Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Beaded Cuban-style oars for Ochún

Catalog Number: B013


36.3 x 6.2


Ethnographic Origin: Cuban (Caribbean)
Materials: Beads
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

These are a pair of oars for Ochún, the goddess of money, love, and sweet water, also often known as Yalorde in the Cuban religion of Santería. She can be found near fresh water sources, at rivers, ponds and especially waterfalls. In fact, many ceremonies for Ochún are done at or near the river bank. For instance, a future iyawó, a newly consecrated priest or priestess for the first year after initiation, must go to the river for a special cleansing by Ochún the night before they are “crowned” in Ocha. The oars, which are often seen with Ochún, are representative of getting from one place to another and also a balance of good and bad each individual carries in life.