one of the very first steps in the Lukumí tradition may be to receive ritual beaded necklaces known as elekes. This ceremony is primarily given as a spiritual remedy for spiritual problems, witchcraft, negativity or ill health. To receive the elekes is to have the protection of the orisha bestowed upon a devotee. Devotees of orisha worship have a membership with a specific ile (house/Temple) from whom their elekes were received. After a devotee receives their elekes they become members of their godparent's spiritual house and learns the pecking order within their ile. The godchild grows with that ile, learns how to pray and prepare offerings for their godparent's orishas and helps out in the preparations and execution of ceremonies that may occur at the ile.
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