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.