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             Santeria, which literally means, way of the saints', originated in Cuba. Santeria is considered an Afro-Cuban religion. It has roots in Africa, specifically the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. When Africans were brought to the New World as slaves, they brought with them their Yoruba religious traditions (Nunez: 3). Slave owners forced them to give up their beliefs and convert to Christianity. However, the slaves persisted and found a way to hide their beliefs with the introduction of Catholicism in Cuba in 1517. They disguised their deities behind the images of Catholic saints so it would seem that they were praying to the saints, but were actually praying to their gods. The secrecy of practicing rites, prayers, and rituals has then become inherent in Santeria. Beliefs in honouring ancestors and the deities and living in balance with the forces of nature are parts of Santeria principles. Santeria is a syncretic religion born from the fusion of Catholicism and Yoruba religion. In Santeria, the saints and the corresponding orishas are one and the same. Although it contains elements of both religions, Santeria is very different from either one that it is considered a separate religion with its own identity and indigenous to Cuba. Throughout time, the religion has spread into different parts of the world and has faced a few challenges, but still remains consistent because of its adaptive nature.
             Ashe is raw cosmic energy or a vital force. Literally, it means, "so be it- (Gonzalez-Wippler 1989: 5). It is the divine power that Oloddumare (God) used to create the universe. All ashe is directed to Oloddumare. Ashe is a generative power inherent in all things (Mason: 123). Ashe is the sustenance of life. All invocations, rituals, offerings, ceremonies, prayers, and magic are performed to receive ashe from the saints (Gonzalez-Wippler 1989: 5). The universe is moved by ashe.

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