Ilarí Obá

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.


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


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


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


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


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


6. Abelardo Hernandez
6025 SW 35th Street
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


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.

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

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


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.


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


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

The minutes were recorded by Jackie Ben, Oshún Funké

Themes for discussion:

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

Yemojá’s ebó – elerí eledé

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volunteers for the agbán committee:

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

Organization of Oriatés

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional subject brought by Oluwo Manolo Erize

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

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

Moforí Ogún, Moforibale: Ogún’s Wemilere in Miami

Yesterday, November 4, 2001, Miami’s Lukumí Orisha community gathered to pay homage to Ogún and to pray to the god of war for world peace. With Hurricane Michelle causing havoc in Cuba and stretching its arms toward Florida and the Florida straits, many feared that the wemilere would be cancelled. Shangó and Oyá hailed in the heavens, as thunderstorms roared throughout the Miami metropolitan area. The rain was intensive, and deep pockets of rain in many sections of the city impaired visibility on the roads. Cars were moving at a snail’s pace in some areas of the city. In spite of it all, well over four hundred people dared the elements and attended the event that shall be remembered for many years to come as one of the most important Lukumí rituals of the 21st century.

Miami’s Orisha community must be complimented for their degree of dedication and devotion to our religious tradition. As required in the original divination, everyone came dressed in white and brought fruits to quench Ogún’s thirst. There were so many fruits surrounding Ogún that his implements were lost inside the throne under the mounds of nature’s sweet offspring.

Eleven orishas joined us in the celebration to whom we are all indebted for their support and guidance. Ogún joined us first, followed by three Yemojá, two Obatalá, two Oshún, and two Elegbá. Each of these orishas endorsed our cause by descending amongst us and dispersing their ashé, confirming that our prayers were heard in orun. To the faithful, this is sufficient, as we did not have to wait for any divine sign: we knew that our prayers were heard because the divine came to us and told us so.

This event would not have been so successful had it not been for the effort and cooperation of many people. Our appreciation must be extended to Ezequiel Torres, Aruan Torres, Arelan Torres, and the group Ifé Bí Añá. Additionally all the apuón who contributed with their chants including Olympia Alfaro, Roque “Jimagua” Duarte, Guillermo Monroig, Luis Martinez Jr., Andrés Iglesias, and Ashabi Thomas who came all the way from Chicago for the event. Añá and the chants never rested, playing and singing for over five consecutive hours. In addition, many of Miami’s Oriaté were extremely influential in stressing the importance of this ebó to their followers. These include Roque Duarte, Lazaro Ramos, Pedro Alfaro, Carlos Bresó, Popi Scioffi, Angel Riana, and others. To them, our most sincere gratitude.

This recognition would not be complete if we did not mention the many Olorishas who played an invaluable role in the preparation and the physical labor required to make this event so successful. Our first debt is to Roberto Berenger, owner of Rancho Oddu Ara, and his associates. We extend our gratitude and indebtedness to Cristina and Fabian Hernández, Otto Tianga, Betty Rodriguez, Isabel Urtiz, Henry Pascual, Alajé Thomas, Alimayu Harris, Sini Urtiz, Olga Ramos, Norberto “el Nene” Fernández, Ramón Orellana, Xiomara “Monga” Rodriguez, Jackie Ben, Obdulia García, Ester Amores, Pablo and Sara Alvarez, Dolores Rivera, Dorian Hernández, Erik Boone, and many many more. Last but not least, we are particularly indebted to Ernesto Pichardo, Carmen Plá, and the Church of the Lukumí. The Church’s commitment to our cause in every aspect once again serves as another example of the exemplary labor of a group of people who have dedicated and committed their lives to elevating the status of our religion to its rightful place.

To all of you, modupé pupo. Ki Olorun n’agbé ó!

Messages from the orishas:

Ogún’s guidance:

Ogún addressed the faithful and said that we must continue to perform ebó. He said that this war was going to last longer than we had anticipated and that there would be much bloodshed as a result. Ogún said that many heads would be lost, and warned that before the year ended, there would be another major impact. He warned us to manage our finances well and to save money for there would be periods of economic instability. He suggested that we continue to pray to Oduduwá and continue to ask them both (he and Oduduwá) to bring about a peaceful solution with minimal loss. He specifically stressed that we take care of the children for he says that they would be impacted most. He expressed his appreciation for the Oro that was performed for Egún two days before and stressed that those who did not attend and pay their tributes at this ceremony should compliment with Egún and Araorún on their own.

Yemojá’s guidance:

Yemojá seconded Ogún’s message, stressing that Olorishas need to remain united in this and every other cause we come upon in the future. Yemojá repeated the message brought to us by Elegbá in the original reading where we saw the odu Obara Osá. Yemojá says that like the odu, we have no heads (i.e. we are not thinking properly). She added that many heads would be lost as a result of the current situation and that we all should pray to our orishas to avoid major casualties. Yemojá recommended that everyone take a pig’s head and present it to Olorun on a white platter or dish, as prayers are said to Olorun asking for peace and tranquility. The head should then be placed in front of Obatalá and covered with plenty of efún (cascarilla) and orí (shea or cocoa butter). The following day, ask one’s orisha with obi where this head should be taken. One head per household is sufficient. [Please be sensible when asking where this ebó should be deposited.]


This ebó may be problematic for some, especially those who have Yemojá Asesú as their tutelary orisha. Let’s remember that it was Yemojá herself who prescribed it, though. In this case, it would be sensible to conclude that her authority as an orisha overrides the proscription for Asesú’s omó that would apply under any other circumstance.


“In the meeting that took place on November 14, 2001. By mutual consensus it was agreed that we would ask Obá Popi Cioffi’s Yemojá if the ebó that she recommended with the pig’s head could be altered so that the Council of Oriatés and Alagbas could perform the ebó with one head on behalf of the entire Miami community. When the meeting concluded, we asked Yemojá who agreed with our decision. This ebó will be performed on the 21st of December, before the agbán for Babaluaiyé commences.” CLICK HERE for more details

Oshún’s guidance:

Oshún warned of problems that would affect the skin. She asked that before the end of the year, Olorishas again gather and perform a community ebó: agbán for Babaluaiyé. We shall follow up on the agbán in a separate section that is currently in preparation.

Interestingly, Obatalá and Elegbá did not offer any general advice. Instead, they chose to take fruits and ekó from the throne and distribute these to the attendees so that they would clean themselves on their way home. This symbolic gesture is also very indicative of the fact that our orishas are with us and will succor us throughout the ordeal we are facing. Maferefún gbogbó osha!

Donations and contributions:

In the coming days, we shall post a list with all the names of the people who made donations of money and other goods for these events as well as the total sum of money that was gathered, the expenses that were incurred, and the final amount of money that will be donated on behalf of the Lukumí Orisha community to one of the relief efforts to aid the families of deceased New York City firefighters and police officers. It is not too late to contribute. Those who wish to send a donation can still do so. Please send all donations to:

Church of the Lukumí P.O. Box 22627, Hialeah, Fl 33002

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

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

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

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

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

Correio da Bahia, October 8, 2001
Andreia Santana

Las ofensivas recientes contra los terreiros de Candomblé en la ciudad de Tancedo Neves han motivado la protesta

La intolerancia religiosa y el desacato a la libertad de culto protegida por la Constitución brasileña, ha conducido a miembros de una iglesia evangélica a atacar los terreiros de Candomblé en el área de Tancredo Neves, y ha generado una protesta por un grupo diverso de las organizaciones negras del Salvador ayer por la mañana. Juntos en el umbral del Terreiro Vila São Roque, uno de las casas de culto africanas ofendida por los miembros de la Iglesia Internacional de la Gracia de Dios, representantes de organizaciones tales como el Grupo Alerta Pernambués (GAP), de Unegro, Movimiento Negro Unificado (MNU) y el Centro Baiano Contra el SIDA, realizaron un acto de solidaridad con los terreiros ofendidos. Después del acto, caminaron a través de las calles del pueblo, teniendo como objetivo llamar la atención de la población al problema.

Según Luis Carlos Santos Lima, coordinador de GAP, la organización que planeó la protesta, las agresiones a los terreiros continúan. En Castelo Branco, un grupo de evangelistas se aprovechó de una ceremonia conocida como “saída das iaôs” para provocar la confusión, usando idioma ofensivo. En Tancredo Neves, más allá del Vila São Roque, donde cerca de dos semanas el grupo de evangelistas lanzó azufre y sal sobre las paredes del terreiro, el terreiro conocido como Tumbemsi también sufrió agresiones verbales.

Complaint – “They are invading the terreiros to distribute pamphlets that say absurd things like that Candomblé is the religion of the devil and that all who practice Candomblé will become ashes in the fires of the hell,” disclosed Luis Carlos. Based on the law against racism, since Afro-Brazilian cult houses are the only ones under attack, and in the Federal Constitution, the terreiros of Tancredo Neves have already filed complaints with the Public Ministry. “We cannot tolerate that attitudes such as these continue to propagate themselves. Candomblé has been the focus of resistance for the 500 years of black presence in Brazil. In Candomblé, discrimination of unheard of, the women in terreiro have as much power as the men. The feeling of collectivity and community is also very strong, and have strongly influenced the preservation of family values, as during slavery parents were separated from their children to destroy the self esteem of the peoples brought here by force,” pointed out Olívia Santana, representative of the Unegro.

Querella – “Están invadiendo los terreiros para distribuir folletos que dicen cosas absurdas como que el Candomblé es la religión del diablo y que todos los que lo practiquen se convertirán en cenizas en los fuegos del infierno,” divulga Luis Carlos. De acuerdo con la ley contra el racismo, puesto que las casas de culto afro-brasileñas son las únicos bajo ataque, y en la Constitución federal, los terreiros de Tancredo Neves han elevado una querella en las oficinas del Ministerio Público. “No podemos tolerar que actitudes tales como éstas continúen propagándose. El Candomblé ha sido el foco de la resistencia por los 500 años de la presencia negra en el Brasil. En Candomblé, la discriminación se desconoce, las mujeres en los terreiros tienen tanto valor como los hombres. El sentimiento de colectividad y de comunidad es también muy fuerte, y ha influenciado fuertemente en la preservación de los valores de la familia, ya que durante el tiempo de la esclavitud fueron separados los padres de sus hijos para destruir la estima propia de la gente traída aquí por la fuerza”, precisó Olívia Santana, representante del Unegro.

Aunque está horrorizada con los actos de vandalismo contra su casa, Juciara Brito, ialorixá de Vila São Roque, recuerda a los agresores sobre los simientos del Candomblé, los cuales tienen como una de sus principios fundamentales la tolerancia con todos los credos: “los terreiros están siempre abiertos para recibir todo aquel que vengan a ellos, sin importar su religión. No prohíben que nuestros hijos tengan otras creencias. Por satisfacer mi propia curiosidad, una vez acudí a una sesión evangélica y la encontré bonita,” declaró Mae Juciara.

From Correio da Bahia, October 8, 2001
Andreia Santana

Recent offensives against Candomblé terreiros in the town of Tancredo Neves have motivated the protest

Religious intolerance and disrespect to the freedom of worship protected by the Brazilian Constitution, that has led members of an evangelical church to attack Candomblé terreiros in the area of Tancredo Neves, generated a protest by a diverse group of Salvador’s black organizations yesterday morning. Congregated in the doorway of the Terreiro Vila São Roque, one of the Afro-culthouses offended by members of the International Church of God’s Grace, representatives of organizations such as the Grupo Alerta Pernambués (GAP), Unegro, Movimento Negro Unificado (MNU) and the Centro Baiano Anti-Aids, carried out an act of solidarity with the offended terreiros. After the act, they walked through the streets of the quarter, aiming at to call the population’s attention to the problem.

According to Luis Carlos Santos Lima, coordinator of GAP, the organization that planned the protest, the aggressions to the terreiros continue. In Castelo Branco, a group of evangelists took advantage of a ceremony known as “saída das iaôs” to provoke confusion by using offensive language. In Tancredo Neves, beyond the Vila São Roque, where about two weeks a group of evangelists threw sulphur and salt on the terreiro’s walls, the Afro-culthouse known as Tumbemsi also suffered verbal aggressions.

Complaint – “They are invading the terreiros to distribute pamphlets that say absurd things like that Candomblé is the religion of the devil and that all who practice Candomblé will become ashes in the fires of the hell,” disclosed Luis Carlos. Based on the law against racism, since Afro-Brazilian culthouses are the only ones under attack, and in the Federal Constitution, the terreiros of Tancredo Neves have already filed complaints with the Public Ministry. “We cannot tolerate that attitudes such as these continue to propagate themselves. Candomblé has been the focus of resistance for the 500 years of black presence in Brazil. In Candomblé, discrimination of unheard of, the women in terreiro have as much power as the men. The feeling of collectivity and community is also very strong, and have strongly influenced the preservation of family values, as during slavery parents were separated from their children to destroy the self esteem of the peoples brought here by force,” pointed out Olívia Santana, representative of the Unegro.

Although horrified with the acts of vandalism against her house, Juciara Brito, ialorixá of Vila São Roque, reminds the aggressors about Candomblé’s foundations, that has as one of its basic principles tolerance with all creeds: “the terreiros are always open to receive all those who come to them, regardless of their religion. Our children are not forbidden to have other beliefs. Out of curiosity I once attended an evangelical prayer session and found it pretty,” declared Mae Juciara.

Correio da Bahia, October 8, 2001
Andreia Santana

Recentes agressões a terreiros de candomblé, no bairro de Tancredo Neves, motivaram o protesto

A intolerância religiosa e o desrespeito à liberdade de culto prevista na Constituição brasileira, que tem levado membros de uma igreja evangélica a agredir terreiros de candomblé em Tancredo Neves, gerou o protesto, ontem pela manhã, de diversas entidades negras de Salvador. Reunidos na porta do Terreiro Vila São Roque, uma das casas de culto afro ofendida por membros da Igreja Internacional da Graça de Deus, representantes de entidades como o Grupo Alerta Pernambués (GAP), Unegro, Movimento Negro Unificado (MNU) e Centro Baiano Anti-Aids, realizaram um ato de solidariedade aos terreiros perseguidos. Após o ato, aconteceu ainda uma passeata pelas ruas do bairro, visando chamar a atenção da sociedade para o problema.

De acordo com Luís Carlos Santos Lima, coordenador do GAP, entidade que organizou o ato de protesto, as agressões aos terreiros continuam. Em Castelo Branco, um grupo de evangélicos se aproveitou da cerimônia de saída das iaôs para provocar confusão através de palavras ofensivas. Em Tancredo Neves, além do Vila São Roque, onde há cerca de duas semanas um grupo de evangélicos atirou enxofre e sal nas paredes do terreiro, a casa de culto afro Tumbemsi, também sofreu agressões verbais.

Queixa – “Eles estão invadindo os terreiros para distribuir panfletos onde dizem coisas absurdas do tipo que o candomblé é a religião do diabo e que todos devem se converter senão arderão no fogo do inferno”, revelou Luís Carlos. Baseados na lei contra o racismo, já que só casas de culto afro-brasileiro estão sendo agredidas, e na Constituição Federal, os terreiros de Tancredo Neves já entraram com queixa no Ministério Público. “Não podemos tolerar que atitudes como essas continuem acontecendo. O candomblé é o foco de resistência durante os 500 anos de presença negra no Brasil. No candomblé, não existe discriminação de nenhuma espécie, as mulheres no terreiro têm tanto poder quanto os homens. O sentimento de coletividade e comunidade também são muito fortes, eles foram os responsáveis pela preservação do sentimento de família, já que durante a escravidão afastavam-se pais e filhos justamente para destruir a auto-estima dos povos trazidos à força para cá”, pontuou Olívia Santana, representante da Unegro.

Apesar de horrorizada com os atos de vandalismo que ocorreram em sua casa, Juciara Brito, ialorixá do Vila São Roque, ainda consegue lembrar aos agressores os fundamentos do candomblé, que tem como um dos princípios básicos a tolerância com todos os credos: “Os terreiros estão sempre abertos para receber todos aqueles que nos procuram, independentemente da religião deles. Nossos filhos não são proibidos de ter outras crenças. Eu mesma, fui uma vez por curiosidade assistir uma oração dos evangélicos e achei bonita”, declarou mãe Juciara.

On October 7, 2001, babalawos, olochas, and omo oricha gathered at 1354 Parkwood Road, N.W., Washington, D.C., to bring down Orunmila and consult him about appropriate responses to the tragedies of September 11 and the subsequent war, the beginning of which was announced during the ceremony. Eloi Hernández-Otura-Nico and Michael Atwood Mason-Ocán-Oñí called the gathering.

Through the ikin of Eloi Hernández-Otura-Niko in the hands of Orimoladé Ogúnjimi-Odi-Roso, Orula provided the following direction:

Odu: Oshé-Irete
1st Witness: Irete-Otura
2nd Witness: Irete Meyi

Through the ibo, Orula marked Iré with Irete Meyi.

The blessings were:

Iré arikú elese ocha Ochún cotoyale

Orula marked the following ebós:

  1. Adimú to Ochún: Everyone should make offerings of fruit, candles, honey, or her favorite foods.
  2. Altar for the ancestors: Everyone should create an altar for the ancestors with flowers, water, and a candle, and each person should pray for the peace of those killed in this conflict.
  3. Gifts to the garbage collectors and the police: Everyone should give between $1 and $5 to these people in their area, because they work with the ancestors all the time.
  4. Flag of Otura-Nico: Everyone should create a flag that is half white and half purple to hang behind the main door of the house.
  5. Individual ebó: Each olocha should make the ebó from itá or ask Elegguá to mark a new one. Each person with the hand of Orula or cofá should make the ebó from itá. When making ebó, everyone should pray for the peace and security of family and friends.
  6. Goat and drumming for Orunmila: The community needs to come together and offer a goat to Orunmila.

This will be followed by a drumming in his honor.

Those seeking more information or wishing to support the collective ebó can contact Michael Atwood Mason-Ocán-Oñí at

Those present were:

Eloi Hernández-Otura-Nico
Orimoladé Ogúnjimi-Odi-Roso
Eduardo Sierra-Ica-Koso
Ifá Biyii Sangode

Francisco Macías-Echu Bí
Michael Atwood Mason-Ocán-Oñí
David H. Brown-Eguín Coladé
Shango Yemí
Fani Trump-omo Ochún
Carmen Trujillo-omo Ochún

Apetebí, Awofaka ni Orula and Omo Oricha
Ariel Alexander
Pamela Alexander
Mercedes Frazier
Vincent Huckle
Ruth Jara
Jumal Lewis
Marian Lobred-Iyanifa Ifafunlayó
David Lounsbury
Juanita Minor
Marcelo Minor
María Minor
Nicolas Soria
Harold Snyder


Lazaro P. Alfaro Lazaro Ramos
Antonio Pena Abelardo Hernández
Angel Riana Jorge C. Cuadra
Juan Carlos “Yiyi” Ernesto Pichardo
Otto Tianga Esther Amores
Olga Ramos Henry Pascual
Beatriz Rodriguez Dolores Rivera
Rita Guerra Jeffrey Gonzalez
Fabian Hernández Cristina Hernández

The meeting took place at Olorisha Henry Pascual, Oñí Lainú’s home in Miami.

Donations and Preparations:
Ernesto Pichardo opened the meeting notifying the group that $ 1,800.00 had been donated thus far.


The group agreed that preparations would be made for 500 attendees.


A motion was made by Abelardo Hernández to eliminate cooking and food for drum. He
stated that it was “. . .a drum and not a dinner party!” After some discussion and objections, it was decided to only have akará (bean fritters), sweets, and bread to serve to the attendees.

For the Oro Christina and Lazaro volunteered to prepare and bring the adimús to be offered to Egún.

More canned sodas will be purchased in addition to the 75 sodas already donated.

Abelardo Hernández (2), Cristina Hernández(2), and Otto Tianga (2) will bring water coolers to be used for the refreshments.


There was some concern over this issue but it was finally decided that seven cars will take the fruits from the throne to seven religiously symbolic places.

The following people volunteered:

1-Fabian & Cristina Hernández: Southern point (Perine)
2-Isabel and Oscar Urtiz: Northern Point (Broward)
3-Otto Tianga: Western Point (Everglades/Krome Avenue)
4-Henry Pascual: River
5-Betty Rodriguez: Savannah
6- Pending volunteer: Ocean
7- Pending volunteer: Bush

Betty Rodriguez has a friend who volunteered to as a security guard. Cristina Hernández will also call Mario Yaques to ask for advice and/or a volunteer. Otto Tianga will call his uncle to ask for a 2nd volunteer.


1. Angelito Riana- will call “El Negro,” the drummer to ensure that he has been informed of the activities

2. Christina Hernández – will confer with Willie Ramos to investigate the status of the panels and head-wear pledge he obtained. She will also call Tony Pena about the outfit that has been donated for Ogun.

3. Everyone whom attended the meeting will bring a white towel and a gourd (jícara) to
the Oro for use at the Drum on Sunday.

4. Henry Pascual and Otto Tianga- will purchase bread, akará mix, and sodas.

5. Otto Tianga- will call Red Cross to get information on donating food that will
not be used. He will also call to rent portable toilets.

6. Cristina Hernández- will call Esequiel to organize when Abelardo Hernández, Angelito
Riana, and Cristina Hernández will go to take Aña its tributes.

Everything will be brought to the ranch on Friday the 2nd in order to prepare for the drum.


Otto Tianga will organize the volunteers. (Please contact him with any names at
305-505-2358 or

1. Isabel & Oscar Urtiz
2. Xiomara (Monga)
3. Maria Adela
4. Sini
5. Betty Rodriguez
6. Oneida Prado
7. Lola Rivera
8. Pablo Alvarez

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