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Meaning of necklaces in Santeria

santeria necklaces

The use of necklaces in Santeria is glimpsed throughout history, men have always looked for ways to adorn themselves and represent their ethnic groups, beliefs, myths, religions, in different ways.

Necklaces have different meanings, in different cultures the use of this ornament symbolizes a social status, it can mean hierarchy, wealth of the person who wears it, functioning as an amulet or symbol of social distinction, religiosity, varying in shapes, sizes and colors, from the the most humble to the most ostentatious. 

The necklaces in Santeria:

Meaning of the necklaces

What are the elekes in Santeria?

Necklaces (elekes in the Yoruba language) are widely used in our religion: Santeria or Rule of OshaThey are made with crystal or glass beads of various colors, although currently, due to the popularization of religion, the use of new materials can be appreciated in their preparation (this does not mean that it is correct), we will see it later.

Meaning of necklaces in Santeria

The necklaces, although they are very beautiful, are not used for their beauty, they symbolize the religiosity of whoever wears them, faith and love for religion.

Its great religious significance is transferred from our ancestors, necklaces are carriers of an infinite spiritual load. They obey ancestral religious reasons, the necklace is sacred and must be respected in the same way as the Saint they represent.

In Cuba, a person receives the so-called “necklace of a saint” when he begins in religion. Receiving the necklaces is one of the first steps towards consecration to the priesthood of the Rule of Osha (Santeria), through them the Ashe (good energy) and protection of the Orishas is obtained.  

The sacred making of necklaces

A person who does not know about this subject, would say that the necklace is made as a craft, trying to string colored beads related to the Orishas in the most beautiful way possible so that their wearers feel proud, but this is not the case.

What happens when we do not know the religious process that necklaces entail and in a store we buy the most beautiful of ornaments to speculate or feel that we are wearing the latest in fashion?

Unfortunately, the loss of our religious roots and disrespect for the norms and rules that are established ancestrally in our religion is a reality that attacks us today.

In Santeria these necklaces have special characteristics, from their elaboration, choice of materials and colors, the faculties that those who make them must have, the way in which the ceremonies and rituals for their preparation and delivery are carried out, are subject to rules.

Although today, our religion has become popular as the savior of witchcraft and the safe path to material enrichment, it is not a fashion, therefore, you should not lose your roots and forget that there are essential rules that must be followed and respected. .

Necklaces are amulets and sacred guards, carriers of great spirituality, both the number of beads and their color have a meaning, as well as the material with which they are made.

Essential: ceremonies and rituals to the necklaces

The ceremony by which the necklaces and other religious deliveries are received, means receiving the Ashé and the blessing of the Saints, it is the initiation of a new astral for this person.

Necklaces are received through different rituals. The first thing that must be done before preparing its delivery, is to sing and moyugbar to the saints (that is, pay tribute, greeting) with what is going to work and with which it will give an initiate entry into religion.

In a calm, spiritual and emotional environment, the necklaces will be washed in the omiero (liquid made from the herbs of the Orishas) of the Osha with the corresponding prayers, then the necklaces will be fed in the sacrifice of the animals.

The materials to make the necklaces

Behind the materials from which these sacred attributes are made, there is a religious reason and explanation for it.

Our religion has become so popular that it has brought with it that ignorance has become fashionable, many times you find many beautiful religious garments, but without complying with the rules that must be respected.

For example, you should always use cotton thread to string them, they do not work as nylon, or wire, because as they are not absorbent, they do not collect the omiero where they will be washed.

If you are a person who does not know much about this religion, you may wonder why someone starts in our religion, or you are considering that our number one reason is to wear many necklaces to have enough protection, but it is not that.

Why does someone start Santeria?

The reasons why a person decides to start in religion are diverse, it depends on the astral, the destination that is marked and the spiritual situation of each one.

Some of the reasons why it starts and therefore necklaces are received are:

  • for sickness,
  • situations of justice,
  • because the person was born with the handwriting of Santo,
  • to avoid danger,
  • have protection,
  • be sheltered,
  • the Saint asked for it through a record (consultation),
  • simply because the person wants it.

The important thing is to be prepared to start a beautiful path, full of teachings, wisdom and faith.

It will also be a path full of trials and obstacles, but we must always trust that our Orishas will provide us with everything we need to be victorious.

But something that above all things I consider that we must learn within religion is to respect and honor, without it we will not be able to reach our destiny, whether it be to our necklaces, the deities, our elders, we owe great respect and humility.

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