Spirits, Blood and Drums by James Houk
"This is really an anthropology text for what is arguably one of the most eclectic religions in the world, derived from African roots and the Yoruba religion. It was imported to the New World by slaves, then blended with Catholicism, Spiritualism, Hinduism and Kabbalah. The author gives us an upfront and personal view of Orisha’s pantheon of gods and goddesses; beliefs, rites and leadership; places of worship, shrines and religious iconology. If you’re a professor of cultural anthropology, I think it’s worth 5 Stars. If you’re a lay person with a penchant for comparative religions, then 5 Star again. It has sections of academic discourse that I skipped through to get what I wanted – as an author looking for authenticity to add to my fictional creations – so I gave it 4 Stars. But make no mistake, this isn’t the voodoo of Hollywood fame. This is the real thing and it’s a living and breathing entity, not just in Trinidad but throughout the Western Hemisphere. A very interesting read."

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