taboo...or just old fashioned!

topic posted Tue, November 29, 2011 - 6:27 PM by  frankie
so whats up with it really a taboo or are people that old fashioned...
posted by:
Tampa Bay Area
  • Alafia

    There are a lot of societies that forbid tattoos, or scarification, or other forms of body modification - usually because (like with the ancient Hebrews) there was a neighboring society that did it and they don't want one of "us" to be mistaken for one of "them". Back 'in the day' in Cuba (and in the US) only really sketchy people had tattoos, so there was a social downside to it.

    The practice of tattooing was born in Ogbe Che, and was the result of an ebo that Orunla made so that his enemy in the story, Oduduwa, would not see him. Other signs specifically forbid getting tattoos or marks on the body. Given that in some Odun it's forbidden and in others required, I would say that unless you are specifically forbidden from having a tattoo by Ifa, it's up to you. :)

    Iboru iboya ibochiche

    Ogbe Di
    • I agree with ogde di, I have full sleeve tattoo's and all over my body. When I did my santo I thought for sure it was going to be take away from me and it was not, actually it was the opposite I was told I could get as many as I wanted. And it was for the same story( ogde di stated)
  • Unsu...
    Definitely a cultural, not religious, issue.

    My babanla, Afolabi ibae layen t'orun, had over a dozen tattoos, the majority of which he received after making osha. He always gave obi to Yemoja, and she always said yes.

    Likewise, at a wemilere in Miami this past year, one of my elders had chided an ile member for her getting several pieces of work done, and at the same tambor, Yemoja came down and told that same elder to mind his business and that the woman has her permission to get as many tattoos as she wants. How can you argue with Orisha? :)

    I'm just glad the Yoruba in Cuba did away with the facial scarring...that would never go down in the US.


    • ahh okay...cuz i get eyes for days....and at a tambor one day...the judgement...i swore afterwards i had no skin left.... one guy maybe he was maybe not..i def feel like he was def fakin it was mounted by chango and gave me the riot act bout my tattoos...since then ive been a lil weary about goin further in the religion!
      • Well, if he was really mounted you would know; the energy changes completely in the room. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who "mount" and then their orishas (amazingly enough) quote their own opinions at the world at large.

        As I said before, if you are not told by Orunla during ita to avoid it, then you should be fine.

        Iboru iboya iboshishe

        Ogbe Di
        • Unsu...
          Well said OgbeDi!

          In NYC, my friends call the people who fake possession as "working for points." hehehe

          It's a shame most "tambor junkies" don't seem to understand the nature of the transition process that occurs when Orisha comes to the head. They all just start flopping around like an epilectic in front of a strobe light.

          The worst fake possession I ever witnessed was at an awan for Asojano in North Philly back in 2006 or 2007. Whoever the "horse" was really needed to read up more on what is ewo to Asojano...let's just say, he basically broke every single ewo of Asojano in the first 20 minutes of his "arrival."

          The saddest part of that night was that a very old olosha who was cooking in the kitchen actually got mounted by Asojano and was working his way to the room with the drums and ile, and the so-called "first Asojano" didn't even pay the genuine mount any attention at all.

          Was like Cirque du Solei...I had to excuse myself it was so offensive.

          Now that I'm older in the religion, I truly understand why so many lagbas no longer attend drums. It's very sad. :(


  • Unsu...
    I think it's only taboo if there is an ewe in your ita about needles. My Padrino and his daughter (also my elder in the religion), have plenty of tattoos they received fairly recently but according to them the taboo is really putting the name or faces of a muerto on you... which seems old fashioned but it makes a little sense.

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