Overview and History
La 21 divisiones are a fusion of carribean, african and european religious believings and have their native country in the dominican republic. Primary one can see this tradition as a tradition of healing. The techniques, the equipment, is as different and diversified as are the belivers and practitioners, one can find herbal usage, healing prayers, spiritual communication, meeting with spiritual forces- the misterios, rituals and spells to help people to find their spiritual balance in the cosmos again.
In the 16th century slave trade, african slaves brought their religious belivings and spiritual forces to the new world. To protect their religion, their spirits and rituals they begun to "hide" their spirits behind roman- catholic images. Roman catholic Cristianity was a good resource for this usage, because this religion brought a huge amount of symbols and saints with them. Beside the african believing, the european people brought also traditional believings and tools with them as well the former inhabitants, the Tainos, had their spirituality and religion as well. With this three basic forces new religions and traditions were born. Similar history happend too in other countries. That is the reason why there are a lot of so called afro-carribbean religions.
To name a few, there is Vodu, Shango, Candombe,Umbanda, Santeria, Santerismo, Hoodoo, Obeah, Macumba, Palo....
What this traditions makes themselve interesting is that they are still in some progress. Depending on the house, the tradition, the basics, one can find still the living spirit inside. It is quite common for some traditions to search more for the african roots, while others look fot the Taino part, the christain, spiritistic and neo shamanic influences... With the globalization and the meeting of people, traditions seem to melt each other and find new ways to work together.
Nevertheless respect for each other and understanding traditions and the choice of the spirits are important. Just my two cents.