Ilarí Obá

2001 will undoubtedly be classified as one of the most difficult years in the history of humankind, especially its last four months. The odyssey was not in space but in our own back yard. Since September 11th, this entire country has undergone an incredible transformation brought on by the realization that we were not as safe, and neither were we exempt, from the onslaught of terrorism, the tormenting physical and psychological devastation that so many other countries in the world have been living with for decades. Our safe little corner of the planet was no longer as secure as we had once believed. In a matter of minutes, our world changed, and drastically so.

Nonetheless, though we experienced—and continue to do so— an excessive amount of pain, horror, and downright disgust, ironically we as a people also gained in many ways from these spineless attacks on New York and Washington D.C. If in no other way, we gained in terms of unity, in that we all came together as a people and joined forces to combat a common cause. The great majority of people residing in the U.S., who may have not felt patriotic before September 11th, now did so. In a matter of hours—once the culprits were identified, we all became patriotic Americans. We all flew the country’s flag and growingly began to feel more American than ever. The painful, stark realization that these attacks were against every single one of us who had any ties to American soil, regardless of our geographical origins, ethnicity, place of residence, political affiliation, or religious beliefs overcame us in every corner of the country. As Americans, we came together as two of our most important Orishas, Ogún and Oshosi, did when they allied forces in the myth of the odu Ogundá Osá, a myth whose proverb teaches us that there is strength in unity—en la union está la fuerza! Our Yoruba-Lukumí-Afro-Cuban-exiled Orishas had been suddenly granted citizenship and were now as American as we.

Miami’s Lukumí Orisha community also grew—maybe a more adequate word is matured— as we too realized that we were not exempt, and that we too were under attack. For many years, we as a community have been regarded as an ethnocentric and arrogant people, enclosed within the safety of our enclave in Miami, and detached from the rest of the country, especially when our exile politics and interests are not at stake. But after September 11th we too came to the fore. We wholeheartedly joined our country, the United States, not Cuba, in its pain. We too mourned and we too sobbed and we too prayed and we too questioned our Creator! Why!

One very positive consequence of September 11th for the Lukumí community in Miami was the birth of the Council of Miami’s Oriatés. In joining the rest of the country in its earth-shattering state of mourning, the Council came into being as an official organization that for the first time in history, amassed the strength of over twenty of Miami’s Oriatés who came together to discuss our religion’s role, our position on the cowardly attacks, and eventually join our country in prayer according to our traditions. It was our duty, our obligation, our debt to the first country in the world and in the history of this religion that officially recognized our creed as a valid form of religious expression, and did not reduce us to the level of a superstitious cult born out of ignorance, practiced by an undesirable sector of the society (the stigma that we had suffered from for so many years in our beloved Cuba) nor excoriated and labeled “satanic idolaters” and converted as our ancestors were in colonial Yorubaland.

The Council’s initial meeting on September 21st, the divination that was performed—a reading for the country, not for Miami—and the successful manner in that we effected ceremonies that our Orishas recommended as our contribution to the country’s prayers, were the strongest testament to our historical ability as a religious people to join forces in the face of adversity and overcome any obstacles that are thrown our way! The only difference now was that we did so as a group, and not on an individual basis, as has been the case in the past. Like Ogún and Oshosi, we too joined forces, one side shooting the arrow that paralyzes our target while the other side swung the machete that cleared the bush to lead us to our prey. Maferefún Ogún!

The rest is history. The Council performed an Oro to Egún to pray for the souls of the people who were killed on September 11th; we celebrated a wemilere for Ogún that under the threat of a hurricane and torrential thunderstorms over 500 people attended; we celebrated an agbán for Babaluaiyé with 400 or more people participating; and we performed an ebó prescribed by Yemojá for the well-being and stability of our religious community as well as that of our co-citizens. In less than three months, we have had many, many accomplishments. Modupé ó!

Still, the Council cannot, and will not, take all the credit. These accomplishments could not have been possible without the help of our fellow brothers and sisters. In fact, it was they who actually achieved these feats and we who merely joined them as masters of ceremony. A great many Oriatés, and an even greater number of Olorishas and Aborishas, from Miami and other areas of the country as well, contributed with the money and labor to make these achievements possible. Though I have stated this in a number of posts, I would like to once again reiterate their wonderful support and much appreciated participation.

The names are too many to mention without running the risk of accidentally forgetting someone, and the deeds were just as numerous, making the process of recognizing their contribution even more difficult. Still, I will attempt it. I will begin by asking to be pardoned should I fail to recognize everyone. Suffice it to say that if I forget, Egún and the Orishas most certainly will not, in fact, cannot!

The first name on this list needs to be that of my Om’orisha Cristina Hernandez, Osikán. As she has done so many times before, as soon as I said that I wanted to call a meeting of Miami’s elders to discuss the attacks, she said “Padrino, have the meeting at my house.” Little did she suspect at that time that not only were we to meet, but that we would also eventually end up divining with her dilogún of Elegbá, as destiny had it. It was her Elegbá, her tutelary orisha, that identified the path we had to take, and gave us the guidance to plot our course during this early and period of our voyage. As if that were not enough, we placed the extra burden on her shoulders of playing to her Ogún in appreciation, and recognition of, her orisha’s guidance.

Osikan’s contribution did not end there, though. She became one of the most important contributors for the agbán to Babaluaiyé. Though she drove me crazy over the phone, “Padrino this . . .” and “Padrino that . . .” she did a formidable job.

A special mention should also be made for the contribution made by Otto Tianga, Tinibú. From the onset, Tinibú took the activity to heart, almost as if he considered it his own wemilere and not the community’s. During the preparation, I had to travel for religious activities outside of the state and all this time Tinibú, together with my om’orisha Jeff Gonzalez, Olubanké, kept the affairs in march for me. They drove all over Miami seeking an adequate location for the wemilere—something that as many people may know is no easy task—he set up a toll free number where people could call to make pledges and obtain further information, he gathered donations, prepared, printed and distributed the flyer, and help in all the preparatory stages of the Oro and wemilere in so many capacities that I know I have not listed here.

Henry Pascual, Oshún Lainú also did a lot of the leg work, including taking on the task of gathering all the necessary people for a meeting in his home the week before the wemilere to coordinate the event. He also took charge of keeping an inventory and gathering all the necessary materials for the wemilere. Together with my om’orisha Betty Rodriguez, throughout the event, he was constantly in motion, attending to human and the divine needs. Much gratitude is also due to my om’orishas and other members of my ilé. Pablo Alvarez, Alaje Thomas, Lola Rodriguez, Alimayu Harris, Ester Amores, Erik Boone, Teresa Ramos, Olga Ramos.

My mother Olga Ramos, Oshún Keletí, together with Angel Riaño, Talabí, Isabel Urtiz, Omí Saidé, and Xiomara “Monga,” Oniyé, worked arduously for hours frying akará to give out to the people. Lola Rodriguez, Oloshundé cooked a wonderful chicken fricassee for lunch and Doris Martinez, Obá’ñikán cooked puddings and other sweets for dessert. Days before, Osikán and Lazaro Ramos, Okandenijé, cooked a basket full of akasá and ekó to place before Ogún, two of the adimú that he requested. Erik Boone, Jimaguas Corp., and Dorian Hernández and his ilé, all provided food and disposables, some of which was also used for the agbán for Babaluaiyé.

Norberto Fernández, Olomikuyá, and Willie Zapata, Oshún Funké, installed an incredibly beautiful throne for Ogún. Ezequiel Torres and his batá ensemble, Ifé Bí Añá, donated their services. Olympia Alfaro—may she rest in peace—Guillermo Monroig, Roque Duarte, Luis Gonzalez, Jr., and Andrew Iglesias, all contributed with their chants.

For Babaluaiyé’s agbán, many of the same people were also actively involved in all the many stages that preceded the ceremony. Additionally, many new faces joined the ranks and proved to be just as arduous and determined to make the event a success. Our first indebtedness is to the Church of the Lukumí and its patron orisha Babaluaiyé as it was the Church’s Babaluaiyé that was used for the agbán. Again my om’orisha Osikán came to the fore and also proved very helpful for the agbán. Popi Cioffi and Abelardo Hernandez lent us their homes for the meetings. Tony Pena, Maria Antonia and Mario Gutierrez, Isabel Urtiz, Pedro & Ana Alfaro, Cristina & Fabian Hernández, and Abelardo Hernandez all allowed the use of their homes as drop-off locations for the donations. A few people over excelled themselves and deserve a special mention here.

First, Jackie Ben, Oshún Funké, who together with her om’orisha Flor Decker, Olá Leké, and Osikán, took on the arduous task of going out to the stores and marketplace to purchase all the materials we needed for the ceremony. Additionally, Oshún Funké approached Valentín and Elizabeth Llorente of Francis Animal Farm so that they could contribute with a donation. They turned around and offered all the animals we needed for the ceremony—over $400.00 worth! Ileana Zambrano cautiously took notes at our meetings and transcribed them, keeping us abreast of the many tasks at hand. She also contributed in the preparatory stages and worked very attentively chopping tubers and preparing plates for the ceremony.

One of the most time consuming aspects of an agbán is the preparatory stage. Tubers, fruits, and all the foodstuff that is used for the cleansing ceremony must be chopped and placed on separate plates for their later use. For an event of this magnitude, this took hours and necessitated many, many volunteers. This group arrived very early that morning and began to chop and prepare for hours! Actually, theirs was one of the most important contributions for they provided us with the material we needed to function. José Esquía, Okán Tomí, Hector Pelaéz, Omí Tilé, Caridad “Cacha” Sanchez, Oló Oshún, Flor Decker, Olá Leké, Ileana Zambrano, Myriam Pichardo, Modesta Cruz, Doris Martinez, Obá’ñikán, David Hoft, Omí Lodé, all spent hours at Rancho Oddu Ara to make this event possible. May Babaluaiyé reciprocate their deeds with much health and happiness.

Pedro Alfaro and Ana Alfaro, Shangó Larí and Obá Nilú, contributed with much enthusiasm as well. Pedro spread the word throughout the city wherever he went and asked everyone he encountered for donations. He obtained a donation of a great deal of food items that were used for the agbán. Additionally, he arrived very early on the day of the ceremony and began to work alongside the Oloshas who had been there since early that morning preparing the foodstuffs we used that evening. Ana Alfaro was in charge of the most difficult part—the money! She had the eyes and weight of the city on her shoulders, as many of our religious brethren have a tendency to be suspicious about donating money for an activity for fear that it will be misused. Ana’s professionalism, integrity, and her excellent management and record keeping of the funds and donations were a large component of the eventual successful outcome.

Throughout this whole period, one name has come up numerous times: Roberto Berenger, Osha Lerí, owner of Rancho Oddu Ara, the place where all of this was made possible. Osha Lerí’s—and his staff’s—generosity and level of religious commitment have to earn him a multiplicity of blessings, as these ceremonies could not have possibly been held in anyone’s home. The sheer magnitude of the events required an ample place with proper facilities to accommodate the number of people we had anticipated would attend the event.

In the end, we had enough foodstuff left over to make a substantial donation on the following day to Camilus House, a Miami based organization that serves food and offers shelter to the homeless. Babaluaiyé spread his mercy to those in need by providing for everyone, whether a member of the religious community or not.

The following people contributed with donations. Many of these same people also contributed with their physical labor, and some contributed both money and work. They are the true heroes and the ones who truly made these accomplishments a reality. The Council is greatly indebted to every single person on this list.

Abelardo Hernández, Miami
Adolfo Rodriguez, Miami
Adrian Suarez, Spain
Aidéz Chichilla, Los Angeles
Alajé Thomas, Miami
Albaro Hernandez, Miami
Alberta & James Russell, New York
Alberto Quintero, Venezuela
Alimayu Harris, Miami
Alma Fernandez, Miami
Ana Alfaro, Miami
Andrew Iglesias, Miami
Angel Riaño, Miami
Antonio C. Sanchez, Miami
Antonio Pena & his ilé, Miami
Aramis Marquez, Miami
Asabi Thomas & her Ilé, Chicago
Beatríz Rodriguez, Miami
Cari Alfaro, Miami
Cari Falero & Fa., Miami
Caridad & Mayra Cotilla, Miami
Caridad “Cacha” Sanchez, Miami
Carlos “Machito” Bresó, Miami
Carlos Jesús Bresó, Miami
Carlos León, Miami
Carlos Torres, Miami
Carmen Plá, Miami
Carmen Santiago & Fa., Miami
Cary & Milton Martinez, Miami
Cary Barrera Otero, Miami
Clay Keck & his Ilé, Michigan
Consuelo España, Miami
Cristina and Fabian Hernández, Miami
Daina Moreno Chavez, Miami
Daisy Castellano, Miami
Dalia Fernandez, Miami
Damarys Figueroa, Miami
David Hoft, Miami
Dolores Rivera, Miami
Dorian Hernandez and his entire Ilé, Miami
Doris Martinez, Miami
Eduardo-ahijado de Maria A. Gutierrez, Miami
Elda Gonzalez, Miami
Elda Gonzalez, Miami
Elena Bombalier, Miami
Ellie Martinez, Miami
Erik Boone, Miami
Ernesto Pichardo, Miami
Evelio Manzana
Felipe Hernández, Los Angeles
Fernando Pichardo, Miami
Finita y Delgado, Miami
Flor Decker, Miami
Gerardo Durán, Miami
Gilberto & Karla López, Miami
Hector Pelaez, Miami
Henry Pascual, Miami
Hilda Ortiz, Los Angeles
Hilda Yeo, Miami
Ileana Zambrano, Miami
Irma Gutierrez, Los Angeles
Isabel Tamayo, Miami
Isaberl Urtiz, Miami
Jackie Ben & her entire Ilé, Miami
Jacquie Soler, Miami
Javier Díaz, Miami
Jimaguas Corp., Miami
Jorge Castillo, Miami
Jorge Ferreira, Miami
Jorge Ortega, Miami
Jose & Lyandis Castillo
José Esquía, Miami
José Gonzalez, Miami
Kerry Daniels, Michigan
Laura Morales, Miami
Lazaro & Jenny Bombalier, Miami
Lazaro Ramos, Miami
Lisa Quesania, Miami
Liza Rodriguez, Miami
Lori & Juan Paraño, Miami
Luis Gonzalez, Miami
Luis Mayorga, Los Angeles
Mannolie DiSantos, Hollywood, Fl.
Margaret Santo, Miami
Maria & Alberto Olivera, Miami
Maria Adela, Miami
Maria Portales, Miami
Marion Gonzalez, Miami
Marlene Lopez, Miami
Marta Mendoza, Los Angeles
Martin Tsang, England
Matín Bherviz, Miami
Miguel Jimenez, Miami
Miguel Sabina, Miami
Mileidi Viera, Miami
Minerva, Miami
Modesta Cruz, Miami
Myriam Pichardo, Miami
Nelson Hernández, Miami
Norberto Fernandez, Miami
Norma Torrado, Miami
Obdulia García, Miami
Olga Abreu, Miami
Olga Ramos, Miami
Olympia Alfaro, Miami
Otto Tianga, Miami
Pablo Salazar, Miami
Pedro Alfaro, Miami
Pedro Alonso, Venezuela
Pedro Bonetti, Miami
Peggy González and her ilé, New Jersey
Popi Cioffi, Miami
Pucha, Miami
Raquel Llanes, Miami
Raul reyes, Miami
Rita & Xiomara Guerra, Miami
Rita Guerra, Miami
Roberto and Michelle Abreu and their ilé, Miami
Roberto Berenger, Miami
Roque Duarte, Miami
Rosalba Palomares, Miami
Rosita Otero, Miami
Salomon Azaguery, Miami
Sara Gonzalez, Miami
Silvia Manzana, Miami
Stephanie Clark, Miami
Tania Vazquez, Miami
Teresa Polanes, Los Angeles
Valentín and Elizabeth Llorente, Miami
Valerie Forbes, Ft. Lauderdale
Vickie Santerzo, Miami
Willie Zapata, Miami
Xiomara “Monga”, Miami
Xiomara Guerra, Miami
Yeyita Pérez, Miami
Yomeli Rodriguez, Miami
Ysel Torres, Miami

In the process of writing this recognition, we were struck a very hard blow with the death of Olympia Alfaro, Omí Sanyá. Omí Sanyá was an institution for the Lukumí community as she was one of the pioneer apuóns—singers—in the United States. Ikú took our sister in a very unfortunate way—singing a wemilere—and inopportune manner as she was practically destitute. Many readers can sympathize with what it feels like to be old and penniless in this country, in this day and age. Omí Sanyá was a very proud woman, though, too proud to admit that she was going through a tempest, so the community continued to see her in her usual style: well-dressed, well-groomed, and looking like a million bucks. But reality was something else, a very bitter truth that we all encountered when it came time to deal with her funeral and burial. She did not have a penny to her name nor had she ever made any arrangements for her final rest.

The Council quickly came to the fore and set the wheels into motion. There had been some funds left over from the wemilere for Ogún and the agbán that we were in the process of donating as we had promised to do. Eshú may have been playing around with us, though. When we wanted to make donations to the funds established in New York for the victims of the September 11th attacks, the organizations had placed a hold on cash donations. The Red Cross had already done the same. We had finally agreed to donate this money to a local AIDS organization and were in the process of finalizing the transaction when Omí Sanyá had the hemorrhage. What more worthy cause than to use this money to give a final burial to one of our own, to a Lukumí institution? And so we did. The Church of the Lukumí and the Pichardo family donated the cemetery plot and the Council, with the help of other brothers and sisters, covered the expenses for the funeral.

A number of people stood out during this difficult process to which I am personally indebted. In an ironic twist of events, I was unable to be present to bid my dear friend farewell. Unfortunately, in my line of work it is very difficult to “call in sick.” I had to be in Puerto Rico performing the honras for the late Librada Quiles, Oshún Widé. Yet, though my presence may have been desirable, it was not necessary for there were other responsible aburos who said present and did right by Omi Sanyá. I am particularly appreciative of Fernando Pichardo’s pivotal role in dealing with the funeral home and running the initial legwork for the funeral arrangements. My om’orisha Jeff Gonzalez, Olubanké, and Otto Tianga, Tinibú took the initial steps in setting up for the etutú. In fact, Olubanké brought Omí Sanyá’s orishas to his home after she had the hemorrhage because she was in the process of moving and her belongings, including her orishas, were locked in the old house. Osikán once again came through and lent her home for the etutú.

Manolo Mederos, Eshú Onaré who literally “met” Omí Sanyá at the funeral, did her etutú with the help of Carlos Bresó Jr., Edubí. I express a complete and total indebtedness to these two priests—and Omí Sanyá’s family does as well— who proved their level of devotion and professionalism throughout the difficult roads that were traveled during this turbulent period. On a Saturday evening, after both men had returned home from working in Orisha ceremonies, they went to fulfill their duties to their sense of commitment and loyalty to Lukumí religion.

Gratitude is also due to Ezequiel Torres, Oshalashé, his son Aruan, and omó Añá David Font took his batá to the funeral and played the final oro for a lady who on so many previous occasions had been a friend and a mentor. Liz Balmaseda, renowned columnist with the Miami Herald, wrote a beautiful eulogy that immortalized Omí Sanyá. May Olorún always grant her prosperity and advancement so that she can continue to write and be one of Miami’s glories. Modupué ó Liz. It was quite clear that Omí Sanyá had touched a good many of us in many and varied ways.

A final word of praise is needed to thank the Lukumí community of Puerto Rico. On the third day of the honras, before the “calling” of Oshún, I asked all the Olorishas who were present there to observe a minute of silence in memory of our departed sister. This community, few of which had any ties with Omí Sanyá, came to an immediate halt, lowered their heads, and observed a minute of silence. The beauty of the moment, the composure of the Olorishas and earnestness of this miniscule period in time, is one minute in my life that I will remember for as long as I live.

Though I probably have left out some names, it is my sincerest intention to recognize everyone’s participation and to say modupué ó to all who contributed to our endeavors during the past five months. Had it not been for the support, both moral and financial, and the presence and physical labor of all these people, none of the accomplishments this Council has had in its short lifetime would have been possible. In reality, the Council has accomplished nothing: the accomplishments belong to Miami’s Lukumí Orisha community. Ki Olorún n’agbé wá!

El 23 de Diciembre de 2001, en la cuidad de Miami, Florida, se hizo itá de la comida que se le dio a Babaluaiyé para el agbán colectivo que se llevó a cabo el dia 21. El itá se hizo en casa del alagba Babalorisha Abelardo Hernández, Oshún Funké.

Testigos:
Abelardo Hernandez, Oló Oshún
Carlos “Machito” Breso, Oní Shangó
Antonio Pena, Oní Shangó
Carlos Breso Jr., Oló Obatalá
Nelson Hernandez, Oní Yemojá
Manuel Medero, Omó Elegbá
Luis Gonzalez, OníYemojá
Lazaro Ramos, Oló Oshún
Lazaro Pedro Alfaro, Oní Shangó
Miguel “Willie” Ramos, Oní Shangó
Roberto Abreu, Oní Shangó
Jeffrey Gonzalez, Oló Obatalá
Luis Blanco
Hector Pelaes, Oní Yemojá
Jose Esquia, Oló Oshún
Gilberto Lopez, Omó Elegbá
Jakie Ben, Oló Oshún
Flor Decker, Oní Yemojá
Ana Alfaro, Oní Shangó
Ileana Zambrano, Oló Obatalá
Cacha Sanchez, Oló Oshún
Torciana “La China” Helleo, Oló Oshún
Cristina Miguez-Hernandez, Omó Elegbá

El Obá Oriaté que se sentó en la estera a manejar el oraculo fue Roque Duarte, Tinibú, mejor conocido como “el Jimagüa.” Ernesto Pichardo se sentó de intermidiario, en representación del colectivo, ya que el sacrificio se le hizo al Babaluaiyé de la Iglesia Lukumí.

Elegbá/Afrá

Coco: Alafia

Odu: 9-8 Arún (9-5) elese Araorún (9-5)

Refrán: Después de frita la manteca vamos a ver los chicharrones que se recogen.

Jimagüa pregunta: Quien puede más, el agua o el fuego? No existe ningún elemento que apague completamente al fuego cuando este coge fuerza.

Abebé iná. Elegbá está diciendo que era necesario que el fuego llegara y lo hiciera todo cenizas para que de esas cenizas surgiera una nueva prosperidad. Este odu es como el ave Fénix de la mitología greco-romana quien resucita de las cenizas. A veces es necesario que las cosas se desbaraten o destrullan y se hagan cenizas para que surja algo bueno. Todo lo malo que esta sucediendo, tendra un nuevo y buen resurgimiento.

El odu habla de enfermedades producidas por las ciencias espirituales, por Araorún. Habla de trastornos mentales, la falta de control emocional que todos estamos viviendo. Todos hemos sido afectados por los acontecimientos del 11 de septiembre, la guerra en el Medio Oriente, y la amenaza terrorista de manera que han dado lugar a padecimientos nerviosos y afectos psicologicos. El odu abarca esto ya que es un odu que habla de problemas nerviosos y mentales.

Los mayores en general; padres, padrinos, hermanos, jefes de familia, deben evitar contariedades con sus menores. Los mayores no deben tener choques con los menores que pueden ocasionar desbarates, ya que en este odu los menores se le enfrentan a los mayores y los resultados pueden ser desvastadores. Un mayor puede perecer por una lucha con un menor.

No se puede ser impulsivo. Hay que mantener la cordura.

Alagbá Abelardo Hernandez habló de la posibilidad de darle una carnera a Egún basado en la mecanica de este odu. Obá Willie Ramos recordó que no obstante a la mecaníca costumaria del odu, el osobo no venía a traves de Egún sino a traves de Araorún, dos cosas completamente diferentes. Ramos hizo incapié de que lo que pudiera estar creando conflicto son los iwín—las almas que vagan; espiritus de personas que murieron solos y desamparados o se suicidaron, entidades tipicamente abandonadas ya que nadie se acuerda de atenderles.

Se pregunto si habia que dar una carnera a Araorún, y la respuesta fue negativa.

Luego de esto, se le preguntó a Elegbá si era a los iwín a quienes había que atender y este respondio afirmativamente, y marcó que cada cual le pusiera el siguiente adimú a los iwín:

Dentro de una palangana se echán viandas de todos tipos (sancochadas sin sal ni sazón). Encima se ponen tres arenques, una raspadura, dulces de todos tipos, caramelos variados, azúcar prieta, harina de maíz cruda, bolas de gofio con miel, y todo tipo de dulce u otras cosas que agrade especialmente a los niños. Esta palangana se coloca detrás de la puerta de entrada a la casa y se le enciende tres velas.

Al dia siguiente, se da obí y se pregunta adonde se debe llevar. El lugar ideal, para aquellos que tengan patio en su casa, sería una esquina en el fondo del patio. Otro lugar ideal es el techo de la casa. Otros posibles lugares son tumbas abandonadas, un basurero, lugares solitarios, calles que sean la calle de acceso principal a una ciudad. No se pregunta ni iglesias, ni estaciones de policia, ni sitios publicos ya que estas entidades moran más bien en los parajes solitarios.

Tambien es aconsejable que el dia 31 de diciembre, luego de refrescar sus orishas, cada cual le ponga un adimú de coco y agua a Elegbá el cual debe esperar el año al pie del orisha. Al dia siguiente, preguntarle adonde se le envia. Elegbá nos va ayudar atravesar los caminos más escabrosos que podamos encontrar.

Obá Lazaro Ramos habló de la necesidad de atender a los iwín ya que la falta de atención a estas entidades a veces suele tener resultados caoticos.

Obá Roberto Abreú sugirió que se diesen baños y se lavara la casa con acelga.

Babaluaiyé

Coco: Etawó mejí

Odu: 6-9 Ikú (5-6) Otonowá (11-5) larishe (8) adimú (6-7) ñame (7-7) asado a Asojano (9-7)

Refrán: O es loco o se hace el loco.

El larishe para este osobo es ponerle un ñame asado con bastante manteca de corojo a Asojano. Luego se le pregunta al orisha adonde se debe llevar.

Asojano nos pide cordura, tranquilidad y equanimidad. La tranquilidad que nos podamos dar nosotros mismos. Como se insinúo en Elegbá, estamos viviendo todos sin cabeza ya que hemos sido afectados por los acontecimientos de los ultimos meses. Odu del zombi. No podemos dejarnos arrasar por las circumtancias que afectan al país ya que nos atormenta y trae inestabilidad a cada uno. No podemos estar atolondrados. Lo religioso que se ha hecho hasta ahora no es poco, sin embargo, tenemos que buscarle posición a nuestras cabezas. No podemos seguir haciendonos los locos o pensando como los locos. Los acontecimientos que afectan al país nos estan llevando al border de una locura.

Aquel que le deba algo a Asojano, tiene que ponerse al dia con él. Asojano dice que no se pueden hacer los locos con él y lo que le deban.

Este osobo—ikú otonowá— es un osobo neutro, sin dejar de ser osobo. Determina que el destino esta en manos de cada cual, como cada cual lo lleve y maneje. Es una muerte por manos del cielo: otonowá—aquello que fuimos al cielo a buscar. Por lo mismo, tenemos que evitar que por nuestras acciones seamos nosotros mismos los que salgamos a buscar esa muerte que anuncia el orisha; una muerte antes de tiempo.

Hay que tener organización, pero por encima de todo, tenemos que tener fé, mucha fé. Hay enemigos, personas que estan en total oposición a lo que estamos haciendo. Obara’sá es odu de traición y engaño. No podemos echar atrás lo que hemos emprendido aunque los enemigos traten de aplastarnos. Es menester que tengamos en mente mantener una fuerza moral ante cualquier desprecio que se nos pueda hacer, los cuales van a ser muchos. Hay muchos a los cuales no le conviene que logremos nuestra meta. Tenemos que armarnos de paciencia para enfrentarnos a estos enemigos.

Obá Willie Ramos habló de la necesidad de mantener la cordura y la union. Que el desacredito que habla el odu no pueda dar lugar a ninguna discordia que ponga en juego la prioridad maxíma del concilio, nuestra unificación como lideres religiosos.

Obá Manuel Mederos enfatizó lo siguiente:
Hemos logrado algo que nunca se habia logrado y es que dentro de esta locura que todos estamos viviendo, nos hemos unido. Tenemos que tener cordura y cabeza, y estar por encima de cualquier criterio maligno que puedan tener en contra nuestra y en contra de esta unificación que hemos logrado. Somos una cadena, que si uno de sus eslabones se debilita, se puede romper. Por lo cual tenemos que mantenernos unidos.

La locura tiene que estar afuera, no en nosotros. Tenemos que tener principios y saber que lo que nosotros hagamos hoy es la herencia que le vamos a dejar a nuestros hijos, nietos, y ahijados para el dia de mañana. Si hacemos o permitimos algo malo, le dejaremos de herencia eso malo; pero si hacemos y pernitimos lo bueno, eso bueno es lo que le dejaremos. No podemos hacernos los locos.

Obá Willie Ramos hizo hincapié sobre lo que se había conversedo en el itá y enfatizó que la conversación de los orishas era lo que se había hablado en ese momento y nada más. Desde el momento que se pregunto “eboada” y el orisha respondio que “si”, no debe haber más interpretación que lo que se ha dicho. Cualquier interpretación adicional no tomaría lugar sobre el dilogún para que el orisha pudiera acatarla al concluirse el itá. Por lo tanto, no quedó nada que no se haya hablado que el orisha haya querido decirnos.

Esta aclaración se hace como modo de recordarle a los que lean este documento en el futuro de que no traten de interpretar lo que los orishas no digeron ese dia. Si faltaba algo en la interpretación del odu hecha por Jimagüa y los Obá que se hallaban presentes, al preguntar “eboada,” el dilogún no hubiese cerrado hasta no llegar al punto que el orisha quería aclarar. Por lo tanto, lo que se dijo es lo que había que decir y nada más.

On the 23rd of December, 2001, sacrifice and agbán—cleansing ceremony—were performed for Babaluaiyé in Miami, Florida, on behalf of the entire community. This ceremony had been prescribed by Oshún during the wemilere for Ogún back in November. On the third day, Babaluaiyé spoke to us through an itá ceremony that took place at the home of alagbá Babalorisha Abelardo Hernández, Oshún Funké.

Witnesses:
Abelardo Hernandez, Oló Oshún
Carlos “Machito” Breso, Oní Shangó
Antonio Pena, Oní Shangó
Carlos Breso Jr., Oló Obatalá
Nelson Hernandez, Oní Yemojá
Manuel Medero, Omó Elegbá
Luis Gonzalez, OníYemojá
Lazaro Ramos, Oló Oshún
Lazaro Pedro Alfaro, Oní Shangó
Miguel “Willie” Ramos, Oní Shangó
Roberto Abreu, Oní Shangó
Jeffrey Gonzalez, Oló Obatalá
Luis Blanco
Hector Pelaes, Oní Yemojá
Jose Esquia, Oló Oshún
Gilberto Lopez, Omó Elegbá
Jakie Ben, Oló Oshún
Flor Decker, Oní Yemojá
Ana Alfaro, Oní Shangó
Ileana Zambrano, Oló Obatalá
Cacha Sanchez, Oló Oshún
Torciana “La China” Helleo, Oló Oshún
Cristina Miguez-Hernandez, Omó Elegbá

Roque Duarte, Tinibú, better known as el jimagüá, officiated as Obá Oriaté. Since the ceremony was performed with the Church of the Lukumí’s Babaluaiyé, Ernesto Pichardo sat as the receptor of the itá in representation of the entire community. This is what the orishashad to say.

Elegbá/Afrá

Obí: Alafia

Odu: 9-8 Arún (9-5) elese Araorún (9-5)

Proverb: After frying lard, we shall see what remains.

Jimagüa asked: What is more powerful, water or fire? He states that there is no natural element that can completely extinguish a fire once it acquires strength.

Abebé iná. Elegbá says that in many ways, the “fire” that has affected us all was a necessity—it awakened us to stark realities. It was necessary to reduce everything to ashes so that from the ash, a new prosperity would arise. This odu is like the Phoenix bird of Greco-Roman mythology that resurfaces from the ashes. Sometimes it is necessary that things fall or break apart and turn to ash so that something positive arises. Elegbá says that all the negative occurrences will lead to new and more positive rebirths.

The odu speaks of diseases provoked by Araorún—citizens of orún. It addresses psychological problems, and especially the emotional trauma that we are all facing at this point in time. We have all been affected by the tragic events of September 11th, the wra in the Middle East, and the terrorist’s threats, so much so that we are seeing an increase in affections to the nervous system and psychological stress and disorder. The odu speaks of psychological and nervous disorders.

Elder in general—parents, godparents, siblings, heads of households, must avoid conflicts with those that are younger than them and directly linked by blood or religion. Elders should avoid conflicts with their juniors. In this odu, conflicts with one’s juniors can lead to devastation and chaos. In this odu, elders can lose their life because of conflicts with people with whom they have ties that are younger than they are.

One cannot be impulsive. We must keep a level head.

Basing himself on the typical mechanics of this odu, Alagbá Abelardo Hernández spoke of the possibility of sacrificing an ewe to Egún. Obá Willie Ramos intercede, reminding that in spite of the established patterns of the odu, the osobo was not produced by Egún, but by Araorún, and clarified that though related, they were two different sets of entities. Ramos stressed that what could be creating the conflict the odu announced were the iwín—lost souls; spirits of people who had lonely deaths, committed suicide, or died before their allotted time, that are seldom remembered or attended.

It was agreed that to ask Elegbá directly with ibo if he agreed with Oshún Funké’s recommendation to sacrifice an ewe to Araorún and he said no. Immediately after, Elegbá was asked if taking care of iwín was a way of appeasing the osobo and he said yes. He prescribed the following ebó:

Gather all types of tubers—yams, potatos, taro, etc.— boil them without salt, and place them in a basin. On top of these, in no particular order, add three smoked herrings, a raspadura (sugar-cake), sweets of all types, candies, brown sugar, raw corn meak, gofio balls with honey, and any candy or sweet that are usually appealing to children.

The basin should be placed behind one’s door and three candles will be lit before it. This is dedicated to the iwín and prayers and invocations are done before the offering.

The following day, cast obí and ask where this should be taken. An ideal place would be a corner in the back yard—for those who have them. Another ideal place is one’s roof. Otherwise, abandoned tombs, a refuse heap or dump, solitary places in the forests, or paths that serve as the principal access to a town or city. It should never taken to anywhere public.

It is also advisable that on the 31st of December, after attending to the orishas, to offer obí and omi tutu to Elegbá. This adimú should await the new year in front of Elegbá. The following day, cast obí and ask him where it should be taken. Elegbá will help us to move across the difficult paths we encounter in the coming year.

Obá Lazaro Ramos spoke about the need to take proper care of iwín, stressing that not doing so could bring very bad consequences.

Obá Roberto Abreú suggested baths and house cleanings with collard greens.

Babaluaiyé

Obí: Etawó mejí

Odu: 6-9 Ikú (5-6) Otonowá (11-5) larishe (8) adimú (6-7) ñame (7-7) asado a Asojano (9-7)

Proverb: You are either insane or attempting to appear so.

The larishé is to place a roasted yam—white name—with plenty of palm oil to Babaluaiyé. After offering it, cast and ask him where it should be taken.

Asojano asks us to be level headed, tranquil and serene. We need to provide for our own peace of mind. As it was insinuated during Elegbá’s itá, we are living through an era in which we are all “headless,” strongly affected by the attacks and the tensions that the country faces. This is the odu of the zombie. We cannot allow the country’s current troubles to affect us individually as we all must be strong and stable. Our heads need to be in its proper place. We have done many ceremonies to appease the negativity. Nonetheless, we must now search for stability for our own selves. We cannot continue feigning insanity nor thinking like a mad person. The situation that has affected our country has taken us all to the border of insanity.

Whomever owes anything to Babaluaiyé must pay up/ He insists that we cannot feign to be insane as far as he is concerned.

The osobo—ikú otonowá— though a negative sign, is nonetheless a neutral osobo. It stresses that we each hold our destiny in our own hands and the results are heavily depended on our actions. It speaks of a “death” that is handed down from heaven: otonowá—that which we went to heaven to bring. We need to keep our actions in check so that we do not bring an early death to our own selves by improper behavior.

It is important that we have organization, but above all, faith, faith and more faith. We have enemies and people who are in total opposition to what we are trying to accomplish (the Council of Oriatés). Obara’sá is an odu of betrayal and treachery. We cannot cancel the proceedings that we have already set in motion for the creation of this council no matter what our enemies attempt. It is important that we remember to maintain a strong sense of morality and dedication when faced with any disparaging words or acts that may be directed toward any one of us at any given point. These will be numerous. There are many people out there who feel threatened by our union because it signals the beginning of a degree of respect and order that they cannot, or will not, accept. We must have much patience in order to confront these enemies.

Obá Willie Ramos stressed the importance of being prudent and sensible, even amongst ourselves. The disgrace that the odu announces cannot have a place among us so that these foundations we are laying to day can evolve into a sturdy structure that will last for generations to come.

Obá Manuel Mederos emphasized the following:
We have accomplished something that has never been done before and that has been that in spite of the insanity we are all living through, we have been able to maintain this unity. We must remain sensible and have a clear head, and place ourselves above any maligning criteria that our enemies can have against our union. We are a young chain that can break if we allow any of its links to be debilitated. We must remain united.

Insanity must reign outside of our group, never within us. We must have principles and know that what we do today is the legacy that we will leave to our children, grandchildren, and godchildren for tomorrow. If we do something wrong, or permit something that is against our precepts, our legacy will not be a good one; but if we do and permit positive things, this is what our legacy will be. Let us not feing insanity.

After Babaluiayé said that that was the totality of his advice for the day, Obá Willie Ramos stressed that what had been said to the moment was what the orishas had wanted to say and nothing else. There was nothing left out or else Babaluaiyé would have asked for us to continue deciphering the odu. Since he said éboadá—this is sufficient—we must understand that that was the totality of the message. There should be no further interpretation of the odus, because if further interpretations were needed, Elegbá and Babaluaiyé would have asked us to continue with itá until this advice surfaced. Therefore, there was nothing else to be said.

This is an important clarification to avoid that other Olorishas who learn of the itá add their own evaluation of the odu and create confusion by stating what was not said in itá. If the Obás that were present that day left something unsaid, when the orishas were asked eboadá, they had to have said “no” continuously until that specific message was voiced. Since it was not this way, no further interpretation is needed nor should any new “wisdom” be added. Further interpretations that do not take place on the day of itá, with the dilogún on the mat overhearing what is being said, are not valid as the orisha could not accept, nor decline anything, because it was not there to determine.

Agenda:: Discutir la organización del Concilio de Oriatés de Miami

Fecha De La Reunión: : Diciembre 12, 2001
Hora: : 7:30 Pm

Las minutas fueron tomadas por la Sra. Ileana Zambrano.

A continuación se detallarán los puntos discutidos durante el llamamiento a todos los oriates de la cuidad de Miami, Florida para crear la organizacion Concilio de Oriatés de Miami.

La reunión comenzó aproximadamente a las 8:10 PM, en la casa de Popi Ciofi.

Los Señores Willie Ramos, Ernesto Pichardo y Roque Duarte presidieron la reunión.

Se hallaban presentes: Roque Duarte, Willie Ramos, Ernesto Pichardo, Tony Pena, Nelson Hernandez, Popi Ciofi, Pedro Alfaro, Roberto Abreú , Carlos “Machito” Bresó, Lazaro Ramos, Manolo Mederos, Carlos Bresó Jr., Jorge Castillo, Willy Zapata, Juan Carlos Bresó, Michelle Abreú, Abelardo Hernandez, Juan Carlos Cabrizas, Antonia Sanchez, Jorge Ferreira, Flor Decker, Jeffrey Gonzalez, Angel Riana, Ileana Zambrano

Más enfatizaron su apoyo:
Viki Gómez, Ambiro Terán, Anibal Guerrero, Gerardo Durán, Eduardo Faiña

El Sr. Willie Ramos recordó a todos los presentes el acuerdo llegado en la reunion del 14 de Noviembre, 2001 en la cual todos los presentes acordaron dar los pasos necesarios para asi crear la rganizción previamente mencionada. A la vez le expresó el deseo de llegar a una votación del nombramiento de la junta directiva de dicha organización. Tambien le explicó a todos los presentes el deseo del Sr. Roque Duarte que es de la opinión que aunque se hiciera una votación para nombrar la junta directiva, bajo ningún concepto estos nombramientos se deben considerar como jerarquia superior de uno sobre el otro. Willie expresó que los nombramientos serían hecho solo como un requisito de manera y función administrativa solamente. Dando a entender que el deseo del Sr. Duarte es de promover una organización unida y fuerte, con igualdad entre todos, y que toda decisión sea hecha con una voz unanime.

Dicho esto, Willie le pasó la palabra al Sr. Ernesto Pichardo para que esté le explicara a todos los pasos a dar para proceder con estructuración de la organización. Se le entregó a todos un folleto explicando los procedimientos, cargos de nombramientos, y la posición de la Iglesia Lukumi Babalú Ayé con referencia a la creación de este concilio. El Sr. Pichardo le explicó a todos que el Concilio Miamense de Oriatés funcionará como una rama de la Iglesia y que este sería gobernando y dirigido por sus propios miembros.

Ademas explicó los aspectos de otros concilios que tambien forma parte de la Iglesia, la importancia de estos y el funcionamiento del propio (el Sr. Pichardo) que es el presidente de la Iglesia; como sería su función con respecto al Concilio Miamense de Oriatés en la cual el explica que sería como función administrativa en representacion de la Iglesia para asi asegurar que los reglamentos sean seguidos debidamente.

Sin embargo, su participación sería limitada ya que el no pudiera tomar ningún cargo relacionado a la junta directiva del Concilio. También explicó que para poder ser miembros de este Concilio tuviesen que aparecer como miembros de la Iglesia, y explicó las condiciones para obtener la membresia de la Iglesia. El Sr. Pichardo explicó a todos algunos de los aspectos legales dentro de la estructura de la Iglesia de las diferentes funciones de los cargos y las tareas y responsabilidades perteneciente a los nombrados a participar en la junta directiva.

El Sr. Roque Duarte pidio la palabra y le preguntó a los presentes si entendieron la explicación del Sr. Pichardo. Pidió que él que no entendera esto y tuviese alguna opinión contraria o sugerencia, que por favor expresara su opinion. Todos demostraron entender la explicaciones del Sr. Pichardo y se procedió con la reunion.

El Sr. Pichardo tomó la palabra otra vez, solo que en esta ocasión aprovechó para hablar sobre los aspectos legales para el sacrificio de animales y la necesidad de dar unas charla o seminario sobre las formas apropiadas del sacrificio cosa que cada Oriaté esté consciente de la manera debida y exigida por la ley. Este hizo voz de ciertos detalles la cual se debe de dialogar y tomar en cuenta y la necesidad de establecer fecha para dicho seminario. El Sr. Duarte tambien hizo incapie sobre este detalles y le aclaró a todos la importacia de este tema para el Concilio y todos en general.

El Sr. Manolo Medero pidio la palabra y preguntó si el Concilio seria una rama bajo la sombrilla de la Iglesia Lukumi y si hubiera algún deber del Concilio con la Iglesia; si este Concilio se miraría como un entidad dentro o fuera de la Iglesia?

El Sr. Pichardo contestó que el Concilio sería una rama de la Iglesia, pero gobernado individualmente por los propios miembros del Concilio. La Iglesia no participará en su procedimiento ni tiene juridicción sobre este. La Iglesia solo participará en función administrativa para asegurar que las funciones de este sean llevadas debidamente, como ejemplo, que en las reuniones se lleve las minutas, que los funcionarios que necesiten aclaración de su cargo pudiesen recibir estas aclaraciones, y que los cargos de la junta directiva siempre estén ocupados, y si se presentara vacantes a los cargos, asegurar que se hagan las elecciones o nombramientos necesarios para llenar la posicion vacante.

El Sr. Duarte aprovechó el momento para asi avisarle a todos que estos eran los primeros pasos para este estructuración de la organización y ademas informó que se crearian capitulos y regulaciones para que la organización se guiara bajo estas, e informó que cuando este se hiciera, por medio de votación unanime de los miembros del concilio, se aprovaran y ratificaran estas regulaciones en futuras reuniones. Solamente este paso es el comienzo de la organización.

Con esto dicho y aclarado los Señores Antonio Peña y Willie Ramos pidierón que se procediera con la votación para la junta directiva. El Sr. Ramos sugirió que los nombramientos por ahora fueran temporarios, por un termino de 6 meses, hasta finalizar los pasos iniciales para la organización. Aclaró que aquellos que no fuesen miembros de la Iglesia, se hicieran lo antes posible.

El Sr. Abelardo Hernandez, pidio la palabra e indicó que tomaran en cuenta la responsabilidad del Concilio y la responsabilidad que le va a caer al Cabecilla de este Concilio. Tambien adviertio a todos que ya el publico estaba observando e intentando censurar la forma de proceder de este concilio.

Todos los presentes secundaron la petición de los Señores Peña y Ramos, y se procedió con las nominaciones para los cargos. Los nominados fueron hechos en el foro de la reunión y se le dio libertad de voto a todos los presentes.

Los nombramientos se determinaron de la siguiente forma:

Director: Willie Ramos

Sub-director: Manolo Mederos

Tesorero: Roberto Abreú

Secretario: Carlos Bresó, Jr.

Representate: Jeffrey Gonzalez

El Sr. Ramos despues de la toma del nombramientos de los oficiales de la junta directiva informó que el Sr. Roque Duarte, quien pidió este derecho, preparará un codigo de ética y regulaciones el cual se utilizará como guia para el comportamiento de este Concilio.

El Sr. Duarte tomó la palabra para reiterar que el codigo y las regulaciones serian discutidos y se considerará la opinion de todos antes de someterlo a votación para asi asegurar que todos esten de acuerdo con dicho codigo.

De hecho se decidió que la proxima reunión sería en casa del Sr. Lazaro Ramos, en el 1930 N.W. 36 Avenida, Miami, Florida (305) 635-1866, el dia Martes, 8 de Enero del 2002.

Agenda:
To discuss Founder’s Preparation of Miami Council of Oriates

Date: December 12, 2001
Time: 7:30 PM

Minutes taken by Ileana Zambrano.

Meeting is held in response to the initial gathering of the Oriates of Miami, Florida, requested by Mr. Willie Ramos, to create the organization to be called “Miami Council of Oriates.” The mission of this organization will be circulated amongst the community at a later date.

Meeting Place: Mr. Popi Cioffi’s residence.

The meeting was called to order at approximately at 8:10 PM

Willie Ramos, Ernesto Pichardo & Roque Duarte presided the meeting.

Attendees:

Roque Duarte, Willie Ramos, Ernesto Pichardo, Tony Peña, Nelson Hernandez, Popi Cioffi, Pedro Alfaro, Roberto Abreú , Carlos “Machito” Bresó, Lazaro Ramos, Manolo Mederos, Carlos Bresó, Jr., Jorge Castillo, Willy Zapata, Juan Carlos Bresó, Michelle Abreú, Abelardo Hernandez, Juan Carlos Cabrisas, Antonia Sanchez, Jorge Ferreira, Flor Decker, Jeffrey Gonzalez, Angel Riana, Ileana Zambrano

Also in support, though not present:

Viki Gómez, Ambiro Terán, Gerardo Durán, Anibal Guerrero, Eduardo Faiña

The meeting was called to order by Mr. Willie Ramos. He briefly reviewed the decision reached at the November 14th, 2001 meeting, where it was agreed to go forward with the preparatory steps to initiate the above mentioned organization. He also stated his desire to elect the Board of Directors of this organization during this meeting.

Roque Duarte voiced his belief that though a Board of Directors was to be elected, under no circumstances should any Oriatés feel that there is a Sovereign amongst them. Mr. Ramos reiterated that the Board of Directors was only an administrative function and necessity in order to pursue the creation of this Council. Duarte stressed that to promote a strong, united Council, we needed equality amongst the members and unification, speaking as one voice.

With this said, Willie called upon Mr. Ernesto Pichardo to present his model for establishing the foundations of the Organization. He handed out a document he had prepared in advance to the Oriatés in which he explains procedures, vacant position of officer of the Board of Directors, and the position of the Church of Lukumi Babalú Ayé with reference to the Council. Mr. Pichardo further explained that the Miami Council of Oriatés would function as a branch of the Church and it would be a self-governing entity, directed by it own members.

He further informed that there are other Councils also branching from the Church, the purpose of these Councils and his own position as the current President of the Church of the Lukumi Babalú Ayé and how his presence would relate to the Council. He explained that his presence would be to oversee and assist with the procedures to create this Council and make sure that all steps are taken correctly, per the Church’s bylaws.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pichardo also informed that his participation in the Council would be limited, since his seat, as President of the Church of the Lukumi, would not allow him to take seat as an official of the Board of Directors for the Miami Council of Oriatés. He added that in order to create a Council, the members of the Council would need to become members.

Mr. Pichardo briefed everyone on the legal aspects of this function and explained the role and responsibility of each Officer of the Board of Director’s.

Mr. Roque Duarte asked if everyone understood Mr. Pichardo’s explanation of the procedure to take place and requested the attendees to voice their opinions or ask any questions they may have. Everyone showed understanding of Mr. Pichardo’s presentation.

Mr. Pichardo mentioned to the Oriatés that there was an urgency to be informed of the legal aspects regarding sacrifices. He discussed certain issues regarding this matter and stressed that in the coming weeks, it would be necessary to hold a seminar on the proper religious and lawful techniques for sacrifice. Mr. Duarte supported Mr. Pichardo’s idea of future discussion and stressed the importance of this matter for the council.

Mr. Manolo Mederos asked the presiding officers to further clarify the position of the Miami Council of Oriatés in regards to the relationship between the Church and the Council. He asked if the Council would be viewed as a branch or as a separate entity and if the Council were created, would the Church hold any rights over the Council.

Mr. Pichardo answered Mr. Mederos’ question reiterating that the Council would be considered a branch of the Church, however, it would be a self administered and self-governed organization. He as representative of the Church would participate in the Council only as a consultant basis and to assist the Council during this procedure or future procedures (i.e. answer questions to officers of the Board regarding their role, assure re-election of vacant seats to the Board, assure minutes be taken of meetings, etc.).

Mr. Duarte also participated in this discussion and informed everyone that these are the first steps in this structural process of the Council. He further informed that in the near future a Code of Ethics, and Regulatory Chapters would be created to further guide the members of this organization. He added that this Code would be open to discussion amongst the members and later submitted for approval by the entire Council.

With this said, Mr. Antonio Peña and Mr. Willie Ramos suggested to continue with the process of electing the Officers of the Board. Mr. Ramos suggested that this election of the Board be for a temporary term of 6 months to allow time to finalize the organizational stage.

Prior to the voting in, Mr. Abelardo Hernandez, stated to the attendees to be prudent and consider the responsibility the head officer will face. He also stated that many members of the religious community were closely monitoring, and in many cases censuring, this Council performance.

All the attendees second Mr. Peña & Mr. Ramos motion to continue with the votes. The nominees were accepted at the floor of the forum.

The following are the elected Board of Directors:

Director – Willie Ramos
Sub-director – Manolo Mederos
Treasurer – Roberto Abreú
Secretary – Carlos Bresó, Jr.
P.R. Rep. – Jeffrey Gonzalez

Director Willie Ramos, after the election of the Board, informed all that Mr. Roque Duarte would prepare the Code of Ethics and Regulatory Chapters of this Council. Mr. Duarte reiterated that this Code of Ethics and Regulations would be discussed prior to their approval by all Council Members to ensure that all are in agreement with such.

The next meeting will be held at Mr. Lazaro Ramos residence, located at 1930 N.W. 36 Avenue, Miami, Florida (305) 635-1866, on Tuesday, January 8th, 2002.

Attendees:

  • Bridget Thomas, Abirola
  • Carmen Allen, Obalofun
  • Chet Jackson, Omitile
  • Darrick Griffin, Omisainde
  • Elizabeth Bennett, Ibuyunmi
  • Gwen Luster, Oriola
  • Jodie Fick Coralie
  • Reina Fedu, Shangobi
  • Teresa Rodrigez, Oyeyei
  • Tiombe Meteye, Oshunleye
  • Yvette Thomas, Agongoloju

The meeting began with an overview of events that have taken place since Sept. 11. We came together to discuss doing the agban for Asojano as advised by Oshun during the drum in Miami. Background information on additional Orisha advice provided at the drums given for Oggün in Miami and Chicago was discussed. It was determined that call would put out to the larger Chicago community. Nelson Vergara has said that he is giving his support to this project, as well as Elizabeth and Orisegun who have also stated that they are interested in participating. Kathryn Forestal could not attend due to illness, but has also expressed interest in participating.

Chet asked what else was said at the drum in Miami. It was briefly discussed that other Orishas came down to work with individuals who needed help at that time, while others were dealing with the larger community.

Questions were raised as to whether we should do divination for ourselves and also what people thought about the process of working together to do the agban here. Everyone was in agreement that the agban should be done, as several other Oloshas had received the same messages given by Eggun and Orisha. Asabi suggested we work through the structure established in Miami first, then for us to come together, gather support and define what needs to be done by Oloshas here in Chicago. Gwen felt that it is necessary for us to work here because this is where we live, and where we can directly benefit our spiritual houses and our families, our neighborhoods and the larger community.

Because she is the eldest priest in our group, it was agreed to ask Carmen’s Asojano if he would take the prescribed agban ebbó for the group. Obi was given and Asojano agreed and wanted 2 guineas. The ingredients for the agban were also determined. All omo Orisha of our combined houses should attend the agban. The Olosha community will contribute for the ceremony, and any monetary contents from the jicara will be contributed to the needy. Clara’s House in the Englewood neighborhood is the designated charity. It is a home for abused women and their children.

Money was collected for the agban and everyone was assigned a task. The ceremony will be held Monday December 17 at 8:00 p.m. Everyone should bring something for a communal meal. Napkins, cups, and paper towels will be taken care of by Teresa and Asabi (cups), and Gwen (paper towels). Elizabeth and Asabi will also donate forks.

It was mentioned that we should overcome hesitancy to work with each other’s Orishas, especially when we have spiritual work as a community that must be done. In these circumstances it may be necessary for the senior priest of a particular Orisha to make ebbó on behalf of the community. The main thing is that we are able to do the ebbós that are prescribed by Orisha.

The ebo prescribed by Yemonja was discussed. Yemonja said that a pig’s head should be offered to Olorun, placed in front of Obatala. It should be covered with efun and ori.. The next day the tutelary Orisha should be asked where the offering should go. It was suggested that Darrick ask his Yemonja if our community can offer ebbó to her. Carmen said that in Africa if ebbó needed to be offered by particular Orisha that the people would go to the priests of that Orisha to offer ebbó. Other ebbós needed are fresh fruit to Shango constantly, and we should offer Odudua a glass of seltzer water with 4 pieces of Ori in it. Oggün also asked for green coconut with ori covering the meat of the coco. Individual houses would do these ebbós.

Elizabeth suggested that after this we come together at the beginning of the year to determine our focus for the upcoming year. Asabi suggested that we meet again after the agban before the end of the year. I think the group decided to try and meet before the end of the year; to de-brief and schedule the meeting for 2002. A date for a meeting will be determined on December 9.

If we stay positive and show that we can work together, we can make this work. We discussed asking everyone in our community, and it was decided that we should ask everyone and then see what happens.

En Diciembre 21, 2,001 A Las 7:30 Pm

Agenda: Discutir La Preparación Del Agban Y Distribución De Las Tareas.
Fecha De La Reunión: Noviembre 27, 2001
Hora: 7:30 Pm

Los puntos discutidos fueron anotados por la Sra. Ileana Zambrano. La traducción al español fue hecha por Karla López.

A continuación se detallaran los puntos discutidos y las acciones que se tomaron para llevar a cabo dicha reunión.

La reunión se comenzó aproximadamente a las 7:35 PM, en la casa de Abelardo Hernandez.

Willie Ramos presidio la reunión.

Asistentes:

Abelardo Hernandez
José Esquia
Hector Pelaez
Nelson Hernandez
Jakie Ben
Flor Decker
Ileana Zambrano
Pedro Alfaro
Anna Alfaro
Antonio Pena
Carlkos “Machito” Bresó
Juan Carlos Bresó
Carlos Breso Jr.
Jorge Ferreira
Lazaro Ramos
Gilberto Lopez
Karla Lopez
Pedro Alonso

Willie preguntó a todos los presentes si conocían alguna otra persona que quisiera participar como voluntarios en el evento.

Pedro Pena informó que todos sus ahijados estaban listos y dispuestos a cooperar.

Pedro Alfaro así mismo dijo que a travez de todos sus ahijados y conocidos él había adquirido 25 lbs de varios granos y aproximadamente de 30 a 40 lbs de ñame.

Willie presentó una lista de todos los artículos que él considera necesarios para este evento, Expreso también la necesidad de donaciones no solo de cosas materiales como refrescos, cosas no perecederas, desechables, etc., sino también dinero para poder comprar las cosas que hagan falta para la ceremonia. Consideramos que el gasto para el agbán va ser mucho mayor que lo que representó para el tambor de Ogún.

Willie también sugirió que en el agbán se deben establecer 4 estaciones, ya que de esta manera la limpieza puede efectuarse de una manera organizada, rápida, y la entrada y salida del agbán sea mucho más fácil.

Los animales que se necesitan según lo discutido en la reunión son los siguientes:

10 pollos
4 gallos rojos
23 guineas
2 codorniz
2 gallinas

Nelson Hernandez insistió que Seria mucho más fácil recolectar el dinero y comprar las cosas en vez de que las personas trajeran sus donaciones, ya que se corre el riesgo de que se traigan más cosas de las debidas, falte algo o se traiga más cosas de una que de otra. Tony Pena, Carlos Breso, Nelson Hernandez simultáneamente sugirieron que deberíamos empezar a recolectar el dinero allí mismo en la reunión, y así se llevo a cabo.

La siguiente fue la suma recaudada en la reunión:

Abelardo Hernandez $ 20.00
Antonio Pena $ 20.00
Carlos “Machito” Breso $ 20.00
Carlos Bresó Jr. $20.00
Gilberto Y Karla Lopez $ 20.00
Hector Pelaez $ 20.00
Ileana Zambrano $ 20.00
Jakie N Ben $ 20.00
Jorge Ferreira $ 10.00
Jose Esquia $ 20.00
Juan Carlos Breso $ 20.00
Lazaro Ramos $ 30.00
Nelson Hernandez $ 20.00
Otto Tianga $ 20.00
Pedro Alfaro $ 20.00
Pedro Alonso $ 20.00

Total $ 320.00

El lugar donde se va dar el agbán también sé discutió. Willie hasta ese momento no se había podido comunicar con el Sr. Roberto Berenger, para confirmar si el Rancho Oddu Ara podría ser utilizado nuevamente para llevar a cabo el agbán. Así mismo Pedro Alfaro sugirió la alternativa de utilizar otro lugar en caso tal de que en el Rancho no se pudiera efectuar la ceremonia.

Hierbas De Osain:

Willie leyó la lista de yerbas necesarias, entre ellas cundeamor, yerba que en épocas de invierno muchas veces escasea. Considerando que las temperaturas frías dificultan la posibilidad de conseguirla la podemos sustituir por “zarzaparrilla o coralillo”. Sé sugirió también que todas aquellas personas que puedan conseguir y traer dichas por encontrarse en su jardín, por favor déjenos saber, para no incurrir en dicho gasto.

Willie Ramos también mostró los planes de acción que deberán tomarse, se formaron grupos de personas a las cuales se le distribuyó las tareas a seguir para de esta forma llevar así el evento de la manera más organizada posible. Todos los presentes estuvieron de acuerdo.

Planes De Acción:

A.- Centros de Donación: Bajo la dirección de Anna Alfaro

Responsabilidades:

Este grupo será responsable de llamar a los Oloshas y miembros de la comunidad para recolectar dinero, comida y otros artículos necesarios. Adicionalmente también tendrán la resposanbilidad de mantener un inventario de las donaciones.

Centros de Recolección: ( Personas A Contactar Según El Area Donde Viva):

HIALEAH

1. Tony Pena
Tel: (305) 888-6952

WESTCHESTER/KENDALL

2. Pedro & Anna Alfaro
Tel: (305) 551-0956

CAROL CITY/BROWARD

3. Isabel Ulpiz
16941 NW 47 Avenue
Carol City
Tel: (305) 625-5737

PERRINE/HOMESTEAD

4. Mario & Maria Antonia Gutierrez
11853 S.W. 203 Terrace
Perrine
Tel: (305) 233-6975

S.W. 8th ST./FLAGLER AREA

5. Nelson Hernandez
8015 S.W. 10 Terrace
Miami
Tel: (305) 265-7735

SOUTH MIAMI/CORAL GABLES

6. Abelardo Hernandez
6025 SW 35th Street
Miami
Tel: 305-667-9713

Por favor no traer ajonjolí o sus derivados, ni Tampoco maní o sus derivados, pues los mismos no serán admitidos

B.- Agbán y preparación de platos para la limpieza: Bajo la dirección de Ileana Zambrano

Responsabilidades:

Encargados de la cocina.
Preparar los platos, picar todos los alimentos y limpiar la cocina al terminar.
Comprar las cosas que sean necesarias.

(Las personas que pertenezcan a este grupo deberán traer sus propios utensilios de cocina y deberán estar en el lugar a las 10 AM)

1.- Hector Pelaez
2.- José Esquia
3.- Ileana Zambrano
4.- Jakie Ben ( Y Sus Ahijados)
5.- Flor Decker

C.- Grupo de estacionamiento y control de gente: Bajo la supervisión de Carlos Bresó Jr.

Responsabilidades:

Donaciones en la puerta
Dirigir el tráfico
Control de la entrada de personas y dirección de las estaciones de limpieza.

1.- Carlos Bresó Jr.
2.- Juan Carlos Bresó
3.- Alaje Thomas
4.- Pablo Alvarez
5.- Karla Lopez
6.- Christina Hernandez
7.- Fabian Hernandez
8..- Iyawo Alimayu Harris

D.- Grupo De Limpieza: Bajo la dirección de Michelle Abreu.

Responsabilidades:
Organizar las mesas, sillas, limpiar y sus relativos
Barrer y pasar mapo
Recoger y botar los desperdicios
Supervisión general

1.- Miguel Gomez
2.- Lazaro Ramos ( Ahijados Y Otros)
3.- Popi Cioffi (Ahijados Y Otros)
4.- Roberto Abreu (Ahijados Y Otros)

E.- Animales:

Responsabilidades:
Comprar los animales

Preparar los animales para su sacrificio
1.- Gilberto Lopez
2.- Jorge Ferreira

Otros Puntos Que Se Discutieron En La Reunión

Todos los puntos que se discutieron fueron basados en el numero de personas que asistiran al agbán.

Jackie Ben sugirió que todos los grupos deberán traer sus cestas para ser usadas en el agbán y de esta manera evitar las compras de las mismas. Todos estuvieron de acuerdo.

Willie planteo que cada Obá debe traer su Já para realizar la limpieza. Willie recordó también que el ebo con la cabeza de cochino a Yemojá que fue marcado debe hacerse temprano el mismo día del agbán.

Por recomendaciones de Willie, se determino que para esta y para futuras ceremonias todas las personas deberán vestirse de blanco. En este caso en particular, se podrá usar ropa de saco en homenaje a Babaluaiyé.

Willie también menciono que de acuerdo a la ultima reunión que fue convocada el pasado Noviembre 14, 2001, cuando se le dio obi a Asojano, él pidió 16 guineas que serán sacrificadas para el dia del agbán. Esta parte de la ceremonia sera hecha por los Oriaté y todos los Oloshas que quieran participar, el cual se llevará a cabo a las 4 PM. Abelardo Hernandez pregunta si se iba hacer itá. Él dijo que se debería. Willie sugirió que esa decisión fuera determinada por Babaluaiyé y que se debería preguntar a Popi Cioffi que consulte a su Babaluaiyé quien determinó el sacrificio del evento.

Nelson Hernandez insistió que seria mejor colectar dinero que aceptar donaciones de cosas. Jackie Ben sugirió que se debería consultar con los vendedores de animales ú otros Olorishas para que donaran los animales. Anna Alfaro y Jackie Ben dijeron que ellas conocían a algunos vendedores de animales que pudieran colaborar con los animales para este evento.

Machito sugirió que no se debería preguntar nada a los vendedores de animales, sino comprarlos con el dinero que sera recolectado y de esta manera nadie sé vera comprometido.

En la primera reunión Ernesto Pichardo dijo que para la ceremonia se podría contar con el Babaluaiyé de la Iglesia Lukumí, pero como Pichardo no se ha comunicado con Willie aún, se sugirió un segundo plan por si a caso. Preguntar A Caridad “ Cacha”, el cual su Oshún determino el agbán, ó preguntar al Babaluaiyé de Popi Cioffi a quien se le consultó para el agbán.

La próxima reunión fue fijada para Diciembre 18, 2001 en la casa de Abelardo Hernandez, a las 7:30 PM.

Agenda: To discuss preparation of agbán and appointment of crews/task force

Date of Meeting: November 27, 2001
Time of Meeting: 7:30 p.m.

Minutes were recorded and transcribed by Ileana Zambrano.

The following are points, issues, and action items discussed at the meeting.

The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:35 p.m. Willie Ramos presided the meeting.

Attendees were:

Aberlardo Hernández
Jose Esquía
Hector Pelaez
Nelson Hernández
Jackie Ben
Flor Decker
Ileana Zambrano
Pedro Alfaro
Anna Alfaro
Antonio Pena
Carlos “Machito” Bresó
Juan Carlos Bresó
Carlos Bresó Jr.
Jorge A. Ferreira
Lazaro Ramos
Gilberto Lopez
Karla Lopez
Pedro Alonso

Willie asked all those present if any have informed or tried to recruit more volunteers for this event.

Antonio Pena advised that he and all his godchildren are ready and available to participate.

Pedro Alfaro communicated to all that he has already acquired via his godchildren and relatives 25 lbs. of various beans, and a bushel of approximately 30-40 lbs. of white yams (ñame) for the event

Willie detailed a list of the items he considers that are necessary for the event, and stressed the need for donations, not only material goods (i.e. fresh & non-perishable goods, paper goods, etc.), but also money as the expenses of this event are considerably more than those for Ogún’s wemilere.

Willie also suggested that the agbán be performed in four different stations or sections, to achieve an easy flow of the people entering and departing from the agban.

During this discussion, the list of animals needed for the agbán was also prepared:

10 Chickens
4 Roosters (red)
23 Guineas
2 Quails
2 Hens (black)

Nelson Hernández reiterated that it would probably be easier to collect money so that we can purchase what is needed instead of having the community bring donations and run the risk that there may be too much of one thing and not enough of another.

With that being said, Tony Pena, Carlos Bresó, Nelson Hernández, simultaneously suggested that we start the collection of money right there at the meeting. The following sums were collected among the attendees are:

Abelardo Hernández 20.00
Antonio Pena 20.00
Carlos “Machito” Bresó 20.00
Carlos Bresó 20.00
Gilberto & Carla Lopez 20.00
Hector Pelaez 20.00
Ileana Zambrano 20.00
Jackie Ben 20.00
Jorge Ferreira 10.00
Jose Esquía 20.00
Juan Carlos Bresó 20.00
Lazaro Ramos 30.00
Nelson Hernández 20.00
Otto Tianga 20.00
Pedro Alfaro 20.00
Pedro Alonso 20.00
Total 320.00

The location for the agbán was also brought up. Willie informed us that until that moment, he had been unable to confirm with Roberto Berenger if Rancho Oddu Ara would be available for the event. Pedro Alfaro said he had another place that he could have access to should we have difficulty getting the Oddu Ara. Mrs. Anna Alfaro and Willie Ramos stated that they would try to reach Mr. Berenger to confirm the possibility of using that site again.

Herbs for Osain: Willie read out a list of necessary herbs, among them cundeamor, an herb that in Winter often becomes scarce. Considering that cold weather might burden the posibility of obtaining it, we could substitute it with either “zarzaparrilla” or “coralillo”. It was also suggested that those that can bring “herbs” from the list that they may have available in their yards, thereby not having to incur in an unnecessary expense.

Willie Ramos went over the list of the tasks and crews needed to conduct the event.

After going over the list of tasks carefully, everyone agreed that the list covered all aspects of the tasks to be performed. Everyone was also in agreement that the lists that were provided by Willie were very thorough. Tasks and crews were distributed as follows:

Donation Centers Under the direction of Anna Alfaro

This group will be responsible for telephoning oloshas and members of the community and asking for donations of money, foodstuffs and/or other necessary items. Additionally, this group must keep an inventory of these donations and serve as a collection center. The group may be sub-divided so that another group places the telephone calls or sends e-mails to ensure that as many people as possible are notified of the event.

Please call in advance to arrange for donation drop off.

Last day for donations of foodstuffs will be December 17th, 2001.

HIALEAH

1. Tony Pena
Tel: (305) 888-6952

WESTCHESTER/KENDALL

2. Pedro & Anna Alfaro
Tel: (305) 551-0956

CAROL CITY/BROWARD

3. Isabel Ulpiz
16941 NW 47 Avenue
Carol City
Tel: (305) 625-5737

PERRINE/HOMESTEAD

4. Mario & Maria Antonia Gutierrez
11853 S.W. 203 Terrace
Perrine
Tel: (305) 233-6975

S.W. 8th ST./FLAGLER AREA

5. Nelson Hernandez
8015 S.W. 10 Terrace
Miami
Tel: (305) 265-7735

SOUTH MIAMI/CORAL GABLES

6. Abelardo Hernandez
6025 SW 35th Street
Miami
Tel: 305-667-9713

(Please note that Sesame seeds, whether candies or any derivatives and/or peanuts or its derivatives cannot be used for the agbán. These items will not be accepted).

Agbán & Kitchen Preparation Crew Under the direction of Ileana Zambrano

Responsibilities:

Kitchen Workers
Prepare the plates, chop up the tubers & other foods, and clean up afterward
Buy necessary items

(Please note that people in this crew must bring their own cutlery for the cutting of food & this crew must report to the place at 10:00 a.m.)

Hector Pelaez
Jose Esquía
Ileana Zambrano
Jackie Ben (& Godchildren)
Flor Decker

Parking Crew & People Control Under the direction of Carlos Bresó Jr.

Responsibilities:
Front door donations
Parking guides

Crowd control for the agbán and guiding people to cleaning stations
Carlos Bresó
Juan Carlos Bresó
Alajé Thomas
Pablo Alvarez
Karla Lopez
Christina Hernández
Fabian Hernández
Iyawó Alimayú Harris

Clean up Crew Under the direction of Michelle Abreu
Responsibilities:

Tables and chairs-organize, clean, and related
Sweep and mop
Pick up and dispose of litter
General supervision
Miguel Gomez (Alfaro’s Godson)
Lazaro Ramos- to bring his godchildren & others
Popi Cioffi- to bring his godchildren & others
Roberto Abreu- to bring his godchildren & others

Animals

Responsibilities:
Purchasing the animals

Preparing for sacrifice on the day of the agbán

Jorge Ferreira
Gilberto Lopez

Other subjects that were discussed

Consideration was given to the amount of people that will be attending the agbán.

It was determined and agreed by all attendees that basins may also be used along with, or in place of, plates to accommodate the foodstuffs for the agbán.

It was suggested by Jackie Ben that everyone on this task force bring their baskets to be used for the agbán and thus avoid the purchase of this item. All agreed.

Willie stated that each Obá attending the agbán should bring their já for the cleaning.

Willie also reminded everyone about the ebó with the pig’s head that Yemojá prescribed that will be done earlier that same day.

As per Willie’s recommendation, it was determined that during all of this and future ceremonies the community should be requested to dress in white. In this particular case, the use of burlap clothing for those that like to dress like this in homage to Babaluaiyé may be an acceptable option.

Willie also mentioned that since it was previously determined in the last Oriaté Council meeting on November 14, 2001, obi was given to Asojano and he requested that 16 guineas be sacrificed to him for the agbán. This part of the ceremony will be performed by the Oriatés and the oloshas who may wish to attend, around 4:00 p.m. Abelardo asked if we were going to make itá. He believed we should. Willie suggested that this decision should be left to Babaluaiyé and that he would ask Popi Cioffi, whose Babaluaiyé was consulted for the event, to ask him directly and report back to us.

Nelson Hernandez again stressed that he felt that collecting money would be better than asking for donations of goods. This also prompted Jackie Ben to suggest that we ask the animal merchants and/or other olorishas to donate animals for the event. Anna Alfaro & Jackie Ben said that they would contact animal merchants that they knew to ask if they would collaborate with this.

Machito suggested that we should not ask the animal merchants for anything and instead we should buy the animals ourselves or via the donation money, and in this way avoid putting anyone in a compromising position. It was determined that as donations develop prior to the event, a decision would be made at the following meeting.

In the first meeting, Ernesto Pichardo said we could perform the agbán with the Church’s Babaluaiyé. Willie stated that he had not heard from Pichardo for a while, and that though he doubted Pichardo would go back on his word, he suggested that we have a back-up plan just in case there should be a problem. Two candidates were chosen: Caridad “Cacha” , whose Oshún prescribed the agbán, or Popi Cioffi’s Asojano, whom we consulted for the agbán.

A date was set for the next meeting which will take place on December 18th, 2001, at 7:30 p.m. at Abelardo Hernández’s house.

These minutes will be posted on Willie Ramos’ website.

Minutas de la reunión del día 14 de noviembre para planificar el agbán a Babaluaiyé marcardo por Oshún en el wemilere que se le dió a Ogún el 4 de noviembre pasado

Presentes en la reunion:

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

La minutas fueron llevadas por Jackie Ben, Oshún Funké

Temas a discutir:

1. Agbán
2. La posibilidad de hacer el ebó que marcó Yemojá con la cabeza de puerco de manera que se utilize una sola cabeza a nombre del pueblo
3. El estatus de la asociación que se ha creado de Oriatés y Alagbas

Ebó de Yemojá – Elerí eledé

Se comenzó determinando de manera unáanime que si Yemojá de Popi Cioffi aprovaba, el ebó de la cabeza de puerco se hiciese de manera colectiva: una cabeza por la comunidad entera. Este tema se despidió rapidamente.

Al finalizar la reunión, se le preguntó a Yemojá de Popi con obi y Ella
respondió estar de acuerdo con que se hiciese el ebó con una cabeza de puerco para la
ciudad. Su respuesta fue Etawo Alafiá. Roberto Abreu fue quién dió el obí a Yemojá.

Agbán

Ernesto Pichardo sugirió que el Agbán se hiciera en un sitio neutral y de manera colectiva. Se organizaría de manera que hubiera un grupo de Oloshas que se tornaran sosteniendo el já, el pollo, los huevos y la guinea.

Abelardo Hernández sugirió que se debiera dar de comer a Babaluaiyé. Se discutieron las distintas posibilidades, ya que algunos se mostraron preocupados por el asunto del sacrificio, ya que en el registro original del 21 de septiembre, los Orishas aconsejaron que no se derramara más sangre de la necesario.

Pichardo sugirió que se hiciera sin sangre, pero accedió a que se preguntase al Orisha mismo y que fuese éste quién determinara lo que se haría.

Willie Ramos sugirió que de diese un chivo a la canasta y se repartieran pedazos del chivo entre todas las canastas.

Finalmente, se acordó que se le preguntara a Babaluaiyé con obi y que fuese Él quien determinase lo que se hiciera. La pregunta se hizo al final de la reunion. Babaluaiyé quizo sacrificio, pidiendo 16 guineas.

Sobre el el tema de la fecha, Pichardo sugirió que se hiciese el agbán el mismo día 16 de diciembre, en conjunto con lo que él hace anualmente en la Iglesia Lukumí como tradición que viene siguiendo ya por años. Hubo controversia, pues muchos de los presentes tienen tradiciones y costumbres que también vienen llevando a cabo por años y fuese conflictivo para muchos el hacer el Agbán el día 16 de diciembre.

Willie expuso que él no estará en la ciudad ese fin de semana é insistió en que no se detuviese el Agbán por él estar ausente. Abelardo, Roberto Abreu y otros insistieron que se hiciera cuando Willie estuviera en Miami.

Ante tantas controversias, se habló de cambiar la fecha del Agbán para el fin de año, pero finalmente se acordó que el Agbán se llevara a cabo el viernes, 21 de diciembre, de 7:30 p.m. a 11:00 p.m.

Se sugirió hacer varias estaciones de Agbán para dividir, y así acomodar mejor la cantidad de personas que asistan. Se secundó la moción de hacer el agbán de modo colectivo.

Se nombró a Willie Ramos como el encargado de coordinar el agbán de Babaluaiyé. Willie pidió voluntarios para ayudarlo y organizar un comité de organización. Varias personas se apuntaron como voluntarios para ayudar en la preparación. Willie acordó que prepararía un esquema dividiendo las labores y que se comunicaría con el grupo para asignarle las funciones a cada cual. El grupo del agbán se va a reunir el día 27 de noviembre en casa de Abelardo, quien ofreció su casa para la reunión.

Popi preguntó qué Babaluaiyé se iba a emplear, y sugerío que ya que había sido Elegbá de Cristina quien había traído el mensaje inicial, y fué a Ogún a quién se le tocó, que se le hiciese el Agbán a Babaluaiyé de ella. También se preguntó acerca del já: ¿cuál já se irá a utilizar?

Willie sugirió que los Obá y Alagbas llevasen su já cada uno.

Abreu sugirió que se usara el Babaluaiyé de la Iglesia Lukúmí.

Abelardo dijo que el le preguntará a su Babaluaiyé Arará si quisiera ir al Agbán. .

Al finalizarse la reunion, se le dió obi a Babaluaiyé. Al preguntarle si quería ejebale, respondió “Sí” con Etawó Alafiá. Luego, se le preguntó que qué quería específicamente, y respondió que 16 guineas con Etawó. Lázaro Ramos dió el obí.

Dirección de Abelardo para la reunión del día 27 de noviembre: 6025 SW 35 Street, Miami, Tel. (305) 667-9713.

Voluntarios para el comité del agbán:

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
Organización de Oriatés

Willie inició el tema sobre la organización de Oriatés, y él mostró mucho interés en que se crease y mantuviese esta asociación de Oriatés. Willie sugirió que esta organización se debiera incorporar a las condiciones ya existentes dentro de la estructura de la Iglesia Lukúmi.

Lázaro Ramos enfatizó la necesidad de que se continuase la unión que se había comenzado para llegar a concilios, acuerdos y respetos entre los mismos religiosos.

Pichardo explicó sobre las condiciones que tiene creadas la Iglesia Lukumi, y lo que ya existe en ella en cuanto a organización y agrupación. Enfatizó que quizá se debiera denominar “concilio” y no “asociación”. También sugirió que los Oriatés deben reunirse, escoger su directiva y de esa directiva, nombrar a un portavoz que pasaría a ocupar un puesto en representación de los Oriatés en la Junta Directiva de la Iglesia, como ya lo hicieron los Babalawos.

Manolo Mederos sugirió que se aprobara el concilio y la creación de la directiva hoy mismo (14 de noviembre, 2001) y que se elijiera el portavoz de este grupo.

Willie insistió en que se determinase si se creaba el concilio o nó, e insistió en que este debiera de funcionar bajo la dirección de la Iglesia Lukumí

De manera únanime y afirmativa se llegó a el acuerdo, y quedo aprobado el Concilio de Oriatés de Miami.

Willie, Pichardo, Abelardo y otros sugirieron que se eligiera la junta directiva en otra reunión. Se votó para decidir entre que quizá fuese mejor que de dejase la elección de la directiva para otra reunión independiente que tratase sólo ese tema. Se votó para decidir entre las dos proposiciones; la de Manolo de elegir esa misma noche, y la de Willie y demás de hacer una reunión separada. La mayoría determinó que se hiciera otra reunión para elegir la directiva del concilio. Se determinó que la reunión se llevara a cabo el 12 de diciembre, y Popi brindó su casa para hacer le reunión. Se pidió que en esta reunión acudiesen sólo los Oriatés, pero se aclaró que todos los Oloshas podían asistir como miembros silentes que dejarían que Oriatés determinar los pasos a seguir y ellos acudirían en apoyo. Pichardo agregó que los Oriatés también tragesen a sus ayudantes, para que ellos también tomen parte en el concilio.

Dirección de Popi Cioffi para la reunión del 12 de diciembre, 2001: 14612 SW 52 Street, Miami, Tel. (305) 220-4585.

Willie pidio que todos se ocuparan de comunicarle a todos los Oriatés de la ciudad, y enfatizó que aún él no había logrado obtener los teléfonos de todos, y que habían algunos sentidos porque no se les había avisado. No obstante, subrayó la necesidad de que se dejase a un lado el ego y orgullo para que esto no interfiriera en lo que se estaba tratando de lograr. También enfatizó la puntualidad, para que las reuniones no se extendieran más de lo necesario.

Tema adicional traido por el Oluwo Manolo Erize

Manolo Erize vino a la reunión con tres Babalawos y habló sobre el movimiento que estaban llevando a cabo de hacer una sola adivinación annual, lo que se conoce como “la letra del año”, y habló de poner esfuerzo en comunicación con todos los Babalawo para poder lograr una unión y poder reunirse para poder sacar la letra del año. El Sr. Erize reafirmó el deseo de luchar por lograr la unión entre todos los religiosos, Babalawo, Oriatés, y Oloshas, para fortalecer la religión. El Sr. Erize se mostró muy de acuerdo con el movimiento que los Oriatés estaban llevando a cabo y expresó su apoyo.

Willie le pidió que le enviase la circular que el grupo del Sr. Erize está repartiendo para anunciarla por su página del internet, y para que Pichardo la pusiese en el sitio de la Iglesia Lukumí.

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

Attendees:

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.

Agbán

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.

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