Santeria Dancing

The Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria is based on the traditional religion of the Yoruba people from West Africa. Nearly one million Africans were brought to Cuba as slaves between 1600-1900 and were forbidden to practice their native religion.  Santeria dance and music evolved as part of the religion as slaves embraced outward forms of Christianity and merged them with traditional worship of the Orisha dieties of Yoruba Mythology.

Gathered in a small casa during a rainstorm, our group witnessed four Santeria dancers in bright costumes take turns dancing to the rhythm of the drums.  Each one represented a different personality, and the dances became extremely fast-paced and frenetic. We were amazed as the dancers appeared to enter into a trance -like state during their frenzied dance.   It was explained that the trance opens the doors to spirit possession, and the orishas, or dieties, briefly enter the trance-induced body and use it to give advice.

Next stop the famous cemetery Necropolis Cristobal Colon

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