Lucumí language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Native toCuba
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico
Native speakers
(liturgical language)
Language codes
ISO 639-3luq

Lucumí is a lexicon of words and short phrases derived from the Yoruba language in Cuba; it is used as the liturgical language of Santería in Cuba and other communities that practice Santería/Cuban Orisa/Lucumí religion/Regla de Ocha.[2][3]

The Yoruba language is no longer a vernacular among Yoruba descendants in the Americas since the time of the TransAtlantic slave trade. Devotees of the Orisa religion as it developed in the Spanish Caribbean use a liturgical language that developed from its remains. Lucumí has also been influenced by Spanish phonetics and pronunciation. The essential and non-negotiable tonal aspect of Yorùbá language has also been lost in the Lucumí lexicon of Cuban orisa tradition. Scholars have found some minimal influence from Bantu languages and Fongbe, some of which were spoken by other enslaved Africans who lived in close proximity to Yoruba speakers in the Americas.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lucumí at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ George Brandon (1997). Santeria from Africa to the New World. Indiana University Press. p. 56. lucumi language.
  3. ^ Wirtz, Kristina. 2014. Performing Afro-Cuba: Image, Voice, Spectacle in the Making of Race and History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-11905-2