StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Religions of the Caribbean and Latin America - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Religions of the Caribbean and Latin America

This religion is seen not only in Haiti, where its origins lie, but also in Mexico and South America, and most famously in New Orleans, where its practitioners have included Dr John, the shaman Drummer, and Marie Laveau, the New Orleans healer. It is from the academic studies of this religion that we have received some of the most powerful images of modern mystery faiths. It is also known as Vodou, Vodun, and many other variations, depending upon the writer concerned. As at attempt at compromise, Voodoo will be used to discuss the Haitian religion as a cultural signifier, while Vodun (which means spirit or sacred) will be used to discuss the actual religion of the area.
Vodun, moreover, is not the only religion in the area based upon the entwined influence of African Gods, Christian imagery, and native American shaman faiths. Other interesting religions of the area include Santeria, the faith of the Yoruba in Cuba and the Diaspora, Candomble, and Umbanda. These three religions are referred to under the umbrella term of ‘Macumba’.'Macumba'. While this essay will study the differences and similarities between the Vodun and Santeria, the other religions of this region are also worthy of mention, as they have produced transculturation in differing ways, especially Umbanda, which is unusual even for the area:
Umbanda in perhaps the youngest of these forms only emerging
in 1904 and strangely enough being a fusion not of Christian and
African beliefs, but Hindu, Buddhist and African beliefs.
(Patrice, 2003, page 7)
Even such a well-known religion such as Jamaican Rastafarianism, which is fundamentally a Christian religion, combines elements of a pan-African religious perspective, including
There would be a mystic return to the African homelandlinked
to notions of cultural recovery through a spiritual connection to
the African homeland. The belief in the soul's return to Africa
after death was widespread in the Caribbean.
(Olmos and Paravisini-Gebert. 2003, page 156-7)
Rastafarianism is a connection between the deeply religious Christian community, and the equally religious Pan-African faiths of the Caribbean. Furthermore, the idea of a spiritual movement back to Africa after death ties it in strongly to the Vodun, Candomble, and even Espiritismo, which is the Creole interpretation of spiritualism in areas such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Southern states of the United States.
In all the religions of the Caribbean so far discussed, the importance of spiritual connection with the dead, with ancestors in Africa, and direct contact with the gods, or Lwa, who will be discussed later.
Voodoo is seen by outsiders as a very 'dark' faith, one in which the priests and priestesses kill their enemies through magic, the famous 'voodoo' dolls, and rites which involve animal sacrifice (and human sacrifice too, it is alleged). Other myths of voodoo imagine the creation of many Zombies as workers, have become the staple of horror movies, and TV shows such as 'Hex'.
Santeria, while associated with Vodun, concentrates much more upon the worship of Gods in the guises of Catholic Saints. The very name means 'Worship (or way) of the Saints", and so provides a perfect example of the mixing of Christian and African religions in this melting pot of faiths known as the Caribbean.
This essay seeks to analyze the true religions of Vodun and Santeria, approaching the faiths through a history of the people, from a consideration of the cultural influences of both religions, to the nature of the worship before Slavery was abolished. The role of Voodoo in Haiti and New Orleans will be considered, ...Show more


As at attempt at compromise, Voodoo will be used to discuss the Haitian religion as a cultural signifier, while Vodun (which means spirit or sacred) will be used to discuss the actual religion of the area…
Author : hschmeler
Religions of the Caribbean and Latin America
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Religions of the Caribbean and Latin America"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Latin America
It is rightly argued that an honest American quest to oust the European colonial powers for the better political future of the Latin people was made, but unfortunately it later turned out into the strengthening of its own strategic interests in the region.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean
Intense storms and rainfalls occur on Latin American countries due to climatic changes. Growing population, commerce, and industrialization are responsible for pushing back these rainforests. The impact of climate change and environmental degradation can be seen from the drought in the Amazon to floods in Haiti.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Slavery in Colonial Latin America
Yet it is undeniable that many of the modern economies which decry the practice of the slave trade and slavery in general have their own political and economic basis in a pre-modern slave economy. Moreover, much of the richness in culture and society is due to the intermingling of races that resulted from slavery.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Art Music of Caribbean Latin America
Juan Bautista Alfonseca, also known as the ‘father of Dominican music’, Jose Reyes, Jose de Jesus Ravelo, Juan Francisco Garcia, Luis Emilio Mena, Enrique de Marchena Dujarric, Jose Dolores Ceron, to name just a few, are notable for their contribution. Early Dominican
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Latin America
Moreover, pros and cons of tourism in Caribbean Islands are briefly enclosed as well. In the last part of the report, the altitudinal zonation model for Latin America showing elevations, names of the zones along with climate diversity is
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Latin America
The second set of countries which face the Pacific such as Chile and Colombia, favor globalization and thus embrace free markets and free trade. European colonization had a great influence
1 pages (250 words) Essay
The Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean Reflection papers
Similarly, the political class aligns themselves with their ethnic in order to get what they want and the support. The existing symbiotic relationship benefits both as none can achieve
3 pages (750 words) Essay
The Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean Reflection papers
Different people from different places practice different religious beliefs on a daily basis. Some practice Catholicism, Protestantism, and/or voodoo. Religion can be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or other
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Latin America
Thus, the ecosystem changed a lot. So many animals around the areas where the dams were built died. Also, the forests were cleared. This aspect changed the ecosystem of the areas
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The Geography of Latin America
The boundaries of Latin America include the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Cape Horn or the Island of Hornos on the South, the British territories (St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension and the Falkland Islands on the east,
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Essay on topic Religions of the Caribbean and Latin America for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • The Newest Essay Topics
Join us:
Contact Us