santería

A syncretic Afro-Cuban religion that developed from the Spanish imposition of Catholicism upon Yorubá polythestic beliefs. Although slaves were forbidden to practice non-Christian religions, they did so secretly by worshipping Catholic saints in form only, understanding them to be disguises underneath which existed their traditional African deities. Musically, each santería deity (or orishá) is represented in ritual by its own specific rhythm played on the batá drums. Santería is also called lucumí.