1. Voodon & Santeria
|"Santeria ... flourishes in the area, and has
roots in Africa. It's a nature religion based on stones, seashells,
water and herbs. Yoruba slaves brought their deities, called Orishas,
with them, and in the New World identified the orishas with Catholic saints
in order to preserve the tradition. It can "look" like some branch
of Catholicism, with saints' statues (for instance, a statue of St. Peter
stood for Oggun, the warrior god, St. Theresa stood for Oya, the
goddess of the winds and cemeteries). This kept the whites
off their backs. (This is going through a mild vogue in New York
City. Many Caribbean immigrants have quietly practiced, and there
have been Botanicas for years--supply stores--but Madonna used some images
in a video a few years ago, and whither Madonna goes....)
"Voudon has similar roots, but without the Christian influences. It also involved a lot more of the dark side--sacrifice (traditionally chicken, but not always) and yes, zombies, or calling back the dead to walk and do the priest's or priestess's bidding."
(Dr. Marguerite Connor)
The source of Rastafari lies in a specific geographical area, the Nile Valley, a huge region that includes Egypt in the North and Ethiopia in the south. . . .
In Jamaica, 1930's was a period of social unrest and labour movement, It was a perfect context for the rise of a band of islanders who divorced themselves mentally from an oppressive social system. This cult, Rastafarianism, thus became cast as a religion of the dispossessed among those who failed to acknowledge the intellectual rigor of many practitioners (the depth of Biblical and historical knowledge displayed at a Rastafarian reasoning is intense).