Thursday, May 7, 2009

There are different types of religions all across the world. Analyzing them, it seems to me that we all believe in the same saints and god but we all give them different names and define them differently; some give them more details and importance while others just worship them and do not practice them. One of the religions that really practice its saints is Candomblé. Candomblé is a religion that originated in Bahia and is practiced in different countries, most popular, Brazil. Like any other religion, Candomblé contains different orixás—in Brazil they are African deities in which they are identified with one or more Catholic saints (Fryer, 14)—each is characterized by particular symbols: colors, songs, anecdotes, objects, animals, plants, and atmospheric phenomena (Fryer, 13). For example, Ọṣun, Oba, and Iansã are wives of another orixá named Ṣàngó, and all of them signify a specific dance that tells a story. Ọṣun is one of the orixás that has always been practiced throughout the world without people even realizing it.

Ọṣun is a female orixá which was married to Ṣàngó, god of thunder. She was Ṣàngó’s favorite wife because she seemed to be really gentle, generally speaking. She would also have frequent pregnancies which did not allow her to bond with her children and satisfy their needs as a mother. Beside her frequent pregnancies, she is also very beautiful which allows her to get what she wants. On the other hand, even though she was Ṣàngó’s favorite she had slept with almost all the male orixás and had their children.
Her name represents a river that flows southward through southwestern Nigeria and the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea. This river is known for a woman, Ọṣun, would disappear into the river when a traumatic event would frighten or anger her.
In Ọṣun’s dance, her accoutrement is a mirror. The palm facing of the hand facing the face while with the other hand, you brush it over your head as if you were combing your hair. Throughout time though, society has changed the length of how far they stroke the “hair,” since Ọṣun had beautiful long hair—river—they tend to stroke the hair further down. She is has so much self-importance that she loves to stare at her reflection through the mirror—waterfall—to get distracted from any events happening around her. Besides the hair representing the river and the mirror beauty, the mirror also represents a weapon. With a weapon you are able to keep an eye on your back, watch to see if anyone behind you is up to no good.
Another accouterment is jewelry. Jewelry was one of Ọṣun’s favorites. The way she puts on her jewelry is by lifting an arm, half ways up, and with the other hand she goes over the arm as if she I was putting on bracelets. Also, the jewelry on her arm illustrates that she has money and wealth, that she is an independent woman.
Ọṣun’s favorite metal, jewelry, is brass. Brass is a collection of ornaments or items made by a hard yellow shiny metal that is an alloy of zinc and copper, frequently with the addition of other metallic elements to impart specific properties (Encarta Dictionary).

Ọṣun symbolizes rivers, waterfalls, and spring. In her dance the way to symbolize a river is by pretending that you are combing your hair. While you comb your hair, you are mentioning that the river has some kind of water flow. Also, the way to symbolize a water fall, in Ọṣun’s dance, is by lifting up your palm and having it face you. The expressions are telling the audience that Ọṣun enjoys looking at her reflection by utilizing clean water. Therefore, first we have a waterfall, meaning that if there is a waterfall there is water flow, movement. Be aware though that every river has a bad component, where this piece symbolizes Ọṣun’s difficulties and dark paths. Next, she also represents spring; spring because it is the season of rebirth, where nature comes back to life and looks beautiful. Therefore, the best time to search for her is during the spring season, where the water is clear, the air is fresh, and the flowers are blooming.
Ọṣun associates with the color golden yellow, the number five, Fridays and Saturdays. She associates with yellow for many reasons. First, the color of brass and her jewelry is yellow. Also, she had a dress that she loved, in which it was white, but she wore it too much that it began to get faded and started turning into a yellowish color. Therefore, in the calling of Ọṣun people tend to wear as much yellow as possible; from the color of her dress, jewelry, mirror, and shoes. Also, she relates to the number 5, Friday and Saturday. The number five is important to her because according to myths, she was married to five different husbands. As a result, when people were necklaces to represent her love for jewelry, they wear five golden colored beads.
All the love she has for jewelry and beauty began to categorize her as a desirable diva. She likes to wear what looks good and does not care what society has to say about her. She represents beauty, sexuality, freedom, and independence. Ọṣun uses her great charms and sexuality to be able to get whatever she desires. For example, if she wants to have a baby, she knows that with her good looks and independence she will be able to seduce any man she wants.

Reasons why people like to call Ọṣun are because she is the orixá of love, beauty, intimacy, and wealth. People tend to call for her when they are going to get married, or have gotten married, about to have a child, and need financial help and beauty.

A great example of an artist from this day, is Beyonce.
Works Cited
Fryer, Peter. Rhythims of Resistance: Afican Musical Heritage in Brazil. Hanover: University Press of New England, 200.
This blog has been posted by Yesenia Colmenero.

1 comment:

  1. Ora YeYe O! did you put up a shrine? LOL! great opening paragraph. You could've done with more citations. Your writing was pretty steady. Good work.