Available on JSTOR at: doi.org/10.2307/3337621

In the following excerpt, John Mason, himself a babalòrìsà (priest of an òrìsà, or Yorùbá divinity), discusses the colors associated with specific òrìsà and their domains and attributes: Èsù-Elégbá, the cosmic crossroads; Ògún, the hunt, iron, and war; Erinlé, medicine and the hunt; Osoosì, the hunt; Osun, the gushing spring; Yemoja, motherhood; Olókun, the waters; Oya, the whirlwind; Babalúaiyé, the earth; Sàngó, thunder; the creator god Obàtálá, ethical rightness. In the African diaspora, beads are used most widely in necklaces, ìleke, and they also encircle and guard other major points where parts of the body meet (wrist, waist, ankle). The color associations found in ìleke extend to crowns, fly whisks, banners, and numerous other beaded items for òrìsà devotees and their shrines.

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