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What is the Lucumi Religion? An Afro-Cuban story

What is the Lucumi religion

The practice of the Lucumí religion better known these days as Santeria, is the maximum representation of Afro-Cuban roots and of the island identity itself.

Today, Lucumí is a reaffirmation of the Cuban who mixes in his beliefs and in his own defining culture, distinctive elements of Africa.

Lucumí or Yoruba, is the name that popularly identifies the Afro-Cuban religion that is distinguished by the worship of the Upper God Olodumare, the Creator Olofin and the Main orishas of the Yoruba pantheon.

However, we must know that lucumí It is a term that described the slaves from the African Yoruba zone, who arrived in Cuba due to the slave trade in the colonial period.

They continued to practice their religion and so that their masters would not notice it, they syncretized their gods with the figures of the Catholic saints.

That is why today what is known as Santeria or Lucumí Religion. And there are several versions about the origin of the word lucumí, some indicate that it comes from the Yoruba greeting «olukumi", what does it mean "my friend”And that the slaves used frequently with each other.

Legends of Africa arrived in Cuba

In the middle of the slavery process, the word lucumí derived in other meanings and they came to be called lucumíes, those slaves who, due to their physical conditions and performance, were preferred by buyers in the Spanish and Portuguese markets.

The Lucumis were also the first maroons, runaway slaves who were characterized by great physical strength and determination, who managed to flee from their masters and survived hidden in the jungle.

Many of them were also participants in the wars of independence, and thus they united their roots to this land, gradually forming the true Cuban identity.

Lucumí or Santeria religion

Lucumi religion It has its origins in the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, Africa. It arrived in Cuba in slave hands and was syncretized with Spanish Catholicism, creating the current Santeria.

The cult is based on a supreme being known as Oluddumare, responsible for the creation of the Universe and the Orishas of the Lucumí pantheon, made up of approximately 201 deities, each of them related to distinctive elements of Nature.

The Lucumí religion is transmitted in Cuba from generation to generation and has survived through the centuries. Today, it is a fundamental part of the life of a large number of Cubans.

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