African Spirituality and Tradition

Throwing the Bones

There is just something unique about divination. It allows us to connect with the spirit world. Throwing bones is one of the forms of divination that you will enjoy. If you consider throwing the bones and want to know more about them, you need to read on.

What Does Throwing the Bones Even Mean?

Osteomancy is another term for throwing bones. It is an ancient form of divination that originates from Africa. Throwing bones has been used for diving into the past and foretelling the future for generations. Indigenous American and South American tribes also practice the act. Throwing the bones refers to casting a collection of bones, stones, seashells, and other items onto a hard surface. As patterns emerge, messages are read. Each piece of the collection would mean something different depending on where it lands.

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Practices and Celebrations of the Yoruba Culture

Yoruba culture is very unique. It has had a major influence on the African diaspora. Starting from Nigeria, the religion is practiced all the way in New York. The fact is that Yoruba practices can be felt just about everywhere in the New World. When we look at the celebrations, it is important to know about Esu who is the most powerful god. He is the shape shifter or trickster and is the crossroads to everything. Therefore, it is important to appease him through offerings.
Through Esu, the adherents of the religion can enter the world. The journey of Africans across the Americas was extremely difficult. They had to endure tremendous suffering. The best thing about the Yoruba religion is the fact that everyone is equal. Slaves had disguised their deities and preserved them as Catholic saints.

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Candomblé’s African Deities

Candomblé adherents believe in the mighty God known as Oludumare. He is considered to be the most powerful God. Lesser deities serve him alone. Some of the Creators that follow his command include Inkices, Voduns, and Orixas. When we look at Orixas, it refers to ancestors that were defied. Therefore, the Orixas can come from recent history. Some Orixas can be a hundred years old, while others are more than a thousand years old. The Orixas provide a link through which the world of humans and the spiritual world are connected.

As for Inkices and Voduns, they are spirit gods who are the same as Orixas. The thing about Candomblé is that it is a religion that synthesizes three different African beliefs, such as Voduns, Bantu, Fon, and Yoruba. According to Candomblé practitioners, it is believed that each individual has their own Orixas that control their destiny and protects them. A specific force of nature is represented by each Orixas. It is associated with particular days of the week, animals, colors, or even foods. The personality or character of an individual is highly linked with their Orixas.
In Brazil, Baba Egum refers to the ancestor spirits collectively. Priests and priestesses masquerade during ceremonies as Baba Egum. It is also common for Candomblé adherents to perform specially choreographed dances wherein they expect to get possessed by their ancestor spirit.

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Beliefs and Practices of the Candomblé Religion

Candomblé is an African religion that has been developed in South America, particularly in Brazil. The enslaved Africans that arrived in the New World brought with them their beliefs. The religion is based on oral tradition. It includes various rituals such as personal worship, animal sacrifice, dance, and ceremonies. Candomblé includes some elements of indigenous South American beliefs along with Catholicism. Although Candomblé used to be a hidden religion, it has finally become public and has at least 2 million adherents across the continent in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Argentina.


Followers of Candomblé believe in a single powerful god known as Olodumare. The ultimate god is served by various deities that visit Earth. The deities communicate with people through the messenger god known as Exu. As there were similarities between Candomblé and Catholicism, each deity was hidden as a saint. For example, the god of smallpox called Omulu is quite similar to Saint Lazarus. Thus, the adherents were able to continue worshipping their deities without any trouble.

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Candomble: Brazil’s African Religion

Candomblé is a unique African-Brazilian religion that most people do not know about. The religious belief was developed by people who were taken captive and transported from Africa to Brazil. These are people who suffered at the hands of the slave trade. Candomblé is a mix of the Bantu, Fon, and Yoruba beliefs. Each of these traditional religions has roots in Africa. As time passed by in the New World, Candomblé started to incorporate some Catholic faith elements. The belief translates as dance in honor of the gods. It includes dance and music in its ceremonies.

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