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Religious References

Añá

I was initiated in Añá as omo-Añá ("son of Añá", ceremonial drummer) by being sworn to the tambor Aña Ara Lovo Ore of Alejandro Adofó (Aldofó) from 1896, in Regla (Ciudad de La Habana) on July 16th, 2005. The tambor of Aldofo is the second-oldest set of batá de fundamento in Cuba. My padrino (godfather) in Añá is Lázaro Jean Kessell Moliner "El Fimba", my oyugbona is Daniel Virgilio Carbonell Constantin. (I am also grateful to Daniel for facilitating my first religious contacts in Havana.)

Thomas Altmann and Papaito, 2005

Lázaro Sanabria Calderón, known as "Papaíto", was the dueño (aláña), the owner or keeper of this tambor, and a legendary figure in the Cuban Añá community. He was not able to perform my initiation personally, because he was already too ill and too weak. He was present, however, supervising the ritual. Papaíto passed away a month later, on August 24th, 2005. Iba e 'bayentonú!

* According to my school, it is prohibited to take photos of a consecra­ted set of batá (tambor de fundamento), in fact representing the orisha Añá. Therefore the photo gilt das Foto in front of the banner of the tambor is regarded as proof of the juramento.

 

Thomas Altmann und Lino Morera 2009

Ocha (Orisha)

On July 2007, 29th, I was initiated in Ocha as Olórisha Omo-Obatala (priester of Obatala) by Lino Morera Castro (Olobatala) from Parraga (Ciudad de La Habana). Completing my Ebo Meta in December 2008 I then became a fully initiated Santero.

Additionally, I received the orisha Ibeyi (de Ifá).

 

Ifá

My initiation in Ifá (called Tefá) as a babalawo (awo-Orúnmila) took place on August 13th, 2012, in Centro Habana. I was born in the odu Otura Meyi (Ifá Malé). My padrino in Ifá (oluwo siwayú) is Pablo Sánchez Sánchez, Ogbe Tua ni Alara. I am particularly grateful to Pablo for his friendship and his dedication to my progress.

iyoye(1) iyoye(2) iyoye(3)
While the one-week-enduring initiation in Ifá is strictly secret for the biggest part, the last day (día del Iyoyé) forms a boisterous finale. Many guests may be invited, and pictures are allowed to be taken.
Pablo Sanchez Nelson Rumbao Thomas Altmann & Yahima Martinez
Left: My padrino in Ifá, Pablo Sánchez; center: my oyugbona in Ifá, Nelson Rumbao Lugo (Ogbe Wunle);
right: "Otura-Meyi" and his apetebí aya'fá, the young Yahima Martínez Yard (Omo-Ochún)

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