Afro-American religion

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

For African-American religion in the United States, See Religion in Black America

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

Afro-American Religions
ReligionLocationAncestral rootsAlso practiced inRemarks
CandombléBrazilYoruba religionArgentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States
UmbandaBrazilYoruba religionArgentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States
QuimbandaBrazilKongoArgentina, Uruguay, United States
SanteríaCubaYoruba religionArgentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
Cuban VodúCubaDahomean religionDominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States
PaloCuba[1]KongoDominican Republic, Puerto Rico, United States
AbakuáCubaEkpeUnited StatesSecret society of the Anaang, Efik, Ibibio, Ekoi, and Igbo peoples.
Dominican VudúDominican RepublicDahomean religionUnited States
Haitian VodouHaitiDahomean religionCanada, Dominican Republic, United States
ObeahJamaicaAkan religion, Odinanithe Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands, United StatesSimilar to Hoodoo folk magic. Derives from the Igbo 'obia' (or dibia, Igbo: doctoring) traditions.[2]
KuminaJamaicaKongoUnited States
WintiSurinameAkan religionGuyana, Netherlands, United States
Spiritual BaptistTrinidad and TobagoYoruba religionthe Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica, United States
Trinidad OrishaTrinidad and Tobago[3]YorubaUnited States
Louisiana VoodooSouthern United StatesDahomean religionUnited States

Other closely related regional faiths include:

See also


  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

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