Monday, August 17, 2009

Ajala at the Osun Festival:

I recently decided to become initiated. The catalyst came through facebook, of all things, but perhaps on second thought that is not so odd, since the internet relies on electricity, and electricity is the province of Sango, the Orisa of Lightning, Dance & Drums, amongst other things. In any event, that's how Ajala and I met. I mentioned my interest in Ifa to him and he volunteered to teach me. He is a Sango dancer, inheritor of his father's magnificent Sango costume, and the traditional belief system of the Yoruba. I am very honored to have such a good and patient mentor.

The patience is needed because of language ~ his English is very good, but his beautiful Yoruba accent is so new to my ears that I have a hard time understanding our phone conversations and have to ask him to repeat things over and over. This repeating of spoken words has become part of daily life for me, since my mother is having some trouble with short term memory.

Ajala lives in Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria, a place that I have long wanted to visit. Osun state is named for the Orisa Osun, (again) among other things, a river. Osbogo is the site of the Osun Festival, mentioned in an earlier post. Ajala sent me these photographs of himself at the festival.

(Ajala preparing beads for me with orisa medicine leaves.)

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