Seven years ago my son had the blessing of becoming for life a member of the household of Yeguedé José Merced and his oyugbonakan Omíkuya, Modesto Martínez. His godfather worked tirelessly to ensure that every aspect of Oggún Addá Araí’s yoko osha was done by the book. I ran the kitchen, made the clothes for the iyawó and lots of brothers and sisters participated in the ceremony. Ventura Santana did a wonderful job with the pretty gourds painted as gifts for participants in the ceremony and we had really a wonderful time bringing Oggún into my son’s life. Every bit of work was worth it.
Today, I have left Oggún Addá Araí and his papa Elefunké do the shopping. Normally I do it, but this time around, the guys took over. They have been most of the afternoon running around markets brandishing their long list of fruits, candles and other things for tomorrow’s family feast. Traditionally we would do a huge to do about this day, but this year, since we are newly arrived to a new state and have yet to connect with the local Orisha community we have decided to keep it a family affair.
In a way this is good, because our 13 year old is the one in charge of the kitchen, from A to Z. He will come home from school, set up a roast in the oven, prepare sweet candied yams, coconut candy, amalá ilá for Shangó and the traditional black beans and rice.
I am not sure if to tremble of fear or to continue beaming with pride. I can only imagine the chaos that my kitchen will be as I arrive from work, the piles of dishes to be washed and the teen running around trying to do by himself all the cooking for his orisha for the very first time.
For tonight he has set the altar with a bit of help from papa and mama, he has lined up his cookbook, set aside ingredients and left an apron handy as well as nice sharpened knives (Oh my! Oggún in the house sharpen knives in hand…now I am really nervous).
Well, all I have left to say in this short post, as my supervision and perhaps a bit of help is needed around the orisha room is that I will try document the work in the kitchen. I will also take some photos of his altar set up which he decided he wanted quite Spartan and streamlined, no frills or fabrics, very warrior like indeed.
May the blessings of Oggún always fall gently on the path of his omó, particularly on the path of my young little baloggún.
Omí Toñí, proud mom of Oggún Addá Araí
Oní Yemayá Achagbá