African Spirituality and Tradition

Haitian Religion in Miami

Haiti is a beautiful Caribbean country. It is very diverse. Although the majority of the population identifies with Roman Catholic Christianity, there are many Voodoo influences. For hundreds of years, Haiti has been mostly a Christian country. As much as 80 percent of the locals identify as Roman Catholics. However, there is a significant influence of West African religious practices on the religion as it was brought to the island with the slaves. Haiti consists of a multi-religious community. The government is not involved with any religious organization.

Catholic-Voodoo Syncretism and Roman Catholic Christianity

The religion in Haiti is highly mixed up and modified with traditional voodoo practices that come from West African religious traditions as well as some native beliefs. The prevalence of Catholicism on the island is due to the impact of the French as they were the colonial master of the country. Moreover, Catholicism was the official religion of the state until the year 1986 when it got removed from the constitution. Thus, there is more religious liberty on the island. It has paved the way for more religions to flourish. It is important to note that the Catholic Church has had a tough time dealing with the voodoo practices of the country. By the 1930s, there remained only a few priests, and they only catered to the urban elite. It was only later that the priests launched various campaigns to destroy the voodoo religion. But, many elements from the folk religion ended up getting into the liturgy. Freedom of religion allowed native religions to be practiced.
In 1983, when the Pope visited Haiti, he criticized the government for lack of action against the voodoo religion, which showed his power on the nation. It was after three years from the visit that Jean Claude Duvalier (the leader) got deposed. Haiti has two archdioceses and ten dioceses to ensure church affairs are efficiently administered.

Haitians in Miami

Although as much as 16 percent of the Haitian population is Protestant, the majority of the Haitians that moved to Miami brought a form of religion that is heavily voodoo-based. Many of their practices are similar to the majority back home. Miami has welcomed them with open arms, and they have not faced much discrimination in the country. Instead, many Americans have shown an interest in the voodoo religion. It is exciting and answers many aspects of Christianity, in which Americans have a tough time getting their head around.
The Haitian religion in Miami is predominantly Catholic, with heavy voodoo elements. Some of their practices might be considered a vice in America, but they are true to their religion. Miami is a very diverse city, and it is a haven for Haitians who have moved to the United States with dreams of living a better life.

Impact of Religion

Haitians in Miami are religious people. They do believe that there is a higher power in life and believe in the existence of God. However, there are many West African influences in their form of religion. Certain voodoo ceremonies might seem very different but are unique in their way. The impact of religion in Miami due to the Haitian locals has only raised awareness in the city.


Festivals Celebrated In Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago are one of the most diverse places on the planet. It is a Caribbean country that is known for its partying scene. The locals enjoy every moment in life. It is due to this fact a ton of festivals is celebrated every year. People of all religions consider Trinidad and Tobago their home. No event passes without huge festivals being held in their honor. There are thirteen public holidays in this spectacular country that has some of the best beaches in the region.

The public holidays embody the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country. They acknowledge Muslims, Hindus, Roman Catholics, and other religions. There is a public debate every year regarding a public holiday to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Carnival is held every year and is treated as a public holiday even though it is not recognized as such. This post provides a break-up of the festivals celebrated in this Caribbean country as below.

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The Sacred Twins – Ibeji 

Ibeji is also known as Ibelli, Ibryi, Meji, Melli, and Jimaguas. They are twins but the Ibeji are identified as one Orisha. ‘Ibi’ accurately means born and ‘eji’ means two. Twins are considered to be very sacred among the people of Yoruba. They have the highest rate of twin births, about 5% whereas the rest of the world has a twin-birth percentage of 0.5%. The Ibeji and all twins of this world are considered to have one soul in two bodies. The Ibeji are believed to be the original twins born on this earth and are said to be the orishas of joy, glee, and mischief. The Gemini twins in astrology are also said to be related directly to the Ibeji. The Ibejis parents are, namely, Chango and Oshun. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Ochosi – The Hunter

Ochosi, also known and spelled as Oxosi, Oshosi, is a great and stealthy hunter who lives in the woods. He is not only known for his excellent hunting skills, but he is also a fisherman, a warrior with excellent arrow skills, a seer with shamanistic powers and a magician. Ochosi is also the lord of justice and the defender/patron of those who has misdoings with the law.

Given an Undertaking

Ochosi, during his time, was only a huntsman who became an Orisha. According to a sacred story, also known as a Pataki, Ochosi was once given a task by Elegua. He was asked to hunt a rare bird for Orula who wanted to gift the bird to Olofi. Since Ochosi was a skilled hunter and had no problems finding his prey, he agreed and caught the rare bird in a matter of minutes. He caged it and brought it back home. Immediately he informed Orula that he had caught the bird. As Ochosi went out, his mother came home to find the bird in a cage and thought that Ochosi had caught it for dinner. She killed the bird and dressed it. She then went out to the local market to buy some condiments to cook it with. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest

Ogun: The Orisha of Iron

Ogun is known to be a very powerful warrior who has creativity and intelligence when it comes to making new tools. He protects his people from injustice. He is known as the father of civilization because if it were not for his creative tools, the earth would be full of the wilderness. If it were not for his strength, the path from heaven to earth would never have been cleared for the Orishas and humanity to thrive on earth. Ogun’s tools were the tools which helped create new buildings and cities. Continue readingFacebooktwitterpinterest