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Babalawo Mario Galan Rivas

Lectures By Visiting Babalawo Mario Galan Rivas of Habana, Cuba
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

a rare opportunity to hear teachings on the healing practices and history of the Lucumi Afro-Cuban religious tradition given by master healer and high priest Babalawo
Mario Galan Rivas of Cuba.

---where/when: 3 lectures:
1) Sat. March 31 -- East Quad, Room 126, 1-3pm
2) Sat. April 7 -- East Quad, Room 126, 1-3pm
3) Tues.April 17 -- MCHC Auditorium, Mott Hospital, 12-1:00pm
4) Tues.April 17 -- Genesis Center,2309 Packard between Stadium &
Eisenhower, 7-9:30pm

***note: suggested donation of $10 AT GENESIS LECTURE ONLY!***

lecture description:

---History of the Lucumi tradition in Cuba---

During the 350-year slave period, an estimated 700,000 Africans were taken to Cuba to work as laborers on what was during that time a Spanish colony. Large numbers of this slave population were from the Yoruba ethnic group of Nigeria, West Africa. The Yoruba were and continue to be a people of a vast religious tradition encompassing ritual, music, and an extensive science of ecology, particularly knowledge of botany for medicinal purposes. Once in Cuba, this very strong culture of the Yoruba came to be called 'Lucumi' which is a Yoruba word for "my friend." 

Adapting to the new conditions that Cuba presented, the Lucumi culture is the result of cultural synchretism or mixing of the Yoruba tradition with other African tribes taken to Cuba and also Spanish culture. 

The role of the Babalawo in the Lucumi Tradition--- 

The Lucumi religious system holds within it a library of information pertaining to human life and the spirit world. The babalawos serve the community as herbalists and diviners, bridging the communication between the people and their spiritual worlds. The babalawos are the highest order of priests among the Lucumi; they act as medical doctors, spiritual counselors, and psychologists for the surrounding human population, as well as leaders in many rituals and ceremonies of the Lucumi tradition. 

Mario Galan Rivas: Guest lecturer at the University of Michigan is a master babalawo and herbalist of the Lucumi tradition, earning him the title of 'oluo', and has lived within the Lucumi community of Cuba for all of his life. Mr. Rivas has served as a healer for many living in the provinces of Cuba (Habana, Varadero, Matanzas) and also provides medicinal and spiritual work to citizens in the United States (Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia).

Mr. Galan will be speaking on the following topics at UofM:

history of the Lucumi tradition in Cuba: From Africa to South America and and the Caribbean -world-view of the Lucumi religion

Lucumi traditional medicine/healing modality and philosophy

current status of the Lucumi tradition/culture and a discussion of its future

***UofM project sponsors:

Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, International Institute,
Residential College, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Research
Center, Center for African American and African Studies, Guild House

-CELL 734-646-8416
-HOME 734-669-8416

Katherine Daggett
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
International Institute
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 
Tel (734) 763-0553


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