Havana: Africa Meets Cuba in Regla

Following our visit to Callejon de Hamel, we went to the Centro de los Orishas in Regla, a municipality located about a half an hour’s drive from Havana.

The Centro is an open air exhibition space where performances are held. There is a small restaurant as well as a little shop at the back.

The main attraction for us was the sculptural representations to the Santeria gods Eleggua (also Eshu), Obbatala, Yemaya (Yemonja, Iemonja), Chango (also Shango and Sango), Ochun (Oggun), Babalu Aye and Ochosi.

Santeria is derived from the Yoruba religion of West Africa. Followers believe in Olodumare (God) and his manifestations (Orishas) that help them in their daily lives, if they follow the appropriate rituals.

Shango and Ochun (or Oggun)

Shango represents virility, strength and sexuality. His color is red and white.

Ochun (or Oggun) is the god of iron and mineral and anything made of iron or steel.


Yemaya is the queen of the seas. Her colors are blue and white.


Obbatala is the god of peace, the creator of the world and the father of the Orishas. His color is white. As I write this, I’m listening to Bobi Cespedes‘ Rezos. Listen to her tribute to Obatala.

Babalu Aye

Babalu Aye can tell the future. His color is purple.


Eleggua (Eshu) is guardian of crossroads and roads and the protector of travelers. His color are red.

Santeria deities Babalu Aye, Obbatala, Yemaya and Ochun

Listen to one more from Bobi [Ogun].

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6 comments on “Havana: Africa Meets Cuba in Regla

  1. Fantastic! Especially since I know now that I’ll be heading your way. My first trip of the new year. Can’t wait!

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