Voudo: 7 Chief Loa: Tinjo Alawe


Quite and ever-present, the loa of Taino origin, Tinjo Alawe, expresses the values of the river the Taino people revere so much. Tinjo Alwae rarely speaks, and in some lineages of Vodou, he never speaks. He communicates through intelligent hand gestures with deeply layered meaning. To the priesthood and the baptized, Tinjo Alawe speaks telepathically. Tinjo Alawe is an exceedingly elevated loa near the same level as Belie Belcan. Like the relationship between Archangel Michael and Belie Belcan, Tinjo Alawe shares a close working relationship with Archangel Raphael. Tinjo Alawe and Archangel Raphael are intertwined in purpose; Archangel Raphael shares his image with Tinjo Alawe.

Tinjo Alawe is from the Taino people. He is a loa who is not of African origin. Within Dominican and Puerto-Rican traditions of Vodou, 1/3 of the loa are from the Taino, the Caribbean, and Arawak people. Tinjo Alawe is the head of that grand Indio Division, or Nation, of spirits and loa/mysteries. A spiritual healer par-excellence and stalwart guardian. Tinjo Alawe enjoys keeping in the background and silently observing, his keen eyes on the lookout for danger.

El Rei del Agua Dulce (King of the Sweet Waters) also hails from the Indio Divison. He shares the image of John the Baptist. Through the authority of Tinjo Alawe, El Rei del Aqua Dulce licenses the initiating baptisms essential to Vodou. Without Tinjo Alawe, there could be no transmission of Puerto Rican Vodou,

Tinjo Alawe embodies “walk softly but carry a big stick.” Sadly, his quiet demeanor and easy-going nature (common among Indio peoples) can make others consider him a pushover. Nothing could be further from the truth. Push him too far, and ear-splitting war cries, replete with a stone war ax, will result. 

Tinjo Alawe can be consulted for any reason but is regularly called on for healing, purification, good fortunes, spiritual progression, and protection.

Do you feel called to know more about or work deeper with Tinjo Alawe? If so, consider joining our temple.

-Kevin Wikse

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