Kumina

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Kumina is an Afro-Jamaican religion influenced mainly by the Bantu slaves from the Congo area.[1]

Deities are separated into sky bound and earth bound deities. Oto King Zombi, a sky bound deity is the Supreme Being. Other sky bound deities of Kumina are Obei and Shango. Earth bound deities in Kumina are found in the old testament David, Ezekiel, Moses, Cain and Shadrak. Ancestral spirits are also important in Kumina. The term used to refer to these ancestral spirits is Zombi, the term originates from the Kikongo word "dzambi" which means god. Only a person who has been possessed by a Zombi can become a Zombi after death. A Zombi had the privilege of returning to earth to preside over ceremonies and possess dancers and performing other duties. Unlike people who had been possessed by Zombies, those who had not been possessed would simply die and ascend to Oto King Zombi without chance of returning to earth.

Organization of Kumina communities follows the general local character of African religions in Jamaica. Kumina communities are small family based communities or nations. Some nations include Mondongo, Moyenge, Machunde, Kongo, Igbo, and Yoruba. People from Kumina families are given the title Bongo. Marrying into a Bongo family is one avenue to become a part of a Kumina nation; special initiation is the other avenue. Kumina nations are led by a "King" and "Queen".

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