Afro-American religion

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Example of Louisiana-Tradition Voodoo altar inside a temple in New Orleans.

Afro-American religions (also known as African diasporic religions or New World traditions) are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas in various nations of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. They derive from traditional African religions of West and Central Africa, Native American religions, European witchcraft with some influence from Christianity.


Afro-American religions involve veneration of the dead, and include a creator deity along with a pantheon of divine spirits such as the Orisha, Loa, Nkisi, and Alusi, among others. In addition to the religious syncretism of these various African traditions, many also incorporate elements of Indigenous American religion, Spiritism, Spiritualism and Christianity.

List of traditions[edit]

Afro-American Religions
Religion Location Ancestral roots Also practiced in Remarks
Candomblé Brazil Yoruba religion Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States
Umbanda Brazil Yoruba religion Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States
Quimbanda Brazil Kongo Argentina, Uruguay, United States
Santería Cuba Yoruba religion Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
Cuban Vodú Cuba Dahomean religion Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States
Palo Cuba[1] Kongo Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States
Abakuá Cuba Ekpe United States Secret society of the Anaang, Efik, Ibibio, Ekoi, and Igbo peoples.
Dominican Vudú Dominican Republic Dahomean religion United States
Haitian Vodou Haiti Dahomean religion Canada, Dominican Republic, United States
Obeah Jamaica Akan religion, Odinani the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands, United States Similar to Hoodoo folk magic. Derives from the Igbo 'obia' (or dibia, Igbo: doctoring) traditions.[2]
Kumina Jamaica Kongo United States
Winti Suriname Akan religion Guyana, Netherlands, United States
Spiritual Baptist Trinidad and Tobago Yoruba religion the Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica, United States
Trinidad Orisha Trinidad and Tobago[3] Yoruba United States
Louisiana Voodoo Southern United States Dahomean religion United States

Other closely related regional faiths include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For an extended discussion on Palo's history, see: Dodson, Jualynne E. (2008). Sacred spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba. UNM Press.
  2. ^ Eltis, David; Richardson, David (1997). Routes to slavery: direction, ethnicity, and mortality in the transatlantic slave trade. Routledge. p. 88. ISBN 0-7146-4820-5. 
  3. ^ Houk, James (1995). Spirits, Blood, and Drums: The Orisha Religion in Trinidad. Temple University Press. 
  4. ^ Xango de Recife[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]