In any Yoruba dervived spiritual tradition, a good madrina/iya or padrino/baba will tell you, before you can start dealing with Orishas, you must first deal with your ancestors.
The reason why they say this is because Ancestors are us and we are them. Think about it. In your genetic makeup, you are the sum total of the genes in your family going back to the common mother of us all… our GREAT MOTHER, Mitochondrial Eve. The path that they opened for humanity–their children–has left us with our cultures, our languages, our social mores and our spiritual perspectives on the world.
Many people say they don’t ‘like’ history, but all that went before influences all that happens after, and there is no way to mitigate this.
Africans have ALWAYS practiced rites for the dead. Since not only archaeological evidence but now genetic evidence as well proves that life spread out from Africa, our rites for the dead are embedded in our understanding of our lives in the world. All cultures practice some form of Ancestral veneration, even it doesn’t initially seem that way.
Catholicism and hence almost all subsequently derived Jesus Christian tradition have their saints or the respect they pay to the founders of their particular flavour of Jesus Christianity, all of whom are deified Ancestors.