Minutes from the meeting that took place on the 14th of November to plan the agbán for Babaluaiyé that was recommended by Oshún at the wemilere for Ogún that was held on the 4th of November, 2001


Abelardo Hernández, Oló Oshún
Antonia “Cacha” Sanchez, Oló Oshún
Antonio Pena, Oní Shangó
Carlos “Machito” Bresó, Oní Shangó
Carlos Capilla, Omó Elegbá
Carlos Jesús Bresó, Oló Obatalá
Carmen Navarro, Oní Yemojá
Ernesto Pichardo, Oní Shangó
Hector Pelaéz, Oní Yemojá
Humberto Valdez, Babalawo
Ileana Zambrano, Oló Obatalá
Jackie Ben, Oló Oshún
José Esquía, Oló Oshún
Juan Carlos “Yiyi” Cabrisas, Omó Elegbá
Juan Carlos Bresó,
Julia Isidro, Oní Yemojá
Lazaro Pedro Alfaro, Oní Shangó
Lazaro Ramos, Oló Oshún
Luis Gonzalez, Oní Yemojá
Manolo Mederos, Omó Elegbá
Manuel Erize, Babalawo
Michelle Abreu, Omó Elegbá
Nelson Hernández, Oní Yemojá
Norberto “Nene” Fernández, Oní Yemojá
Orlando Cardelle, Oní Shangó
Ricardo Pulido, Babalawo
Roberto Abreu, Oní Shangó
Romualdo “Popi” Cioffi, OníåYemojá
William Zapata, Oló Oshún
Willie Ramos, Oní Shangó

The minutes were recorded by Jackie Ben, Oshún Funké

Themes for discussion:

1. The agbán
2. The possibility of performing the ebó with the pig’s head that was recommended by Yemojá so that we perform one ebó for the community instead of individual ebós
3. The status of the association of Oriatés and Alagbas

Yemojá’s ebó – elerí eledé

It was unanimously agreed that is Popi Cioffi’s Yemojá approved it, the ebó with the pig’s head would be performed collectively. Popi’s Yemojá was the one that prescribed this ebó so it is fitting that we consult her. The motion was taken care of quickly.

When the meeting ended, Yemojá was consulted with obi and she said she was in agreement with the idea of one ebó for the community with Etawo Alafiá. Roberto Abreu was the one who gave obí to Yemojá.


Ernesto Pichardo suggested that the agbán should take place in a neutral place and be performed collectively. It should be organized so that there would be a group of oloshas that would take turns holding the já, and other elements used for the ceremony.

Abelardo Hernández suggested that we should offer sacrifice to Babaluaiyé. Many different possibilities were discussed, with some expressing skepticism about the sacrifice, as in the divination that was performed on the 21st of September, the Orishas adviced against spilling any more blood.

Pichardo suggested that we do it without sacrifice, though he agreed that the Orisha himself must have the final word.

Willie Ramos suggested sacrificing a he-goat to the agbán and dividing its meat in the different baskets.

It was finally agreed that we would ask Babaluaiyé with obi and allow him to determine what we would do. At the conclusion of the meeting, we gave obi to Popi’s Babaluaiyé and the answer was that we should sacrifice 16 guineas.

On the issue of the date, Pichardo suggested that the agbán be done on the 16th of December, together with the annual agbán that the Church of the Lukumí has performed traditionally for a number of years now. This did not go off well as many of those who were present themselves have traditions for this day and were not willing, or not comfortable with altering their traditions.

Willie stated that he would not be in the city that weekend, but insisted that the agbán should not be suspended because he was unable to participate. Abelardo, Roberto Abreu and others insisted that the date for the agbán had to be set so that Willie would be in town and participate.

In light of so many controversies, it was also suggested that the agbán be performed at the end of the year, but it was finally decided for the 21st of December, at 7:30 p.m.

It was suggested that we set up various sections for the agbán so that we could better accommodate the attendees. The need to perform this ceremony collectively was again stressed.

Willie Ramos was placed in charge of coordinating the agbán for Babaluaiyé. Willie asked for volunteers to help him organize and said he would set up an organizing committee. Many of those present volunteered to participate in the committee. Willie agreed that he would prepare a work distribution and communicate with the volunteers to assign them each a function. The agbán committee will meet on the 27th of November at Abelardo’s home, who offered his home for the meeting.

Popi asked what Babaluaiyé would be used, and went further to suggest that since it had been Cristina Hernández’ Elegbá who had originally brought us the message for the wemilere to Ogún, and her Ogúnto whom the wemilere was given, it would be fitting to use her Babaluaiyé for the agbán. Popi also asked which já would be used.

Willie suggested that every Obá and Alagba bring their own jáas is done when Babaluaiyé is crowned. Abreu suggested that we use the Church’s Babaluaiyé. Abelardo said he would ask his Arará Babaluaiyé to see if he would be willing to come to the agbán.

When the meeting came to an end, we gave obi to Babaluaiyé. When asked if he wanted ejebale, he said “yes” with Etawó Alafiá. Afterward, we asked what he was the sacrifice he specifically wanted and with Etawó he said he wanted 16 guineas. Lázaro Ramos gave obí.

Volunteers for the agbán committee:

Antonio Pena
Carlos Bresó
Carlos Machito Bresó
Hector Pelaéz
Ileana Zambrano
Jackie Ben
José Esquía
Juan Carlos Bresó
Lazaro P. Alfaro
Lazaro Ramos
Luis Gonzaléz
Michelle Abreu
Nelson Hernández
Romualdo Cioffi

Organization of Oriatés

Willie introduced the topic, and he showed much interest in the continuation of this organization of the city’s Oriatés. Willie suggested that this organization should be incorporated to the Church of the Lukumí, making use of the structures that are already in place at that institution.

Lázaro Ramos emphasized that there was a true necessity to support this union so that we could all reach agreements and mutual respect amongst us.

Pichardo explained the condition that the Church has already set into place regarding organizing the different hierarchies within the religion. He emphasized that we may prefer to use the word “Council” and not “association”. In addition, he suggested that the Oriatés had to conduct a meeting in which they would elect their directors and name a spokesperson who would occupy a position on the Church’s Board of Directors, something that the Babalawos had already done.

Manolo Mederos suggested that we approve the creation of the Council and create its governing body and the spokesperson.

Willie insisted on a vote that same evening and re-emphasized that the Council had to be accommodated to the Church’s existent structure.

The Council was approved unanimously and its reception was very favorable. The Council of Miami’s Oriatés was officially born.

Willie, Pichardo, Abelardo and others suggested that the Council’s governing body be selected at a separate meeting. A vote was called for to decide between the two suggestions that were on the floor: Manolo’s suggestion that we elect the committee that same evening, or that of the others to leave this for another meeting where only the Oriatés would gather to organize the Council. The vote was in favor of a separate meeting which was set for the 12th of December, for which Popi again offered his home. It was agreed that only the Oriatés would attend this meeting, but it was clearly stated that any Oloshas who was interested could also attend so long as all decisions were left to the Oriatés, and that they would participate to support the movement. Pichardo added that the Oriatés should also bring their apprentices/helpers so that they too would form part of the Council.

Willie asked that everyone present would take care of notifying all the city’s Oriatés, and stressed that he had not been able to obtain everyone’s telephone numbers yet. There were some Oriatés who were complaining that they had not been notified of what was taking place. In any case, he stressed that we needed to leave our egos and pride aside so that this would not interfere with the movement. Finally, he insisted that we be timely for our meetings so that we can wrap them up at a reasonable time.

Additional subject brought by Oluwo Manolo Erize

Manolo Erize came to the meeting with two other Babalawos and spoke about their movement which seeks to perform a single divination at the beginning of the year and not separate divinations per Ifá house. He asked for our cooperation in helping them to spread the word to other Babalawos in the city. Mr. Erize re-affirmed their wishes for the unification of our religious community, Babalawos, Oriatés, and Oloshas, which could bring the much desired unity for our religion. Mr. Erize expressed his support for the movement initiated by the Oriatés.

Willie asked that he send the flyer he was distributing in the city so that he could post it on his website, and to send one to Pichardo so that it could also be posted in the Church’s website.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

© 2010 Eleda.org Web design and development by Tami Jo Urban Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha