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Characteristics, which became contemporary choreographies, are described in detail below. The last Olokun mask dancer was Eworio Rodriguez “Tata Gaitan” and died in 1944, with him vanished the knowledge of these rituals.
Other Orisha occasionally mount the bodies of their children in rituals and might have certain danced expressions, but they are not taught in folkloric dance education. Olokun is today close to Yemaya, like Aganju Shola to Shango, they share aspects in worship and dance performance.
Dance is crucial to understand Orisha in Yorùbáland and the diaspora.
On their heads they wear European-style crowns, sometimes adorned with red parrot feathers or accompanied by other traditional Yorùbá regalia, like Yor. The other category is the archetypal forest “guerrero”, the warrior-type, also called Yor. They live outside of town, their abode is mother nature. Babaluaye with his clothes made of jute fiber looks even like a beggar.It introduces the reader to some aspects of the Cuban Orisha and interprets some of the stories they tell.As I have seen many dancers taking Orisha classes without knowing about the context, I thought it might be helpful writing a few words on it.Today every Cuban is used to watch sacred Yorùbá dances, that in the past were known only to a marginalized part of the society: Black Afro-Cubans.In the setting of a ritual, created by a community of people, the Yorùbá deities called Orisha are invited to mount their initiates’ bodies.