We would like to extend our condolences to the family and religious descendants of Babalawo Raúl Villamía, Oditauro, who passed away Friday, February 3rd. For many years, Villamía owned and operated the Bótanica Yemaya y Changó on SW 8th Street. Ibá é layén ‘torún, Oditauro.

Another Lukumí Pioneer has Departed: Nina Pérez, Igbín Koladé

It is with great sadness that I report the death of a good friend, iyalorisha Nina Pérez, Igbín Koladé, who began her journey to orún on the 4th of February. Along with other Cuban pioneers the like of Pancho Mora, Ifá Morote; Consuelo Chanteclet, Ogún Funmitó; and Mercedes Noble, Oban Yoko, Igbín Koladé was a pioneer in the developing years of Lukumí religion in the United States. She made her home in New York where she established one of the earliest Orisha houses, having among her omórisha a considerable number of the many rising salsa stars of the era. A salsa song, which olorisha Luís Marín, Eshú Dina, has kindly reminded me was titled “Fuego En El 23”, by La Sonora Ponceña, was dedicated to Nina in the 1960s or 70s. In the song, the singer referred to her by a sobriquet that she often used, Nina ‘bakosó. If memory does not fail me, I think there were a few other songs dedicated to her or in which she was mentioned.

According to a conversation I had with her many years ago, although she had been ordained to Obatalá, her tutelary orisha was Shangó. Apparently, Igbín Koladé had a hearty temper for when she was ordained in the 1940s, her elders determined that it was advisable to ordain her to Obatalá to appease that temper, something that was very common in this era. Nonetheless, Shangó never abandoned her, and her love for this orisha never dwindled. Her sobriquet was auto imposed, she once told me, stressing that Obatalá may have gone to her head, but Shangó occupied her heart.

I would like to offer my most heartfelt condolences to her loved ones and omórishas. No doubt, Igbín Koladé will be missed by all those people whose lives she touched in one way or another. Additionally, many of us who have the privilege of representing this religion as olorishas cannot but recognize and appreciate her contribution to the religion’s growth in the United States. If nothing else binds us to this woman, mother, iyalorisha and friend, this fact alone is enough for us all to say modupué ó, Iyá, for opening this road that we walk on.

Ibá é layén’torún Igbín Koladé.

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