Worldview, the Orichas, and Santeria

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Cros Sandoval’s authoritative introduction to the Afro-Cuban religioncalled Santería explores how it emerged and developed in Cuba out oftransplanted Yoruba beliefs and continues to spread and adjust tochanging times and contexts. Systematically exploring every facet ofSanteria’s worldview, Sandoval examines how practitioners have adaptedreceived beliefs and practices to reconcile them with new environments,from plantation slavery to exile in the United States.
Offering adistinctive perspective based on a lifetime of extensive research andfirsthand knowledge, Cros Sandoval illuminates Santería as atheological system and as a vital, continuously evolving community. Theadaptation process that gave birth to Santería was not the singularresult of cultural resistance, she argues, but a successful attempt tofind meaning linked to alien religious elements in a way that appealedto a diverse following.
            Beginning with thetransatlantic history of how Yoruba traditions came to Cuba and wereestablished and adapted to Cuban society, Sandoval provides acomprehensive comparison of Yoruba and Cuban mythologies, followed byan overview of how Santería has continued to diffuse and change inresponse to new contexts and adherents--with an especially illuminatingperspective on Santería among Cubans in Miami. As a reference work andhistorical treatment of Santería, Sandoval’s work will appeal to bothscholars and nonscholars alike, ranging from anthropologists andstudents of religion and the African Diaspora to psychologists, socialworkers, and those curious about or inspired by this remarkably durableand adaptable belief system.