When you look at the picture of St. Theresa, you wonder why the ancestors in Cuba picked such a sweet and innocent-looking Catholic Saint to represent an Orisha of wind and storms. Mainly due to the color of her clothing which is brown and corresponds to the color of Oya's beads and the fact that she has flowers of different colors in her arms. The colors of Oya are nine different ones. In Brazil, she is represented in some areas as Santa Barbara and in Cuba she is also portrayed as Our Lady of Candelaria, dressed in red, another color associated with Yansa or Oya. Regardless of how she is syncrenized into a Catholic Saint, she is still the Orisha of wind and lightening. She represents one of the most powerful natural forces in Nature. Who can withstand a hurricane? Who could survive a lightening bolt? None the less, she represents the control of these elements. She draws her spiritual force from these elements and is a mighty warrioress, fighting along side of her lover, Chango, on many occasions.
In Haiti, Oya or Yansa is called Grande Brigitte. She is the wife of Baron Samedi, the owner of the cemetery. The veve above is a symbol of Baron Samedi. Since Oya lives in the cemetery, she is closely associated with the dead. That in part also accounts for her awesome power. She is truly a powerful Orisha. Her ceremonies are complicated and delicate. They must be performed correctly without the omission of any details. Due to this fact, the making of this Orisha is expensive and time consuming. She is an Orisha of much mystery, but also of much beauty. Oya is a very loyal Orisha. She stayed by Chango's side to the very end. Likewise, she expects loyalty from her devotees.
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