Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Yoruba Religion

  • Stefania CaponeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08956-0_561-1


Yoruba Religion is one of the main influences in the making of Afro-Atlantic religions. Known as Lucumís in Cuba or Nagôs in Brazil, enslaved Africans coming from Yorubaland have greatly contributed to the fashioning of Orisha worship in Latin America. In the last 30 years, Yoruba Religion has increased its influence in countries like Brazil or Argentina, through the ritual activities of Yoruba babalawos and the spread of Ifá in Latin America. Today Cuban Ifá tradition, claiming the same Yoruba origin, is also a key component of the re-Africanization process.


Yoruba Religion is present in Latin America since, at least, the eighteenth century. During the slave trade, thousands of “Yoruba” have been brought to Latin America, especially Cuba and Brazil. Nevertheless, prior to the second half of the nineteenth century, “Yoruba” was just the name given by the Hausa to their enemies in Oyo, the capital of the Yoruba Empire. The idea of a single “Yoruba” people has...


Yoruba Orisha Afro-Atlantic religions Ifá Transnationalism Syncretism 
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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CéSor Center for Social Research on ReligionFrench National Center for Scientific Research – CNRS/School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences – EHESSParisFrance