Spanish is by far the most dominant language in Cuba, but, as with everywhere, if you listen closely you’ll hear people saying many things in many ways. A small part of the Cuban population practices Santeria, which has its roots in Yoruban/Nigerian religion, and is often analogized to African/Haitian/American voudon (“voodoo”). In Santeria there are many spirits (orishas) with whom one must communicate in many ways, most famously through intricate rituals involving animal sacrifice. The culture of those who practice Santeria in Cuba, called the Lucumi culture, started with Yoruba/Nigerian slaves several hundred years ago and morphed over generations into something uniquely Cuban. The Lucumi language is still basically Yoruba, and a Lucumi/Yoruba speaker could supposedly understand a Yoruba speaker from Nigeria, and vice-versa.

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