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THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF AFRO-CARIBBEAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION

THE CULTURAL ORIGINS OF AFRO-CARIBBEAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION

AFRICAN DIASPORA

DAHOMEY

(AIDA
WEDO, DAMBALLAH, EZILI FREDA etc..)

Dahomey was an African kingdom in the present-day Republic of Benin,
founded by the Fon people, which lasted from 1600 until 1900. For much of the
18th and 19th centuries, the Kingdom of Dahomey was a key regional state,
eventually ending tributary status to the Oyo empire and being a major location
for the Atlantic slave trade, possibly supplying up to 20% of the slaves to
Europe and the Americas .
EWE

(LEGBA)

The
Ewe are a people located in southern Togo, southern Benin, and
south-eastern parts of the Volta Region of Ghana, and were part of the Dahomey
Empire.
YORUBA
– NAGO

(OGUNS)

The
Yoruba people are an ethnic group of West Africa found predominantly in
Nigeria. The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today western and
northern Nigeria. Established in the 14th century, the Oyo Empire grew to
become one of the largest West African states encountered by pre-colonial
explorers. It rose through the outstanding organizational skills of the Yoruba,
wealth gained from trade and its powerful cavalry. The Oyo Empire was the most
politically important state in the region from the mid-17th to the late 18th
century, holding sway not only over most of the other kingdoms in Yorubaland,
but also over nearby African states, notably the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey in the
contemporary republic of Benin to the west.
GEDE-BANDA

(BARONS,
GEDE etc..)

In
Dahomey, the Gedevi were the aboriginal people of the Ahbomey plane who
were displaced by the invading Fon. True to Fon religious ideals, the
Gede ancestors were incorporated into their theology as the “lords
of the earth”, and thereby lords of the dead who are buried within
the earth
IBO

(LOKO,
GRANN IBO etc..)

The
Igbo/Ibo people are an ethnic group of southeastern Nigeria. Before
British colonialism, the Igbo were a politically fragmented group. There were
variations in culture such as in art styles, attire and religious practices.
Various subgroups were organized by clan, lineage, village affiliation, and
dialect. There were not many centralized chiefdoms, hereditary aristocracy, or
kingship customs. Due to the effects of the Atlantic slave trade, there are
descendant ethnic Igbo populations in countries such as Cameroon and Equatorial
Guinea,as well as outside Africa. Their exact population outside Africa is
unknown, but today many African Americans and Afro Caribbeans are of Igbo
descent
KONGO

(MARASA,
SIMBI etc..)

The
Kingdom of Kongo was an African kingdom located in west central Africa
in what is now northern Angola, Cabinda, the Republic of the Congo, and the
western portion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the
southernmost part of Gabon.
The
Kingdom of Kongo became a major source of slaves for Portuguese traders and
other European powers. Slavery had existed in Kongo long before the arrival of
the Portuguese, with evidence of established slave markets. It is likely that
most of the slaves exported to the Portuguese were war captives from Kongo’s
campaigns of expansion.

 

INDIGENOUS
INDIANS OF THE CARIBBEAN
ARAWAK/TAINO

The
Arawak people include the Taíno, who occupied the Greater Antilles (Cuba.
Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Purto Rico) and the Bahamas (Lucayans); the
Nepoya and Suppoya of Trinidad, the Lokono of Guyana; the Igneri, who were
supposed to have preceded the Caribs in the Lesser Antilles (Barbados, St
Kitts, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada etc..); together with related groups (including
the Lucayans) which lived along the eastern coast of South America, as far
south as what is now Brazil.
The
Taínos were seafaring indigenous peoples of the Bahamas, Greater
Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles.
At
the time of Columbus’ arrival in 1492, there were five Taíno chiefdoms and
territories on Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and Dominican Republic), each led
by a principal Cacique (chieftain), to whom tribute was paid. Puerto
Rico also was divided into chiefdoms
CARIBS

Carib or Kalinago people, after whom the Caribbean was named, are
a group of people who live in Venezuela and the Lesser Antilles islands. The
Caribs are believed to have migrated from the Orinoco River area in South
America to settle in the Caribbean islands about 1200 AD. Over the two
centuries leading up to Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean archipelago in 1492,
the Caribs mostly displaced the Taínos by warfare, extermination and
assimilation. The Taíno had settled the island chains earlier in history,
migrating from the mainland.

 

OTHER
EUROPEAN COLONIAL SLAVERY

Portuguese
– 16th Century Chinese and Moorish Slaves sent to West Indies

British
& Dutch – 19th Century forced labour of Subcontinental Indians
on Caribbean sugar plantations

British
– 17th C transportation of Irish Catholics and Scots to Caribbean as
indentured labour

Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland – 16th
-mid 19th C transportation of Roma (Gypsies) to Americas &
Caribbean as slaves & indentured labour.