The 21 Division

Africans who were forced to come as slaves to the Caribbean by the Spaniards, brought their spiritual beliefs with them, but since they were not allowed to worship their own deities, they took the images of the Catholic religion Saints and rename them with the names of their African deities. Their religious legacy lives on and is part of everyday life in the Caribbean. 


The 21 Division is a group of Loas or spirits who offer different spiritual gifts to the people who have the ability to channel them. Each Saint of the 21 Division has a series of specific preferences including, colors, drinks, music, etc. The name of the 21 Division refers to the number of hierarchies contained therein. They are the following: Leguás / Ogunes / Rodas / Locos / Guedés / Petrós / Simbís / Locomis / Zombis / Indios / Nagos / Congos / Guines / Ninillos / Caes / Dangueles / Shuques, Piues, Difemayos / Petifones / Marassá. The 21 Division is made up of three groups: the White Division, the Indian Division, and the Black Division.



The White Division: 


To serve this Division you most use the altar. The Saints in this category include: Santa Ana (Ana Isa), Patrón Santiago (Ogún Balenyó), Virgen Dolorosa (Metrisilí), San Antonio (Papá Legbá), San Carlos Borromeo (Candelo), Santa Elena (La Gunguna), Santa Clara (La Señorita), Virgen de la Candelaria (Candelina).



The Indian Division: 


The Indian Division is formed of Loas or spirits of Indian descent. These Loas come from the water, and when they assume a physical form they ask that water be sprinkled over their heads, others prefer total dryness as does San Rafael (Tindjo Alague). The Indian and Black Division are both served on the floor, but they should be kept a part from other Saints, since these two Divisions should never be together. The Loas of the Indian Division like the following offerings: unsweetened coffee, rum, fruit and tobacco. Each of these Loas has a specific color.



The Black Division: 


Serve This Division in a place where there is dirt or on the floor. These Loas like food  cook without salt or oil (rice with black beans, sweet potato, and cazabe). The Loas in this category include: San Elías (Barón del Cementerio), San Expedito (Guedé Limbó), Santa Marta (La Dominadora, Ezilí Kénwa).



The following are some of the Saints of the 21 Division:


* Anaísa Pyé - Santa Ana

* Bakúlu Baká - San Felipe

* Barón Del Cementerio - San Elías

* Belié Belcán - San Miguel

* Cachita - Nuestra Señora de la Caridad

* Candelina - Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria

* Candelo Cedifé - San Carlos Borromeo

* Centinela - San Sebastián

* Clementina - La Virgen Milagrosa

* Damballah - San Patricio

* Ezili Ailá (Alaíla) - Nuestra Señora de la Alta Gracia

* Ezili Danthó - Santa Bárbara Africana

* Ezili Kénwa - Santa Martha

* Filomena Lubana - Santa Martha La Dominadora

* Gran Bwa - San Judas, San Cristóbal

* Gran Solié - San Nicolás del Sol

* Gran Toro (Toroliza) - Cristo de las Buenas Esperanzas

* Gunguna - Santa Elena

* Jan Bakéo - San Pedro

* Jan Ferro - San Marcos de León

* Kriminelo (Jan Kriminel) - San Sebastián, San Pancracio

* La Señorita - Santa Clara

* Marassa - San Cosme y San Damián

* Metresilí - La Dolorosa

* Ofelia Balendjo - La Virgen de las Mercedes

* Ogún Balendjo - San Santiago

* Ogún Batalá - San Martín de los Caballeros

* Ogún Fegai - San Jorge

* Papá Legbá - San Antonio


- Agueda Villamán

 

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