Black Spirituality Religion : West African Vodun

Knowledge Seed

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How come, in most cases when a discussion about West African Vodun arises, it is only in relation to the Yoruba people?

I've been told there are at least 29 other groups of people that took part in the 'creation' of this tradition. Who are they and what did they contribute?
 

Precise Allah

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Peace,

The reason you don't hear about those other said practitioners is because they don't have the same amount of written history as the Orisha Tradition of the Yoruba here in the United States.

The only one I can think of off the top of my dome is "Palo" which originated in the Congo. One thing they add to the mix of so-called Central & West African "Earth religions" is ancestor veneration and ancestor magic.

Peace
Precise
 

Sekhemu

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How come, in most cases when a discussion about West African Vodun arises, it is only in relation to the Yoruba people?

I've been told there are at least 29 other groups of people that took part in the 'creation' of this tradition. Who are they and what did they contribute?

Vodun is essentially the state religion of Benin and is quite prevalent in Togo and Ghana. Groups like the fon, eve, ga oyo etc. experienced tremendous cultural and cosmological exchange.

As a result of a what was in fact a civil war, between the Oyo empire and Benin during the 17th and 18th centuries... several yoruba divinities found their way in to the pantheon of the aforementioned ethnic groups from the gold and ivory coast

It may be worth mentioning that A) the eve, fon and yoruba constitute some of the largest ethnic groups in all of africa. Their impact on each other is pervasive and immeasurable.

And B) what we're really talking about here has everything to do with bloodlines. The orisa and loa share the same function in their respective spiritualines and bloodlines.

Short of invoking them by thei specific names, it would be a mistake to think they exist in completly seperate vacuums
 

Sekhemu

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Peace,

The reason you don't hear about those other said practitioners is because they don't have the same amount of written history as the Orisha Tradition of the Yoruba here in the United States.

The only one I can think of off the top of my dome is "Palo" which originated in the Congo. One thing they add to the mix of so-called Central & West African "Earth religions" is ancestor veneration and ancestor magic.

Peace
Precise

I agree with part of your understanding regarding bakongo spirituality.

"Ancestral magic" is sort of a misnomer as it relates to an nganga. Nganga "deal" with mfumbe or spirits of the dead by means of an nkisi. Whether constitutes magic is up for debate. However ngangas don't typically call on their own ancestors Egun exist in a different realm, unless we're talking about dark deceased. At any rate this wound not constitute a declaration on the level of egungun veneration

As far as I know there is no written history of the Yoruba in the western hemisphere. If it exist after surviving the maafa, I pray I live another day to see it

Peace and light
 

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