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Hail Orisha!

A Phenomenology of a West African Religion in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

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McKenzie

Orisha worshippers who were not subjected to forced migration to the Americas in the nineteenth century remained their own masters, inhabiting cities, towns and farm villages in their West African kingdoms. This study uses documentation from Yoruba writings and from the written record of European missionaries to describe the various facets of their religious life. Arranged in the form of a phenomenology, the work deals with such matters as the veneration of the environment; carved images of the divine; the orisha celebrated in festival, worship and sacrifice; systems of divination; female and male religious specialists; and the protean divinities themselves.
The comprehensive use of archival material will ensure the abiding value of this historical picture of the orisha, useful for comparisons with the present day.