As soon as Mawu had created the Earth, she installed there the oil palm tree, De. This De was life itself, that is all that one may say. That is why it is associated with IFA, who is also life, existence. De was made Deputy by the Supreme Divinity, with full powers over all the Earth.
Man at this time, did not know of Mawu. If one desired to know something, one asked it of De, with his back turned to him, and he would be heard favorably. In these ancient times, neither man nor beast would die. De was naturally considered the Supreme Divinity, and as much as he was life. For everything in the palm was used in some way to sustain life, and the Holy ODU LosoChe [IrosunOse] tells us, de nu de ma ma gbe akwe, nothing of that which constitutes the palm is without value. Therefore, one takes the custom of using the term GBE de to express the idea of existence.
Meanwhile, the progress De made began to manifest on the Earth. The trees begin to grow, as did the vegetables. But man still did not know how to use fire to cook food. But De had children, the fruit (de kwi) and they ripened and fell to the Earth. Man collected them and ate them. He found them to be good. He extracted the oil from the pulp and used it to anoint the body and the bodies of humans glistened rightly.
Then, a hunter of the forest, being guided by De, discovered the Tree of Fire (zo ti). Yams were then washed and water and cooked in improvised hearth were found to be delicious. The hunter gathered everything new in the forest and there, where he found the fire, he encountered Aziza. He had long, scraggly hair, and only one foot. Aziza showed him why it is necessary to treat the nuts of the palm in order to extract the oil, and he taught him how to cook the yams in this oil. The hunter collected a little of this oil in a tugomaa leaf, rolled into a cone. Everyone found the oil delicious.
Aziza explained to him also why one prepares the delia, which is used with the tinderbox in order to capture the fire from its source in the forest and carry it to the family hearth. Such is, even until our day the reason for which the favi, the initiates in the worship of IFA carrie delia in the sacred box of IFA. Thus it is that the first humans know de as they're very Supreme Divinity, the tree of life, for to him they owed all. In order to see their Mawu, to find their kpoli, their soul, they must return to nature, to the forest, where the divinity hears them and where they exalt him just as in the time of their ancestors. And that is why he is named IFA zu vodun, Divinity of the forest. 
1. Maupoil, Bernard. The Ifa Oracle in West Africa. pg 7
BY ROBSON IFAWOLE | RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
O culto aos orisas chegou Brasil entre os séculos XVI e XIX com o tráfico de escravos negros da África Ocidental. O culto ao orisa foi batizado de e chamado “Ka Nzo Ndombe” significado: Pequena Casa de Negros, ou Pequena Casa de Nativos. (Idioma Banto). A Religião que se adaptou no Brasil, se reconstruiu, criando seus próprios dogmas e filosofia. A adaptação foi a forma de sobrevivência da religião diante das dificuldades em diáspora. Alguns dos motivos foi: A falta de entendimento, por motivo de idioma, e do desenvolvimento oral, e a aquisição de matérias. Do ano de 1860 aos dias de hoje o candomblé veio sofrendo o suicídio cultural; através dos sacerdotes que vieram a óbito sem compartilhar seus ensinamentos, dificultando o desenvolvimento do culto. Com a perda de muitos cerimonias alguns sacerdotes inseriram praticas sem fundamentos, criaram ritos com objetivo de facilitar a religião visando seu próprio bem-estar. Existe diferença de costumes, e religioso. Costumes são regras sociais, religioso é sagrado, diferente de sagrado e profano. Os orisas são originais do povo Nigeriano “yoruba”. Algumas práticas do candomblé são originais do Brasil, que agregou o folclore Brasileiro. Outras práticas serviram de espiração... práticas que eram de origem indígenas, povos que já viviam em território Brasileiro.
Candomblé tem suas rítmica, danças, cânticos, dogmas, filosofia própria... coisas que que nuca podem mudar; podemos chamar de d.n.a; diferente dos ritos. O Brasil ainda desconhece muitas cerimonias, muitos orisas que a pratica ainda não chegou ao candomblé. O ser humano nunca vai pode limitar o conhecimento de uma sociedade. O conhecimento é o maior bem que o ser humano pode ter. Os orisas foram criados para beneficiar o ser humano na terra, para tenhamos uma vida prazerosa. Cada orisa tem sua importância, e é responsável por um benefício que precisa ser inserido na humanidade. Os orisas são partículas de deus. Que sejamos mais tolerantes, respeitosos diante das diferenças sociais e religiosas. Religião são caminhos diferentes com o mesmo objetivo.
African American and Trinidadian spiritual traditions are joined at the hip. Of course, we share common African roots. More recently, however, there was a wave of African American spiritualists who came to Trinidad & Tobago as part of the Second Great Awakening, which was a Protestant religious revival that took place during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and, after 1820, membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement. The Second Great awakening also coincides with the arrival of several thousand indentured laborers from present-day Nigeria. The Second Great Awakening was characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the super-natural, which enabled the movement to absorb greater numbers of African Americans, the vast majority of whom remained loyal to African spiritual practices like Hoodoo, Conjure and Root Work.
Revivals were the main feature of the Second Great Awakening. Through the revivals, Pastors enrolled hundreds of thousands of new members in existing evangelical denominations, which led to the formation of new denominations. Among the new denominations were numerous syncretic African American religious movements, including the Zion Revivalists of Jamaica. Of particular interest to practitioners of Orisa Lifestyle is the Spiritual Baptist faith which combines elements of Yoruba spirituality and Christianity. The Baptist faith was brought to Trinidad by the Merikins, former American slaves who were recruited by the British to fight, as the Corps of Colonial Marines, against the Americans during the War of 1812. After the end of the war, these ex-slaves were settled in Trinidad, to the east of the Mission of Savannah Grande (now known as Princes Town) in six villages, since then called the Company Villages.
African traditions were influential too and these included the gayap system of communal help, herbal medicine and Obeah – African tribal science. A prominent elder in the 20th century was "Papa Neezer" – Samuel Ebenezer Elliot (1901–1969) – who was a descendant of an original settler, George Elliot, and renowned for his ability to heal and cast out evil spirits. His syncretic form of religion included veneration of Sango, prophecies from the "Obi" and revelation from the Psalms. The Spiritual Baptist faith is a legacy of the Merikin community. One of Papa Neezer's protégés, American anthropologist Dr Frances Henry, called him, in a memoir, “one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever encountered.” Her book, He Had the Power, is subtitled Pa Neezer, the Orisha King of Trinidad.
During his early years, he was a member of the Spiritual Baptist Church. However, he became involved in the Orisa movement after he was told in a dream that he had healing powers and was able to cast out demons. It is said that he received the powers while sleeping in his garden, when a snake passed over him without causing any harm. He interpreted the event as spiritual powers bestowed on him and soon became the undisputed leader of the affairs of the Orisas in Moruga.
In a recent interview with Pa Neezer's great-neice, Jaramogi, she recalled, “We didn’t come here as slaves.” She has helped forge an alliance between the Merikins and the Maroons of Jamaica, Suriname, and elsewhere in the region, peoples who escaped from slavery and lived more or less independently of colonial rule. That independence is still clear in the Merikins’ traditional way of life, much of which continues unchanged. People move away or migrate, but some return. Up in the company villages, everyone knows each other, and who’s related to whom. While the T&T government faces a recession and urges everyone to grow food, the Merikins already do. When they first came to Trinidad, they were given rations for a few months until the land they had planted started bearing. Now, where you might expect a lawn, the sloping garden behind a house will be covered with the wide heart shapes of dasheen leaves, or plants used as seasoning or herbal remedies. Merikin families also have land scattered throughout their villages, parcels of the original sixteen acres that have been divided and passed down through generations. 
It is precisely this revolutionary spirit of freedom and independence that permeates Orisa Lifestyle in Trinidad & Tobago.
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | ObafemiO.com
I recently visited a spiritual curio shop in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Everything about the experience was unique. For starters, the place was very bright and well-lit. No dusty figurines. No cluttered display cases. No shadowy corners. Instead, there were 8-10 shelves, stocked with a variety of spiritual healing oils. Some were labeled by their functions. Others were labeled by their contents. I was particularly intrigued by the High John oil because of the importance of John the Conqueror in Hoodoo.
However, the most distinguishing feature of this particular shop was the fact that it was operated by four Black men; the eldest and most authoritative of whom was very dark and lean… He reminded me of Snoop Dog, to be honest. His features and mannerisms were lanky and tree-like. The next eldest was very light skinned, with a white beard. There was a cunning, even mischievous aire about him. The third among them – who was in his mid forties - was tall, thin and brown skinned, with a very deliberate gaze. He wasted no time in demonstrating that was a seer, a living oracle. He spoke to me in proverbs, making sure I was properly reading between the lines.
There’s no doubt about it; Trinidad is Orisa country. The heritage is strong there and it has had an indelible impact upon Trinidadian popular culture. Everything from Calypso to provisions are direct manifestations of Orisa Lifestyle. Of course, the most tangible evidence of Yoruba tradition survives in the medicines, rituals and ceremonies dedicated to the Orisa. I was so deeply honored to spend a little time with the Iwori Meji Temple, lead by the family of Awotunde Elebuibon. Baba Mitch – as he is known in the community – is part of an important Orisa Lineage, rooted in Port of Spain’s Belmont district.
During our very brief time together, we could see that what elders say is absolutely true; When one ori is blessed it reaches out to two hundred others. Within ten minutes of meeting one another, Baba Mitch and I were on Trinidadian radio, in the presence of his family, as well as responsible elders, like Baba Neal Rawlins and Iya Fabunmi Rhonda Valentine, making prayers for the entire Nation! Shortly thereafter, we were in communion with the divinities through song, drum and chant. Finally, we were made privy to the wise directives of Ifa.
We pray that our ancestors will continue to allow us to envision good people and that our feet will continue to carry us to the place where good people meet. Ase! We remember what Ifa has taught us, that When we get to the house of a respected elder, we bend down low! Orunmila wanted to know who among all the Orisa could accompany their devotee on a long journey, even across the oceans, without ever turning back. One by one, all the Orisa claimed the ability and oe by one, they all failed. It was Ori alone who could accompany its devotee on a long journey, even across the sea, and never depart from him or her.
And so, we give eternal thanks to the blessings that Ori has seen even when we ourselves have been blinded. Ase! We give thanks that our feet have brought us into the presence of good people. Ase! We pray that soon, we shall reconvene in greater abundance at the feet of Ope, the sacred palm of Orunmila! ASE!!!
Obafemi Origunwa, MA | OrisaLifestyle.com
BOLAJI FAKEYE | LAGOS
Across Yoruba land, provinces pick a two-week date to celebrate the egungun festival. One could say after Ifa, egungun seemed to be the next most populous socio-cultural Yoruba spirituality; it all began when the third Alaafin of Oyo, King Sango – also deity of thunder – brought the worship of the ancestors to honor the spirit of his father.
Sango’s father, Oranmiyan grandson of Oodua, had died and was buried in Ife after he founded and left his two sons in Old Oyo to rule, while he went back to Ife. Sango’s mother was a princess from Tapa (Nupe, middle belt Nigeria) where ancestor worship thrived. An entertainers’ guild called Oje was later given charge, sworn to secrecy; the egungun went on to become state worship in Oyo, spreading wherever the Yoruba spread, Africa or overseas.
BY BOLAJI FAKEYE | LAGOS, NIGERIA
It is spring. The Yoruba celebrates the egungun festival this period around May/June. On the Lekki-Aja peninsula in Lagos, Nigeria, different families adorned their ancestral masquerades in expensive garbs ranging from velvets to silk and lace. There were acrobats and entertaining drummers who made the gathering lively for the people gathered at the Igbale (egungun shrine), eating and drinking. Some of the masquerades, in different colorful costumes, were; Ayegbajeje (take life easy), Lukuluku in its yellow lace, Owolanke (money is worthwhile) and an elder egungun called Oyi.