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The Color of Honey: Oshun, Beauty and Race in the Lucumi Religion

topic posted Wed, August 29, 2007 - 8:04 AM by  Afro
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This was originally posted on my Myspace and Mysanteria pages. Where it stimulated some much needed dialogue. In the interest of first expressing my opinion, and second, opening the doors for more dialogue, I am posting it here as well. It is not meant to offend, but merely to express my strong feelings and concerns about the issues of color and race as they relate to the Afro Caribbean Religion which I practice. I realize that both color and race are social constructs, but that does not change the fact that they are very real issues of concern in American society, indeed in the world, which have far reaching implications regarding self-esteem and self-affirmation. Modupe and ashe.

Original post:

I recently came across a Lucumi pataki (fable) from Cuba about Oshun, the Orisha of beauty, sensuality, and luxury that gave me serious pause for thought regarding the issues of color and race in the religion.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Lucumi religious belief system, of which I am a devotee, here is a little background:

Lucumi or Lukumi is a term that refers to an archaic dialect of the Yoruba people who hail from the southwestern corner of present day Nigeria. The term also refers to the people who spoke this dialect, especially those who hailed from the Yoruba city state of Oyo and its environs, who were removed from their land and culture in Africa and brought to the Americas as slaves. Finally, the term refers to one of the many syncretic religions created in Latin America and the Caribbean that is based on the West African religion of Ifa (eefa) brought to the western and southern hemispheres by the imported black slaves taken from the Yoruba ethnic group of present day Nigeria. Those who survived the Middle Passage carried with them their religious beliefs, including a belief in one God and His emissaries, known as Orishas, along with a tradition of worship and a system for communion with these Orishas and the communal spirit of the ancestors. Some of the slaves who landed in the Caribbean, Central and South America were nominally converted to Christianity. However, those who were converted to Christianity in largely Catholic colonies of the New World were able to preserve some of their traditions by fusing together various Dahomean, baKongo (Congo) and Yoruba beliefs and rituals and by syncretizing these with elements from the surrounding Catholic culture. In Cuba, where the slaves masked their devotion to the Orishas by syncretizing them with Catholic saints, this religious tradition has evolved into what is now referred to as Santeria, or "the way of the Saints". Lucumi is Santeria, minus the Catholic saints, since there is no longer a need to hide the Orishas. It is the Afro-Caribbean religion of my black West Indian ancestors.

Contrary to its negative portrayal in the ignorant but powerful American media, Lucumi is not black magic, devil worship, or hoodoo. It is a complex and beautiful system of worship and communion with Spirit and nature. Today hundreds of thousands of Americans participate in this ancient religion whose origins are shrouded in the mysteries of a primordial African past. Some are fully committed priests and priestesses, others are "godchildren" or members of a particular house-tradition. Some are clients seeking help with their everyday problems. Many are of Latino and Caribbean descent, but as the religion moves out of the inner cities and into the suburbs a growing number are of African-American and European-American heritage. As the Ifá religion of Africa was recreated in the Americas it was transformed. Today as it moves into mainstream America we can expect further transformation. However, regardless of who they are, what language they speak or where they come from, Orisha devotees today need to understand and recognize that all Orisha based religions, syncretized or not, were developed in ancient black Africa and practiced by black Africans with black African sensibilities, perspectives and views long before non-Africans had ever heard of the Orisha

I feel very strongly about this, not only because I am a man of black African and Caribbean decent, but because this is the religion of my black ancestors who struggled and fought against insurmountable odds to ensure its survival in order for me and others like me to worship the Orisha and claim them as an important part of our ancestral, philosophical and spiritual legacy. The system of Orisha and ancestral devotion embodied by Lucumi represents thousands of years of intellectual and philosohpical advancement, development and discovery by black Africans, as well as hundreds of years of struggle against racism and persecution by black West Indian slaves and their descendants.

An important part of the religion are what are called "Patakis" or tales about the Orishas that impart wisdom, knowledge, and help to define the morals, ethics and aesthetics of the religion. The Patakis are important because they offer a glimpse into the worldview of the Yoruba and the Lucumi, including their views on beauty. To the Yoruba, physical beauty in people was embodied by dark, smooth skin, which was symbolized in their famous and highly prized bronze art, particularly the royal art of the Yoruba city state of Benin. To the Yoruba, and their Lucumi descendants, bronze represented the highest standard of human beauty. As it aged, the bronze in their statues and busts of kings, queens and priests grew darker, and when it was viewed by candle light, it glowed with a life like quality reminiscent of warm human skin. The Yoruba were not ashamed of their darkness, in fact they prized and worshiped it. Bronze is also associated with the Yoruba Orisha of beauty, sensuality, luxury and wealth known as Oshun. Because she enjoys the sweet things in life she is closely associated with honey- the golden sweet food that never rots or spoils. Without exception in Yorubaland Oshun is described as being beautiful in a very classically African way. She has large breasts, large hips and smooth, black skin. Her large, robust and dark frame is considered highly sensual and sexually appealing to the people who have admired and sought her guidance on matters of love and child rearing for thousands of years.

However, in the Americas, Oshun has taken on an appearance among some Orisha devotees that I find disturbing. It seems that during her journey across time and space from Africa, some have transformed her into something that couldn't be further removed from the African aesthetic of beauty. Oshun has, like almost all things black and African, been transformed to reflect white, European standards. In a pataki that is not found anywhere in Africa, but that is quoted and referred to in Cuba, Oshun is said to have lightened her skin and straightened her hair in order to travel to and communicate with her devotees in the New World. Three things strike me as being rather curious about this story. First, why would a representative of God have to change to appeal to human beings? Second, why is this Pataki only found in Cuba and not Africa, even though white and other non-black people have been receiving initiations in Africa for decades? And third, why was the only Orisha whose physical appearance changed in the Americas the one who represents and reflects the beauty of the black Africans who first practiced this religion? However the Orishas may choose to appear to individuals in dreams or visions is one thing, but how human beings of lighter hues choose to misrepresent the appearance of the black gods of my ancestors to the rest of the world is something else altogether. In other words, if Oshun chooses to appear with light skin in a dream to a devotee in order to communicate a specific message and to serve her purposes, that is her choice as an emissary of God. But her appearance in that specific dream to that specific individual does not change the fact that Oshun's essence, origins and appearance are all very much black. Though she may have appeared with light skin for a few minutes in a dream to someone, she was dark skinned for thousands of years prior to that and continues to be black when that dream ends.

When black people are asked or choose to worship Jesus, Mohamed, Moses, and Buddha, there is never any expectation by those who invite or convert them to worship that these emissaries of God and Spirit will cease to be anything but representatives of the nationalities and ethnic groups who first worshipped them. Jesus is expected to remain Jewish, regardless of who worships him. Mohamed is expected to remain Arabian, no matter who follows his principles, and Buddha is expected to remain Asian, no matter who chants or meditates in his name. None of the "major" religions have emissaries that change their race or ethnicity to accomodate black people, so why is it that when white people worship black spiritual emissaries they give themselves license to create God in their own white image without giving it a thought? All of the Orishas have been black for thousands of years in Africa. Why now that they have been discovered by whites, is even one of them having their physical appearance changed? Ifa is a universal belief system, and as a result its truths speak to people of all colors. However, it was created by black Africans, and that should be respected. If you are not black when you begin practicing this religion, the Orishas will not change your race in order to accept you. I don't think it is asking too much to expect the same in return. Black people in the Americas have had everything we love and need to survive taken from us- our African cultures, our languages, even our very bodies- leave our souls alone. The one thing that we still hold on to, and which, in my opinion, holds the keys to our salvation, is our African spiritual legacy and the self affirmation it holds. Here is where I draw a bright line in the sand. If you are not black in this religion, practice, learn and worship all you can, but please, show some respect and leave the black gods of my ancestors the way you found them, dark skin, nappy hair and all. This is not just a matter of mere aesthetics. For black people, this is a matter of self affirmation, respect, salvation and survival. Ashe.

Most sincerely,
AfroKin
posted by:
Afro
Virgin Islands
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  • Unsu...
     
    ache.ache my brother,,well put/well said......thereis not much left left to say
    • Modupe Baba. There is much more to say, and many people to say it. We just have to develop the courage and ability to express ourselves to one another well and respectfully. Ultimately, for me, it's all about the ancestors, respecting the legacy they left for us, honoring the sacrifices they made for us and the orisha so that this path to God called orisha worship could remain open for all who are called to practice and serve. We must not forget who and where this religion ultimately comes from. It is also, of course, about the orisha, and navigating the gauntlet of human faults and foibles, including racism, to get to them. Ashe.

      -AfroKin
      • As a brother who grew up in Yoruba land (present day Nigeria) .. Let me share somethings wtih you.

        This practice of stealing African religions and changing the colour of our dieties is nothing new. Just look at christianity. You may not know this but Christianity & Jewish traditions came out of the African Mystery system. And Jesus Christ himself is referenced in the bible as a an Ifa high priest. The book of revelations also describes Jesus as having Dark skin and nappy hair. (A google search for "ifaism & christianty " will lead you to lots of gems of information.

        So it is not a surprise to me when the history of stealing/perverting our traditions that you are witnessing in this part of the world. One of Africans gifts to this world was Monotheism .. In Yoruba its called Olodumare.

        The Roman Catholic church stole thier idea from the African Mystry system. One just have to look to Indigenouse churches in Eithiopia to see the connections. Go look at picture of Jesus in the early churches & Ancient places in Rome and you will see that Jesus and Mary are painted as Black Afrikans. The racist in the church will try to lie & by explainig that the painting darken over time, but some how perform mental masturbation, because they fail to explain why the eyes & other white parts of the same paintings remain white.

        The original Jew were Black/Nubian Africans, that includes Abraham & his decendants. Its the recent whitewashing (pardon teh pun) that hs lead peole erroneously to believe Jesus could possible have looked like anything that the present day churches claim he looks like.

        The White people or Aryans, who were given shelter by the African kingdoms in the Indus valley (present day India) .. also experience their ancient texts being modified to create the racist Class system, which they claimed to be enshrined in their religions teachings. and the Africans were then labeled as untouchables.

        This link to the national black united front (www.nbufront.org/) "virtual measume of the Masters" will give you more than ample scholarly research on the things I have touched on here. tinyurl.com/3dveqr

        If you have the time, you can read the Bibliography of the Bible, which tracies the bible and its content to ancient African Texts.

        I'm with you we need to stop this perversion of history. The truth is the truth.

        I commend you for posting this here and hope that other people can see through their Eurocentric & Racist upbringing, and accept the reality of the African/Black identity of our spirituality.


        • ummm excuse me?? where are ur refernces and ur quotes ?
          I think ur ideas are interesting butr we need some sources there.

          in a way thats reassures me I am form jewish descent... therefore i am black... ouffff almost missed the train..
          • I gave links. to resources that have direct scholarly research on that which i speak of.

            If you care to check them out .. go back to my original post and click on the tinyurl link that i provided.

            I hate it when people ask me for proof, with ought checking to see that I already did that.

            I am not making stuff up.

            Even modern science has proven that we are all decedents of Africans who can be traced back to the east coast of African. HMm . since i did not mention that in my original post.. Here is a link .. www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

            The truth my brothers and sister will set you free.

            Our African ancestors have taught us this since time immemorial.

            Since you asked for specific reference to the history of Judiasm .. check out the link title "History of the bible" ..

            heck i'll even make it easier for you click on this www.nbufront.org/html/Mast...hrono.html

            and for those people who missed or skimped their kindergarten classes .. Please think for a second about colours. There are no black people!!!! , we are all different shades of brown (and that includes the so called white people ). If you don't believe me go ask any 3yr or 5yr old. :)

            • Unsu...
               
              << gave links. to resources that have direct scholarly research on that which i speak of.>>

              One link is broken, the other to a website whose articles are filled with mistakes and no bibliography. That, to any reasoned man, sounds like propaganda, not the writings of an enlightened teacher. Even neo-Nazi bullshit sites "corroborative" sources.

              And you have yet to name the passages of the Bible you make claims from. No one claimed you made it up. It's all stuff that's been said before. But no one has ever been able to site actual or credible sources - something that can show more that statements.
            • Unsu...
               
              >>Please think for a second about colours. There are no black people!!!! , we are all different shades of brown (and that includes the so called white people ). If you don't believe me go ask any 3yr or 5yr old. :)<<

              Shall I remind you that is was those of Africa descent in the 60's and 70's that chose to be called black. In the 40's and 50's, the same group wanted to be called colored. In the 90"s, the same group decided that they wanted to be called African Americans. So, why don't you go to your 3 or 5 year old, and ask them why you are throwing that statement out like it insult to non-Africans?
        • Unsu...
           
          And I've also hear that Egypt owes it's existance to the Yoruba, even though Egyptian cities predate anything from the Yoruba by several millenia. Anyone can make claims, and I'm sure these don't originate with you. Please, cite your sources (credible ones, please), especially those Bible passages. I've read the New Testament in both the King James and Good News versions. Never found any mention of Ifa.

          <<One of Africans gifts to this world was Monotheism .. In Yoruba its called Olodumare.>>

          Since, according to archeological evidence, even Chistianity predates the Yoruba people, I think that Africa may have given the world monotheism, but it was more likely to have been the Egyptians, almost 2400 years before the first Yoruba city-states.


          Library of Congress, lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r
          "Egypt

          The Cult of the Sun God and Akhenaten's Monotheism

          During the New Kingdom, the cult of the sun god Ra became increasingly important until it evolved into the uncompromising monotheism of Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1364-1347 B.C.). According to the cult, Ra created himself from a primeval mound in the shape of a pyramid and then created all other gods. Thus, Ra was not only the sun god, he was also the universe, having created himself from himself. Ra was invoked as Aten or the Great Disc that illuminated the world of the living and the dead.

          The effect of these doctrines can be seen in the sun worship of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who became an uncompromising monotheist. Aldred has speculated that monotheism was Akhenaten's own idea, the result of regarding Aten as a self-created heavenly king whose son, the pharaoh, was also unique. Akhenaten made Aten the supreme state god, symbolized as a rayed disk with each sunbeam ending in a ministering hand. Other gods were abolished, their images smashed, their names excised, their temples abandoned, and their revenues impounded. The plural word for god was suppressed. Sometime in the fifth or sixth year of his reign, Akhenaten moved his capital to a new city called Akhetaten (present-day Tall al Amarinah, also seen as Tell al Amarna). At that time, the pharaoh, previously known as Amenhotep IV, adopted the name Akhenaten. His wife, Queen Nefertiti, shared his beliefs.

          Akhenaten's religious ideas did not survive his death. His ideas were abandoned in part because of the economic collapse that ensued at the end of his reign. To restore the morale of the nation, Akhenaten's successor, Tutankhamen, appeased the offended gods whose resentment would have blighted all human enterprise. Temples were cleaned and repaired, new images made, priests appointed, and endowments restored. Akhenaten's new city was abandoned to the desert sands.

          Data as of December 1990"


          Library of Congress, lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r
          "Nigeria

          Yoruba Kingdoms and Benin

          As far as historical memory extends, the Yoruba have been the dominant group on the west bank of the Niger. Of mixed origin, they were the product of the assimilation of periodic waves of migrants who evolved a common language and culture. The Yoruba were organized in patrilineal descent groups that occupied village communities and subsisted on agriculture, but from about the eleventh century A.D., adjacent village compounds, called ile, began to coalesce into a number of territorial citystates in which loyalties to the clan became subordinate to allegiance to a dynastic chieftain. This transition produced an urbanized political and social environment that was accompanied by a high level of artistic achievement, particularly in terracotta and ivory sculpture and in the sophisticated metal casting produced at Ife. The brass and bronze used by Yoruba artisans was a significant item of trade, made from copper, tin, and zinc either imported from North Africa or from mines in the Sahara and northern Nigeria.

          Data as of June 1991"
          • Unsu...
             
            It is insane to suggest that Ifa practice doesn't predate written history. Haven't you heard the stories, such as the birth of metal-smithing by the hands of Ogun? This history comes from ancient times, way before written history. But this history has been recorded by the traditions of Ifa and her sister traditions, simply listen to the stories to know how it's direct roots predates biblical times by a long, long time.

            Perhaps what should be up for conversation is where in Africa the original and oldest religion was rooted in, and I be we will find, based on similarities, that Ifa is directly rooted in that same tradition. Perhaps religious practices came into existence before humans even looked like humans in evolution, and then the conversation would turn to, where in Africa did people start looking like poeple? You do see elements of Ifa in every other religion, at least some elements have carried over as people have migrated off of the continent of Africa, some families changing facial features and skin tone in the process, and calling their religion new things, and intermixing new concepts and such. I thought the statement about monotheism being the Ifa gift to the world was profound, it struck me as most likely accurate.

            To the haters and doubters, hank you for your consideration. Ifa is the oldest existing culture.
            • My my my. I was amazed to see upon my return to tribe the sheer number of new postings here. It's oh so nice to have a dialogue going. I must admit my first impression when seeing 100+ new messages was "uh oh, it must be one of the polarizing topics of race/sexuality." No big surpise. It just demonstrates how deep this urgency of addressing (or redressing) this situation. I commend everyone here for keeping it civil.

              Now for my 2 cents: I give much respect to the brother for broaching the subject. It is very eloquently stated and I feel you wholeheartedly. I don't disrespect or cast aspersions on anyone's belief systems or religions because at the end of the day I don't think G*d cares that much about how we choose to relate to her. With that being said, I think this topic illustrates a symptom of something much deeper in the African psyche. History chronicles countless examples of African-isms initially denigrated only to later be adopted or misappropriated by other "races".

              To those who seem to request citations and appendices, I ask that you to step out of your Western paradigm. Ifa is primarily an oral tradition after all and therefore predates the Western compulsion of citing written works (which often are written from a biased, academic and non-African perspective). Scholarly references can obscure the truth just as easily as non-scholarly sources. The bottom line is the truth is something one can feel viscerally in the gut, if one is so inclined and resists the temptation to take a purely cerebral approach.

              I commend and salute all those who struggle to maintain the blackness of Ifa/Orisa. Those who feel drawn to such a tradition will most certainly find their path. Their ancestors wouldn't have it any other way. I mean no disrespect to any other forms or beliefs since I don't believe any one religion has the monopoly on truth. My ancestors made it clear to me a while ago that Lucumi wasn't the path for me. Further divinations have confirmed this, therefore I'm making a conscious choice to practice a tradition of that is more African/black-affirming. It's just my personal choice which is how it should be with something as intimate as relating to Deity.

              Which came first, Egypt or Yoruba, Kush or Ethiopia...etc.? Who knows. The questions often lead a circular route with no clear-cut answers when based upon what is purely written. I am always critical of Egyptian theories since it's so easily appropriated off the continent of Africa and into the "Middle East'. Racism is quite subtle and insidious like that.

              So that's my partial point of view on the topic. Keep up the good work everyone. I am in no way suggesting anyone here is racist. It's just a call for honest self-inquiry. There is no greater joy to me than celebrating our similarities while respecting our differences. We're all G*d's children at the end of the day. But the truth is that much healing must occur before any type of lasting understanding and reconciliation can develop. Restoring the blackness of African deities is a step in the right direction in my opinion---providing an alternative to persons in the diaspora longing reconnect with their ancestral past.

              I've not heard of a connection between Ifa/Christianity but it certainly merits further research. Thanks to the previous poster for the links.
          • Let me help you deconstructi this mental mastubation

            Devon wrote <<Since, according to archeological evidence, even Chistianity predates the Yoruba people, I think that Africa may have given the world monotheism, but it was more likely to have been the Egyptians, almost 2400 years before the first Yoruba city-states. >>

            Umm .. Where de heck do you think Egypt is. Have you forgotten that Egypt is in Africa? Or that the original Nubian/Kush empire covered eastern africa (modern day eithipio) as well as northern african (present day Egypt) ?

            If you don't believe me, go look at your atlas .. or use google maps or something.


            let me further show you the connetion between judiasm, christianity and african traditions. heck I'm even gonan use your own quote. here is the hint .. After each or most prayers most christians make an unconsiouse homage to the african origins of thier faith by means of saying .. are you ready for it .. AMEN ..

            Devon . the following is quoted directly from you
            <<Ra became increasingly important until it evolved into the uncompromising monotheism of Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1364-1347 B.C.) >

            Incase you missed it AMEN in christianity is in reference to Amenhotep.

            Our shared African ancestors are asking us to Open our Eyes and see.

            May the spirit and wisdom of our ancestors guide and bless you in all your endeavors. May they provide you with the real peace.

            From your brother from another mother, Lets bring back peace and prosperity to our family! *hug*

            One love, one spirit, one consciousness, peace

            Ifo



            • Unsu...
               
              <<Umm .. Where de heck do you think Egypt is. Have you forgotten that Egypt is in Africa? Or that the original Nubian/Kush empire covered eastern africa (modern day eithipio) as well as northern african (present day Egypt) ?>>

              I am quite aware that Egypt is in Africa. And I will admit that what I wrote would have been clearer had I said "I think that Africa may have given the world monotheism, but it was more likely to have been the Egyptians THAN THE YORUBA, almost 2400 years before the first Yoruba city-states." However, anyone who wasn't playing stupid, childish games, trying to catch me in a minor misstatement because they cannot site actual evidence to refute what I have said, would have been able to determine that was what I meant. What's next? Siting my typos as proof of low intelligence? Grow up.
              • I know you think i was nitpicking. I guess your lack of understanding/appreciation of our (Afrikan) interconnectedness lead you to that conclusion.

                The African Mystery System , was and is part of the Afrikan spirituality, and moved with us regardless of where we were located.

                If you consider that the practices were maintained, even through the Afrikan Holocaust, (other wise know as the slave trade) .. imagine how much easier it would have been for our ancestors to maintain their spiritual/cultural practices, as our civilizations spread across the continent of Africa.

                Or are you assuming that the Yorubas, just emerged from nowhere? Our ancestors have passed down to us, stories about our migration across the continent. I guess you don't know about this yet, but you can go learn if you want to. Heck these things are even documented and can be found via google if you care to look them up.

                Do your homework on my culture and you will learn the truths. I'm speaking from persona, ancestral and communal experience. I am a proud member of the Benin Kingdom, a sister kingdom to the Yoruba. I grew up in Oyo state. I can speak with a level of intimacy and authority that you can not yet. Please give respect where respect is due.

                Now as i said in the response to your "WHY" thread, I will leave you to go learn on your own. The spirits will guide you, and i trust that you will break out of your virtual Eurocentric shackles and start to be free to see the truths.

                Go in peace my brother, go in peace. The ancestors want you to know the truths, let them speak to you.

            • Unsu...
               
              <<Devon . the following is quoted directly from you
              <<Ra became increasingly important until it evolved into the uncompromising monotheism of Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1364-1347 B.C.) >

              Incase you missed it AMEN in christianity is in reference to Amenhotep.>>

              Actually, it was quoted by me, not a quote of me.

              And "amen" is more believable as a reference to Amen-Ra (aka Amon-Ra), not Amenhotep, since Amon-Ra was one of the more powerful Egyptian gods, and sometimes refered to simply as Ra - other times as Amon, and Amenhotep (all 3 of them) were Pharaohs. And true, Pharaohs were seen be Egyptians to be living gods, none of them ever achieved the perpetual status (not even Ramses II, the longest lived and, some say, most powerful of the Pharaohs) to be named at the end of each prayer. Especially by the Hebrews, who used the word at least as early as when the Torah was written (Num. 5:22).
              • Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.

                Sat, September 8, 2007 - 7:23 PM
                <<And "amen" is more believable as a reference to Amen-Ra (aka Amon-Ra), not Amenhotep, since Amon-Ra was one of the more powerful Egyptian gods, and sometimes refered to simply as Ra - other times as Amon, and Amenhotep (all 3 of them) were Pharaohs. And true, Pharaoh >>

                So now you are agreeing with me about the connection of Afrikan traditions in the Judeo/Christianiy. I believe you are starting to see the things that have been staring you right in your face.
                • Unsu...
                   

                  Re: Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.

                  Sun, September 9, 2007 - 6:34 AM
                  <<Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.
                  <<And "amen" is more believable as a reference to Amen-Ra (aka Amon-Ra), not Amenhotep, since Amon-Ra was one of the more powerful Egyptian gods, and sometimes refered to simply as Ra - other times as Amon, and Amenhotep (all 3 of them) were Pharaohs. And true, Pharaoh >>

                  So now you are agreeing with me about the connection of Afrikan traditions in the Judeo/Christianiy. I believe you are starting to see the things that have been staring you right in your face.>>

                  Did people from the African continent influence the Hebrews? Absolutely!!! They were Egyptians, not Yoruba. To claim the Yoruba and Ifa had that influence is to reject and invalidate the accomplishments of the Egyptian people, or does that not matter, since modern Egyptians are mostly Muslim, not ATR.

                  You are the one who cannot see what is in front of your face. After all, my words are there, in black and white, but you see only what you wish too.

                  Have you forgotten that you were the one that claimed Jesus as an Ifa high priest? Have yet to hear the slightest proof of that argument. Why do you need to adopt Jesus into you pantheon? I would think you'd want to reject him as the founder of the faith that enslaved and almost destroyed your ancestors.

                  You, my brother, are behaving like a FANATIC. You are twist facts to fit your beliefs rather than form your beliefs to fit facts. Anything that challenges your views is a conspiracy against "the African people." I have as mush use for fanatics in the Ifa faith as I do for fanatics in any faith.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.

                    Sun, September 9, 2007 - 10:24 AM
                    Devon Devon .. for the record after yur lat post where yu claimed that African Continental history had nothign to do wth Orisha. I;m nto sur whey i;m even bothering to write this.

                    Anywway let me help you see thigns clearly once again. Islam and Christianity were birthed form the ancient African Mystrey system, Some people in recent history via Colonisation have converted to Islam and Christianity. SO the fact that the modern day Egyptians are predominantly Crhstian is a mute point.

                    le tmeillustrate toyou by using a fact from Yoruba land in present day Nigeria. An overwhelmin majority of Yorubas in Nigeria are Christian & Muslim. SO are we gonan use the modern day spirituality to claim that Orisha has no links to the Yorubas? Can you honestly say that with a straight face?

                    To correct you once again, I never claimed Jesus to be path of my Pantheon .. but I do understand that he was following the path of his ancestors, which include the famous African Abraham. The fact that these truths have been hidden/sheltered from you in the Westt, does not mean that they are false.

                    What you fail to understand is that the Ancient Hebrews were and are dark skinned Afrikans. (go talk to any Historian on the Hebrew traditions .. or if u want more proof.. go compare some of the Akan traditions to Hebrew traditions .. the truth wil jump right out you) So of course they were influence by their own Afrikan culture.
                    • Unsu...
                       

                      Re: Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.

                      Sun, September 9, 2007 - 10:45 AM
                      Sun, September 9, 2007 - 10:24 AM
                      Ifo wrote:<<To correct you once again, I never claimed Jesus to be path of my Pantheon .. but I do understand that he was following the path of his ancestors, >>

                      This is clearification, not knit-picking. You did mean part, not path, correct?

                      Thu, September 6, 2007 - 6:13 PM
                      Ifo wrote: <<And Jesus Christ himself is referenced in the bible as a an Ifa high priest.


                      Well, now you are either really splitting hairs or it's different between Lukumi Ifa and Yoruba Ifa. In my tradition (Lukumi/Santeria), to claim someone such as Jesus was an Ifa priest would to be naming them as an Eggun - a reverred ancestor. Since the Eggun are part of our pantheon (offerings are made to them before any ritual) I had assumed they held a similar status in Yorubaland. If they don't, it appears I jumped to a conclussion.
                      • Re: Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.

                        Sun, September 9, 2007 - 4:24 PM
                        Must be diferences in Lukumi .. because to the best of my knowledge in our traditions being a priest does not automatically elevate one to someone that you would pray to as part of your pantheon. ( can you image how long and complicated the pantheon would be if we included those).

                        So in the traditions that I'm familiar with, it is recognising that someone has studied and undergone the initiation & other rights of passage to be able to to be a priest.

                        Although we do ask for the spirit of our ancestors for guidance, but that could be any ancestor including lay members.

                        • Unsu...
                           

                          Re: Devon .. You are starting to see the Light.

                          Sun, September 9, 2007 - 4:37 PM
                          Yes, in Lukumi, it is based on the influence a person has had as to whether they get added to list of Eggun that are invoked, if that person was not in your direct lineage. And yes, the litany can get ridiculously long if enough people are involved in performing the ritual. LOL

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