Lucumi: Yoruba Traditions Transformed in the Americas

Lucumi: Yoruba Traditions Transformed in the Americas


Learn about one of the sacred traditions that has survived and thrived in the Americas – the beliefs of the Yoruba of West Africa.

We are living in a time of intense change—personally, within our institutions and communities, and in the world at large. One of the most essential skills we can cultivate is the ability to navigate change in such a way that it becomes transformative, an opportunity for us to grow into our fullest and most authentic selves. The process that leads to transformation through change is transition, which will be the focus of our exploration in this weekend retreat.

One of the sacred traditions that survived and has thrived in the Americas is the beliefs of the Yorubas of West Africa. Throughout the Americas wherever Yorubas were forcibly taken, African descendants have continued to practice spiritual ancestral memory and nature-based traditions that honor the forces of nature as sacred. These ancient practices continue to inform and transform to address and guide practitioners through their contemporary daily lives.

This introductory course will show how these traditions have remained, transformed, and continue to infuse the spirituality of communities in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Trinidad, Haiti, and other communities in the Diaspora. The universal concepts of forces of nature are sacred and integral to all practices, and these traditions can enhance one’s understanding and honoring of the source of the traditions and the sacredness of life. The knowledge gained can further increase one’s understanding of and impact on racial and cultural diversity, inclusion, and equity. Attendees will be immersed in the traditions through lecture, readings, film, sacred dance, and interaction.


See an Interview with Marta Moreno-Vega Here


Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega

Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega established the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) in 1976, inspired by a vision to create an international organization to promote and link communities of African descent. She guided the capital campaign for the renovation of the landmark firehouse at 120 East 125th Street, the Center’s new home. Dr. Moreno-Vega is an advocate for cultural equity, cultural studies, and education. She served as the second director of El Museo del Barrio. As one of the founders of the Association of the Hispanic Arts, Network of Centers of Color, and on the Roundtable of Institutions of Colors, Dr. Moreno-Vega has committed to ensuring that the contributions of African and African descendants are integral to the lives of civil society in the Americas. She conducted research in Yoruba belief systems in the African Diaspora and organized international conferences uniting scholars and leading traditional experts focused on expanding the knowledge and importance of sacred Diaspora traditions. Dr. Moreno-Vega is cofounder of the Global Afro Latino and Caribbean Initiative (GALCI), a former program of Hunter College/Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. She is chief editor of Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora (Arte Publico Press) and author of The Altar of My Soul (One World/Ballantine, 2001). She is director and co-producer of the documentary When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing Up Nuyorican in El Barrio and has written a personal memoir by the same name. She is also co-editor of Voices from the Battlefront: Achieving Cultural Equity and Actualidad de Las Tradiciones Espirituales y Culturales. (

Dates: Saturday, March 9, 2019 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
OneSpirit Elective Credit: 1.0
Available by: Attend Live in NYC Classroom, Videoconference and Recording (learn more about videoconference)
Price: General Public: $ 100.00 | One Spirit Graduates: $ 90.00

Register Here

If you have questions about registering for this course, please contact One Spirit Learning Alliance by email to [email protected] or call 212-931-6840 x 0.