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Santeria and Candomblé ≫ Two Yoruba derivations and a single faith

Santeria and Candomblé

The Santeria, is the Afro-Cuban religious expression associated today with the practice of the Rule of the Ocha that is not only popular in Cuba, but also in many nations of America, a product of the transculturation stage resulting from the African slave trade.

The Regla de la Ocha is the most popular religious practice with African roots in all of Cuba.

Thus, it is very common to glimpse in the Cuban streets people dressed completely in white who wear bracelets and necklaces of different colors to represent the Orishas of the Yoruba pantheon.

Santeria is also called the Lucumí cult, the Rule of Ifá or the Rule of Ocha, and is representative of the Afro-Cuban culture. Its characteristics mix Yoruba culture and religion, in addition to syncretism with Catholic Christianity.

Santeria, a very Cuban religious cult

Santeria religion
Altar of Santeria

The Catholic religion and the Yoruba are today the main religions practiced by Cubans.

Santeria, the main Yoruba religious derivation on the Island, unites animist and pantheistic aspects with the worship of ancestors and Catholicism and through it they are syncretized the gods of the yoruba pantheon, with the Catholic saints.

The deities that are worshiped are Olodumare as Supreme God and Olofi as Creator, and then the Orishas of the Yoruba Pantheon.

And although there are many saints in this pantheon, devotion is mainly focused on: Obatalá, Orula, Ochún, Yemayá, Oyá, Changó, Babalú Ayé and the Warriors: Elegguá, Ogún, Ochosi and Osún, all syncretized with figures of the Catholic religion such as La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Santa Bárbara, La Virgen de Regla and San Lázaro.

Santeria is a divinatory religion that practices magic in multiple streams of energy. Through it, the believer or practitioner must comply with a series of norms and be a respectful devotee towards all deities and also the spirits of the ancestors.

In this path of worship and adoration he obtains protection, well-being, health, influence, etc.

Candomblé, a very popular Yoruba practice in Brazil

Candomblé religion
Candomblé ceremony

It is the candomblé, also a religious practice with African roots, specifically Yoruba, but which gained strength mainly in Brazil, although it has followers in Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain.aña.

This religion also came to Brazil through the African slave trade brought to that country in colonial times and established itself as one of the main religious practices in that Latin American nation.

Also in Candomblé, the soul of nature is worshiped through its gods, the Orixás, since they are representatives of natural forces.

In this religion, as in Santeria, women have important positions, but especially in this Brazilian religion, it is emphasized that no sex is superior to another when making religious decisions.

In Candomblé, the so-called Orixás are worshiped, who, like the deities of the Santera practice, are awarded legends in which they are men and women with fundamental powers and abilities that represent nature.

Candomblé, however, is distinguished by being a henotheistic religion, whose main god for the Ketu nation is Olorum, for the Bantu nation it is Zambi and for the hehe nation it is Mawu. 

It worships fifty of the hundreds of deities previously worshiped in Africa and the gods are characterized with powers very similar to those of the santera practice.

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