It is not everyday that we get to see quite amazing talent used in appreciating parts of the Nigerian culture, in this case the Yoruba African origin, specifically to do with the “Orishas” i.e gods or divinity that are believed to have an impact on the Yoruba culture.
The Yoruba Orishas are an intricate part of the Yoruba culture. At the last count there seem to be at least 1,700, from the highly obscure to the extremely infamous. Some Orishas are worshipped as gods in their own rights and some also have days or periods dedicated to celebrating them.
The tradition has since spread to Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, the Caribbean Islands and various other regions around the globe due to the expansion the the slave trade hundreds of years ago.
Taking an interest in the culture, Atlanta based photographer, James C. Lewis’ worked on the Yoruba African Orishas. Lewis was intrigued with the story, characters and royalty of the Orishas and embarked on an inspiring and creative digital photography project to express some of the Orishas the way he saw them. He photographs Sango, Obatala, Ogun, Oya, Osun, Osumare, Babalu-aye, and a host of others.
Each representation of the Orishas was styled, photographed and derived by the creative mind of James C. Lewis. Lewis‘ use of live models conceptualizes the Yorùbá African Orishas unlike we’ve ever seen them before, as they are usually represented in paint or illustration form.
Don’t you just love the artwork? We think it is amazing and love that it is done, and the Yoruba culture appreciated, by someone who is not Nigerian.
Watch the video campaign of the Exhibition below:
Photo Credit: James C. Lewisby