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The Yoruba Religion in Cuba, roots of our ancestors

Yoruba religion in Cuba

Today, religions and other Afro-Cuban cultural expressions have become common in all corners of Cuba. It is normal to witness the practice of rites and customs of the Yoruba religion, or to glimpse their symbols in the costumes.

The Yoruba religion, in fact, shows the expressions of a primitive culture imported from Africa mixed with the Creole of the island. 

It is a cultural explosion inherited from devoted African slaves, brought to the New World and stripped of their roots, who bequeathed a broad religious tradition and even a lifestyle.

History of a syncretism

The Yoruba religion in Cuba is a mixture of spirituality, which, despite its eminently African origin, has integrated people from different cultural backgrounds. 

In addition, it was rooted and preserved in the American continent through syncretism. The slaves decided to join the names of their deities to the Christian saints, taking into account the similarity that existed between them and some Yoruba Pantheon gods.

Most of the Yoruba gods were identified with the images of Catholic saints, so their beliefs were adapted to the demands of the Catholic religion.

Now, the Yoruba religion is a mixture of elements, offerings, beliefs and gods, popularly known as "Santeria."

Rules that mark a belief

In the Yoruba Religion, several rules are taken into account, such as the Osha-Ifá Rules for Santeros, the Divinatory Sayings of the Letters of the Dilogún and the Oddun of Ifá, the Ethical Code of the Oddun of Ifá and the Moral Commandments that are born in the Oddun (sign) of Ika Fun, who are guides in the religious practice of the Oloshas, ​​Babaloshas, ​​Iyaloshas, ​​Oluwo Osain, Obases or Oriates, Babalawos and Oluwos

There are also different offerings (Addimú) such as all kinds of fruits, plants and sticks of the mountain, flowers, which are given to the Orishas to praise them and establish communication with them.

Sometimes animals are also immolated, through these offerings the energy transmutes the evil that afflicts people. These sacrifices must always be performed by santeros authorized to do so.

The art of divination in the Yoruba religion is carried out by means of the Obi (the Coconut), the Snails (Cauríes) and the Board of Ifá.

Our religion is our roots, it is heritage, it is ancestors, it is mixture and tradition, we must respect it above all things in honor of our ancestors who defended it from the heart.

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