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Santeria: the Religion: Faith, Rites, Magic [Paperback]

Migene González-Wippler
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 8 2002 Llewellyn's World Religion & Magick
When the Yoruba of West Africa were brought to Cuba as slaves, they preserved their religious heritage by disguising their gods as Catholic saints and worshiping them in secret. The resulting religion is Santería, a blend of primitive magic and Catholicism now practiced by an estimated five million Hispanic Americans. Blending informed study with her personal experience, González-Wippler describes Santería¿s pantheon of gods (orishas ); the priests (santeros ); the divining shells used to consult the gods (the Diloggún ) and the herbal potions prepared as medicinal cures and for magic (Ewe ) as well as controversial ceremonies-including animal sacrifice. She has obtained remarkable photographs and interviews with Santería leaders that highlight aspects of the religion rarely revealed to nonbelievers. This book satisfies the need for knowledge of this expanding religious force that links its devotees in America to a spiritual wisdom seemingly lost in modern society.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

An anthropologist and leading authority on Santeria, the syncretism of the Yoruba religion and Catholicism, Gonzalez-Wippler has written numerous books on the subject (e.g., Santeria , African Magic in Latin America , LJ 12/1/73; The Santeria Experience , LJ 2/15/82). Notorious for their secrecy, the Santeros initially misled Gonzalez-Wippler to protect their faith, but in time they recognized her genuine respect for the religion and began relaying accurate information. The book focuses on the Yoruba pantheon of orishas (Goddesses and Gods), the ten or more levels of Santeria hierarchy, the priesthood, the concept of Divine power known as ashe , initiations, Spirit possession, spells and herbs, and the controversial practice of animal sacrifice. A well-researched, fascinating look at a growing, dynamic religion with more than five million practitioners in this country alone.
- Kevin M. Roddy, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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The Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria and the neighboring republics of Benin (Dahomey) and Togo number more than 10 million. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read. March 16 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very easy to read and under stand. I know more have enjoyed this book who have been educating themselves on these traditions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Too bad she revealed it! Dec 27 2002
Im glad she reveals a lot of the stuff that is written in spanish. Though I also realize that eighter she made a few mistakes in her book orshe was deliberatly mislead with some of the information. She does give a crate load of information on the religion and beliefs of Santaria. If you are interested in Santaria or you are just curious about it than this should be your first book on the subject. Also her other book The Power Of The Orishas is pretty good as well. In her book Santaria she gives you information about some of the major orishas like Oshun, Chango, Yemaya, Elegua and more. She discusses the taboos and unfortunatly the macho part of it. Unfortunatly it is true a woman can not achieve the same high ranks a man can even though she can reach a centain rank on a Santera (priestess) a man can rise above her to higher ranks. If you are a gay man you can only reach the same rank a woman can. There are some things she did not mention like a woman can not sacrifice animals even as a Santera unless A) she has a warrior Orisha that rules her head or B) she is past menapause. To me thats a load of BS made up by men but thats the religion. Maybe one day it will change. But back to the book she is the only auther that i know of that revealed a lot years ago with her writtings. I brought this book years back and I will never give it away.
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The Works of Migene Gonzalez Wippler are the most widely distributed and best selling books on the Subject of Santeria, and Cuban Lucumi. Her works are both liked and disliked, liked buy the community who are new to Santeria, and very much disliked buy Elders and initiates in the religion.
It is not that Wippler's books are not accurate, they are. It is just that they seam to closely resemble other published books on Lucumi and Santeria that have been written in Spanish and have no copyrights. But aside from this, "if you can put this aside, many of the Elders in the religion, will not." (That is steeling) Then you have a pretty interesting book, full of basic wisdom and knowledge that really opens the doors for new comers into the religion, or for those who have a basic curiosity. "I guess those who do not know gotta start somewhere." I recommend it to those who have no knowledge of the religion, it breaks that Voodoo stereo type, but this book is pretty much a stepping stone for other bigger and greater things. But I do not completely dislike her books, in fact I recommend this book, and Powers of the Orishas, to all Aleyos out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Realistic ! May 5 2002
This is not a book that was written for those expecting spooky pulp horror stories. This is not a book about Voodoo. This intelligently written non-fiction describes a fascinating religion and the people that practice it. The insight into the daily life of an initiate is impressive. The descriptions of the Gods and Goddess, Their offerings and worship is clearly and beautifully written. The book is very informative and I would recommend it highly to anyone interested in Santeria.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesante pero sin profundidad Dec 4 1999
Un buen libro para comenzar a conocer sobre la santería. Presenta un buen marco de referencia para las personas que tienen curiosidad sobre el tema. La temática es tratada con suficiente respeto y decoro. Su profundidad es limitada. Su lectura es amena y entretenida. No lo recomiendo para personas que ya poseen conocimiento sobre el tema o desean realizar un estudio serio sobre la religion Yoruba según es practicada en el Caribe.
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