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Cuban Santeria

Cuban Santeria


The arts of the Afro-Cuban Santería and Ifá religious practices gain their significance within the setting of altar assemblages and ritual performances. These sacred arts carry symbolic and functional value, but they are also evaluated and appreciated by participants in ceremonies for their appropriateness and beauty. Santería arts express meanings that refer to the gods; at the same time, the very creation of these sacred arts is considered an act of devotion.

Santería arts, given the migration of Cubans throughout North, Central, and South America, Western Europe and Russia, as well as the ongoing initiation into Santería and Ifá of multitudes of visitors to Cuba, are found throughout the world, mostly in ethnically-diverse coastal cities.

Throughout the United States, Cubans have initiated Americans of all stripes, especially African-Americans and members of all of the Latino groups. As a result, Santería arts are seen in botánicas (urban religious goods outlets) and make up the altars of “house-temples” (casa-templos) in all of New York City's boroughs, in the New Jersey towns lining the Hudson River in the north, and around Atlantic City and Camden in the south. On the Atlantic seaboard, from Boston through Philadelphia to South Florida, on the Gulf Coast, from New Orleans to Houston, in all of California's major coastal cities, in Seattle, and in Detroit, Chicago, and Gary, Indiana, Santería arts are also found.

Among them were santeros Santeria spread in their new environments. In their efforts to hide their African religion and magical practices, the lucumís identified their African deities (orishas) with Catholic saints, resulting in a religious syncretism known today as Santería. Santeria worship center and creative force called Olodumare. From it comes all that exists, and everything returns to it. Olodumare is expressed himself in the world created by Ashe. Ashe is the blood of cosmic life, the power of Olodumare to life, strength and justice. It is a divine power that is many channels of varying receptivity. Ashe is the absolute basis of reality.

They believe that every person's life is already determined before birth in Ile-Olofi, the house of God in heaven. Those who do not comply will be punished for the orishas and be reborn to meet the punishment (Fanthorpe & Fanthorpe, 2008, pp. 163).


Catholics venerate the saints are realizing that human beings who lived his faith heroically died and are now in heaven from where they intercede for us through their participation in the glory of Jesus Christ. Santeros took the figure of the most popular saints in Cuba but they no longer represents the saint but a Lucumi Orisha. These are gods created by Olodumare to express its will and its essence in creation. These are a personification of Ashe. The orishas are also the guides and protectors of the human race. They did the same with each invocation of the Blessed Virgin known in Cuba. Identification of the orisha with the figure of the saint often has to do with the clothes or the reasons why the saint or the Virgin is ...
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