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

Dark blue fly whisk for Yemayá

Catalog Number: B018


Saydel Inc.


44 x 4.5


Religion and Denomination: Santería (Cuba, Yoruba)
Ethnographic Origin: Cuban (Caribbean)
Materials: Beads
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

Encrusted with black and blue beads in an elaborate cross pattern, this irukere, the yoruba word for fly whisk, is a decorative object used to symbolize Yemayá. The oricha Yemayá, the majestic and maternal Lucumí divinity of the sea, motherhood, and sometimes the moon is usually imagined as a dark-skinned woman with children and a strong temper, and is sometimes called the first oricha to come to the defense of humanity. Yemayá is often considered the most important of the orichas in Santería because of her responsibility as the mother of all things.  Her relationship to the sea stems from the idea that all life started in the sea and it is often understood that without her, humanity would not continue to grow and evolve.

The black and blue on the fly whisk, bears a strong connection to her role as oricha of the seas. Furthermore the handle of the fly whisk has 7 hanging strings of beads, which is significant to Yemayá , as her special number is 7. The number 7 also bears strong ties to Yemayá because of her connection to the 7 seas.