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Santería – A ceremonial and trance or possession complex that evolved from the interaction of African- and European-derived religious traditions in Cuba. It is sometimes called Lucumí after one of the names applied to African slaves largely but not entirely of Yoruba origin. Since spreading to North America with Cuban exiles after the revolution in 1959, Santería has become popular more widely. Its main ceremonies express devotion to deities, the Orichas, also known as Santos. This blending of Yoruba and popular Spanish terminology reflects the pervasive linking of elements drawn from many originally discrete ethnic and religious backgrounds. Traditionally, ceremonies are open only to appropriately initiated persons, and a hierarchical series of initiations permits increasing access to rites that engage with more members of the divine pantheon. Priestly leaders not only make offerings but also practice divination for clients, seeking knowledge to solve problems and heal illnesses.
See also Caribbean.


Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007


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