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The “Orisha Religion” between Syncretism and Re-Africanization

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Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

Abstract

Afro-American religions are historically distinguished by their extreme fragmentation and lack of a superior authority that could impose orthodox rules and practices on its followers. Nonetheless, some religious leaders today aim for a unification of their practices that highlights the existence of a common ground in all Afro-American religious modalities. Since the early 1980s, there have been various attempts to standardize the different Afro-American religious practices on the A merican continent. The International Congresses of Orisha Tradition and Culture (also called COMTOC or Orisa World Congresses) have helped to create a wider network between the initiates of Brazilian Candomblé, Cuban Santería or Regla de Ocha, Haitian Vodu, North American Orisha-Voodoo, and Yoruba “traditional religion.”1 These attempts generate new ways of religious “creolization,” in which the syncretic work—the historical base of these types of religions—is resignified, giving preference to African or Afro-American endogenous variables instead of European or Catholic exogenous influences. In the Lucumí religion of Cubans living in Miami, the ritual borrowings of practices that originated in Brazilian Candomblé are a telling example of this founding tension between unification and fragmentation within these religious phenomena.

Keywords

  • Religious Practice
  • Collective Memory
  • Ritual Practice
  • Traditional Religion
  • African Tradition

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2007 Nancy Priscilla Naro, Roger Sansi-Roca, and David H. Treece

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Capone, S. (2007). The “Orisha Religion” between Syncretism and Re-Africanization. In: Naro, N.P., Sansi-Roca, R., Treece, D.H. (eds) Cultures of the Lusophone Black Atlantic. Studies of the Americas. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230606982_11

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230606982_11

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, New York

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-37003-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-230-60698-2

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