Wearing all white

topic posted Sun, January 8, 2006 - 12:53 AM by  Zachar
If I see somebody wearing all white from head to toe, is it polite to ask them if they are an Orisha devotee. Could I ask them who crowns them or anything like that. Would it be improper or welcomed or would it depend on the person?
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • Unsu...
    No rules about that, I suppose. Depends on the person. Before I'd ask I'd look for something more concrete, like beads. They might just work at a bakery.

    As for their reaction, if they're gratious and you are discreet about it, it should be fine. If he or she is just basically an asshole, you could be in for it.

    • Thanks Schloma.

      Thats what I was thinking too. I was pretty sure with the woman I saw last night. She was wearing head to tow white, shoes, handbag, hat, shawl, and everything. Although I wasn't observant or mindful enough to look for beads.

      I suppose if I saw her elekes I could have a clue as to their guiding Orisha. I have seen a lot of people in all white in the past few months. I wonder how many of them were initiates.

      Well thanks again Schloma.
  • Hi Zzzz,
    In all probability if the person you see in white is an Iyawo, they would be wearing their ide of what ever Orisha they are crowned with, so you could idenitify their ruling Orisha through that. As Schloma says the person could be a baker too, LOL. Many wear their elekes outside of their clothes when attending functions, but inside their clothing when not attending functions.

    Male Iyawos are also clean shaven and most female Iyawos appear very feminine with skirts or dresses well below the knee (or should be). Hope that helps some, :)
    • Unsu...
      Yo Alberta! :)

      Speaking of conservative female Iyawos, when I made Osha I was a twin, and my twin was a court stenographer and had to work for the nazis in the Detroit courts. She was given permission to wear light colours at work (had to bathe and dress in white when she got home, and also wore a white yarmulke (!) under her wig). She took this to mean a hot pink mini-skirt!!! Of course, she was a daughter of Elegba so there was no arguing with her. Those folks have their own logic.

      Of course, when singer Olga Guillot made Osha she was painted up and wigged in fire-engine red beaded gowns on stage for the bulk of her Iyaworaje. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do.

      When I was an iyawo an enormous woman in a denim dress stopped short in a store and said "God do you look stupid."

      I told her I hadn't seen that much denim since "Bonanza."

      The Rosenberg
      • ROFL - Bonanza :)

        In New York City (I don't know about other places) you sometimes see people wearing all white who are not santeros. They have made a "promesa" (promise) to a particular Catholic saint - to achieve certain results, and wear white for 3, 6, 9 months or a year even.

        As Alberta has said - look for the ide (bracelet). I have also seen people wearing all white who are not Iyawos - they are santeros, many of them have Obatala crowned, who wear white for the rest of their lives.

        • Unsu...
          And then there are those of us crazy people who wear black from head to toe.

          I'd look like the Staypuff Marshmallow Man in white. God forbid.
          • Ahhh yes the FAMOUS "MITAS" that wear white asa promise ... in NYC how many times did I get stopped years ago when I made ocha and people would ask me if I was "MITA" I said sure " Mitad , hijo de mi mami and mi papi" basicly "yes , half child of my mother and my father " since Mitad in spanish means half and the name of that group of people is "MITA" although I never asked why they do that anyways ...

            Michellion TIRE MAN !!! gawd I still wear white alot ... cant get out of the habit after so long do it ... ceremoies and Ochas well also I owna day spa and white is a clean color to use
          • "And then there are those of us crazy people who wear black from head to toe. "

            Guilty, guilty as charged.
            The one thing I'm scared of, if I make saint is having to look like Casper the Surly Ghost.
  • A while back I met a woman in Whole Foods here in SD. Wearing all white, plus beads though they looked different from the Cuban Styles. I approached her, and said tentatively, Iyawo? She got a big smile on her face and said yes. She had made Ocha in Brazil to Yamonja, and was very happy to run into someone here who recognized what she had done in a respectful way. She told me that it made her week being recognized in a way that was positive. Made me smile too.
    • The other clue is the bracelet of Obatala on the left wrist. Second, if you catch their eye, say bendicion. If they're Santero/a they'll respond Santo. If not, oh well....
      • I am so grateful to be back in blue again. I can't seem to stay white for more than two seconds. Its a Yemaya thing, I think. We're always busy doing something messy. lol.
        • William I had a hard time wearing colors at all after my year was done - they all looked too bright - but I can agree with you - blue stays cleaner than white and is perfect for us messy Jenga children ;)

  • Assuming anything would be detrimental in any situation. :-) I would always ask. The religion in this country seems very different from what I remember. Many here don't seem to do things the way we are used to. All the focus seems to be on ritual and no one ever seems to focus on being a person of good character. The way some priests treat their godchildren and others, I am not surprised people are constantly severing ties. There seems to be a lot of persons who walk around trying to ACT like the Oricha and lose all sight of what it means to be a helpful parent. It is disgusting.

    • Iyawos are the next generation and should be treated as such. I see a lot of people being treated like servants. Parents are supposed to lift their children up, not tear them down. Iyawoces go off and treat others the way their own uniformed and bad-charactered godparents treated them as. Just cause one wears a crown does it mean that they carry it well. I prefer mi casa to be small than these people who go around churning out godchildren they can't take care of.

  • Leo
    offline 0
    Alafia all;

    I am an Iyawo and I always dress in white. (Except when Im working and even then I always have in a white top or bottom). For me it is comforting when I hear someone call out "Iyawo". It is something that I miss, I dont get that much in Chi-Town.

    I would not want someone I do not know asking me who my Orisha is or who crowned me, Where, etc... that I do not know. To many of us that is very personal information.

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