The Dahomean religion was practiced by the Fon people of the Dahomey Kingdom. The kingdom existed until 1898 in what is now the country of Benin. Slaves taken from Dahomey to the Caribbean used elements of the religion to form Vodou and other religions of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora.
Lisa (male) and Mawu (female), married twin siblings of Nana Buluku, are the creator spirits, occasionally combined as Mawu-Lisa, an androgynous spirit. Mawu-Lisa created the world and made it orderly, then made plants, animals, and humans; the entire process took four days.
Afro-American religion (also known as African diasporic religions) are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas in various nations of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. They derive from traditional African religions with some influence from other religious traditions, notably Christianity.Candomblé Jejé
Candomblé Jejé, also known as Brazilian Vodum, is one of the major branches (nations) of Candomblé. It developed in the Portuguese Empire among Fon and Ewe slaves. Jejé is a Yoruba word meaning stranger, which is what the Fon and Ewe slaves represented to the Yoruba slaves.Loa
Loa (also spelled lwa) are the spirits of Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo. They are also referred to as "mystères" and "the invisibles" and are intermediaries between Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, meaning "good God")—the Supreme Creator, who is distant from the world—and humanity. Unlike saints or angels, however, they are not simply prayed to, they are served. They are each distinct beings with their own personal likes and dislikes, distinct sacred rhythms, songs, dances, ritual symbols, and special modes of service. Contrary to popular belief, the loa are not deities in and of themselves; they are intermediaries for, and dependent on, a distant Bondye.Nana Buluku
Nana Buluku, also known as Nana Buruku, Nana Buku or Nanan-bouclou, is the female Supreme Being in the West African traditional religion of the Fon people (Benin, Dahomey) and the Ewe people (Togo). She is the most influential deity in West African theology, one shared by many ethnic groups other than the Fon people, albeit with variations. For example, she is called the Nana Bukuu among the Yoruba people and the Olisabuluwa among Igbo people but described differently, with some actively worshipping her, while some do not worship her and worship the gods originating from her.In Dahomey mythology, Nana Buluku is the mother Supreme Creator who gave birth to the moon spirit Mawu, the sun spirit Lisa and all of the Universe. After giving birth to these, she retired and left the matters of the world to Mawu-Lisa, according to the Fon mythology. She is the primary creator, Mawu-Lisa the secondary creator and the theology based on these is called Vodun, Voodoo or Vodoun.Sopona
Sopona (or Shapona) is the god of smallpox in the Yoruba religion. The Yoruba people took their traditions about Shapona to the New World when they were transported in the slave trade. He has become known as Babalú-Ayé, among many other names, in the Orisha religion that developed in the Americas.Within the traditional religion of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, smallpox was believed to be a disease foisted upon humans due to Shapona’s “divine displeasure.” Formal worship of the god of smallpox was highly controlled by specific priests in charge of shrines to the god. Prior to the early 20th century, people of this religion believed that if the priests were angered, they were capable of causing smallpox outbreaks through their intimate relationship with Shapona. The name "Sapona" (alt. Shapona, Saponna, etc.) is considered a secret and taboo name, not to be spoken aloud in respect for the power of the Lord of Infectious Disease. For this reason, the deity has a number of other names and titles which have been in use since the pre-modern period, such as Omolu.Sapona is the traditional, sacred and protected name of the Orisha popularly known as Babalú-Ayé or Omolu. Speaking his true name is avoided so as to not invoke the power of disease.Dr. Oguntola Sapara suspected that the priests were deliberately spreading the disease, and surreptitiously joined the cult. He discovered that the priests were causing the disease through applying scrapings of the skin rash of smallpox cases. Based on this information, the British colonial rulers banned the worship of Shapona in 1907. Worship continues, however, with the faithful paying homage to the god even after such activities were prohibited.Traditional African religions
The traditional African religions (or traditional beliefs and practices of African people) are a set of highly diverse beliefs that include various ethnic religions. Generally, these traditions are oral rather than scriptural, include belief in a supreme creator, belief in spirits, veneration of the dead, use of magic and traditional African medicine. The role of humanity is generally seen as one of harmonizing nature with the supernatural. According to Lugira, "it is the only religion that can claim to have originated in Africa. Other religions found in Africa have their origins in other parts of the world."West African Vodun
Vodun (meaning spirit in the Fon and Ewe languages, pronounced [vodṹ] with a nasal high-tone u; also spelled Vodon, Vodoun, Vodou, Voudou, Voodoo, etc.) is practiced by the Fon people of Benin, and southern and central Togo; as well in Ghana, and Nigeria.
It is distinct from the various traditional African religions in the interiors of these countries and is the main source of religions with similar names found among the African diaspora in the Americas, such as Haitian Vodou; Dominican Vudú; Cuban Vodú; Brazilian Vodum (candomblé jeje and tambor de mina); Puerto Rican Vudú (Sanse); and Louisiana Voodoo.