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.
Peter R. McKenzie, Ph.D. (1953), in Church History, University of Edinburgh, is former Head of Department of Religion, University of Leicester, England. He has published extensively on Phenomenology and History of Religion and West African Religious History including
Inter-religious Encounters in West Africa (
All those interested in Religious Studies, African, West African and Nigerian history; nineteenth-century history, mission studies, as well as
Candomblé, etc., in the Americas.