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Orisha...Orixa...Orisa...oh my!

To: alt.lucky.w,alt.religion.orisha
From: (Eoghan Ballard)
Subject: Re: Orisha...Orixa...Orisa...oh my!
Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 18:57:12 -0400

In article , "OmiJuba"

Actually Omijuba my friend, they are not exactly the same. The spelling is
convenient for noting which tradition you are referring to, however, above
and beyond the merely linguistic issue of how you choose to spell the
word, in these various traditions not only do the Orixa, Oricha, Orisa
behave differently but the fundamentos are constructed in distinctly
different ways.

They all come from similar (although not completely identical) roots but
they are different. This is not just a theoretical or academic

Likewise, Nkuyu nfinda (Lucero Mundo) in Cuba is not Aluveia in Brazil nor
Lemba in Angola. They are all ultimately the same basic deity from the
same roots but are yet different. the notion of Caminos is not far away
from this one. 


To: alt.lucky.w,alt.religion.orisha
From: (Eoghan Ballard)
Subject: Re: Orisha...Orixa...Orisa...oh my!
Date: Fri, 04 May 2001 20:34:14 -0400

In article , "OmiJuba"

> Ifa, Ocha and Candomble are all Yoruba orisha traditions.

Omijuba, they are all traditions descended from the Yoruba but they have
developed differently. If you understand the notion of Caminos what both
Cat and I are trying to describe is not so different. I don't think anyone
is saying that Yemaya is not Yemaya. But Yemalla has distinctive
characteristics that make her different (apart from being La Regla) from
her counterpart Iemanja in Bahia. Both are quite distinct in their ways
from the Yemaya of Nigeria. In fact the Yemalla of Cuba and the Iemanja of
Brazil have more in common with each other than with the Yemoja of

For one thing, and this is a big one, Yemoja in Nigeria has only a river
and it's fresh water at that. There are many things and beings that have
contributed to the construction of the character of new world Orixas and
Orichas that are different from those of Nigeria. While ultimately the
similarities can doubtlessly be said to outweigh the differences, those
differences should not be underestimated.

One cannot consider the God of the Southern Baptist the same god as that
of the Scots Presbyterian or of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, yet they
all share the same religious history. The difference in the character
exhibited in all these "avatars" if you will of the Christian god (I am
sure the Christian of any stripe would prefer that we call them
understandings but this is our conversation not theirs) reflect a very
different religion and a very different understanding of the faith.

The same is true, only magnified in Oricha traditions around the world.
Since all Oricha traditions are founded and rely heavily upon the ashe of
each tradition and have their own recipes and instructions for these
things, these religious secrets, there is yet another way in which the
Oricha, the Orixa and the Orisa are different. 

Can you not see the possibility of recognizing unity without disavowing
the very real differences that exist? I did not think that Christianity
had a total monopoly on metaphysical understandings of physical realities.
Personally I see this as a richness in those traditions and not a thing to
disavow. Of course, as Cat is always wont to say "You might get different

Salamaleko mpangiame,


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