381 plays

Iyanla Vanzant's backyard backyard bembe

Akpon Amma McKen & bata

Akpon Amma McKen sings for Yemaya with bata at a bembe in Iyanla Vanzant’s backyard in Silver Spring, MD. 

271 plays

What Yoruba does for black American women

Dr. Tracey Hucks

"This religion says, ‘no, you look like the gods of Africa,’” says Tracey Hucks, author of Yoruba Traditions & African American Religious Nationalism.

Hucks says Black Americans “know they aren’t practicing this (religion) in Africa. They’re practicing in the context of the US, where race means something, and it’s something that is always pejorative.” Particularly for black women, Hucks explains, whose beauty and humanity can fall victim to humiliating stereotypes (or worse) in the West.

Yoruba religious traditions and their African female deities, she says, offer black American women a way out.

Tracey Hucks chairs the Africana Studies Department at Davidson College.

Ancient African Religion Finds Roots In America : NPR

Here’s the latest from the Orisa Project - today on NPR. Have a listen. It’s been a while since I posted. Apologies.

IyaIfasayo Iyaologunbiyi Makinde

My life in the yoruba culture has been a wonderful journey!  At the age of 21 I am blessed to have my culture.  Unlike many I was born in America as a natural priestess.  Growing up in the Kingdom of Oyotunji and surrounding areas has given me a connection to my soul, ancestors, and the sacred gods of Africa.  The lifestyle I lead, the way I think, and my decision making is defined by my culture.  The yoruba culture!  The ideology has an answer for everything, you just cannot be afraid to ask.  The experience I have no other person has!  I am yoruba and I would not change it for the world!

MEET AWO BIBILARI

Aboru boye to you! i greet you in the peaceful way the traditional religion
practicional greets one another.it is very nice to meet you here.
My name is Elebuibon Abayomi Bibilari,i’m a son to Chief Araba Ifayemi
Elebuibon.i am trained by my father into Ifa priesthood,i am a graduate of
Ifa Heritage Institute Oyo! a school set up by UNESCO to preserve our African
Culture and belief.The school is head and controlled the school,people come from the
dispora to study in the school.I’m an undergraduate of O.A.U(Obafemi Awolowo university)
studying Linguistics and African Languages.
I practice Ifa and also all other Orishas i was initiated into Ifa by my father
more than a decade ago.i have friends and Godchildren in U.S.A,Brazil,
Venezuela that i work with.
I am so glad to find out about this website and the school in Seatle,great job
keep it up.may Ifa bless you abundantly…remain blessed Ire o!
 

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IyaIfasayo Iyaologunbiyi Makinde: NATURAL BORN PRIESTESS

My life in the yoruba culture has been a wonderful journey!  At the age of 21 I am blessed to have my culture.  Unlike many I was born in America as a natural priestess.  Growing up in the Kingdom of Oyotunji and surrounding areas has given me a connection to my soul, ancestors, and the sacred gods of Africa.  The lifestyle I lead, the way I think, and my decision making is defined by my culture.  The yoruba culture!  The ideology has an answer for everything, you just cannot be afraid to ask.  The experience I have no other person has!  I am yoruba and I would not change it for the world!

I am not African American I am actually salvadoran and I am greatly proud to be a part of this religion. If it wasn’t for Oshun&Yemaya my daughter and I wouldn’t be alive today. During my pregnancy many people wanted me dead and to loose my child. My daughters grandmother has done o many horrible things to make sure neither one of us survived. She did succeed to get my daughters twin but I thank the Orishas and god for allowing my daughter and I to at least live. This religion has brought hope and faith to our family. It has brought some of our closer as well as it has parted us from the negative people in our life. If it wasn’t for this great culture brought to us by the Africans I have no idea where I would be now.

Iyalosa Omialadora Ajamu

Ekuaro, I awoke this morning and needed to pay some bills online. Got on my computer immediately and the first screen that comes up says “orisa project” podcast and a large image of Elegba with all of his condiments is looking at me from my computer screen. I said “this is deep, it’s Monday morning, elegba’s day and this is the first thing that greets me upon arising. So, of course, I turned on the “listen” button and heard the podcast. Ekuse!!(means I greet you on your good work you are doing, young man). I think your program is just what we need . I have known Luisah Teish for at least 30+ years. I am a priestess of Yemoja and priestess of Egbe(society) Egungun for some 34 years now. I came into cultural awareness close to 40 years ago and later was initiated at Oyotunji African Village in Sheldon, S.C. in 1978. Lived in Oyotunji for 9 years and then my husband and children moved back into the world and have successfully maintained a cultural temple where we teach, educate and actually initiate and train our african descendants in the culture and religious beliefs of our ancestors, the Yorubas of southwestern Nigeria. I am proud to say that all of our 9 children have been initiated into the necessary rites of passage and trained extensively by us and our society of priests and priestesses and are at this time capable, knowledgeable priests and priestesses in their own rights. We have now, for the past 7 years or so, started initiations and training for our grandchildren. We feel that it is so very important to instill in our children a foundation that will help them to understand themselves and know who they are and where they came from so that when they pass Esu in the morning to enter into the portals of aiye(the world) they will be entering with balance, clarity and the ability to operate in this marketplace called the world. Africans have a way that they are born into this world, our birth rituals, ikamojade (naming ceremonies) so we can properly welcome the ancestral spirit back to our family and know how to properly take care of these children. We have rituals for womanhood and manhood, so we can restore the true meaning of african woman and female mystique and african man and male mystique. We have right of passage rituals for marriage, the coming together of two ancestral clans. That is a whole family affair. We have right of passage rituals for the” final initiation” death. We have to prepare the spirit for the next journey back to Ile Orun(heaven)

Our mission is to teach and educate, through our own example, the culture and tradition of our ancestors. It is a perfect solution to the confusion and chaos that african people find themselves in today. Dysfunctional families, schizophrenia, slave mentality, simply not understanding and acknowledging who we are. We had a life before slavery. We truly did. We had wisdom, morals, ethics, extended families, social customs and a beautiful interaction between our world, heaven, and afterlife. We had our own deities, our own gods and goddesses and our own understandings. A ki(pay homage to) Elegba, who woke me up this morning and showed me this post : A ki yin baba mi Esu papa wara, onibode , oni ilekun, baba ire, si ilekun ati si ona fun ire, owo,alafia,agbara ati ona dada. (I greet you father elegba, the owner of money, owner of the crossroads, owner of the door, the father of blessings. Please open the doors and the roads for luck, money, strength,and clear head and clear roads for travel on this destiny.) Ko si ku, kosi arun, kosi eyo, kosi ofo, kosi ona, kosi aselu, kosi egun buruku, kosi jagun jagun, kosi ofun (please don’t let me see death, sickness, breaking laws,bad mouth from anyone, bad roads, blows to the head,negative spirits,wars or battles,curses) Adupe Elegba jowo, toju mi ati edile temi (Thank you Elegba, please watch over me and my family)

Keep up the good work Eku se!!!

I am neither African-American, nor American by birth.  I am originally from Cuba.  I am very interested in the beautiful Yoruba legends, but I am having a hard time finding good information on this matter.  Any suggestions?  Thanks!

LISTEN: Elegba - The God of Chaos & the Crossroads. The First in my radio series on orisa traditions in black America. (click this photo, then blue LISTEN button).

LISTEN: Elegba - The God of Chaos & the Crossroads. The First in my radio series on orisa traditions in black America. (click this photo, then blue LISTEN button).