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Why are tureens used for the Orishas in Santeria?

Santeria tureens

In Cuba, the tureen It is a common accessory in the kitchen, especially to be used at parties where a large amount of food needs to be served. But today it is also a symbol of religion and transculturation.

First, we must clarify that the tureen is a wide and deep container that usually has a matching lid and is used to serve food.

As the name implies, you can save soup and casseroles, punches, most of all.

Traditionally they have been made in earthenware, porcelain, glass and precious metals, but today there are tureens of all kinds of materials such as ceramics and metals.

Origin of the tureen and different uses

La tureen It saw its origin in the Renaissance era, as a work of art and luxurious object, which became fashionable in the royal court between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.

The tureens were artistic and decorative rather than utilitarian.

It is said that many silver tureens of the French seventeenth century were melted to finance the wars of Louis XVII of France, due to their immense monetary value.

Tureens in Yoruba religion

In the Yoruba religion the tureen was incorporated as an accessory to deposit otanes (stones) of the Orishas that are received. Its design and purpose varies today according to the orisha in question.

But why are saint tureens used?

In Africa the tureens They were not adjuncts to religious practices, but when they arrived in Cuba, the slaves and their descendants had to create methods to worship their orishas without arousing the suspicions of their Spanish masters who professed Catholicism.

And since one of the most common tasks for slaves in colonial times was in the kitchen, which practically no master had access to and if they did, they would not stay there long enough, there they went to find the solution to protect their deities. .

Thus, the slaves adapted the tureens to keep their religious attributes and hide the symbols of the orishas inside.

Tureens, a Santera custom in Cuba

With the passage of time, tureens they became a traditional element of the practice of the Rule of Osha (Santeria) in Cuba and they specialized first by colors and then by designs to appropriate them to the characteristics, functions and tastes of each Orisha.

For example, the metal tureens are for Oggún and the wooden tureen for Shango, taking into account the attributes and qualities of the Orishas.

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