Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora

Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora

Edited by Joel E. Tishken, Toyin Falola and Akintunde Akinyemi
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 06/22/2009
Format: Paperback 25 b&w photos, 2 maps, 12 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-22094-3
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Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora is a multidisciplinary, transregional exploration of Sàngó religious traditions in West Africa and beyond. Sàngó—the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning—is a powerful, fearful deity who controls the forces of nature, but has not received the same attention as other Yoruba orishas. This volume considers the spread of polytheistic religious traditions from West Africa, the mythic Sàngó, the historical Sàngó, and syncretic traditions of Sàngó worship. Readers with an interest in the Yoruba and their religious cultures will find a diverse, complex, and comprehensive portrait of Sàngó worship in Africa and the African world.

Author Bio

Joel E. Tishken is Assistant Professor of African and World History at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.

Toyin Falola is Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at The University of Texas, Austin. He has edited The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World (IUP, 2005) and Archaeology of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora (IUP, 2007).

Akintunde Akinyemi is Associate Professor of Yoruba Language and Literature in the Department of African and Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is author of Yoruba Royal Poetry: A Socio-Historical Exposition and Annotated Translation.


“This multidisciplinary, transregional exploration considers the spread of polytheistic religious traditions from West Africa, the mythic Sàngó, the historical Sàngó, and syncretic traditions of Sàngó worship. ”

“From religion, history, and sociology, to culture and literature, this volume appeals to multiple disciplines as Sàngó is interrogated on several levels of complexity.”
 — Niyi Afolabi, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Elucidates the variety of views in circulation about Sàngó both in Nigeria and in the Yoruba diaspora.”
 — Oyekan Owomoyela, University of Nebraska

“[This] volume gives u a glimpse at how cultural identity is tied to religion in pervasive ways. Whether it be Nigeria, Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad, or the United States, belief in Orisha traditions deeply influences the contours of nationality, history, and place.43.1 2010”
 — Intnl Journal African Historical Studies

“Because of the wide range of scholarship included in this volume it has great potential in many different venues, from undergraduate class- rooms and research projects to the work of graduate students to that of senior scholars. This book will be a welcome addition to both university libraries and the personal collection of anyone interested in either the Yoruba-based traditions highlighted or African-based traditions in general. ”
 — Nova Religio

“For those who want to expand their knowledge of African religion, this is an important addition to a growing series of probing studies. Vol. 52, 2011”
 — The Journal of African History

“The contributions demonstrate the breadth of variation and difference residing within this singular name, Sango, while elucidating the struggles and stakes faced by communities and individuals interacting and identifying with this deity.2010, Vol. 41 no. 1”
 — Research in African Literatures

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Table of Contents


1. Introduction / Joel E. Tishken, Tóyìn Fálolá, and Akíntúndé Akínyemí

Part 1. Defining Sàngó in West Africa
2. The Place of Sàngó in the Yorùbá Pantheon / Akíntúndé Akínyemí
3. The Practice and Worship of Sàngó in Contemporary Yorùbáland / Arìnpé Gbekelólú Adéjùmo
4. Sàngó's Eerìndínlógún Divinatory System / George Olúsolá Ajíbádé
5. Yorùbá Thunder Deities and Sovereignty: Ará versus Sàngó / Marc Schiltz

Part 2. Representations of Sàngó in Oral and Written Popular Cultures
6. Sàngó and the Elements: Gender and Cultural Discourses / Diedre L. Bádéjo
7. Reconfiguration of Sàngó on the Screen / Dúrótoyè A. Adélékè
8. Art in the Service of Sàngó/ Stephen Folárànmí
9. The Ambivalent Representations of Sàngó in Yorùbá Literature / Akíntúndé Akínyemí

Part 3. Sàngó in the African Diaspora
10. The Cultural Aesthetics of Sàngó Africanization / Kamari Maxine Clarke
11. Wither Sàngó? An Inquiry into Sàngó's "Authenticity" and Prominence in the Caribbean / Stephen D. Glazier
12. Xangô in Afro-Brazilian Religion: "Aristocracy" and "Syncretic" Interactions / Luis Nicolau Parés
13. The Literary Manifestation of Xangô in Brazil: Esmeralda Ribeiro's
"A procura de uma borboleta preta" / Laura Edmunds
14. Drums of Sàngó: Bàtá Drum and the Symbolic Reestablishment of Oyo in Colonial Cuba, 1817-1867 / Henry B. Lovejoy

Part 4. The Voices of Sàngó Devotees
15. Sàngó beyond Male and Female / Olóyè Aìná Olomo
16. Searching for Thunder: A Conversation about Changó / Michael Atwood Mason and Ernesto Pichardo

List of Contributors