Orisa devotees from around Trinidad and Tobago will gather on September 24, Republic Day to observe the first annual Isese Festival – a celebration of this country’s African spiritual traditions.
The gathering takes place at Centre of Excellence in Macoya and starts at 10.30 a.m.
Isese is a Yoruba word meaning Tradition. In recent years there has been a global push to reconnect with non-Western ideas of spirituality, and Trinidad and Tobago has been a leading part of that conversation through scholarly works and cultural exchange between Nigeria, Ghana, Cuba, the United States of America, Brazil and parts of Europe – all of which have seen increased interest and participation in African Spiritual traditions, specifically Ifa/Orisa.
Currently the local Orisa community is in a state of evolution. As the popularity of Ifa spreads, there are concerns about how this will affect our own traditions that have existed for over a century and have informed many social and cultural forms in Trinidad and Tobago.
This is a unique opportunity to interact with practitioners from around country, with a view to strengthening cultural and spiritual ties.
The morning session will include workshops in dance and drumming and a special panel to address questions that people have about Ifa/Orisa beliefs.
The afternoon session includes performances from Wasafoli, The Trinidad and Tobago Orisa Performing Arts Company and pannist Noel La Pierre.
The feature address will be delivered by Ifayemi Elebuibon, Araba of Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.
Special tribute will also be paid to Elders of the Orisa community both living and passed on.
The event is hosted by the Council of Orisha Elders in collaboration with the Afrikan Heritage Village Committee and Afrika House.
Entry is free of charge.