad existente entre la música flamenca y la yoruba. Aunque es la música la gran protagonista del espectáculo, la danza se pasea todo el tiempo durante la puesta, jugando con una imagen influenciada por lo tradicional y lo contemporáneo. Yoruba por Flamenco no intenta enfrentar dos culturas, aspira a mostrar cómo se acoplan con total dulzura, sentimiento y ritmo."

Lucumi Attempt to Bury African Origins of IFA & Orisa Worship  6/18/2010 TRADITIONAL IFA PRACTICE: "Recently we have been rocked and sadden to read about certain group of Oriates in Miami who held a secret conference in order to attempt and pass law towards Traditional Yoruba Religion and all there followers ! Yes i know sounds very crazy , some people in the Lucumi community state that although Lucumi /Santeria religion does come from Africa that lucumi is now to be recognized as its own independent religion . They have the nerve to say that Africans no longer have ASE in what they originally created because of colonialism.This is a disturbing power struggle that has been launched by Ernesto Pichardo and Miguel “Willie” Ramos in order to bury there African roots of IFA Orisa worship."

Remembering Francisco Aguabella, Late Giant Of Afro-Cuban Conga  5/13/2010 NPR: " Percussionist Francisco Aguabella died of cancer May 7 at his home in Los Angeles. Aguabella was one of a handful of Cuban congueros who made their way to the U.S. in the years after World War II and introduced authentic Afro-Cuban drumming stateside. During over five decades in music, he played on salsa, jazz, pop and rock albums with virtually every well-known name in each genre."

Obsesión en la Asociación Yoruba  4/13/2010 Negra Cubana 

Sociedad Cultural Yoruba y el Buró Abakuá  1/15/2010 Buscador Mistico 

La furia de Yemayá  12/17/2009 CubaDebate: "En Yoruba. Un acercamiento a nuestras raíces, Heriberto Feraudy Espino refiere una historia, viva aún en la Nigeria de nuestros días, sobre la diosa (o dios) del mar Olokun, cuyo culto se halla asociado en Cuba al de Yemayá: Un mito sobre Olokun relata que estando éste furioso con la humanidad por el desprecio que la misma sentía hacia él intentó destruirla devorando la tierra. Ya había conseguido acabar con buena parte de las personas cuando intervino Obatalá, quien logró atar a Olokun con siete cadenas obligándolo a regresar a su palacio y abandonar tan funesta idea."

Poesía Anónima Africana: presentación de su cuarta edición en el Sábado del Libro  12/12/2009 AfroCubaWeb: "En la mañana del sábado 12 de diciembre y en el tradicional espacio del Sábado del Libro en el Palacio del Segundo Cabo, tuvo lugar el lanzamiento de la cuarta edición de Poesía Anónima Africana. Este valioso libro en dos tomos publicado por la Editorial Arte y Literatura del Instituto Cubano del Libro, forma parte de una extraordinaria colección fruto de las investigaciones del Dr. Rogelio Martínez Furé. Poesía Yoruba(1963), Diwán Africano. Poetas de expresión francesa (1988); Diwán. Poetas de lenguas africanas (1996) y Diwán Africano. Poetas de Expresión portuguesa (2000). Esta valiosa colección constituye la más completa sobre poesía africana publicada en lengua española." [Con galeria de fotos.]

La división de la Habana: Territorial Conflict and Cultural Hegemony in the Followers of Oyo Lukumí Religion, 1850s–1920s  10/4/2009 Cuban Studies, U of Pittsburgh: published 2003 - "The Yoruba presence in the Americas, particularly in Brazil and Cuba, has been the topic of much research in past years. The role of the individuals who molded and guided the new directions taken by these cultural manifestations, however, continues to be virgin terrain. In particular and without doubt, women were the most important contributors to these acculturative processes. The present article examines the influence of three African women and their contribution to the evolution and survival of Lukumí religion in Cuba. In so doing, it brings to the fore other important issues that cast light on the lives of Afro-Cuban women in nineteenth-century Cuba forced to live in a Eurocentric society in which they occupied the lowest rung of the ladder."

Murió Andriol Stevens, destacado líder religioso santiaguero.  9/9/2009 Case Del Caribe: "Falleció este 3 de Septiembre en santiago de Cuba, a la edad de 36 años Andriol Stivens Portuondo, Santero (hijo de Argayú) y Tata Nganga, Sacerdote de la Regla Palo o Regla Conga, líder del Cabildo San Benito de Palermo (Congo Siete Rayos Mundo Lima Acaba Cuento), creado por su padrino y tío, el Sacerdote Mayor (Tata Nkisi Malongo) Vicente Portuondo."

Religious Intolerance: Lessons from Yoruba ‘Paganism’  8/16/2009 Sahara Reporters 

Cuban santeria finds more faithful from afar  8/15/2009 Caribbean Net: published 10/06 - "Tato Quinones, an anthropologist and Geraldine's sponsor, believes santeria has a pull for people from societies that are drenched in stress and extra-strength consumerism. "For more intelligent people, coming here is a journey to finding themselves, and finding nature again," Quinones said. "For others, it is just about superstition or fetishism."

CEREMONIA A YEMAYÁ, LA REINA DE LOS MARES  7/15/2009 Casa del Caribe: "Durante la tarde-noche del día 8 de julio, en la playa Juan González, se realizó la ceremonia mágico-religiosa dedicada a Yemayá, una de las deidades del panteón yoruba que tiene muchos devotos en nuestra Isla. Esta es una de las actividades del Festival del Caribe que suscita gran interés en la comunidad de religiosos e investigadores cubanos y extranjeros. Participaron, entre otras personas, la Sociedad Espiritista de Monte Oscuro “Buscando Luz y Verdad”; las santeras Gladis Reyes y María Isabel Berbes, ambas colaboradoras e investigadoras de la Casa del Caribe; la Dra. Marta Cordiés, africanista y Directora del Centro Cultural Africano “Fernando Ortiz”; el investigador y religioso Agustín La O Montes; Abelardo Larduet, palero e investigador de la Casa del Caribe quien es el Coordinador General del Curso-Taller Internacional de Religiosidad Popular, el investigador Carlos Lloga de la Casa del Caribe, etc."

San lázaro (2006, color, 15 min. 43 seg.)  12/22/2008 CanalDocumentalTV: "Sinopsis: Un acercamiento a la peregrinación que hacen devotos cubanos hasta el santuario de El Rincón, dedicado a San Lázaro, en La Habana. Con música de Cachao, Orishas y Lázaro Ross. Acerca de la Directora: Csilla Szigeti (Hungría). Cineasta. Asistente de dirección de "Las maletas de Tulse Luper: La historia de Moab" (2003); "Drácula" (2002); "Rasputin" (1996), y otros 26 filmes."

Huellas yoruba y mayombera  12/22/2008 Bohemia: publicado 21/3/1993 - "El africanista Rogelio Martinez Fure habla de su reencuentro con una de las raices de la cultura cubana en Nigeria."

LLAMAMIENTO CONTRA EL BLOQUEO De J. ALDAMA Presidente de la Asociación Cultural Yoruba de Cuba en Francia.  12/21/2008 AfroCubaWeb 

Devotos Yorubas reaccionan a inauguración de templo ruso  10/22/2008 Blog al Dia: "Cabe preguntarse finalmente ¿por qué no se han dado pasos para la construcción de un Templo Yoruba en Cuba, que sea el centro de peregrinación y devoción de millones de practicantes de esa religión en Cuba? Llama la atención de que en esta dirección no se adelantan proyectos que reflejen públicamente la rica y extensa diversidad de la sociedad cubana. Los practicantes de estas religiones de origen africano necesitan, y deben trabajar, por lograr este nivel de reconocimiento público."

Natalia Bolívar presenta nueva edición de libro sobre sincretismo religioso  9/22/2008 Cubarte: "La etnóloga cubana Natalia Bolívar, lanzó el libro "Santa Bárbara-Changó, Sincretismo religioso", rodeada de centenares de lectores y amigos que esperaron pacientemente una larga fila para obtener una dedicatoria. Natalia Bolívar, autora de una docena de libros sobre el tema de la santería en Cuba, dijo a Efe que la nueva edición de este título "es importante, tanto para los teólogos como para el pueblo porque está escrito en un lenguaje para que la gente pueda entender la historia de Santa Bárbara".

Conflicts concerning Santeria sacrifices: animal and human; real and imaginary  9/22/2008 Religious Tolerance: published 3/06

Priest Fights For Santeria Followers In Coral Gables  9/22/2008 LA Times: "By some estimates there are 100,000 Santeria worshippers in Florida. Some of them, inevitably, had difficulties, and Pichardo did what he could to come to their aid. He began issuing laminated cards "certifying" Santeria priests to help them avoid run-ins with the law. His religion seemed to gain more acceptance. Hialeah Mayor Julio Robaina now calls Pichardo to help mediate the parking, noise and animal issues that arise from Santeria home services." [100,000 and growing]

Santeros cubanos festejarán cumpleaños de Fidel Castro con rito  8/11/2008 Reuters 

The Yoruba culture survives in Cuba  7/19/2008 Cuba Headlines 

Venezuelans increasingly turn to Santeria for spiritual needs  2/9/2008 Jamaica Gleaner: "The surge in Santeria, which is practised by many in Cuba, can partly be explained by the arrival of thousands of Cuban doctors in Venezuela. President Hugo Chávez has been providing Cuba with subsidised oil in exchange for thousands of physicians who come to the South American country to treat poor people. Santeria priests are also making annual predictions for Venezuelans and issuing warnings - just like Cuban 'santeros' do in Havana. Last month, one group of priests said the gods have indicated that the twice-divorced Chávez would be a more effective leader with a woman at his side. It's a familiar pattern. Santeria has grown in popularity in New York, Miami and Puerto Rico in the past following influxes of Cubans, according to Margarite Fernandez Olmos, a professor at City University of New York who has researched the religion. She said Santeria's popularity also has grown in places "where African-based spirituality becomes a more acceptable social and spiritual option". In overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Venezuela, many shops have sprung up in recent years selling roosters, goats and other animals to be sacrificed in Caracas' working class barrios. In the city's churches, believers can be seen in head-to-toe white, praying to their gods before statues of Catholic saints."

Las adivinanzas en Cuba  9/25/2007 UNESCO: "Nunca es perfecta una clasificación, porque jamás se puede decir que hemos podido aprehender la totalidad del conocimiento en una especialidad dada. Sin embargo, hasta los momentos actuales, el análisis efectuado de los cientos de adivinanzas colectadas, me permite dar a conocer una clasificación de adivinanzas vigentes en las tradiciones orales cubanas, donde se puede apreciar la enorme variedad de esta manifestación tan popular en Cuba."

Yoruba Vestiges in Nancy Morejón's Poetry  8/31/2007 Patricia Gonzalez: published in 2005 - "The Cuban Nancy Morejón cannot escape the African Nancy Morejón. Given the rich and complex history of blacks in Cuba, Morejón inherits a wealth of stories, words, images, rhythms, and sounds—all tracing waves back to Africa. My intention in this essay is to bring forward manifestations of Yoruba vestiges in Morejón’s poetry after presenting a brief scenario of the Afro-Cuban presence in Cuba, specifically focused on the participation of Cuban blacks in struggles for independence during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries."

HOW SANTERIA INSPIRES ART IN CUBA  7/31/2007 Culture Kiosque: "In collaboration with Harbourfront Centre's Island Soul, a Caribbean culture festival (3 - 6 August), Toronto's Spence Gallery presents The Way of the Saints: African Symbolism in Cuban Art . On view for only three days, the exhibition is devoted to four Cuban artists who explore how African spirituality has manifested itself and survived in contemporary Latin culture through the practice of Santería."

Des Noirs sorciers aux babalaos - Analyse du paradoxe du rapport à l'Afrique à La Havane  3/16/2007 Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines: "Les Havanais pratiquent, de façon complémentaire, diverses modalités de cultes telles que le spiritisme, le catholicisme « pragmatique », le palo et la santería. Ces deux dernières modalités, désignées par le terme « afro-cubain », ne sont pas appréhendées de la même façon par les universitaires. Le palo, paradigme d'une Afrique honteuse, sauvage, est souvent rejeté dans le champ de la sorcellerie, alors que la santería est présentée comme l'héritière directe d'une Afrique savante, prestigieuse et « traditionnelle ». Cette opposition n'a cours dans la pratique que comme support de stratégies d'affirmations individuelles, le palo étant dans les faits abondamment utilisé et indissociable de la santería, comme du spiritisme et du catholicisme. On s'interrogera toutefois sur les enjeux politiques et sociaux de l'utilisation passée et présente de cette dichotomie à Cuba, des élites intellectuelles du début du siècle au gouvernement castriste actuel."

Euless tries to block Santeria lawsuit  2/3/2007 Dallas Morning News: "The city of Euless has asked a federal judge to dismiss a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by a Santeria priest who wants to sacrifice animals at his home. The priest, Jose Merced, sued the city in December after police and permit officials told him he couldn't kill goats for an initiation ceremony."

Yoruba: Un acercamiento a nuestras raíces - Parte II  10/15/2006 Archivo Cubano 

Gesto solidario de religiosos afrocobanos  8/8/2006 Granma: "Sacerdotes de la religión afrocubana invocaron a sus dioses para ayudar a la recuperación del Presidente Fidel Castro, según reportes de la agencia Reuters. "Hay que abogar por la salud. Queremos hacer un tambor (ritual) en la playa a Olokún (la divinidad de la profundidad) con sacrificio de animales", dijo el sacerdote Víctor Betancourt. La Asociación Yoruba de Cuba rogó al panteón de los orishas, o divinidades, por la salud del mandatario."Como religiosos, nuestra posición es seguir los designios de los dioses, que son entender y apoyar las decisiones tomadas por nuestro máximo líder", dijo la Asociación."

Yoruba: Un acercamiento a nuestras raíces  8/1/2006 ArchivoCubano  

Lo que sucederá en el desfile de la serpiente  6/1/2006 Casa del Caribe, Santiago: "“Con un toque de invocación a Elegguá, entre rezos y conjuros, acompañados por el fuego de tambores Batá consagrados para la ceremonia, rogando la presencia del Orisha para que abra el camino y la serpiente caribeña pueda despedazarse romperá el desfile inaugural del 26 Festival, llamado De la Serpiente”. A ese tiempo, los centenares de participantes se van colocando a lo largo de la vía desde el cruce de Aguilera y San Félix y Eleggúa viene al fin con sus saltos y fintas a señalar los senderos abiertos: Son Los Ripiaos los que inician la marcha. Irrumpe entonces con la inquietud de sus púas y el paso entrecortado del Gagá, el bloque integrado por La Caridad, Thompson y Barrancas, con sus toques singulares, pilares de la cultura popular tradicional." [sigue la lista de los grupos del festival]

Se juntan las bendiciones del cine y la música  1/15/2006 Jiribilla: "Iré Habana es un proyecto bicúspide: así se llaman tanto el documental, realizado en formato de DVD por Jorge Perugorría y Ángel Alderete, como el CD del compositor y pianista José María Vitier, autor de la música que el documental mencionado recrea en imágenes. En la parte netamente musical de este proyecto, es decir en el CD, intervienen, además de Vitier —por supuesto, como pianista— la cantante Bárbara Llanes, el percusionista Yaroldi Abreu y en el bajo acústico, Jorge Reyes. Iré Habana (en lengua yoruba) significa “bendición a La Habana”, y algo así resultan en conjunto este documental y el disco de Perugorría, Alderete y Vitier."

Mensajero de Ochún  9/23/2005 CubaEncuentro: «Soy mulato, injerto de españoles y africanos, y como decía el poeta: 'dejo que mi canto negriblanco suba'», porque los orishas negros son mensajeros de Dios', dice el artista Alberto Morgan.

Callejón de Hamel: 15 años de vida  5/14/2005 Jiribilla: por Gilberto Conill Godoy - "La “comunidad”, deviene término clave, y la atención de sus fuerzas vivas, una prioridad. Activar el ambiente comunitario recurre a la acentuación de las identidades locales, expresadas en grupos, instituciones, generaciones y espacios físicos. Surgen los Talleres de transformación Integral y Consejos Populares, los primeros como su palabra lo indica, dirigidos a transformar la dinámica de los barrios, y los segundos conforman los órganos de representación local. A raíz de estos cambios, el 21 de abril de 1990 nace, para orgullo de Centro Habana, el Proyecto Sociocultural Callejón de Hamel. Justo el año en que se dificultan las relaciones de Cuba con los países europeos, especialmente luego de la desaparición de la URSS, y el país comienza a transitar por la etapa conocida como período especial."

Cuban Film Star to Present Documentary on Cuban Pianist Jose Maria Vitier  5/11/2005 Prensa Latina: ""Iré Habana," in Yoruba, stands for "blessing to Havana." "It is a song to the health of the city, whose inspiring beauty we feel is threatened," the actor stated for a local radio station. Made by filmmaker Angel Alderete, the film -in DVD format- presents the music by a namesake album by Cuban pianist and composer Jose Maria Vitier, a fusion of Latin jazz with genres ranging from traditional trova to Cuban country music."

Lázaro Ros  3/16/2005 The Guardian: "The singer Lázaro Ros, who has died of cancer aged 79, was a leading figure in Afro-Cuban culture. A modest and friendly man, he strove to raise awareness of the rich legacy of African slaves taken to Cuba. He performed the music of the Lucumí culture, which also includes religion and dance, of the Yoruba people from modern-day Nigeria, and the music of the Arará culture of the Dahomeyan people from modern-day Benin. On one estimate, 70% of Cubans practise an African religion, the main one being Santería, the cult of saints, in which deities from the homeland are worshipped through Catholic equivalents. From an early age, Ros taught himself the chants arising from the practice of this religion in the Lucumí and Arará cultures: he possessed an extraordinary voice, capable of hitting both high and low notes."

Mendive: Deities define his art  3/6/2005 Miami Herald: "In the art world, Manuel Mendive is considered the leading contemporary Afro-Cuban artist, his magic realist canvases, sculptures and performance pieces inspired by his mystical beliefs in the santería religion. In South Florida, where Mendive´s one-man show Feeding the Spirit, the Light, the Ancestors, Olodumare, the most beautiful thing opened Friday at Gary Nader Fine Art in Coral Gables, the painter´s name also evokes a key moment in Cuban-exile history. Almost 17 years ago, an angry exile protesting an auction of artwork by Cuban painters living on the island bought Mendive´s painting The Peacock for $500 -- then publicly burned it."

INTERNATIONAL YORUBA WORKSHOP IN SANTIAGO  3/1/2005 Cuba Now: "The history of the Yoruba culture and its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean is the main topic of the 8th Ortiz-Lachatanere International Workshop on African Roots to be held in Santiago de Cuba (April 5-9).The history of the Yoruba culture and its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean is the main topic of the 8th Ortiz-Lachatanere International Workshop on African Roots to be held in Santiago de Cuba (April 5-9)."

El fenómeno Iyónifá en Cuba  3/1/2005 Consenso: Consenso is the dissident PARP party organ. By Víctor Betancourt Estrada, Awo Omolófaoró (Sacerdote de Ifá) - "Este fenómeno se pone de manifiesto a partir que, en el año 1985, el hermano Ifá Yemí Elibuibón, de origen yoruba, inicia en Estados Unidos, a la primera mujer Ìyáonifa (mujer adivina en los secretos de la religión de Ifa) de América, Señora Daifá, ciudadana Norteamérica. Desde ese instante, ese histórico acontecimiento, despierta el interés de muchos estudiosos de las tradiciones yorubas, de profundizar en el tema, tanto en Cuba como en América y, algunos de ellos, comienzan a profundizar en la legitimidad de la mujer como sacerdotisa de Ifá (1). Este relevante acaecimiento originó muchas polémicas y contradicciones entre religiosos, incluyendo a los propios historiadores e investigadores de nuestras tradiciones."

Is Santeria used as ploy to skirt travel rules to Cuba?  2/27/2005 Miami Herald: was this printed at the request of Lincoln Diaz Balart?


LAZARO ROSS, CUBA’S GREAT AKPWON  1/20/2005 Granma: "LAZARO Ross is the undisputed king of African music in Cuba, the akpwón (lead singer in music of Yoruba origin.) With his metallic, atonal, full voice, his high-pitched register seems to emerge from the depths of the rivers, as Robert Blanco would say. I visit him often at his small house in Guanabacoa – an area of African traditions – where he lives with Oggún and his best friends: 1,500 books, an altar at the entrance with his Eleggua, a hook and dry coconut. Everything is very modest, like his personality, warm and kind. We chatted about the human and the divine; he does not consider himself a musicologist, but has the wisdom of experience. Born in 1925, he has sung for half the world and has much to tell." [Interview follows.]

Religious festivities pale in comparison to previous years  10/6/2004 CubaNet: "What can I tell you, my man, this year things are tough," said one babalawo or Yoruba priest. "What with the blackouts and the scarcity of money, there's not much you can do." This babalawo lives on Zaragoza Street, on a block where 14 babalawos are concentrated. In previous years, the celebrations poured out on the street. This year, all was quiet outside; celebrants remained indoors."

Interview with Marta Moreno Vega  8/19/2004 MundoAfroLatino: published 7/26/03 - "When the spirits dance Mambo, produced by the Caribbean Cultural Center, Marta Moreno Vega and Bobby Shephard, has been screened all across the United States and in film festivals in Europe and Cuba. The documentary highlights history of the African traditions of Cuba and it's influence in Cuban popular music. There are interviews with practioners of the West African Yoruba based tradition of Santeria along with appearances by the Muñequitos de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo, Cuban Hip Hop artists and many others."

New Book on Yoruba Religion Ethical Principles Launched in Havana  6/2/2004 Cubarte Newsletter: "Cuban philosopher and researcher Miguel Limia made the presentation at the launching ceremony. He said that the stories and fables contained in the book are interesting lessons carried by a culture that has endured the devastating actions of the Western hegemonic culture. The book is a valuable source for the study of the moral and spiritual legacy left in Cuba by the people of Nigeria, who were forced to migrate to the island by Slavery, said Limia. Journalist Martha Rojas, from the Cuban daily Grannma, also on hand at the ceremony, commended the book and stressed the need of being more ecumenical in the studies of philosophical and religious trends."

MENDIVE - Cuban national, Yoruban soul  12/7/2003 Jamaica Observer 

Dancing With the Spirits - Rare Afro-Cuban music highlights DePaul conference  9/16/2003 Centerstage, Chicago: "Led by master drummer Román Diaz, the group began with ritual a cappella singing that recounted the myths of Abakuá, a secret male society in Cuba that originates from Nigeria's Cross River region. Later, Omi Odara played complex, interlocking rhythms on four sacred drums during the masquerade procession of the ireme dancer, a spectacle rarely seen outside Cuba or Nigeria. The music of Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion rooted in the Yoruba culture, opened the second day. Dancer Félix "Pupi" Insua performed as several of the orichas (deities representing forces of nature) including Elegua, the Trickster. As he feverishly danced around the conference room to the intense call-and-response singing and drumming of the group, Elegua urged attendees to get up and move, and in seconds virtually the entire room was grooving with the Guardian of the Crossroads."

CUBA: TIERRA SANTA DE LOS ORISHAS  7/27/2003 Jiribilla: "Del 7 al 13 de julio de 2003 tuvo lugar en el palacio de las Convenciones de La Habana el Octavo Congreso Mundial de la Tradición y Cultura Orisha. En esta labor de resistencia cultural, las religiones hicieron la función de núcleos duros, permitiendo la pervivencia de la lengua, la música, los bailes, los cantos…"

8th World Congress on Orisha Traditions and Culture  7/21/2003 Granma: "The meeting (July 7-13) gathered over 400 participators — half of whom were delegates from Mexico, Canada, the United States, Belgium, France, Spain, Argentina, and Trinidad and Tobago — analyzing a wide range of topics in nine commissions. The first commission focused on education, culture and art; the rest as follows: continuity and change in the context of the Diaspora; ethical, philosophical and psychological perspectives; ethnicity, family and gender relations; rituals, ceremonies and experience in the Yoruba religious traditions; culture, identity and transculturation; ethno-biological perspectives; preservation and cultural continuity; culture and identity; and inter-religious dialogue. Yemi Elebuibon, Nigeria; Gilberto Ferreira, Brazil; Chief Adeyela Adelekan, Britain; Madam Joan Cyrus, Trinidad and Tobago; and John Watson, the United States presented the plenary session reports… The UNEAC president acknowledged that there are still “insufficient links at an institutional level, but Cuba’s Yoruba Cultural Association has added its name to the call we made for an antifascist world front. From the cultural point of view we have strong ties linking us to the world they represent because we have a large number of persons of African origin who were brought here as slaves and who left us their ancestry. This culture can be seen in all walks of Cuban life because everything here is intermixed, has become intermixed, and we are this huge ajaico (Fernando Ortiz employed this word, which is a type of Cuban stew). We are a third product, we’re not Congolese, carabali (Western African people), Chinese, from Seville or from Galicia, we’re Cubans.” " - the UNEAC president echoes a consistent Cuban reaction to the themes represented by the conference, one which dates back to Jose Marti.

Bobi Cespedes inspired by Santeria beliefs  3/2/2003 San Francisco Chronicle: "The album is just getting into stores and it's looking good. I hear it's also starting to get airplay in Cuba, too," says singer Gladys "Bobi" Cespedes about her debut album "Rezos" ("Prayers") from her home in Oakland. For years, Cespedes has been the co-leader of the renowned Bay Area salsa- son band Conjunto Cespedes. But the songs this Santeria priestess sings on her solo outing for San Francisco's Six Degrees Records are a progressive departure."

Santeria leaders foretell war and mayhem in '03  1/4/2003 AP 

Santería cubana pronostica 2003  1/3/2003 BBC 

FUSED FAITHS  12/27/2002 Sun Sentinel, Florida: repeating familiar dinsinformation - "The parallel faiths bleed into one another. Each deity, or orisha, has a corresponding Catholic saint, producing a religious syncretism that is distinctly Cuban." In fact, Yoruba religion took the images of the saints but not the theology, concepts, or rituals. The San Lazaro referred to as Babalu Aye does not even exist in Catholic tradition.

Lazaro Ros: EL ASALTO DE LOS ORISHAS  12/12/2002 Jiribilla: "El hombre venerable, que ha dedicado la mayor parte de su vida a buscar en la voz de los mayores la resonancia de los ancestros africanos, dijo unas pocas palabras de agradecimiento por habérsele hecho este agasajo, que ha llegado profundamente a su corazón."

Ajé Chaluga  11/14/2002 Encuentro: por Natalia Bolívar - "Ajé Chaluga regala sus favores arbitrariamente y con frecuencia no es al primero, sino al último, a quien bendice y mejora. En ocasiones importantes, cuando grandes cantidades de dinero han sido gastadas, es usual oír el grito de "¡Age, oh!" (en África), lo que implica que tales gastos han sido posibles gracias a la bendición del orisha. Tales ocasiones dan una demostración concreta de su generosidad. Encontrar una concha grande en el camino es considerado como signo de buena suerte. Igual que todos los orishas, aunque quizás en mayor medida, exige completa confianza en sus poderes."

Race and patriotism in Afro-Cuba  11/13/2002 San Francisco Bay View: by Willie Thompson, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, CCSF - "Most of us met the anthropological research team called Project Orunmila in Regla, Cuba, 10 minutes from Havana. I spent the last day alone with this family-run document recovery, transcription and dissemination project that also operates a farm to provide financial support. I had earlier misunderstood the extremely important work of this group and unjustly accused them of insufficient rage at the historical and contemporary color prejudice still extant in Cuba, as though rage and alienation are the only appropriate responses. I clearly undervalued the depth and significance of their work and the African originated materials they are diffusing in Cuba and beyond. I quote from an annotation on one of their volumes, called “Awo Orunla Dice Ifa”: “This book is the widest and most complete compilation of the complex panorama of legends that once belonged to the Yoruba people of Nigeria and that are still standing in Cuba and in different areas of the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, etc.), the USA and several Latin American countries (Venezuela, Mexico and Brazil). The work is organized according to the Oduns of Ifa. All writings are therefore placed in corresponding order. This leads the user to a better comprehension and understanding of the panoramic vision of the mythological world of Ifa. It relates an organized knowledge about the men’s event as individuals, the way of thinking of those men, and about the society in which they live.” Sponsorship is needed for Project Orunmila to continue publication. The project may be reached by email at or; by phone at 97-0677 (the home of Elsa, a neighbor) or by writing to Camilo Cienfuegos #109 e/c Oscar Lunar Y Nico Lopez, Regla 12 C.P. 11200, Ciuidad de la Habana Cuba."

DIOSES Y ORISHAS  10/13/2002 Jiribilla: on the Chinese gods and the Orishas

HOY FIESTAS DE LA CARIDAD DEL COBRE, PATRONA DE CUBA  9/7/2002 Radio Havana: La Caridad del Cobre is Oshun, Orisha of love, riches, and streams. Yet Catholicism prevails in this account despite the fact that Catholicism was never the religion of the people in Cuba, where there weren't enough priests to exterminate African religions - "La Fiesta de la Caridad del Cobre, Patrona de Cuba, incluirá mañana, la celebración de 46 procesiones en ocho provincias de la Isla, y una alocución del obispo de Cienfuegos, Emilio Aranguren, por la emisora radial "La Voz del Mar". En el Santuario Nacional de la Virgen del Cobre, en la provincia de Santiago de Cuba, el arzobispo Pedro Meurice oficiará una misa, a la cual asistirá una delegación de República Dominicana organizada por el sacerdote cubano Avelino Fernández, obispo de Barahona."

Nigeria welcomes a long-lost son of the land by Babalawo Shangodare Fashina  7/17/2002 SF Bay View: "On July 24, 2001, I traveled to Nigeria. This was a momentous occasion because it was the place from which my paternal ancestry emanates. Just like Alex Haley, the author of “Roots” and “The Autobiography Of Malcolm X,” I had traced my ancestry. My ancestral ties date back to 1790, when my great-great-great-grandmother was taken from the Blight of Benin, an area that stretches from Porto Novo, Republic of Benin, to Bidagry, Nigeria. Although it took long arduous hours to look up genealogical slave and free census records and write and record numerous hours of oral genealogical information from relatives, the African-American Genealogical Society under the leadership of Vice President Electra Price provided invaluable help. Upon my arrival in Nigeria, I was soon to undergo an initiation as a Babalawo, or high priest, in the African indigenous religion called Ifa. Ifa is an African belief system more than 10,000 years old."

Agrupación rumbera cubana mantiene riqueza sonora en su cumpleaños 45  7/5/2002 Cultura: "A juicio del investigador Juan García, director del Conjunto Folclórico Nacional, el principal legado de Afrocuba, reside en haber llevado a la escena el legado patrimonial que se conserva, tanto en lo ritual como en lo profano. En conversación con Prensa Latina, expresó que en los espectáculos del grupo están incluidos, coreográficamente, rituales yoruba, abakuá, guaguancó, columbia y se ofrecen ciclos de bailes y cantos de diversas regiones del continente africano. "Otro aspecto importante, según García, es el haber incorporado a la percusión rumbera tradicional los tambores batá, sagrados en la liturgia africana, lo que dio lugar a una nueva polirritmia, el batarrumba."

At the Crossroads - Afro-Cuban Orisha Arts in Miami  6/16/2002 Historical Museum of Southern Florida: It is rare to have such expressions in Miami, where Afrocubans live in a segregated area away from most other Cubans, unless they choose to go to New Jersey, which many do. Most of the artists here appear to be white.

CAMAGUEY FOLKLORIC BALLET PREPARES FOR PERFORMANCE IN GRENADA  5/18/2002 Radio Havana: "The dance company's director, Reynaldo Echemendia told reporters that the presentation includes dances that reflect the syncretic religious rites introduced by African slaves. "Echu" recreates the games and pranks of "Eleggua," "Orisha" from the pantheon "Yoruba" of the largest Afro-Cuban tradition on the island and "Oya Yansan," based on the relation between the deities "Oya," "Oggun" and "Chango" are included among the pieces the group will perform. The repertoire also includes the "Congas" and "San Juan de Mi Barrio" shows, referring to national carnival traditions, rural dances and other Cuban rhythms."

Santeros predicen éxodos y golpes de Estado  1/4/2002 El Nuevo Herald 

Santeros predicen un año difícil  1/2/2002 AP: "Los babalawos (sacerdotes) yorubas aconsejaron a los cubanos tener paciencia y no desesperarse, pues el 2002 será ``un año difícil'', según la predicción de la Asociación Cultural Yorubá conocida como ``Letra del Año'', dada a conocer el martes en La Habana."

Alertan sacerdotes de culto Yoruba sobre peligros de mundo convulso  1/1/2002 Prensa Latina: Letra del Año: "No obstante tales predicciones, para este grupo gobernara el ano Shango acompanado de Yemaya (Santa Barbara y la Virgen de Regla, respectivamente en el santoral catolico), mientras para la Asociacion Cultural yoruba, esta ultima deidad constituye la orisha regente acompanada de Orunmila (San Francisco en el santoral catolico)."

Followers of Afro-Cuban religion honor Babalu Aye, one of their holiest saints with unusual procession  12/18/2001 AP: A few incaccuracies… the procession is more of a Catholic thing, santeros are not discriminted against hand have their religious practices on any day of the year, out in the open - a toque will attract people out in the street, for example.

Matanzas, `the Athens of Cuba,' is worth the long trip  12/13/2001 Boston Herald: "But in the late afternoon we take an excursion to Jovellanos, a town hard hit in November by Michelle, the most damaging hurricane to reach Cuba in half a century. Here we give away what medical supplies, toiletry items and clothes we could bring in our luggage from the United States. Jovellanos also is a hotbed of Afro-Cuban music played by descendents of the Arara tribe of Benin, Africa. On the front porch of their home, four generations of the Baro family sing, dance and drum for us and a large crowd of delighted neighbors. This folkloric performance starts with a powerful chant from the family's matriarch, an old woman whose father, we are told, had been brought to Cuba at age 11 as a slave. The dancers are dressed as orishas,the Santeria gods. We have met these orishas so often in the past week, they now seem - as they must to Cubans - like old friends."

TIENE LA PALABRA EL BABALAO  7/1/2001 La Jiribilla, Cuba: "Con la gracia y el permiso de los orishas, Enriquito, el célebre santero, palero y abbakuá y singular personalidad de la villa de Guanabacoa, revela predicciones, sentimientos y criterios de este mundo y del otro…"

Orishas and their Cuban rap  2/27/2001 Granma: "It's said that New York is the cradle of rap, but when the group Orishas launched its CD A lo cubano (The Cuban Way, EMI France), astonishment turned into success. They triumphed, as they had done before, with their songs in the charts of 18 countries."

Their Eyes Were Watching Eleggúa  4/20/2000 Miami New Times: "One sign of the relevance of Santería to the six-year-old is a letter that has been circulated and discussed on Spanish-language radio for several months. It relates a bizarre story involving Fidel Castro, human sacrifice, and the rafter child. The tale has outraged some Santería practitioners, who believe those who want Elian to remain in Miami are manipulating the religion for political ends."

Afrocuban Religions in Sara Gomez's One Way or Another and Gloria Rolando's Oggun  12/1/1998 The Western Journal of Black Studies: Vol 22, No 4, Winter 1998 by HASEENAH EBRAHIM, Northwestern University - "This paper explores the depiction of Afrocuban religions in two films -- Sara Gomez's One Way or Another (1974/1977) and Gloria Rolando's Oggun: Forever Present (1991). A (Western)feminist's analysis of Gomez's One Way or Another characterizes Abakua and Santeria as "voodoo" -- not only collapsing three different Afro-Caribbean religious traditions, but also reflecting Marxist biases that exclude (ironically) a recognition that Gomez's depictions of Abakua and Santeria reflect a gendered perspective. Rolando's Oggun reflects a recent trend in Cuban cinema to celebrate Afrocuban religious practices. Oggun's stunning visuals, compelling song and dance sequences, and fascinating mythology provoke a desire to understand the role and impact of this remarkable religious tradition in Cuban society."

A Pope in the Land of the Orishas  3/1/1998 Cuba Update 

Santa Barbara or Chango? Pope to find Afro-Catholicism strong in Cuba  12/29/1997 AP: This is article is full of common misconceptions. There is no afro-catholicism - for the most part, AfroCubans turn their back resolutely on the pope. Yoruba culture in Cuba borrowed superficial elements such as some names and some images, but no theology. No theology!

Links/Enlaces top


Contacting AfroCubaWeb

Electronic mail [replace _AT_ with @]

[AfroCubaWeb] [Site Map] [Music] [Arts] [Authors] [News] [Search this site]

Copyright © 1997-2013 AfroCubaWeb, S.A.