www.GodsLaidBare.com
  Latest God Count 1,228 — 20th of April 2014
Alphabetical Gods List
Click a letter to view Gods...
Pantheon Intro
View full A-Z list
  = visited
LAP OF THE GODS
Jump to a random deity
Pantheons.
Aztec
Caribbean
Greek
India
Japanese
Norse
Dictionary of Ancient Deities (.com) /(.uk)

Myths of the Northern lands (.com) / (.uk)

Gods of the Ancient Slavs (.com) /(.uk)

Myths and legends of the world (.com) / (.uk)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Introduction ...

The West Indies including Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

The indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean were relatives of the Arawak people and a pretty cuisine-savvy lot. They believed that food, particularly their number one best selling bread Cazabi was the essence of all civilised life and were holding dinner parties long before they became trendy in the rest of the world.

Being big on nature and ancestor worship the Taino didn't waste their time with spangly temples but chose to immortalize their gods in the form of 'Zemis' - beautifuly carved figures from equally sacred bits of nature, but the absence of a war god did have its downside.

For much of the 15th century the Taíno were being driven to the North-east Caribbean corner by the far more aggresive Caribs, late arrivals from south america with their new fangled steel weapons, but worse soon followed...

Once again, the dispicable spaniards were mistaken for god-like figures and welcomed with open arms. Arriving in 1492 with no women in tow they started breeding out the Taino almost immediately by taking natives as brides and creating children known as Mestizos. By the 18th century, Taíno society had been devastated by pale-face diseases such as smallpox, all thanks to Columbus and set the tone nicely for more European upheaval.

Folks from Benin, known as Dahomey at the time, and other regions rich in age old belief were forced to leave their home shores and found themselves offloaded in parts of South America and the West Indies with Haiti a popular drop off spot. And they took their gods with them.

European colonists feared every god apart from, well, god, and to them the thought of receiving health, wealth, and knowledge from multi-gods sounded absurd... and also scared them senseless. But they had a plan.

"We'll seperate them, keep cultures apart and breed contempt. Religion is the biggest tool in the world and they will be fighting each other in a 'my god is better than yours' frenzy before you can say Saint Nicolas. They will be begging Jesus to save them!"

But there was one slight oversight. They had grossly mis-judged the power of human spirit and their cunning plan backfired big time. In the misery of slavery the Africans found a common thread and began to pool their beliefs as Yoruba's Vodoun mingled with Ewe, Ebo, Dindi and dozens besides. Stir in a little forced Catholicism, season and simmer.

This Afro-Caribbean firepot of a religion became known as Voodou, not the sensationalized hollywood claptrap, but while it does have its unsavoury elements show me a religion that doesn't. Their belief structure is shrouded in mystery but has primary elements similar to other faiths. Don't be scared, you don't have to enrol.

View the full A-Z list of All Caribbean gods.
All deities are GM free & no Gods were harmed during site construction!
www.godslaidbare.com/the gods laid bare
'Index' - Caribbean entry - 02 Feb. 2008
Page last modified on 09 Sep 2010
Spotted a goof? Please, Let me know. I'm quite tame :)