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Worldview, the Orichas, and SanteríaAfrica to Cuba and Beyond$
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Mercedes Cros Sandoval

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813030203

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813030203.001.0001

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Shopono/Babalú Ayé

Shopono/Babalú Ayé

God of Diseases and Plagues

(p.259) 18 Shopono/Babalú Ayé
Worldview, the Orichas, and Santería

Mercedes Cros Sandoval

University Press of Florida

This chapter discusses the God of Diseases and Plagues. Shopono, or Babalú Ayé as he is known in Cuba, is the most dreaded manifestation of the wrath of Olodumare. It is believed that smallpox, leprosy, and some nasty sexually transmitted and skin diseases are punishments he inflicts on those who have offended him. In contrast, the Cuban worshippers of Babalú Ayé have associated him with one of the most revered Catholic saints, Saint Lazarus. Some of the reasons why the Cuban worshippers do not fear Shopono/Babalú Ayé as much as the African worshippers do are discussed in this chapter.

Keywords:   God of Diseases and Plagues, Shopono, Babalú Ayé, Olodumare, Saint Lazarus, sexually transmitted diseases, skin diseases, punishment

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