maferefun It is a very peculiar expression and at the same time extremely used in the current context of Afro-Cuban religion.
And it is that many times we hear exclaim "maferefun obbatala”, But we do not always understand the context or the meaning in itself that this sentence contains.
To think that it is the praise of an Orisha just because the phrase is always accompaniedañagiven from the name of a deity, is not entirely correct.
So what does Maferefun mean? Well, to know it, you have to have the pronunciation and the context to know exactly what the reference is being made.
Maferefun, an expression with different meanings
The fact is that, to find the exact meaning of this popular word, we must always analyze the context in which it is used.
E.g., if pronounced as ma fi go fun, implies going to pray for good things to the deity that is included after the phrase.
But, according to various ethnologists, this phrase can also be pronounced as ma fere fun, which indicates: I give a part of my profit to ... (certain orisha).
This is the way the phrase should be used when offering something to the Orisha in recognition of their help and blessing. Gratitude can even be shown in that way to the babalawo who did the spiritual work.
The expression is also said to the Orisha of which the priest or Babalawo Is son. For example, when thanking him, he expresses “maferefun ShangoIf the babalawo is the son of this Orisha and so with all the deities.
A word that brings respect and homage to the Orishas
Some linguists indicate that maferefun can also be used as "Praise him", if you are going to pay homage to the deity
The fact is that it can encompass different meanings always related to a particular Orisha.
It is used as praise, as thanks and as a prayer in many ceremonies and is part of the santero slang.
However, the best thing is to know how to differentiate each of their meanings and say it with great faith and respect.