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The sacred art of cooking for the Orishas ≫ Do you know their Taboos?

Cooking for the orishas

Almost always in the ceremonies of the yoruba religion women usually cook, but they can also be of the male sex.

A job that many do not give importance to and it seems very easy, but in reality it is a sacred work and more complicated than it seems.

The person who cooks must possess the ancestral wisdom of this art, because he is in charge of preparing food for the Orishas and other people who attend the ceremonies.

When it comes to cooking in ceremonies, there are many rules and whoever prepares the sacred foods must take care of the entire process and have concentration and knowledge, because one thing is to cook at home and another is to cook for the Orishas.

These people who are dedicated to this work are called Alashe, almost nobody calls them that and they do not know this name either.

In times past the oyubbona he was the one who had the responsibility of the kitchen, he also had to attend to his duties of assisting, caring, washing, bañary cook at Iyawo (initiated into religion).

Food Prohibitions (Taboos) for the Orishas

Each Orisha has their tastes and they are also picky eaters and are offended if you mix one of their foods with others. In addition, it is essential to know that the Orishas also have their prohibitions (taboos) and they cannot commit faults in their offerings to avoid anger.

Examples of this:

  • Elegguá, Oggún and Oshosi: their meals are not usually stewed, they are roasted.
  • Obbatalá: They are prepared with cocoa butter, without salt, without pepper, or dry wine and much less with corojo butter.
  • Shango and Aggayú: Their meals are seasoned with hot peppers.
  • Oyá: In their cauldron they must not have cooked mutton because it is their biggest taboo.
  • Babalú Ayé: He usually also likes spicy and ginger, but he doesn't like salt very much.
  • Oshún, Inle and Yemayá: Their meals are sweet.
  • Yewá and Oba: In this case, the food of these deities must be cooked by a woman.
  • Naná Burukú: Their pans must be made of clay and their ladles made of wood, they cannot support metal.

As I said before, each Orisha has her ewes (prohibitions) and the Eleshe must be very careful, as my godmother says, each cauldron must have its ladle to avoid mixing ingredients.

In the kitchen there should be only one assistant and no one, under any circumstances, can touch anything because in it rests a great responsibility and a sacred work before the Orishas. 

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