Essay How Santeria Is A Religion From The Sixteenth Century

2300 Words Jun 20th, 2016 10 Pages
Santeria is a religion originating out of Cuba from the sixteenth century, and incorporates elements of African religion, Roman Catholicism and French Spiritism. It is an important religious influence in Cuba whose beliefs and practices have integrated into many cultures including, but not limited to, the United States. The worship of the saints, or Santeria, has a relatively new history, coming into existence by help of the slave trade and innovating thinking of the people held captive. The followers of Santeria persevered against European attempts to strip them of their traditions. The slaves developed their religion as a challenge to being colonized, and “ a counter hegemonic challenge to the social, economic, and political order that controlled their lives.” When the slave masters stole the native African people from their land, not only did they bondage and dehumanize them, but also attempted to deny them their native traditions. Santeria is a culturized religion that has been a defining force for Afro-cuban culture because of its ability to assimilate into other religions and the various demographic of practitioners.
When Columbus sailed to America there were estimates of, “...between 100,000 and 200,000 Ciboney and Arawak Indians” (Lefever, p. 319). A thriving culture flourished in Africa before the Spaniards came to colonize and consequently decimate the land and alter the landscape. The native people who lived there were faced with forced labor, violence and…

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