Category: Santería

Santeria.Santería (Spanish pronunciation, also known as Regla de Ocha, Regla Lucumí, or Lucumí, is

an Africandiasporic religion that developed in Cuba during the late 19th century. It arose through a

processof syncretism between the traditional Yoruba religion of West Africa, the Roman Catholic form

of Christianity,and Spiritism. There is no central authority in control of Santería and much diversity exists among

practitioners, whoare known as creyentes (“believers”).Santería is polytheistic and revolves around deities

called oricha.

Catholic saints. Each human is believed to have a personal link to aparticular oricha who influences their personality.

Various myths are told about these oricha, who are regarded assubservient to Olodumare, a transcendent creator

deity. Olodumare is believed to be the ultimate source of aché, asupernatural force permeating the universe that can

be manipulated through ritual actions. Practitioners venerate theoricha at altars, either in the home or in the casa.

What are the beliefs of Santeria?|What is the purpose of Santeria?|Who is the God of Santeria?|

The term Santería translates into English as the “way of the saints”. This term was first used by

scholarlycommentators in the 1930s and later spread among the religion’s practitioners themselves. It has

become themost popular name for the religion, although some practitioners find it offensive. A common alternative

is Regla deOcha, meaning “the rule of ochaocha being a term for the religion’s deities. Some adherents

regard this as the religion’s “official” name. The tradition has also been called Lucuma, in reference to the colonial

Spanish termfor the Yoruba people, or alternatively La Religión Lucumí (“the Lucuma religion”) or Regla

Lucumí (“the rule of Lucumí”.Santería is an Afro-Caribbean religion, and more specifically an Afro-

Cuban religion.

them Yoruba, between the 16th and 19thcenturies. In Cuba, these religions mixed with the Roman

Catholicism introduced by Spanish colonialists. Roman Catholic saints were conflated with West African deities,

while enslaved Africans adopted Roman Catholic ritual sand sacramentals. In the 19th century, elements

from Spiritism—a French variant of Spiritualism—were drawn into the mix, with Santeria emerging as a distinct.

Santeria is a flexible and eclectic tradition, with considerable variation in how it is practiced. There is no strict

orthodoxy, no key sacred text, and no central authority in control of the entire religion. It has absorbed

elements from many cultures that it has encountered, such as that of the Chinese migrants who came to Cuba in

the 19th century, while in continental North America, Santeria has also incorporated influences from Central

American and Mexican religions as well as from New Age and modern Pagan practices. As well as it being

common for Cubans to idiosyncratically blend ideas from different religions, many of Santería’s practitioners claim

multiple religious allegiances. Santería’s adherents often consider themselves to be Roman Catholics—some

priests and priestesses of Santería refuse to initiate anyone who is not a baptised Roman Catholic—and others

consider themselves to be Spiritists, Hindus, Vodouists, or Jews.


Santeria. Santería (Spanish pronunciation, also known as Regla de Ocha, Regla Lucumí, or Lucumí, is an African diasporic religion that developed in Cuba during the late 19th century. It arose…