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Initiation

The rituals of initiation vary within the Afro-Cuban religion according to the rule they are part of (Ocha, Palo Monte or Abakuá). Even depending on the hierarchy and faculties the devotee will assume from that moment to his/her death.

In the case of Ocha and Palo it is establish to have seven days to complete "the second birth", which is conceptual and spiritual. So that, it is considered the ritual of "becoming a saint" (in Ocha), "rayarse" (in Palo) and "to receive the Ifá" (babalawo), in other words, to give the initiated certain powers or function or "consign the saint" protecting him/her. "The itá is read" to the individual going in the process of consecration, one of the days of the initiation.

This complex ritual of the oracle will establish norms and principles the person should follow in his social and religious future life. These taboos are rigorous under penalty of receiving a change in the fortune or being punished. At the end of the private rituals, begins the time of the iyaworaje. It lasts a year, although some devotees reduce the time.

It is easy to distinguish an iyawo. He/she dresses all white, and always has the bold head covered (cap in the case of men and a turban in the case of women). Their necks have many collars, and in the hand they have the bracelet of the saint consigned or guardian.

It tells the name of the orisha the devotee received. After a year of iyaworaje the initiated can participate in all the activities of the cult and make any of the rituals of the faith.