Summary: Vodou (meaning “spirit” or “god” in the Fon and Ewe languages of West Africa) is a blending (syncretism) of African religious traditions and Catholicism. In the United States, Vodou religious ceremonies are often performed in private group settings where spirits manifest in devotees through posession.
How is Vodou an example of religious syncretism?
Some practices of Haitian Vodou are a result of the syncretism that occurred when the French colonizers forcibly converted West African slaves in the West Indies colonies to Christianity. Instead of completely converting to Christianity, the African slaves disguised their loa as acceptable Catholic saints.
What type of religion is voodoo?
Vodou represents a syncretism of the West African Vodun religion and Roman Catholicism by the descendants of the Dahomean, Kongo, Yoruba, and other ethnic groups who had been enslaved and transported to colonial Saint-Domingue (as Haiti was known then) and partly Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 16th …
Is Santeria a syncretic religion?
Santeria (Way of the Saints) is an Afro-Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs and traditions, with some Roman Catholic elements added. The religion is also known as La Regla Lucumi and the Rule of Osha. Santeria is a syncretic religion that grew out of the slave trade in Cuba.
What are the basic beliefs of Voodoo religion?
Both venerate a supreme being and believe in the existence of invisible evil spirits or demons and in an afterlife. Each religion also focuses its ceremonies around a center point—an altar in Catholicism, a pole or tree in voodoo.
What is an example of a syncretic religion?
Instances of religious syncretism—as, for example, Gnosticism (a religious dualistic system that incorporated elements from the Oriental mystery religions), Judaism, Christianity, and Greek religious philosophical concepts—were particularly prevalent during the Hellenistic period (c. 300 bce–c.
Is Voodoo from Africa?
Vodun is an ancient religion practiced by some 30 million people in the West African nations of Benin, Togo and Ghana. With its countless deities, animal sacrifice and spirit possession, voodoo — as it’s known to the rest of the world — is one of the most misunderstood religions on the globe.
What is the oldest religion?
The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit.
Where is voodoo practiced in the world?
For many in the West, Voodoo invokes images of animal sacrifices, magical dolls and chanted spells. But Voodoo – as practiced in Haiti and by the black diaspora in the United States, South America and Africa – is a religion based on ancestral spirits and patron saints.
Who is the god of voodoo?
Legba represents a West African and Caribbean Voodoo god. This god has many different names depending on the region in which he is worshipped is most commonly known in Haiti as Papa Legba.
What are the 7 Orishas?
Women ordinarily do not confer that initiation on men. Another common initiation is the intitiation into the Seven African Powers (Elegua, Obatala, Oggun, Chango, Yemaya, Oshun, and Orunmilla). Devotees from Cuba often replace Orunmilla with Babalu-Aye. The Seven African Powers are consecrated into one eleke.
Is Santeria illegal?
Based on a mixture of West African religions and Catholicism, Santeria has long been controversial, chiefly because of rituals that call for the sacrifice of animals, usually goats and chickens. … Yet, sacrifices performed humanely are legal, said Lt.
What is Africa’s main religion?
The majority of Africans are adherents of Christianity or Islam. African people often combine the practice of their traditional belief with the practice of Abrahamic religions. Abrahamic religions are widespread throughout Africa.
Which country has the highest voodoo?
In Togo, about half the population practices indigenous religions, of which Vodun is by far the largest, with some 2.5 million followers; there may be another million Vodunists among the Ewe of Ghana, as a 13% of the total Ghana population of 20 million are Ewe and 38% of Ghanaians practice traditional religion.
What voodoo means?
1 or less commonly vodou vō-ˈdü : a religion that is derived from African polytheism and ancestor worship and is practiced chiefly in Haiti. 2a : a person who deals in spells and necromancy. b(1) : a sorcerer’s spell : hex. (2) : a hexed object : charm. voodoo.
Why is voodoo practiced in New Orleans?
It is a religion connected to nature, spirits and ancestors. Voodoo was bolstered when followers fleeing Haiti after the 1791 slave revolt moved to New Orleans and grew as many freed people of color made its practice an important part of their culture.