a patron of those suffering from smallpox, HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and other infectious diseases. Santiago has a high concentration of Afro-Cubans, and not surprisingly, a large number of Santeros. Santería priests, known as babalawos, act as intermediaries in the religion. Discover the best Santería books and audiobooks. Vacation days are hard to come by. While here, you can sometimes see Santería ceremonies being performed in Plaza Dolores—these usually include dancing, chanting, and drumming. In the 1980s, there was a resurgence of interest in Santería, and today it enjoys widespread appeal throughout much of Cuba. A Santero, or high priest, traditionally presides over rituals and ceremonies. This is why ceremonies and rites are so important. Mi abuela fue a una santería y compró un rosario y una estampilla de San Cayetano. Santería, or La Regla Lucumi, came to the United States with Cuban immigrants. Santeria evolved when African slaves were stolen from their homelands during the Colonial period and forced to work in Caribbean sugar plantations. Santeria combines influences of Caribbean tradition, West Africa's Yoruba spirituality, and elements of Catholicism. The end result was that the practice of animal sacrifice within a religious context was ruled, by the Supreme Court, to be a protected activity. Thank you for contributing Congrats! Santería comes from the Spanish word santo, meaning “saint”; practitioners are called Santeros (female: Santeras). In Regla, a neighborhood on the eastern side of the Havana harbor, you’ll often see Santería shrines in front of homes. In a landmark 1993 case, the Church of Lakumi Babalu Aye successfully sued the city of Hialeah, Florida, for the right to practice animal sacrifice within a religious context; the Supreme Court determined that it was a protected activity. You practice Santería with others in the community, because it serves the greater whole." We help make every single one count by tailoring experiences that are fun-filled, worry-free, and unforgettable. The relationship with the Santeros is also beneficial to the orishas—they only continue to exist if humans worship them. Visits to the cathedral at El Cobre, which is about 15 miles (23 km) from Santiago, will also be instructive. Through offerings of objects, foods, and animals, people “make ebó ” to placate and petition the spirits. Translate La santería. Similar to ancient Greek gods, the orishas represent various forces of nature along with certain human characteristics—for example, Yemayá is the … The saint of fire and war, he is often seen carrying a double-headed axe and is associated with red and white. Santería is typically practiced in ritual communities called "houses" rather than public of worship spaces; indeed, many practitioners of Santería are wary of the general public's lack of … Some of the most popular orishas include: It is estimated that about a million or so Americans currently practice Santeria, but it's hard to determine whether this count is accurate or not. Many Santeros make the journey here to pray to Ochún, a.k.a. In some areas, African slaves learned that honoring their ancestral orishas was far safer if their Catholic owners believed they were worshiping saints instead - hence the tradition of overlap between the two. Santería has its roots in the Yoruba people of West Africa. If you visit the El Cobre Cathedral, you’ll see followers sporting yellow clothes and wearing yellow and white beads in homage to Ochún. For centuries, Santería – which is also known as the Regla de Ocha – was practiced in secret, and survived orally from one generation to another. For many years, Santeria was kept secret, and limited to those of African ancestry. The practice of Santería and it’s coexistence with Cuban health care is an example of this. Every follower is assigned to an orisha who will guide him or her throughout life. After the Revolution, Santería was openly acknowledged but was criticized by the government as being folksy witchcraft. The need to preserve their traditions and belief systems in a hostile cultural environment prompted the enslaved Africans to syncretize their gods with the saints of Roman Catholicism, which struck them as a similar pantheon of quasi-deities. Most members of the house have been initiated by him or her and are Merced filed a lawsuit with city officials said he could no longer perform animal sacrifices as part of his religious practice. 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