Date: 11-15-88 07:05
From: Ammond Shadowcraft
Subj: Santeria. part 1 of 9
"The Afro-Antillian Religion of the Lucumis..."
On the history of Santeria...
It was in the days of the conquest...manpower was needed to
cultivate the land and to work hard, very hard. The native
inhabitants of this newly discovered land enslaved by the conquerors
were dying by the hundreds every day. The solution, to bring slaves from
Africa...it was the XVI century. Slaves were brought by the thousands
during the XVI-XIX centuries to the new world, to what is today Central and
south America, the Caribbean and the southern portion of North America.
These slaves came mainly from the south western coastal region of Africa,
region in were the nations of the Yorubas, Arara and Lucumi dwelled.
These Africans were strong, clever, highly independent hard
working beings who were also very religious. Among the many brought to
the new world there were artisans, musicians and most important: priests,
doctors and sorcerers who were three independent classes often
confused as being the same thing. Priests were in charge of the
religious life of the members of his nation or tribe; doctors took care of
the physical health and sorcerers were a kind of "outlaw priests" who almost
invariably lived outside of the villages. Doctors and priests worked in
common accord: the doctor took care of the physical while the priest
care of the spiritual. Many times however, both functions were
performed by the priest but not the other way around. The sorcerer offered
his services for any purpose; that is, to perform good or evil, being
to perform evil that his services were most often sought.
Secret societies or Brotherhoods formed a very important
part of the communal life. Men formed artisans brotherhoods, hunting
and fishing brotherhoods in were the art of each was taught. Women also
had their own "Sisterhoods" in were the arts and skills of becoming a good
wife were taught. There were also religion oriented brotherhoods whose
members had to belong to the
"clergy". Even the sorcerers belonged and promoted their own
versions of these brotherhoods.
These nations lived very close to the coast, for fishing and
hunting game was ample and also because they felt protected from the
attacks of several other warrior nations that lived inland. As a
matter of fact many of the slaves who were eventually brought to
new world were prisoners of war belonging to defeated tribes on wars
with other African nations who sold them to the slave traders. But their
security was short lived...because the white men came.
* Origin: SMARTNet - Who says OPUS can't Fly? (Opus 1:128/23)