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Santeria is a fusion of Catholic practices and African folk beliefs. It emerged in Cuba during the 17th century, and has been embedded in Cuban society ever since. Slaves from West Africa were imported to Cuba in the 17th century, and they brought their religious tradition with them.
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It is believed that access to the orisha s can be achieved through various types of divination. As a result of these ceremonial exchanges, the oracle often determines that one particular orisha has claimed the devotee as its. In the crowning ceremony, the symbols of the patron orisha are placed on the head of the devotee, and he or she may enter a ceremonial trance and become a santeria dating for that orisha.
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Through the bodies of their mediums the orisha s are believed to interact with the congregation directly and heal and prophesy for those who approach them. From the Cuban Revolution of to the early 21st century, santeria dating one santeria dating Cubans left the island, bringing Orisha religion to cities throughout the Americas, particularly Miami and New York. The tradition also spread to other Latino communitiesAfrican Americans, and white Americans.
Although census data are lacking, it is likely that initiated devotees in the tens of thousands and that those who consult an orisha at one time or another may be counted in the millions.
Devotees see the Orisha tradition as a world religion and have received public recognition of their spiritual achievements. In the U. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of devotees to practice the controversial rite of animal sacrifice in the case Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v.
The U. Army and Federal Bureau of Prisons have incorporated orisha ministries into their chaplaincies. Musicians, painters, sculptors, and writers have found in the Orisha tradition sources of African artistry and pride.
It is likely that Orisha traditions will continue to grow and be recognized as one of the principal African contributions to world culture. Additional Info.
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External Websites. Joseph M. Murphy Joseph M. Murphy Professor of Theology, Georgetown University. Author of Santeria: African Spirits in America. See Article History. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content.
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Subscribe Now. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Its visual representations of the orisha take on the more popular form of images of saints, although they retain key traits of typical representations of Yoruba deities.
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