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Ibeyi




Los Ibeyi

The name Jimaguas given to these santos comes from Cuba a form of many names Mellizos, Gemelos, and Ibeyi. Many of the Ibeyi given today had there origins from the famous house of the "Jimaguas del Pelenque" of Cuba.

Lydia Cabrera in her book "El Monte" talked about these personalities: From 1880 on , on a farm in the jurisdiction of Mariano (Havana) there was a subdivision called Palenque, which was converted into the barrio of the Africans, a bit further from LA LISA and in front of a house known as the House of the healer, lived many Lucumi and criollos, All god-children of the famous Ibeyi's, two santeros Twins that where very important, with innumerable god-children in Havana. They where called the "Fathers of the Jimaguas", there names where "Perfecto and Gurmensindo" Many say or claim they owned Pelenque, which would of been true by the fame and honor of the black Africans and the Criollos of the area . "Palenque also was the sanctuary of the Ibeyis- San Cosme and San Damian although the main orishas where Ogun and Orishaoko..."

But according to Don Fernando Ortiz in his book " Los Negros Brujos" he claimed that the Jimaguas Palenque did not have Ocha made , But brought with them to Cuba the secrets of these orisha from there native land off the Southern Occidental coast of Nigeria. He goes on to say that the Jimaguas did not learn of these orisha from the native Africans of Nigeria but of Guinea , In which Guinea is formed by many tribes but mostly dominated by the Congos. As well Don Fernando talks briefly about the arrest of the Twins BY the authorities in the XIX century and the dolls they called Jimaguas where opened and documented that inside they found Human remains , horns of a animal, roots, earth, nails and rocks, also evidence of dried blood.

Also , in the study notes of A.B Ellis ( who worked with Don Fernando Ortiz) it was noted of a deity named Ibeyi considered the Governing orisha of twins in a town called Erapos in Nigeria ( there is no reference to this Town documented ) where it is stated that Ibeyi had a great temple where Twins and their parents where given in highest honor.

For what ever reason or Place of origin we today receive the Ibeyi , The ILES know that the Jimaguas Palenque are the Fathers of these orisha in our religion and we are all tied together , those that have the Ibeyi back to the famous Twins of Havana for this reason.

Origin Mythological of the Ibeyi :

The Ibeyi are in the category of the lower Orisha or also called "Orisa of addimu " a boy and a girl ...children of Chango and Ochun , although they where raised by Yemaya. Like all children they are playful, spoiled and mischievous. From the times of Africa they are the guiders and protectors of Twins and it is recommended that the youngest of the house receive them to protect them from sickness and general danger.

They are found to live in the Palm tree who they share with their father Shango. At the feet of the Palm tree their devoted followers take their offerings and do their ebos.

When a person is consulted and Eyioko falls (2) on the matt or what ever Odu in Melli the Jimaguas are talking as well in that Odu. they may ask for a party in their honor , a sacrifice of pollos or to be recieved. There day of worship is Sundays.

IN the Regla of Ocha the most famous of Ibeyi are Taewo and Kainde ( taewo is the first to be born but considered the youngest) Kainde was born second (but since she was closer to the umbilical cord she is the Oldest ).

Taewo and Kainde are more famous for the Pataki of the sign in IFA Otura Di (Otura the devil)

There are other Ibeyi as well that I have not mentioned :

Araba and Afna (male and female)
Ayaba and Aiba ( female both)
Olori and Oroina ( both female )

IN the Rama of Ferminita Gomez adored also are :

Alawa Kuario and Eddun ( those that play in the market)
Aden and Alabba ( the first eats lots of candy and the second lives with Yemaya)
Lbbo abd Igue ( both like toys)
Oraun (he who eats honey)
According to Baba John Masons notes in Oriki Orisa  these are the lines of Ibeyi
It comes from a book attributed to Nicolas Angarica, Obadimeji the Ibeji lineage is as follows: Olori = Big head, Itagui = Road of the Elders, Ideu It will be lifted, Oronia = land of the elders, Araba Spin the people, Aina, flame or fire, Cainde "over any obstacle. In this genealogy Olori = Big head, Itagui = Road of the Elders are substituted as first and second for Taiwo and Cainde. In fact Taiwo is not even in this list and Cainde is last in the lineage.  Angarica writes that the Ibeji are part of the nine Orisha who make op the "Family of Olokun" and they are the seven Ibeji, Olokun, and Chango.
Taiwo- "tasted the world"
Keehinde  - "the final one to arrive"
Idowu  - "born after twins"
Alaba  - "born after Idowu"
Olowo'ri  - "owner of a rich head"
Aina  - "born with umbilical cord around the neck"
Oni  - Asa  - "shield/defender; rascal/scoundrel

Another version offered by  Baba Obalorun  Ala Arganju is the following

1 Taiwo
2 Keehinde
Come together and are the children of Sango and Osun, with Yemonja as their grandmother.

3 Idowu, Idewu/Ideu is the child of Sango and Osun after Sango made exclusive claim on Taiwo and
Kehinde, Idowu or Idewu, (Ideu in Cuba, I have also seen in some literary sources Idou).  Idewu/Ideu is the favorite of and favors Osun. 

4 Otis, Is the child of Ogun and Yemonja.  As the Apataki goes, Yemonja was in love with Ogun. But Ogun did not want Yemonja. Ogun had an interest in Osun.  Yemonja went to Osun to share her pain.  Oshun told Yemonja that she could help her.  Osun went to Ogun and said she was interested in him and gave him Oti to seal the arrangement.  Osun got Ogun drunk and told him to come to her house that night.  Oshun went to Yemonja and told her that her wish was going to come true.  Yemonja was to lay in Osun 's bed that night and not say a word, just let Oshun do all of the talking.  Night fell; Ogun arrived, still quite drunk and calling for more Oti, (alcohol, Rum). Osun was in the house hidden; Yemonja was in the bed.  Osun invited the drunk Ogun in and told him she was in the bed waiting for him.  Ogun entered and made love to Yemonja thinking she was Osun.  A child was born of this union; Yemonja named the child Otis in honor of how it came to be.  Otis has the same powers as Taiwo,
Kehinde, Taiwo and Ideu. Otis is for Yemonja what Ideu is for Oshun and what Kehinde and Taiwo are for Shango.

5 Aroni, is a companion of Osain.  Aroni is for lack of a better term an "elemental," a forest spirit.  Aroni is very small and has the hind legs and tail of a dog.  In Nigeria, Aroni is said to abduct people, if they show no fear, Aroni takes them away in to the forest and teach them the secrets of plants.  If the person shows fear, Aroni kills them.

6 Aina, is the primordial flame.  Aina is the one who gave fire to Sango.  She carried it to him in her mouth and was as a result of this burned and disfigured.


and Ono- Nibeyi
Iddeu- Beloved son of Oshun Ololordi ( the wife of Orunla) who's father in Known to be Orunla .. Of the Ibeyi it is said one is IRE and the other Osobbo , Osobbo died and iddeu took its place also a IRE. He is born in the Odu Eyeunle Melli (8-8) Baba Eyiobe. He is considered the lost child of Oshun and we sing "yeye yeyeo a iddeu" this passage talks of Oshun crying for her loss son . He is dressed in green and a cap that is green with a Ribbon of yellow he wears a ILde of Orunla and a eleke of Oshun . He loves semi precious stones and a piece of gold and silver . He eats Pollo and palomas. He should eventually be recieved by those that have the Ibeyi ... but also by children born as triplets .

song of the Ibeyi

Oba: Omo Ibeyi , omo Ibe karere
chorus : Kere kere ya
Oba: Alaba ina, alaba ibeyi karere
chorus : Kere kere ya
Oba: Meyila ese aremu meyiloro ese (bis)
Chrous : Kere kere ya
Oba: son dos los jimaguas, son dos a la bella aure
chrous : son dos los jimaguas son dos a la bella aure
Oba : son tres los jimaguas . son tres a bella aure
chours : son tres los jimaguas , son tres a bella aure

This is repeated 7 times for there are 7 sets of Ibeyi


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