Studio Artist

Sister Shaman

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Priestess of the West African Òriṣa tradition, Photographer, Author


Iya Ò̩s̩úndélé O̩láifá O̩báfúnmiláyò̩ Onífádé


Sista  Shaman is a photographic ambassador.  Her unforgettable images capture  the essence of culture and ritual with passion and authenticity. Born in  America to African-American parents, her ancestral DNA has called her  back “home” where she uses her lens to document and promote African  heritage, culture and its influences on people across the Diaspora. From  Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Swaziland to various  Caribbean Islands, she has traveled seeking spiritual and ritual events  to capture for this purpose.


Her  artistic mission is to document how people of African descent across  the diaspora have restored their ancestral ties via sacred traditions  and culture. Her work captures the essence of culture and ritual in this  context. Viewers are invited to witness living moments and experience  ritual/cultural events to which they otherwise would not have access.  She serves as a translator within the secret rooms of ceremonial life,  walking a fine line between being a participant and voyeur. The images  captured are intimate, possessing ancestral and communal significance.  In the moment of shooting, she allows herself to enter the experience  and understand the ritual from all points. She is the dancer, the  priest, even the fly on the wall.

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