Colors and Collars (Ilekes)
Each Orisha owns a collar of a specific color and shape. The Orisha's "child" must wear it around his or her neck. The collars should not be kept in the pocket or purse or inside a balled up handkerchief. Care should be taken that they remain unsnarled. When they are not being worn, they should be placed on the Orisha's tureen. When there are no tureens, they should be carefully laid out on a white cloth.
The elekes should be treated with respect once you have received them. You should not wear them to bars and nightclubs, and of course, when you are engaging in sexual activities. They also should not be worn during sleep as a general rule, because they will break during the unconscious movements of the body during the night. Likewise they should not be worn in showers or while bathing in the ocean or river, as water will cause the string that has absorbed the ache to break.
Many times an eleke will spontaneously break. Do not be alarmed when this happens, as usually the Orisha represented by the necklace is taking something negative off the person. Of course, you should inform your padrino or madrina, so that an investigation as to the why and wherefores of this action can be determined. Most often the necklace is then replaced with another.These bead necklaces and bracelets can be worn by man or woman to help acheive their goal for the problem at hand.
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