The Secrets of Santeria Research Paper by Lucia

The Secrets of Santeria
An overview and brief history of the Yoruba religion known as Santeria.
# 129152 | 1,384 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Sep 05, 2010 in History (Religion) , Religion and Theology (Other)

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This paper examines the development of the Yoruba religion often known as Santeria. The paper explains that the Yoruba people were brought to the New World as slaves in the fifteenth century to work on the sugar and coffee plantations; they were forced to adhere to Catholicism, but were able to maintain the religion of their ancestry by sincretizing their native cultural beliefs with the saints and other aspects of Catholicism. The paper also takes a deep look into the Cuban religion from a micro perspective by underlining its fundamental principles and concepts and by taking a look into its five initiation processes, which include that of the guerreros, los ilekes, cofa o mano, kariocha and the ceremony when one becomes ifa, or priest. The paper concludes that Santeria is a religion of faith that endured several transcultural processes to become what it is today.

From the Paper:

"One of the first initiations into the religion is the initiation of mano o cofa. This is when one receives the grace and protection of Orula, the orisha who possess the secrets of universe. During this process the initiate learns his or her destiny and their mission in life and is assigned their orisha. This is accomplished by the instrument the babalow uses called the okuele. This divination system consists of eight shells intersected by chains. The babalow throws them several times and interprets them depending on side the shells land. With this instrument, he is able to communicate directly with Orula. The ceremony of mano o cofa are the same, except cofa is for women and mano is for men. In this initiation, the initiate receives their green and yellow beads representing Orula, and it believed that they possess a special power of the orisha, known as "ache" (Gonzales-Wippler, 45-50; Canizares, 59)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Arostegui Bolivar, Natalia. Los Orishas. Havana, Cuba: PM Ediciones, 1994. Print.
  • Barnet, Miguel. Cultos AfroCubanos. Habana, Cuba: Ediciones Union, 1995. Print
  • Canizares, Raul. Cuban Santeria. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1993.
  • Gonzales-Wippler, Migene. Rituals and Spells of Santeria. Plainview, NY: Original Publications, 1984.

Cite this Research Paper:

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The Secrets of Santeria (2010, September 05) Retrieved June 20, 2019, from

MLA Format

"The Secrets of Santeria" 05 September 2010. Web. 20 June. 2019. <>