Osha-Ifa Rules, Santeria or Yoruba

Photo Essay by Elio Delgado

HAVANA TIMES, July 23 – Known as Yoruba, Santería or Osha-Ifá Rules, it is a religion of Africa origin.  Since the 1990’s, it has acquired fresh nuances and reached a new and greater dimension.

As an “expression of desire, need and concerns of a society” (Eugenio Matibag) in a time of crisis, on the one hand, it is what provides faith, hope, and refuge when one is evading life’s problems.  On the other hand, it can be a path to solving economic problems.

What this means is that it has two contradictory aspects.

The second aspect is expressed in a more concrete manner in the appearance of a group that is both within Santería and outside it; one that has transformed into commodities its religious objects (images and vessels made of plaster and clay, paintings, necklaces, bracelets, refuge, etc.) and rites (religious consultations, cleansing, moving-in ceremonies or coronations and others).

Presently commercialism reaches not only Cuba, as there has also appeared a type of tourism in search of religious elements.





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4 thoughts on “Osha-Ifa Rules, Santeria or Yoruba

  • Me gustaria saber mas acerca de la santeria. aqui esta mi correo para poder contactarme.

  • I am a son of ellegua for over 30 yrs. I practiced the religion as a child but later was in the military, college and now in another state; my saints have since been cared for by my mother and father. Sadly, they recently passed away and need to transport(by car) the saints with me to another state. Where can I find information, rituals and recipes to appropriately care for them.


  • my God father past away. There is conflicting rules that, me as his God son, that I must place my Santos on the floor for 3 months and remove all waters from my Santos that carry water in there soperas and than have a ceremony to remove Las Lagrimas. Other Santeros, more the older Santeros from Cuba say that, I the God son, am NOT suppose to place my Santos are the floor. Just keep them where they are, which is on shelves.

    I’m told that the only time Santos go on the floor is when one first makes Santo, when there is a feeding, and when the individual dies.

    there are so many rules that i can no longer keep up and I stay to myself. Can someone give me a clear answer to this rule?

    Thank you,
    Hijo de Chango


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