mariwo o Mariô is the frayed dry palm stalk that has numerous spiritual uses and is used to protect homes, widely used in Cuba to identify those ilé (houses) that belong to the Yoruba cult.
This very important element within the Rule of Osha (Santeria) called mariwo, is devoted to Orisha Ogun, owner of iron and mountains, so it is very common to see him in the settlements and in the clothes of the Orisha.
The function of this sacred dry palm is to drive away negative energies and disturbing spirits, protect and care for spaces.
The palm leaves also divide the Igbodu (saint's room) of Orisha from the social life of the religious, that is, it separates the mundane from the religious, its essential function is to separate worlds.
The importance of mariwó in the consecrations of Ifá it is great, without it there can be no Babalawo.
This fringed guano adornment that is placed in the house of the Olorishas on the door frames and in the costume of the Iyawó (initiated in the Yoruba religion) that is consecrated Oggún, contains great spiritual secrets, it is a sacred element for everything religious.
Pataki, the land of mistrust
Legend has it that in a land called Mabino Inle, from the King to the smallest vassal, they were Oguba. For this reason, that land came to be known as Otura Sa NIle, a land of mistrust.
But the King wanted to unite all his children and subjects, and put an end to that situation of mistrust that sheltered them and for this he called all the Obá and fortune-tellers from the neighboring lands to his aid.
They told him:
"We are willing to join you, but this distrust that exists in your people must be overcome, because it will sink all the peoples and any company will fail."
Thus, they decided to go see the King of Diviners, who was Shango, who had made Ifá by Olodumare, the Supreme God.
When they arrived, Shango asked them the reason for their visit and they explained their objective, which was to unite to form a society.
Then Shango replied that they should look for the 16 heads of that society, who were not among them, but hidden a long time ago in the palm. For the chiefs to go out, they would have to do a work and the King explained how they should do it.
They all brought the necessary elements, which were mainly 16 jicoteas (turtles) and Shango did the corresponding ceremony under each palm.
A palm dies and an Awo is born
From the first, a character came down who identified himself by the name of BABA EJIOGBE (he is the first Oddun and the most important, the Father of the Odduns); in the other appeared BABA OYEKU MEJI (second Oddun), until it reached 16, which was BABA OFUN MEJI.
When all the chiefs (the 16 Odduns of Ifá) were there, Shango said:
“Now, these will be the heads of society and we all have to swear allegiance to them. And for that we have to sign a pact and what better way to sign it than the table of the law, which is made with the body of the palm, which died for these Awoses to be born ”.
Then, in that palm table they sealed the pact with the Odu Mellis thus ending the distrust and in the Otura Sa Nile land a brotherhood or society of Awoses was created. Therefore, always "a palm dies so that an Awo is born".