Aworan de Echu , hand carved wood, nails, 7 1/4" tall, Havana, 2000.
This articulated janus faced-figure, represents a particular road of Echu that
is given by babalawos . Like other such aworan (an anthropomorphic
representation or associate of orichas or eguns ), it accompanies
Echu's other secrets but is also consecrated itself, and is normally
mounted in cement within a terracotta dish. "Echu," technically speaking, is
a particular manifestation of the trickster and messenger prepared by . Echu
is the messenger of, and is controlled by, Orula (Orunmila). Echu's counterpart
prepared by the oricha priest is called Elegua--a force that has been
restrained and domesticated by the calming power of Obatala. Many orisha priests believe that this "Echu" represents a troublesome and "negative" force,
which can destroy everything in the house if not thoroughly placated and dispatched
to his domain "outside." While babalawos remain skeptical of the Elegua
prepared by oricha priests, the latter may marginalize the babalawo's
Echu as an unpredictable, if not also dangerous, character.
More on Echu and Elegua