Cuban Santería - Divinities and Trance Rituals


by Alix François Meier - ARTE Wonderworlds, 43 Min.

In Cuba, the six decades of communist rule and five centuries of Catholicism that have marked the country's history have not succeeded in erasing the ancient African rituals. For example, the santería, a secret cult originating among the Yoruba of West Africa, originally practiced only by slaves, is now enjoying growing popularity. Now incorporating elements of the Catholic faith, the Afro-Cuban religion places at the centre of its beliefs a creator god and many other deities called orisha. In Trinidad, Israel Bravo Vega welcome a growing community in his temple. For his parishioners, he serves as a father figure and counselor in all aspects of life, whether it be professional difficulties, heartbreak or various disputes. To the sound of drums and traditional songs, this documentary explores the traditions and customs that keep this ancestral cult alive.