OBATALA = Owner Of All Heads…


 Father Of All Orishas & Humanity – The Orisha Of Wisdom, Knowledge & Pureness. Epa Oosha Obatala Alasho Funfun. Obatalá “King of the White Cloth” and he represents peace, sober decision making, creativity, purity, and divination. The social role associated with him is that of an Elder or Sage and his elements or natural stages are the mountains, clouds, and palm trees. Some of the most distinctive features of Obatalá are the myth of creation that has been linked to him, the traditional offerings presented to him and the location of his supposed home, his “claim over individuals”, and the many associations with others Saints and Gods that he has received through time.


Known as an Ancient energy, it embodies the patience, clarity of mind and wisdom that can only be attained through thoughtfulness and careful and sober consideration. Thus, Obatala is also associated with the concept of justice. Those operating in this Orisha’s field are often highly intelligent and extremely thoughtful, possessing lofty yet realistic ideals. They are the observers and intellectuals among us who strive for peace, truth and clarity above all else.

Father of humanity, the right hand of God, Obatala is the supreme deity of justice, wisdom and life. Obatala’s color is white, which is often accented with other colors, namely red, coral, green or purple, according to the road. His symbols are a single, silver (oje) bracelet, a white horsetail switch (Irukere), a cane and a silver bell or “Agogo-Oje,” which is used when saluting him.

Obatala is the the Orisha responsible for molding the physical form of humanity before God gives us life with his divine breath. He’s always perfectly clean and expresses himself with the presence of Efun (white chalk). Liquor and red palm oil are taboo to him and his followers. Obatala is the Orisha of logic, thought, and clarity and as such children of Obatala are generally logical and “heady.”

In fact, children of Obatala invariably require more “alone time” than most other people as their lives are often ruled by their ability to think quietly and process. Obatala is symbolized by the color white, white doves and the number 8 and Sunday is said to be his sacred day of the week.

“AYE” (Sekere Obatala)
Aye is a percussion instrument that is used by Obatala also called (Orisanla). He uses it for entertainment, invocation, and messaging purposes, now it is used by Obatala devotees to invoke his spirit during prayers, rituals, and festival periods for his spirit to descend.
Aye is very important tool in worshiping the Gods, Obatala, whoever the God sent any of his spirit or priestess to deliver a message, it’s this instrument that he or she will be beating while on the journey to word of evil and attacks and on getting there, the Aye has to be beaten for the God’s spirit to possess the priest or priestess for him to speak through him or her. Any Obatala worshiper that does not use Aye is not a complete worshiper because it is a very important tool of worship to the God.
Orin: Obatala temi ni o ba mi se – bi eniyan soro fun o leyin mo mo gba o
“Temin ni o ba mi se”
Song: Obatala it is mine that you should do for me – If anyone gossips to you do not listen – It is mine that you should do for me.
Orin: Ogede agbagba ooo Obatala gbami lowo Ki ni eyi yio se Ogede agbagba ooo. Babarugbo gbami Lowo enu Ko se kun ni Enu ijeru, Ko se kun ni Enu ijeyo o Ko se kun ni, Enu Oje ata Ko se kun ni Enu imu omi Ko se kun ni
Song: Oh plantain Old man save me from gossips It is not good Mouth that eats locust beans, it is not good, Mouth that tastes salt, it is not good, Mouth that eats pepper it is not good Mouth that drink water, it is not good”

As the myth points out, Obatalá enjoyed drinking palm wine and continued to do so although it had previously led to his shame and humiliation. Due to his weakness for alcohol, he would even drink while carrying out his duties of molding and creating human bodies. Due to his carelessness, some of the beings he created were born with deformities and malformations so he was ordered by God to abstain from drinking while creating humans. Therefore, people born with birthmarks, albinos, the handicapped, or other children born with deformities are recognized as “Obatalá’s children”. This originates from the belief among people that “Obatalá always marks his children”.

Traditionally, offerings to “King of the White Cloth” are comprised of coconut, cotton, cocoa butter, cornstarch, and bitter kola. This home of this deity is said to be the mountains, and for this reason gifts and food are carried to these specific regions. The metal of Obatalá is silver (Oje) and his color is white, hence his name which means “King of the White Cloth”. His priests and priestesses always wear only white in his honor, and the vast majority of the offerings taken to Obatalá are white, such as white food, white clothes, white beads, and white flowers. Obatalá also tends to receive silver (Oje) jewelry and coins.

Obatalá is said to be the owner of all Ori, which means heads. This is an important concept because it is believed that the souls of people are located in their heads. It has been claimed that Obatalá is one of the oldest Orishas and that he is the “King of Kings”. For this reason, he is also recognized as the father of all Orishas. He is known to have two wives, Yemoo, and Igbin. Obatalá is known to be patient and to possess good judgment, he is also believed to cause earthquakes when he becomes infuriated.

Obatala is the father of all children on earth, is the creator of human beings and everything that inhabits the planet. As the creator is ruler of all human body parts, mainly the head, thoughts and human life, the white owner or where it participates essentially white to symbolize peace and purity. Obatala is the owner of the white metals, especially silver. Represents the creation that is not necessarily pristine, so magnanimous and above, also the pride, anger, despotism and those with defects and physical and mental difficulties.

Obatala embraces all her children with patience and love. Among its many qualities is that he brings intelligence, peace and calm to the world. He Intercede with any Orisha for any individual to have difficulty, because it is considered the Father of mankind and owner of all heads. When we seek to Obatala, we looked at the top of the mountain. He’s in the snow covering the mountain peak and is seen as the wise old man of the hills. Obatala provide justice, renewal and new beginnings. Their children, “direct” are Albinos and those born with physical and or mental. The unique function of Obatala within the realm of mysteries of nature is to provide the spark of light that animates consciousness. To call an Orisha the chief of the White cloth is to make a symbolic reference to that substance which makes consciousness possible.

 ***An Altar Is A Symbolic Representation Of Communicating With Your Sub-Conscious Mind. 

TABOO OBATALA: Palm wine or intoxicating liquor. White is the color of every item to be use by the followers of Obatala even ranging from home to car and clothe, during Obatala day of the week,(Sunday) it is not good for them to have sexual Intercourse. Salt – Palm oil – Peppers – It not good to cook maize near Obatala. 

Gloria Okandekun “Ile Orisa Nla ati Yemoja”

***The reference to White cloth is not a reference to the material used to make the cloth, it is a reference to the fabric which binds the universe together. The threads of this fabric are the multi-leveled layers of consciousness which Ifa teaches exist in all things on all levels of Being. The ability of forces of nature to communicate with each other, and the ability of humans to communicate with forces in nature that gives the world a sense of spiritual unity. It is the understanding of this ability which gives substance to the Ifa concept of good character, and it is Obatala who guides us towards developing this understanding.

All forces in nature come into Being through the manifestation of energy patterns called Odu. Ifa has identified and labeled different Odu which can be thought of as different expressions of consciousness. But because consciousness itself is generated by Obatala, every Odu contains an element of Obatala’s spiritual power. In metaphysical terms, this means that all of creation is linked to Obatala as the source of being. All forms of consciousness contain a spark of spiritual power from Obatala, and it is this spark that links everything that is, to its shared beginning.

The name means “Lord of the White Cloth” (Oba-ti-ala.), and is explained by the fact that white is the color sacred to Obatala, whose temples, images, and paraphernalia are always painted white, and whose followers wear white cloths.  The God is always represented as wearing a white cloth.

  ***Obatala likes dark places. Thus when we find ourselves placed on the Altar cloth to keep it away from the light…The powerful king that reside in the town called Iranje – He that is in possession of blessings and good character – He as good character and at same time have blessings.
Husband of hunch back – husband of the cripple you are the husband of dwarf woman with big flat head – The husband of albino – You leave daily life in gorgeous beauty and greatness – Your mightiness is immense it cannot be lifted So immense in White apparel one who sleep in White apparel and wake up inside White apparel rises from glory to glory inside White apparel.
Respected father husband of Yemoo It pleasurable to see wealth. The oldest man of Ifon town He who withdraw wealth from the person who have and give it to have not he who multiply a single person to many.
The arch Divinity the owner of good clay that is use to mold character – The arc Divinity the owner of good clay that is use to mold destiny. He has absolute power to make anything he wants happen. The Divinity that wake up the does not eat anything with bone.

There are many incarnations of the Deities who had lived before and who had translated to eternity. Ogiyan in Ejigbo, Ayelala in Ekiti and Ijebu may have been incarnations of Obatala as well as Oluorogbo in the city of Ile-Ife. This is evident in the feeding preference and dressing of the devotees of these deities. These incarnations may have been his children who migrated out of Ilé-Ifè, to resettle in these new locations. They were subsequently honored and later deified probably because of their father’s magnanimity and prowess.  

***The Hunchback carried it on his own back – The Dwarf wore oversized gown to the shrine – The Albino did not ask his eyes did not clearly see -Husband of Cripple that mopped the floor and spoilt it.

Obatala is the Orisha responsible for molding the physical form of humanity before God gives us life with his divine breath. He is always perfectly clean and expresses himself with the presence of Efun (white chalk). Liquor and red palm oil are taboo to him and his followers. Obatala is the Orisha of logic, thought, and clarity and as such children of Obatala are generally logical and heady. In fact, children of Obatala invariably require more alone time than most other people as their lives are often ruled by their ability to think quietly and process.  

Obatala is honored with brilliant White cloth, White lace, White beads and cowries, White flowers, silver coins, and silver jewelry. He is honored with White hens, snails, White melon soup, pounded yams, and other white food such as eko, fermented corn wrapped in plantain leaves. Sunday is said to be his sacred day of the week. == Obatala Uses Elephant Teeth (Otura-Odi)

The insignia of Obàtálá is ‘Opa’, the staff; and is consequently the word to which a suffix or prefix is added to make the name complete.  In other places, Òrìshà is used instead of Opa to delineate Obàtálá as the king of all the Òrìshàs. It is to the same Opa that sacrifices are offered. God named Obatala with his own name Alaba–Lase (God  word) through empowered authority delegated to Obatala on his journey into the earth. Obatala’s shrine is used to be designed with white chalk “efun”, Yemowo is his wife and his favorite food is pounded yam and egusi cooked with snail. A small girl or elderly women are responsible for fetching the water into the shrine, on the way to the river they must not talk to anybody and ring the bell for everyone to be aware that they are messengers of Obatala. Yemowo is a divinity worshiped in the river along with the other rites of Obatala. 

May the Spirit of purity & transparency sweetens our lives today as he did with Ireke (sugarcane). If one has one’s wealth it is surely the sweetness of one’s person Obatala is he who has given sweetness to Ireke. If one has one’s own children in life It is surely the sweetness of one’s person Obatala is he who has given sweetness to Ireke.

!!!There is a myth that speaks of a time when Heaven and Earth were side-by-side. And human beings could travel back-and-forth between Heaven-Orun and Earth-Aiye with little difficulty. But as with such things a man violated a temple regarding such travel that Obatala had put in place. When Obatala became aware of the situation, he became furious. He Took the Opa in hand and begin to pound furiously on the ground. He commanded that from thence fourth, human beings would no longer be able to travel into heaven. He decreed that only after death would man be able to enter the Orun. And at Obatala’s command, the Earth and Heaven became separated

Reference Sources:   Asa Orisa Alaafin Oyo Esin  Esin Ibile = Google Search/Photo = Wikipedia = Babalawo Obanifa



***Women of the Calabash…

!!! Ilu-Shekere Agbaye = El Chekere Mundial !!!
!!! Ilu-Shekere Agbaye = El Chekere Mundial !!!

Mistakes Are The Portals Of Discovery * Play A Wrong Note = Insignificant * Play Without Passion = Inexcusable

Measure The Breath & The Length – The Hands Reaches Much Higher Than The Head – No Forest Is So Dense That The Iroko Tree Cannot Be Seen. May Your Life Be Clear & Pure Like Water Drawn Early In The Morning…

The Goddess “Shekere” Invents Her Own Life & Lives According To…Her Own Vision. This Quality Requires = Imagination – Dedication & Practice.  

*** Mother, with whom one enters into covenant for all good thing  the Woman that supreme among other Women  the mother that puts breast of wealth in her child’s mouth  you are not up to a louse before an unbeliever you are not up to an egg of the louse before a fool  you louse, the fire on head that burn them more than the real fire you are up to an egg of the louse and much more  you are up to an egg of the louse and much more.

Existence Is Not About Learning To Accept Reality, But Rather Remembering Your Power To Create It…


*** The Calabash is a functional creation of nature with a wide variety of uses and traditions in cultures around the world. “Shekere” is a general name to describe the beaded calabash rattle. It comes in many shapes and sizes, is played in a variety of styles, and has many different names. In Africa it is found primarily, but not exclusively, in the countries of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. Different language groups in each country often have their own names, styles, techniques, and traditions associated with the Shekere.

Mother Shekere…. A Beautiful Face Will Age…A Perfect Body Will Change…But A Beautiful Soul Will Always Be A Beautiful Soul…

Calabash is the embodiment of Women’s Mystical Power, the ability to control physical & spiritual forces, to create life through procreation, and the sustenance of life are considered to be ultimate power. The Female being has been chosen by the creator to be the portal between the spiritual realm and this physical realm. 

 Be Strong Enough To Stand Alone = Be Yourself Enough To Stand Apart = But Be Wise Enough To Stand Together When The Time Comes.

All  Women of the Calabash ever really needed was someone who holds a safe space for us. Someone who sees our gifts and magic, understands the incredible potential this kind of presence is capable of and creates a safe place for it to unfold. You’re not complicated, you’re exquisitely created. You’re a unique gem waiting to be revealed from your raw form. Have you been touched by hands that don’t shake with the responsibility of revealing such extraordinary beauty? You deserve a confident touch and an experienced eye. If you’ve never felt fully seen, your beauty never fully revealed, know it’s not the perfection of your beauty that’s been missing, but the eye of one with the vision to see what’s been there all along. You’re more than enough. You always were.

There Is A Line Where Ignorance & Knowledge Merge As One. Everything That Can Be called Wisdom Happens On That Line.

The VAGINA is the 3rd dimensional portal to Mother Earth. In order for all souls to have a physical experience here on this planet, they must come through her divine portal. It’s no wonder that she is considered the – Gate of Heaven. The Intention Is To Offer Practical Guidance To Connect And Work With The Divine Mother Ancestral Wisdom, And To Use It To Empower Lives Today. The Calabash As Symbol For The Womb… Because Of Her Shape, Calabash also Symbolizes The “Womb”. In Both The Sense Of The Female Reproductive Organ As Well As In A Broader Creative Sense.

This Audio/Video presentation is dedicated to all the Players and Lovers of Shekere.

Reference Sources: Google Search/Photo = Wikipedia =

I look forward to your comments below!

“Has this guy got stories to tell. Yagbe Awolowo Onilu rightly deserves a place at the table of the Elders. The passion with which he has investigated and shared African spirituality with the rest of the planet has left us all richer.” Modupue Baba !!!  Scott Wardinsky

West African, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian Master Drummer/Educator/Ethnomusicologist/Living Repository of Folkloric Knowledge/Keeper of the Flame…My Brother…Yagbe Awolowo Onilu…I am honored to know you. Kamau Mensah

“Thanks for posting this Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu Sometimes it appears that the shekere gets dismissed as a “rattle .” Like anyone can just pick one up and just shake it. Good to see emphasis on technique and rhythm.”

“The Straight Stick” Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu, My Friend, My Brother, My Mentor and indeed Master of many disciplines. You have been an inspiration to me and to many whom have crossed your path. Although it is only a fragment of the many secrets that you possess, this music/video is truly a blessing to me. The world needs to see and hear more of your work. Thank You for your unwavering energy and for breaking me down when proper instruction was necessary.  Joe PIlly Martinez 

Nothing so funky and profound can ever be dismissed…. Thank you Yagbe for making this available to us all. I hope more will be coming in the near future.     Gustavo Kayro

Me gusta mucho todo lo publicas me lo trámites se ve que eres apasionado en todo lo que quieres y en lo que haces verdaderamente toda mi admiración.   Mar Tandy  

Excellent information. The gourd is really the belly symbol that generates life – Container of Wisdom Supreme Orunmilá Baba Ifa, which introduced the principle of humanity. The magic is in the ability to generate weddings, continuing the human species. Ire, o!   Juliana Arruda 

Your work is priceless my Brother! Thank you for sharing!   Stan Corpus

Alafia! Adupe! Thank you for sharing the wisdom Yagbe. Ase’!   Maria Medina 

Gracias baba por todo su arduo trabajo y toda estas bellas enseñanzas. Yissell Diaz 

Heart throbbing beat… Sekere lo n Oba jo. Great Vibes abound, around and colorful. Ire Awon Irunmole…   Babatunde Kayode

I am hugely moved and humbled to be included in this photo tribute to the power of the Calabash Shekere to uplift and move people in both ancient and modern traditions! Thank you, Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu, for these very inspiring photos! And thank you for including me in this series! Blessings to you.  Jim Greiner 

Much appreciation for your efforts BABA needles to say that you’re constant dedication to the secrets of the CALABASH is second to none,I’m so blessed to have you as one of my closest Brother that I never had, I do really appreciate all that you do.   Mosheh Milon Sr 



***Magical Calabash…

***Calabash (Gourd) History & Cultural Background…

The Myth Of The Sacred Calabash = Mankind’s Most Useful Plant…. Magical Calabash Anthology Of Sacred Wisdom From The Ancestral Mothers And Magic.

The Calabash (Gourd), was one of the first plants cultivated by humans – not for food, but for use as a container.  It came from Africa and has accompanied us around the world for thousands of years.

In Africa, the Calabash (Gourd), plant, has long been used as a food and medicine, and its hard shell as a bottle, a dipper and even an ancient musical instrument. Calabash have traditionally been used to carry medicine, wine and “magic”.  Calabash were also tied to the backs of children and boat people to serve as life preservers. Calabash is also possibly mankind’s oldest musical instrument resonator. It is the only known plant whose use by humans spanned prehistoric cultures across the entire globe, but one thing that has puzzled scientists was how – given its African origins – it came to be so widely used in the Americas.

The Calabash (Gourd) seeds drifted across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Americas, then took root and grew wild in the New World. The wild African Calabash belongs at the base of the bottle Calabash family tree.  The tree then splits into two main branches: African domesticated Calabash, and Eurasian ones. Both ancient and modern American Calabash samples belong to the African branch of the tree. 

Furthermore, genetic mutations showed that the American Calabash- shared a common Ancestor with African Calabash. The seeds of wild African Calabash may have washed out to sea to successfully germinate after making landfall in the welcoming climates of places like Florida,  and Brazil.

The Calabash (Gourd) is a functional creation of nature with a wide variety of uses and traditions in cultures around the world. A fruit of varied shape and size, it commonly grows on a vine not unlike the squash, but there are also varieties that grow on bushes and trees.

  ***The most highly esteemed and favorite Calabashes (Gourds) had chants composed for them as though they were human beings, and when they were placed on the table one would hear their owner with proud countenances, chanting of the celebrated deeds of those for whom they were named.

More and more, as Western utensils and pottery became available, traditional Calabashes were not thrown away but rather, were kept and treated as valuable heritage.

Ancient Shaped Calabashes (Gourds) – after the Calabashes had been shaped and hollowed they were finished with  tung oil to enhance the grain and polish the Calabash leaving it with a soft finish. Iron tools replaced the traditional stone and coral tools for fashioning Calabashes when they became popular to collect, they were often refinished with shellac to give the surface a glossy finish, the Calabash being treated as any piece of fine woodwork. Ancient methods of polishing Calabashes fell into disuse.

Repairing Calabashes (Gourds)during the crafting process or during the life of the Calabash was also a skilled art and repairs were often looked upon as marks of beauty. Repairs consisted of filling holes and cracks with wooden plugs and using plugs to stop cracks from enlarging. The most commonly identified repair is the butterfly repair.

***Steps which can be taken to ensure a longer life for your Calabash (Gourd). Because Calabashes are made of wood, an organic material, they are susceptible to damage from insects, humidity, light and dust. The following is a summary of how these forces work to accelerate deterioration of Calabashes and steps which can be taken to limit them. Insects Wood-boring insects such as termites are a major source of damage to Calabashes. They should be examined periodically for the presence of holes and fine pellet or sawdust droppings. If a Calabash has any cracks, as many do, these are sites of exposed wood which are particularly vulnerable to insect infestation. 

***Calabashes (Gourds)should never receive direct sunlight – Illuminated by bright spot lights. Dust can damage Calabashes by attracting insects and mold. The goals of safe storage are to avoid insects, mold, dust, light damage and damage due to mishandling. Calabashes should be stored in a clean, dry, dark storage space.

Calabash (Gourd) are related to melons, squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers, all members of the cucumber family.  The Calabash family also includes many economically important fruits and vegetables, including pumpkins, squash, and melons. Calabash are used by people throughout Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean and the Americas for musical instruments, including shakers, maracas, drums, horns, marimbas and various string gourds resembling a banjo.

Other uses include pipes, masks, canteens, water jugs, dippers, birdhouses, bath sponges and decorative Gourds with intricate etched designs. So important were Gourds to Haitian people in the early 1800’s that gourds were made the national currency.

Musical Calabash from Africa and India, such as drums, lutes and sitars, have beautiful, polished finishes decorated with beads and carved designs. Some of the earliest guitars and violins in the United States were made from Calabash by African slaves.  Shaker Calabash are probably one of the earliest of all musical instruments.

In Africa, hollow Calabash are covered with a loose netting strung with hundreds of beads. As the beads slap against the gourd, a loud shaker sound is produced–as good as any modern instrument for this purpose. Using the neck of the Calabash as a handle, the sound is amplified by the hollow interior.

But of all the uses for Calabash, some of the most interesting are the “Penis Sheath Calabash” worn by men of New Guinea. Penis Calabashes are also known from Africa and northern South America. There is considerable speculation among anthropologists about the purpose of such Calabashes, but most agree that they are more than a protective device and serve an important social function.

***Calabash was historically used as a container for water, and still is an essential utensil in many parts of the world. In rural areas of the U.S., they are often used as birdhouses…

In Africa it is found primarily, but not exclusively, in the countries of Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, DanXome, Sierra Leone and Côte-D’Ivoire. Different language groups in each country often have their own names, styles, techniques, and traditions associated with the Shekere. It is a personal instrument and never loaned or shared, even with family members. However, a son who is a professional musician may inherit his father’s Agbe-Shekere. Ilu-Shekere among the Yoruba of Nigeria are often connected with religion, given great respect, and play a very important role in certain traditional musical forms.

Ilu Anya *Shekere – Mangala* Chief Yagbe Awolowo Onilu

In Nigeria, the very Large beaded Calabash is called  “Agbe” Medium size Calabash “Sekere“ and Small size Calabash “Akese” Traditionally these Drums are used in Religious Worship strictly attached to Ritual Ceremonial events.

A Calabash Which Has No Base Is The One Which Sits On Its Side…


Reference Sources: The Caning Shop – Jim Widess = Earlybirds Farms = Buffalo Bill Meerschaum = Przemek Krawczynski = Jordan Straker = Everwilde Farms Inc. = Encyclopedia Britannica = Welburn Gourd Farm = Bernadette Fox = Suzanne McNeil = Patricia Boyd = Judy Richie = Southwest Gourds = Wikipedia =  Google Search/Photo