Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This article is about the type of spirit. Orishas is also the name of a hip-hop/latino fusion band whose members are Cubans living in Spain. Orixa is also the name of a rock en español/alternative rock band.
An Orisha, also spelled Orisa and Orixa is a spirit that reflects one of the manifestations of Olodumare (God) in the Yoruba spiritual or religious system. This religion has found its way throughout the world and is now expressed in several varieties which include Anago , Oyotunji , Candomblé and Santería/Lucumi . These varieties or spiritual lineages as they are called are practiced throughout areas of the United States, Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Mexico. As interest in African indigenous religion grow, Orisa communities and lineages can be found in parts of Europe and Asia as well.
These traditions originated several thousand years ago from the Yoruba people of West Africa, who stresses alignment between Human and Ori. Orí translates as head, but but also to one's spiritual intuition and personal destiny. Ase, which also spelled "Axe", "Ashe" or "Ache" is the life-force that runs though all things, living and inanimate. Ase is the "power to make things happen". It is an affirmation which is used in greetings and prayers, as well as a concept about spiritual growth. Orisha devotees strive to obtain Ase through Iwa-Pele or gentle and good character, in turn they experience alignment with the Ori or what others might call inner peace or satisfaction with Life.
Yoruba were brought to the New World during the Maafa or African Slave Trade along with other West African ethnicities. Yoruba's religion beliefs were most popular among the spiritual expression of African populations of the New World because a large number of Yoruba were captured and sold into slavery. Many Yoruba priests chose to be captured and sold into slavery so that Africans would have spiritual support in the New World.
- John Mason, Black Gods - Orisa Studies in the New World
- by Chief Fama , Fundamentals of the YORUBA RELIGION (Orisa Worship)
- Baba Ifa Karade , The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts
- William Bascom , Sixteen Cowries
- James T. Houk , Spirits, Blood, and Drums: The Orisha Religion of Trinidad. 1995. Temple University Press.
- Raul Canizares , Cuban Santeria
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