Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Diplo Santería"

Diplo Santería and Pseudo-Orishas (taken from

©Miguel W. Ramos, Ilarí Obá, Obá Oriaté

In the past ten to fifteen years, there has been an incredible upsurge in the number of unknown orishas turning up in Cuba whose origins are extremely suspicious. These pseudo-orishas that I have chosen to call diplo-orishas were produced for the diplo-santería market. This is a market under the auspices of a particular group of unscrupulous and deceitful diplo-santeros that caters to the extranjeros-foreigners- who visit the island seeking an alleged and idealized religious Mecca. Any extranjero carrying dollars or any other form of hard currency qualifies to enter the market. They then end up exploited and victimized by a corrupt and devious group of religious prostitutes that prey on other people’s sincere faith and unfortunate naiveté.

I will only address the issue of the diplo-orishas, though this is by no means the only religious monstruosity committed by the diplo-santeros. There is now an entire sector of the market dedicated to rituals, the creation of hand-written manuscripts made to look old and thereby authentic, ordination into Yoruba societies that never survived the Middle Passage, plagiarism of books. The list could go on indefinitely. It is my sincere hope that this exposé will inspire others to speak out against this abominable heresy, Olorishas and Babalawós too, as there are as many attrocities being committed by the diplo-babalawós as well. It is really sad that these scoundrels are abusing the legacy that our ancestors left us and tarnishing the name of our religion and its adopted home, all in the name of profit! As an and a Cuban I feel doubly offended. A vast majority of the serious and respectful Olorishas on the island are just as incensed as I.

The list not follows is by no means complete as I am sure that at present, there are many new pseudo-orishas in the process of canonization! With all the orishas that are now appearing in Cuba, is it possible that a new Ilé Ifé is sprouting up in Havana?

read the list and extensive commentary here:

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