Juan Carlos Alom is a strange mix between a gypsy and a maroon, and is at the same time a cultivated artist and a street-smart man, a restless, fidgety spirit, difficult to grasp, define or characterize. His essentially drifting personality has allowed him to feel at ease in both the vortex of big cities and the solitude of mountains.
A black man emerges from the bottom of the river with a large stone on his head. This is a peculiar decision. Maybe it was made to surprise those that waited at the bank or to please the photographer. Something that Papucho himself would not have connected consciously with the religions from Africa. However, to bring a stone from the bottom of a river is an act of great importance in the ceremony of consecration of a santero. The future iworo will keep such a stone forever inside a covered earthenware jar (the "jar of the secret") and it does not represent any specific orisha – like the other stones or otás that make up the foundation of each orisha. We do not know the final destination of this stone. Perhaps it became part of the foundation of a house. Or perhaps it was returned to the river minutes later. In any case, the stone was turned by Papucho – and then by Alom’s photograph – into a stone with a special power, the possessor of a deep secret. Our gazes are the jar to preserve that secret