A manbo or mambo is a female ritual specialist in the Haitian Vodou tradition. Like her male counterpart, the oungan (or houngan), she performs ceremonies, initiations, healings, and divinations. She is a spiritual guide for those who make contact with the gods through possession. Her symbol is the ason, a rattle that she receives at the time of her acknowledgment as priestess. She uses it both to invoke the gods and to direct rituals.
Divining or divination is the ancient and pervasive practice of attempting to discern hidden dimensions of present situations or future course of events through sacred techniques, such as casting cowry shells or reading tarot cards.
The Yoruba are a West African people in the area now called Nigeria and Benin. The religious traditions of Yoruba culture formed the foundations of many Afro-Caribbean traditions, includin. Shango in Trinidad, Lucumi or Santería in Cuba, and, to a lesser extent Vodou in Haiti.
Although African and Afro-Caribbean religions acknowledge a supreme God, sometimes described as a “high God,” they emphasize the primacy in daily life of multiple spirit beings, called orisha in Yoruba, oricha in the Spanish language of the Cuban Lucumi tradition. In relations of reciprocity with these gods, people enjoy their successes in life, celebrate their rites of passage, and cope with misfortune, illness, and grief. Comparable to the Iwa of the Haitian Vodou tradition.
Oyotunji African village was founded in 1970 in Sheldon, South Carolina by Walter Eugene King. It is a religious and cultural community for African American practitioners of the West Yoruba faith. At its height, the village was home to over 200 people.... Read more about The Kingdom of Oyotunji
Jamaican religious traditions in the United States include Obeah, Jamaican Revivalism or Pukumina, and Rastafarianism. Obeah is a system of herbal and spiritual technology to cure diseases, offer protection, and even to harm one’s enemies. The Pukumina tradition is more structured than the Obeah tradition, and its rituals share some characteristics with Haitian Vodou. Rastafarianism, known within the U.S. through its reggae music and its characteristic hairstyle of dreadlocks, interprets Africans and African Americans as successors to Biblical prophets.... Read more about Jamaican Religion
Vodou (meaning "spirit" or "god" in the Fon and Ewe languages of West Africa) is a blending (syncretism) of African religious traditions and Catholicism. In the United States, Vodou religious ceremonies are often performed in private group settings where spirits manifest in devotees through posession.... Read more about Vodou, Serving the Spirits
Santería, or La Regla Lucumi, came to the United States with Cuban immigrants. 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 understanding and hostility toward their tradition.... Read more about “Santería,” The Lucumi Way
During the brutality of the slave trade, many enslaved Africans brought their religious traditions to the United States and the Caribbean. These traditions were maintained in subtle ways in the United States, most notably in the Christianity of black Americans. Over the next two centuries, black Americans have explored their connection to African heritage and religions.... Read more about From Africa to America
hey gathered in a clearing by a stream in Baltimore County one chilly early-spring day, some in the colorful African head ties known as geles, others wearing bracelets trimmed in shells or carved in wood.One by one, they stepped forward to toss offerings into the Gwynns Falls – a pineapple, four oranges, a bouquet of tulips.And when the lead priestess of these African-American women dropped a handful of shells to the ground and scrutinized their pattern, a message came through: Their celebration of the
BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. — In many ways, the class that met here Tuesday night could be in any university in the United States. There were desks arranged in a circle to facilitate discussion. There were student presentations based on dense readings. And there was the faint buzzing from the fluorescent lights overhead.