FAMEPedia:Today's featured article/August 25, 2021

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A Santería shrine in Trinidad, Cuba
A Santería shrine in Trinidad, Cuba

Santería is an African diasporic religion that developed among Afro-Cuban communities during the late 19th century. It arose through the syncretism of the Yoruba religion of West Africa, the Roman Catholic form of Christianity, and Spiritism. Santería is an initiatory tradition with no central authority. It is polytheistic and revolves around deities called oricha. Deriving their names and attributes from traditional Yoruba divinities, they are equated with Roman Catholic saints. Each human is believed to have a personal link to a particular oricha. Practitioners venerate the oricha at altars, where offerings include fruit, liquor, flowers and sacrificed animals. A central ritual involves practitioners drumming, singing, and dancing to encourage an oricha to possess one of their members and thus communicate with them. Healing rituals and the preparation of herbal remedies and talismans also play a prominent role. The number of initiates is estimated to be in the high hundreds of thousands. (Full article...)