less than 1 minute read


African DiasporaLeadership

Priests and priestesses in ADR direct, guide, and organize ceremonies. These leaders are not as authoritative as in other religions because they are merely conduits of the spirits. Vodun leaders are called oungans (male) and mambos (female) or mäes de santo and päis de santo. A Candomblé leader is called babalorixa (male) or iyalorixa (female). Santería leaders are known as santeros (male) and santeras (female). The orishas select leaders; those chosen for office go through a three-year initiation that culminates in asiento, or hacer santo, when the orisha who called the neophyte is seated. The neophyte is called iyawo (bride). The newly initiated iyawo wears white during the first year. Some santeros may be initiated into the cult of Ifá and receive training from a leader, who imparts a mastery of the texts of divination. Initiation gives the neophyte a new personality as well as responsibility. The rites also link the leader with the first sixteen kings of the Yoruba people.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Reason to RetrovirusReligion - African Diaspora - Religious Symbioses, Divinity, Ancestors, Spiritual Assets: Ase And Konesans, Leadership, Divination And Spirit Possession