Santería in Cuba

Very often our clients are asking us, why a lot of Cubans are clothed completely in white. The Santería (santos=holy) is a mixture of the different customs of the African ethnic groups, which were carried to Cuba. And has also a lot of influence from Haiti and Jamaica. And it is an essential element of the Cuban music and the Cuban dances. The saints, Orishas, in the Cuban credence resembles the saints of the Greece and the Romans and they were even allocated to different saints of the catholic credence. The saint Barbara is the Orisha Changó, the African saint of the thunder. God is Obatalá and the saint San Pedro is Oggún.

The main essential part of a Santería meeting is the music and are the different dances of the respective Orishas. The dances for Changó for example always are masculine and strong whilst the dance for Yemayá is denominated as “the dance of the waves”.

One year clothed in whit (Yawo) is an essential part of their credence. Pedro in Havana and Regla and Alfredo in Trinidad de Cuba finished their year (Yaboraje) a few weeks ago. And in March and April Milaila and Elier in Havana started their year.
Elier has the Orisha Changó and Milaila Yemayá, discernibly on the necklace and their bracelets. Changó has red and white pearls and Yemayá blue and with pearls.
The main Orishas are Elleggua, Changó, Obbatalá, Yemayá, Oshun, Oggún, Ochosi and Oya.

Today we write about the general rules. The Iyabo (the religion person in white) has a godfather and a godmother who are responsible for caring for the welfare of Iyabo and theyknow all the rules of saints. The Iyabo must have their permision if want to do something that might affect his yaboraje. for example if he wants to go out in the evenings. The rule says, that he hast to be at home before 6 p,m. But for example if his work is related to the art world like a musician or dancer he can get home before twelve o'clock. But if he arrives later, this called disobedience and brings problems related to their saint. The Iyabo should not get wet with rainwater so always he has to carry an umbrella, nobody should take pictures or videos of Iyabos,. They are allowed to drink alcoholic drinks and if they drink something the must use their own glass. If you want to pay them you cant give them money directely into the hand you must place it in a place an a table or something where he or she can take it. You should never give them your hand and in the first three months it is forbidden to kiss or to hug other persons.