Great mother of sweet waters, love, creativity, fertility and so much more, Oshun, is the focus of our studies for the month of October. Join Iya Amma in praise of this monumental deity. Our live Zoom class will feature special guest teacher Baba Ifa Onifade Oluwo - Omigbade.
Orin Orisa: Songs for Selected Heads by John Mason 559 Pages Retail-$50.00 This is the first comprehensive translation and review of now more than 700 Yoruba songs that have been used in Cuba, by Africans and their descendents, for over three hundred years, and in the U.S., since the 1950's, to praise and envoke some 25 orisa/deities. The classical character of the music, songs, and historic/elemental archtypes is fully discussed. *This edition includes a 38 & 12 page photo-insert containing rare and never before published photographs. An audio CD of orisa songs is now included.
Our online song classes are a perfect fit for those who love to feel the magic of orisa song! We honor the ancestors and elders who have helped to preserve orisa traditions so that people may live richer spiritual lives. We connect to the orisa, universal forces and divinities, of the Yoruba Pantheon. Beginners and experienced singers, join our global song community, and unleash your voice in prayer! Iya Amma McKen guides in an open-hearted, fun, and safe space where participants learn essential songs to sing in the Yoruba/Lukumi languages. Practical guidance on songs will offer an opportunity to support Yoruba/Lukumi ceremonies and functions. A deepened connection is established by way of prayer through songs so that you can make direct connection to orisa in your own personal spiritual practice. Each month Iya Amma will teach a series of songs devoted to a particular orisa(s). Instruction videos will be presented once a week and can be viewed at your own pace. These essential songs will be presented in the order that they would be sung in a ceremony. Along with the song classes, our private online "Song Community" page will grant you access to a forum to ask questions, post song videos, and share lyrics. Once a month we will gather live in a Zoom format for a recap of the orisa studied, Q&A, and group sing along.
Amma D. McKen has been a lifelong member of a vibrant community who describe themselves as Yoruba traditionalists or Lukumi, practicing a way of life and religion of West Africa. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, McKen has sung traditional sacred Yoruba music since she was 14 and is recognized as a Priestess of Yemonja. The Yoruba refer to God as Olodumare, as well as deities known as Orisas. Orisa worship was spread to the new world through the slave trade and, in order to preserve their religious traditions against repression, the African slaves matched the Orisas to Catholic saints. McKen holds several roles and titles in Yoruba, including the title of Akpon, a lead singer and officiator for the drumming and dancing celebrations. Akpon is a title held by very few people and is critical to keeping the tradition in place. McKen became the first African American female Akpon to produce a musical recording of the traditional songs, titled Alaako Oso: Owner of the Songs is Eloquent. Sought after to lead Bembes (dancing celebrations) throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean, McKen preserves the traditional songs of Yoruba and helps participants connect with the history and spiritual context of the tradition. McKen is the director and co-founder of Omiyesa, a cultural music group located in New York, where she offers a wide range of apprenticeships, workshops, and lecture-demonstrations in Afro-Cuban and Orisa songs, dance, and music. In 1998, she collaborated with the African American Dance Ensemble, directed by Chuck Davis, and the Carolina Theater to stage the well-received production Cultural Journey Back to the Roots.Email