“Santeria: from its formation to the modern world.” Marisol Galarza-Ruiz, assistant professor of Spanish in MCC’s world languages and cultures department, discusses a Caribbean belief system with roots in both Catholicism and the Yoruba culture of West Africa.
From the 16th to the 19th century Africans were ripped from their land, family, language and culture, and brought to America as slaves. The Spanish conquistadors converted them to a new religion, Catholicism.
In the Caribbean, those that came from the Yoruba tribe found a way to preserve their animistic beliefs by disguising their own deities as Catholics saints and virgins. That fusion, called syncretism, gave birth to a new set of beliefs called Santeria.
Professor Galarza-Ruiz will discuss formation, belief system, hierarchy, initiation path and spread of Santeria in the modern world.
Pictured: Yoruba Veranda Post by Olowe of Ise (Nigeria, early 20th c.).