Introduction: How to Make a Santeria Mazo

About: My name is Paloma Wood, and I am a 17 year old student, songwriter, actor, and dancer who loves to create powerful messages through art. I love to bead, and I am a practitioner of the Afro-Cuban religion of Sa…

Hello everyone!

My name is Paloma Wood and I am here to teach you how to make a mazo. Now, just to tell you a little about what exactly a mazo is; a mazo is a symbol of royalty in the religion on Sateria. As practitioners, we makes mazos for the ochas or deities that we love to symbolize their royalty, and we believe that this is something that the deities want themselves. Each deity is different, and has different colors that are attribute to them. Yemaya, the goddess of the ocean for example, has mazos with mostly blue colors which are meant specifically for her. There are many different deities that we believe in in my religion, but today I am giving an instructable of how to make a mazo for Ochun in particular, since this would be my first time making one or her. Ochun’s colors are all gold, and this will be my first time making a mazo that only has one color, so it started off as difficult for me, but I came through with a very beautiful mazo! Let’s start off with the different steps you need to take to make a mazo…

Step 1: Draw Out What You Want the Mazo to Look Like.

Here is a schematic of what I knew I wanted my mazo to look like. Ofcourse there’s no color, because you usually know the colors you already want based on what deity you are making the mazo for. I already knew I wanted the entire mazo to be all gold, so I made it not according to color, but to the size of the mazo and the beads that I knew I wanted to get.

Step 2: Go to the Store and Buy the Beads You Want.

Go to whichever bead store is near your house and buy your beads based off of your schematic and the colors you know that you want. I knew that I wanted gold beads and nothing but gold, so it was a bit hard going to just one bead store and finding all the beads I needed. I went to a private owned bead store, and Michaels directly after that to get the rest of the beads that I needed.

Step 3: Begin the "start" of Your Mazo, Aka the House Beads.

This will be the design that you repeat over and over in the mazo, so you need to make sure you have sufficient beads and you need to make sure that they look good together. Often times, we buy gold beads without realizing that we have 50 different types of gold, and trying to piece them together in a way that looks ok and not crazy can be a little frustrating at times, but after making the string, and seeing how you like it, the rest of it will just be repetition.

Step 4: Repeat It!

This part can be hard since you're constantly having to check to make sure every single bead is matching the other string next to it. This is also the time to count each string and make sure that they are the number you want them to be. The number for ochun is 5, so I have 5 strings and only multiples of 5 in the beading.

Step 5: Make the Break.

Here you want to have your string hanging down from your previously made beads to make a whole new bead to your mazo. This is what draws eyes to your mazo and makes it different from others, so have fun with it and make it pretty!

Step 6: After You Make the First One, Make One for Each of the Other Ones.

I like to make one bead different from all of the others, so when you're finishing the rest of them, make sure one of them is just a bit different so that when it hangs down it makes it look even more unique.

Step 7: Take a Picture of Your Work, and Show Off Your New Skills!

Follow these seven steps and you can make the mazo of your dreams for your orisha, and symbolize their royalty in a whole new way!

Epilog X Contest

Participated in the
Epilog X Contest