About the author
Obá Oriaté Miguel “Willie” Ramos, Ilarí Obá, Lukumí, olorisha of Shangó, was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Ordained into the Lukumí priesthood at the age of thirteen, he has been an obá oriaté for over thirty-five years. Ramos is a student of Lukumí/Yoruba religion in Brazil, Cuba and the Cuban Diaspora. He holds a Master of Arts in History from Florida International University where he has taught courses on Anthropology, Sociology and History. Present Ramos is working on a PhD at the same institution. His dissertation will focus on Lukumí and Afro-Cuban history and culture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Over the years, Ramos has participated in numerous conferences in the U.S. and abroad. In 2001, he was a guest curator for an exhibit on Lukumí Orisha arts held at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida in Miami. That same year, Ramos travelled to Dusseldorf, Germany where he collaborated with the Museum Kunst Palast, inaugural exhibition.
Ramos has published several books for Lukumí devotees. He has contributed to several scholarly texts and journal articles, including his important “La División de La Habana . . .,” which was based on oral history and fieldwork conducted in Cuba and the U.S. during the 1990s. Two of Ramos’ recent publications, Orí Eledá mí ó…Si mi cabeza no me vende (2011) and the recently edited and revised English-language edition of Adimú: Gbogbó Tén’unjé Lukumí (2012) have received considerable praise from the Lukumí community.
Presently, Ramos hosts Eleda.Org, a website about Lukumí religion and culture, and is president of the Diaspora Cultural Center in Miami. For the past thirty years, Ramos has conducted fieldwork in Cuba and Brazil, and is a pioneer in defeating passé ideologies about learning the religion by offering seminars on Lukumí rituals and consecration ceremonies for ordained olorishas. The current book is another of Ramos’ continues undertakings and his firm belief in the tenets of the odu Ejiogbé Odí that emphasize the need for the distribution of knowledge.