The Passing of A High Priestess

The AP reports that Olga de Alaketu (Olga Francis R?gis), Candombl? high priestess of the temple Il? Maroi? L?ji has passed away. The priestess died due to complications from diabetes according to doctors.


A silhouetted portrait of Olga de Alaketu
from a book of her remembrances

Earlier this year her temple (terreiro) was made a national heritage site by Brazil’s Culture Ministry. The Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil said that Mother Olga was “the greatest proponent of the religion of the Orixas in all Brazil”.

Her son Jocenira Barbosa said that her mother was a warrior, who left a legacy of knowledge for life. “[She was] a person who leaves good teachings within you so that you can live the best possible life. [She] is irreplaceable.” Her daughter Genivaldo Barbosa said that her mother gave much of herself to the advancement of black culture. “We are losing a great representative of African culture. This is an enormous and irreparable loss”.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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