In spite of the threat of Hurricane Michelle lurking in the Caribbean, and the sporadic regional bouts with heavy wind and thunderstorms, Olorishas in Miami faced the elements and attended the Oro to Egún to offer adimú, chant, and pray for the souls of those who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

The ceremony was directed by Roque Duarte, Tinibú, Senior Obá Oriaté. Under the rays of the full moon and heavily clouded skies, we began the Oro outside and gave obi to Araorún at the foot of a Ceiba tree where the ceremony was to take place. The response was clear: Alafia. Then, almost at the exact moment that obi was cast, rain began to pour from the sky as if tears were rolling down from orún’s eyes. At that point, we had little choice but to pause and move indoors.

As the ceremony proceeded, the air was filled with an unmistakable aura of peace and serenity. Our cause was a common one and our prayers and determination united us in our religious commitment and our moral obligation that saturated the very air around us. Even the most insensitive person could not avoid but to feel the escalating emotion and sentiment that rolled through the crowd as the chants and praises to Araorún filled the immense hall of Rancho Oddu Ara.

The ceremony was a tremendous achievement on two levels. In the first place, the Lukumí also gathered and joined our nation in mourning the thousands of people who lost their lives as a result of the cowardly attack on our country. We contributed with our chants, offerings and prayers for the dead. On another level, tonight’s ceremony was also extremely successful in bringing together a community that too often is depicted as selfish and disinterested, divided by petty rivalries and jealousies. Tonight’s Oro ceremony proved that we can come together as a people and overcome any and all obstacles to achieve our goal, in spite of the painful circumstances under which we had to gather. Maferefún gbogbó Orisha atí Egún Araorún.

On behalf of the Lukumí community that came together for this magnificent event, we extend our most sincere appreciation to Oddu Ara’s owner, Roberto Osha Lerí, for his contributing to this cause so that this event could be so successful. Though we are indebted to too many people to mention individually, some Olorishas who demonstrated their dedication to this cause to the maximum deserve mention. Otto Tianga, Tinibú, Henry Pascual, Oñí Lainú, Lazaro Ramos, Okandenijé, Alaje Thomas, Fadesié, and Cristina Hernández, Osikan.
Modupé ó! Ki Olorun n’agbé ó!

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