This is a public piece of artwork I found on 105th and Lexington. The artist is Manuel Vega, a New York born Puerto Rican. The mural caught my attention because of its vibrant color and subject matter. The main figure seems to be Ochosi because the bow and arrow he is carrying is a common symbol associated with him. He is the hunter God and friend of Oggún and Ellegua. To the right of him is a representation of Eleggua. Eleggua can be recognized by the long hat and bent cane. Eleggua is the aspect of Elegua who pertains directly to the crossroads between life and death. Here he is depicted carrying a statue of himself and riding a skateboard. The skateboard is an interesting addition here. One of Elegua’s roles is the messenger between humanity and the Orishas. I’m not sure whether the skateboard is meant to target a younger audience sincerely or is a tongue-in-cheek contextualization of ancient Gods in modern culture. The figure on the left is Oggún. I know this because he is wielding a sword and wearing the color green. These three gods are known together as “the warriors.” They are called upon during every ritual to protect the Santero from evil spirits. By attempting to commune with the supernatural, the Santero makes himself vulnerable to the beings of the spiritual world. If offered the proper “ebbó” (offering) the warriors will protect the Santero during his journey and guarantee a safe return. The paintings were signed Vega, and with a little research I tracked down Manuel Vega’s website. He was born in New York in 1956 and is a member of the Afro Brazilian Temple, “ILE IYA OMI ASE IYA MASSE”, in Salvador, Bahia.