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Santería / Candomblé

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Stefania Casalinuovo

on 15 March 2012

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Transcript of Santería / Candomblé

Santería & Candomblé Santería, meaning "Way of the Saints," is an Afro-Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions, with some Roman Catholic elements added. It is also known as La Regla Lucumi and the Rule of Osha. Santeria is a syncretic religion that grew out of the slave trade in Cuba. Santeria originated in West Africa,
where modern-day Nigeria and Benin
are located. The slave trade brought many
of these people, and their religion, to the shores of Cuba, Brazil, Haiti, Trinidad and
Puerto Rico among others. The centre of
the religion is Cuba, but it has spread to
the USA and other nearby countries,
particularly after the Cuban
revolution in 1959. In Santeria, there is one
god known as Olorun or Olodu-
mare, who is the source of ashé,
the spiritual energy that makes up
the universe, all life and all things material. Olorun interacts with the world and humankind through emissaries called orishas. Orishas rule over every force of nature and every aspect of human life. They are count-
ed on to come to the aid of their followers, by com-
municating through ritual, prayer, divination, offer-
ings (including sacrifice), song, rhythms, and
trance possession. The religion came to be known as Santeria when on the New World the orishas and much of the religion was hidden behind a facade of Catholi-cism with the orishas themselves represented by various saints. Today, Santeria is famous for its "magic," which is based on a knowledge of the mysteries or orishas and how to interact with them to better their lives and the lives of those who come to them for the aid of the orishas.

Followers of Santeria live under the premise that this world is a magical one. This knowledge seems super-natural only to those who don't understand it, but it really is quite natural. Sources:
All images from Google Images searches: "santeria", "candomble", "orisha", "orixa" Candomble, meaning
“dance in honor of the gods,”
is a religion based on African beliefs of
traditional Yoruba with hints of Catholicism,
like Santeria, but is mixed with Fon and Bantu.
It is particularly popular in Brazil, though it is also practiced in other countries, and has as many as two million followers. Candomble also goes back to the slave trade where
enslaved Africans were shipped to Brazil and were
not allowed to practice their beliefs. Since that time,
the religion has become very popular in Brazil,
especially in the northeastern city of Salvador
da Bahia. For many Africans, Candomble
is not only a religion but also a
cultural identity. The concept of good and bad
does not exist for followers of Candomble,
though doing bad has its consequences. Each
person's goal is to carry out his or her destiny, which
is controlled by the orixa. Special dances are performed to allow the orixa to possess
them. Orixas are deified ancestors from recent or ancient
history and like the orishas of Santeria, they are spirit
gods that link humans to the spiritual world. A
person's personality is a reflection of
their orixa. Both Santeria and Candomble are oral traditions and have no holy scriptures. They remain an important part in Afro-Caribbean history and serve as examples of diversity in religions of the world. Orixas are collectively called Baba
Egum or Egungun. The moral code of
Candomble is regulated by the Baba Egum,
who ensures the continuity of morals from one generation to the next.

During major rituals, priests and priestesses disguise as Baba Egum. The worship takes place in the form of dances and songs. Dances call the orixa to enter the body. When a dancer becomes possessed, they enter a trancelike condition
and publicly act out scenes from the
community life through dance. When
the orixa leaves the body, the
trance ends.
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