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Santeria: the Religion: Faith, Rites, Magic Paperback – Sep 8 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 2nd edition edition (Sept. 8 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567183298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567183290
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #470,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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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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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent exposition by a brilliant author of a badly misunderstood religion. Migene Gonzalez-Wippler was the first author to write about Santeria for en English-speaking audience, When she began her research ahe was not an initiate and most of the santeros she interviewed gave her wrong information purposefully. This reflected in her first book on the subject. Since then she has recived several of the initiations of Santeria and her books reflect not only her love but also her great respect for it. She was the first author on the subject to make correlations between the orishas of the Yoruba pantheon and the archetypes of the collective unconscious. This is a major contribution to the study of Santeria. The secrecy which is such an intrinsic part of Santeria was born of the need of the African slaves to hide their practices from their Spanish masters. This secrecy is no longer necessary and does a great disservice to the religion. If is more important to let the world know that Santeria is a valid and powerful religious system and not the shady and suspicious cult that most uninformed people think it is. Gonzalez-Wippler has dispelled much of these false misconceptions. Her books were largely resposible for the favorable decision made by the Supreme Court declaring Santeria a valid religion, protected by the American constiturion.Unfortunately, this religion attracts a great deal of fanatics and people of the lower classes, many of them with an ax to grind. None of their ill-intended comments can change the fact that this is one of the most thorough and brilliant books written on the subject. I strongly recoemmend this book to any INTELLIGENT person who wants to know what Santeria is all about. Also excellent is here book The Santeria Experience. =
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By A Customer on Aug. 3 1998
Format: Paperback
This book embodies an unflattering and unethical portrayal of the Yoruban faith, known as Santeria to Latin practitioners. It contains photographs of sacred items, ceremonial items, etc., and this is, at the very least, sacrilegious and an offense hurled at the Santeria community. The author supports her poor judgment by rationalizing that the religion has been shrouded in secrecy for far too long. Informing the public is one thing. When it is done responsibly and tastefully it is commendable. However, when the information conveyed injures the subject matter in the process, authorship is suspect. In penning this book, the author has done a great disservice to the Santeria religion. Granted, she has a great turn of phrase, but her literary skills are maligned by her irresponsibility. To provide a concrete example, the book features an open soup tureen with otanes, sacred stones which should never be seen except by the eyes of the initiate in whose care they belong! . Additionally, the author informs the reader that these articles were obatined during a police raid. Santeria has always been subject to unfair stereotypes and calumny and a caption of this kind does nothing to portray the religion as the life affirming faith that it is. The first thing a reader unfamiliar with Santeria may think upon reading this is "Ah ha, so it must be true that Santeros are evil criminals, why else would the police raid an ile (sacred temple)?" Additionally, the author's ego overwhelms more than a few of the book's pages. Instead of focusing on the work of the various priests and priestesses she makes mention of, she goes on (over and over again) about how well she managed to charm them even though she was writing a "revolutionary" tell-all Santeria chronicle. Read what you like but at least understand what you are reading.
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