community in the United States, especially in the urban North, provided an initial embrace of the religion as a survival of African heritage. However, this embrace produced (and is still producing) other changes, for example de-syncretization or the uncoupling of religious elements from the cultural tradition of Cuba, which had been characterized by, for example, the identification of the Yoruba gods with Catholic saints and the transformation of the term Santeria. It is likely that the Protestant culture encountered in the African American community in New York City greatly facilitated this desyncretization
The Yoruba religion is finding some acceptance in non-Cuban Latin communities and in white ethnic communities. However, the spread of the religion into these communities has not been widely studied. While the African American community emphasizes its African origins and Cubans emphasize its recent Cuban vintage, it can hardly be expected that other communities will find these issues equally compelling. What can be expected is that the spread of the Yoruba religion into other sectors of American society will produce new patterns of reproduction and transformation.
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-----. 1994. Working the Spirit: Ceremonies of the African Diaspora. Boston: Beacon Press.
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