Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ofelia de Pogolotti--Alidémi


After Pilar Fresneda—Asonsiperaco joined the ancestors in the early 1960s, the Havana Arará cabildo passed to Ofelia Calixta Martínez Bonilla, who led the community from her home in the Pogolotti neighborhood of Havana. She had been made to Mase or Ochún by La Chata--Onojome and Matilde Sotomayor--Asoinque, who also gave her Asojano-Alua.  Although Ofelia--Alidémi had Ochún made, her elders had given her permission to give Asojano-Arará--a novelty to the Sabalú in Matanzas. She also received Nanú from both the Arará and Lucumí lineages. Although Ofelia's son, Octavio Hernández-Martínez--Ogunda Meyi has no explanation for this intriguing fact, her daughter-in-law Olga says she always attended to them differently and according to the way she had been taught.


Ofelia de Pogolotti maintained the traditions that Pilar had established. With her extended family, she "took out" the cabildo every year on December 16th, parading through the streets with its symbols: a white flag and a large white plaster dove. Ofelia also became the keeper of the cabildo´s drums that still live at her house.  The elders say that when they took out the cabildo, many people became possessed by Asojano.


When Ofelia joined the ancestors on February 26, 2004, she had lived 76 years. At her honras, the funeral performed a year after the death of priest or priestess, Andrés Chacón and his group played for the egun and then for Ochún. To this day, she is remembered as a knowledgeable and influential priestess.


Since then, Octavio and Olga maintain many of the traditions in their house in Repart Martí near Mazorra, where they give Asojano in Olga's style with three awáns, a tradition I have encountered nowhere else in Cuba or its diaspora.

5 comments:

  1. Hola a todos los que han hecho este reconocimiento a esta gran señora de la nacion Arara.Desde Suecia escribe su nieto Jean Julio omo shango,awo Orumila Ika Trupon y toda una familia que se encuentra en este pais. Para mi es satifaccion encontrar este pequeño homenaje a mi abuela,gracias por estas cortas lineas pero muy significativas ,Iboru Iboya Ibosheshe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Iboru, iboya, ibosheshe.
    Me alegra saber que este le complace. ¿Se puede añadirnos algunos datos más sobre la persona de su abuela? Específicamente me he preguntado cómo recibió el derecho de hacer Asojano cuando tradicionalmente eran solos los hijoes de él que le pudieron hacerlo.
    Mo dupe o.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Iboru Iboya Michael. Yo en realidad no tengo una respuesta en este instante pero voy averiguar con mis mayores. Se que cada persona nace con un don al que llamamos "Ase" y este era lo que ella tenia aparte de ser buena espiritista y santera. Ò nareo.

    ReplyDelete
  4. El aché de Ofelia era bien famoso antes que yo publiqué este post.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yo soy nieto de Ofelia. Mi Madrina Encarnacion Bonilla- Adau aparte de ser ahijada de Ofelia era sobrina de sangre de Ofelia. Mi Madrina me cuenta muchas Historias de ella. Muchas Gracias por la foto.
    Luz para el espiritu de mi abuela

    ReplyDelete