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 African traditional religions (of West and Central Africa), Indigenous American, and European traditions and beliefs.


Afro-American religions involve ancestor veneration, and include a supreme creator along with a pantheon of divine spirits, such as the Orisha, Loa, Nkisi, and Alusi, among others. In addition to the syncretism of these various African traditions, many New World religions incorporate elements of Indigenous American, European, Kardecist, Spiritualist, Christian, Islamic, Judaic, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions.

List of traditions[edit]

Afro-American Religions
Religion Location Ancestral roots Also practiced in Remarks
Candomblé Brazil Yoruba Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States
Umbanda Brazil Yoruba Argentina, Uruguay, United States
Quimbanda Brazil Kongo Argentina, Uruguay, United States
Santería Cuba Yoruba Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
Cuban Vudú Cuba Fon, Ewe 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 Annang, Efik, Ibibio, Ekoi, and Igbo.
Dominican Vudú Dominican Republic Fon, Ewe United States
Haitian Vodou Haiti Fon, Ewe Canada, Dominican Republic, United States
Obeah Jamaica Igbo, Akan 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 Guyana, United States
Spiritual Baptist Trinidad and Tobago Yoruba Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica, United States
Trinidad Orisha Trinidad and Tobago[3] Yoruba United States
Louisiana Voodoo Southern United States Fon, Ewe 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

External links[edit]