Fake Candomblé Priestst
Some years ago there was a warning posted on the U.S. Orishanet telling the people to be very carefull of fake Candomblé priests.
That posting was done by a Brasilian Mae de Santo, a priestess of Oxala.
Here is what she wrote:
"It has come to our attention – that as more and
more Brazilians arrive in the US – many have a
golden opportunity to milk the pockets of the
unwary faithful searching for new Orisha
experiences – and since many of the hoodwinked
are familiar only with the structure and function
of either Lukumi or traditional Ifa – they
haven’t got a clue about how to know if a
Brazilian who claims to be initiated in Candomble
really is a priest (since all initiates aren’t
priests in the Lukumi sense of the term) nor do
they have a clue about how to verify any and all claims.
We don’t mean to infer by posting this that
Brazilians themselves are all scammers – since
there are many well known legitimate priests in
the US who are also known by the Brazilian
community in Brazil – we are only attempting to
send out an alert about those who are trying to
pull a fast one. Lukumis have plenty home-grown
Orisha charlatans (but the internet is already
beginning to put a cramp in their
style). Americans are however quite naďve about
things Brazilian – that relate to Candomble and
Umbanda (which are confused – more on that later).
We are sharing this information – to alert the US
Orisha community to be careful and to ask
questions of those people who claim to be Candomblé priests.
The only person who can initiate someone to the
different priesthoods of Candomblé (which itself
is a made up term covering a wide range of
specific “nations”) is an Iyalorisha or
Babalorisha (or Pai or Mae de Santo). There are
not two godparents (like in Lukumi), only one.
Not all Brazilian initiates have the path to become Pai or Mae de Santo.
Let us repeat that - Not all Brazilian initiates
have the path to become Pai or Mae de Santo. In
fact most don’t. And many initiates become either Ogans or Ekedis.
The few that do have (based on divination and
specific initiation) the path to ultimately
become Pai or Mae de Santo are the ONLY priests
who can do divination with shells.
Before they can function as adult priests – they
have to complete a 7 year obligation to their
Orisha. This obligation may not get done till
they have 15 or 20 years of initiation. Before
they can open a terreiro – they must have their
Pai or Mae – or elder if the godparent is not
living, come and plant the ache of their lineage
in the ground of the new terreiro, and consecrate
the communal Orishas – which gives them the
license for it to function. The growth process
is not rapid – for they must then initiate other
priests necessary for the running of the ile.
It would be extremely difficult for someone to be
initiated into Candomble here in the US – since
you need a lot of priests – who perform different
functions – for that to occur. This may happen
in the future here, but isn’t possible now.
Iyawos (those people who actually become
possessed) are the ONLY priests who can
ultimately become Pai or Mae de Santo. Not all
Iyawos however have been given the road to open a house in the future.
Those Iyawos who have not done their obligation
of 7 years cannot have godchildren – nor can they
initiate others – nor can they read with dillogun
(shells), nor can they do anything, nor can they
have their Orishas at their home, nor can they throw Obi etc.
Ogans and Ekedis are respected priests – however
they do not get mounted – nor can they crown
(initiate) others. Nor can they divine. They have other functions in an ile.
Many Ogans are respected ritual drummers. Many
Ekedis run the daily functions of the ile. They
are considered to be elders as soon as they are
initiated and are addressed as “Mae” and “Pai”
but they are NOT Pai or Mae de SANTO.
ALL initiates including Maes and Pais de Santo
should be able to name their nation, lineage, house descendancy.
For example they should be able to say something
like “I’m of the Ketu nation, descended from
Gantois, son of so and so, grandson of so and so”
– up to the person who established
Gantois. They should be able to say “my outing
was on such and such day”, with the names of community witnesses.
This is the way that Brazilians check the
legitimacy of priests. We here in the US should do the same."
If you are looking for authetic ordained priests of Orisha-Religions you may take a look here.