The Spirits Meet the Saints in Cuba

One of the most fascinating “fusions” in the Caribbean is the fusion of West African religion and Catholicism, which is what you’ll find in Cuban Santeria. 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 started with Yoruba/Nigerian slaves several hundred years ago and morphed over generations into something uniquely Cuban.

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