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Meaning of the Shawl in Santeria: A sacred religious Mantle

Santeria Shawl Meaning
  • Shawl meaning according to the RAE: Silk or woolen cloth, much longer than it is wide, and which, worn on the shoulders, serves as a coat or adornment.

The iyaworaje is more than a stage in the life of the religious, because when it is well carried, it constitutes a period of change and adjustments as provided by the saint.

The white color and the regulation govern this periodBeing the shawl the most striking article in the eyes of society and about which the population is most unaware.

The iyawó shawl It is a garment that is worn only on the street during the first three months after the consecration, among its secrets is that its legitimate owner is the godfather or godmother, once the shawl is removed it must rest on the angel of the custody of his elder, as proof that the initiate has complied with the law of the Osha and with his godparents.

What does the shawl represent in Santeria?

  • The shawl represents purity and feminine integrity,
  • is the synonym of the cloak with which babies are taken out of the hospital when they are born,
  • garment that protects from witchcraft and mainly from the evil eye,
  • this catch the eye, bad thoughts and all kinds of disturbances that may surround newborns, both biological and stone neonates.

Due to all of the above, the iyawó must try to spend as little time as possible on the street and when wandering on the way to work, be properly dressed.

Among the religious purposes of the shawl are:

  • El cover certain points of the body that are consecrated during the prayer of the head and that are not ready to be exposed publicly after the consecration of the Osha, because they are places where curses are collected when they are exposed.

Despite the modifications that religion has undergone and the times in which we live, religious houses of respect must fight because customs such as the use of the shawl are not lost so that such beautiful traditions do not fall to the ground unnecessarily.

The cloaks that wrap the religious, the use of the shawl in the osha

Within our Yoruba religion, the shawl is one of the cloaks in which the iyawó wraps himself, after leaving the saint's room, we would like to think then that several times we see ourselves wrapped in said cloths beginning chronologically with the moment our mother gives birth to us in the delivery room, there we are received and wrapped in a first cloth.

After leaving the hospital we are covered with the pañaIt happens again seconds before entering the holy room, after we are consecrated we are covered by the mantle of the guardian angel of the godmother and of our crowned saint properly speaking, the use of the shawl follows and lastly, the cloth in which our mortal remains will rest once Olofin requires us by his side.

Learn more about La Osha and the Iyawo:

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