Contemporary society in La Havana survives day to day while suffering many necessities. The suppression of the island, established by the USA, and the decline of the system since the fall of the Soviet Union indefinitely forced the population under the regime’s plans. One sees a horizon with an uncertain future, which requires, in many cases, the only means of escape is to seek salvation, in a somewhat obsessive manner, through religion. In recent years the Afro-Cuban religions are experiencing a boom and act as a much needed spiritual cushion for the unmotivated Cuban society.
Cuba has a great religious tradition originated primarily from Catholicism from the colonial Spanish and the African religions brought to the island by slaves between the sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries from the realms of Nigeria, Congo or Benin. The island has several syncretic cults such as the Palo Monte, Regla de Osha-Ifa and Abakua.
This photo essay relates several public ceremonies, festivals and performances of Afro-Cuban religions as practiced today in La Havana.
© 2021 Aitor Lara · Photographer