My Orisha lineage: Deceased founders
My lineage descends from Ña Rosalía Abreu, Efunshé Warikondó. The lineage is known as “La Rama de los Millonarios (The Millionaire’s Branch).” It is said to have been named so because of Efunshé’s royal status – she is believed to have been a princess in Yorubaland. Additionally, the ladies of the line always made a point of dressing in very fashionable and expensive attire and wore wide rimmed hats, usually imported, and always wore much coral and gold jewelry.
Efunshé ordained Luis “La Guajira” Menendez, Oshún Miwá. Oshún Miwá ordained Nemensia Franquíz González, Olomidara. Olomidara Ordained Mercedes González, Ogún Toyo. Ogún Toyo ordained Eladio “papalote” Gutierrez, Eshú Bí. Eshú Bi ordained Orlando Ramos, Ewín Sholá (my father). Ewín Sholá ordained my iyalorisha Felícia Delgado, Omí Walé. Omí Walé ordained me, Willie Ramos, Ilarí Obá.
Also related with the lineage are two very powerful Olorishas from the nineteenth century: Tranquilina Balmaseda, Omí Saya, and Munda “la grande” Rivero, Okikilú. Omí Saya was Olomidara’s ojigbona. She was also ordained by Oshún Miwá. She in turn ordained only two people in her lifetime. In 1896, she ordained the famous Obá Oriaté José Roche, Oshún Kayodé. In 1906, she ordained Josefina “caballito” Aguirre, Oshún Gere. Oshún Gere eventually became a very well-known apuón and also functioned as an Obá Oriaté in her final years.
Okikilú was a very respected priestess in Pogolotti. She was Eshú Bí’s ojigbona. Okikilú’s mother, Ña Mariana Ogún Niké, is credited with introducing one of the various Olokún traditions that took root in Cuba. Upon her death, Okikilú inherited the knowledge from her mother and became one of the many progenitors of Olokún worship in Havana. Ña Mariana stressed that she was from an area called Agbona and that the patron deity of the town was Ogún. Everyone from Agbona was under Ogún’s tutelage, thereby her name-Ogún Guards Me. In spite of her relationship with Ogún, Ña Mariana was ordained to Shangó in Cuba by Juliana Arrieta-her osha name is not remembered-and Timotea Albear, Ajayí Lewú, better known as Latuán.
Though my Orisha lineage originates in Old Havana, it set down very strong roots in Pogolotti, a powerful Lukumí enclave in Marianao, Cuba to this day.
My Orisha grandfather Eshú Bí was a very well-known Obá Oriaté in Havana. He was a disciple of Tomás Romero, Ewín Letí who was one of the few disciples of Octavio Samá, Obadimejí. Some sources say that Ewín Letí was the only Obá Oriaté that Obadimejí actually sat on a mat and recognized publicly.