Afro-Cuban Ritual Sacrifice

Afro-Cuban Ritual Sacrifice

The cultures of Cuba's many African descendents run deep across the island. They blend with the country's traditional Roman Catholic practices to create vibrant mixtures. Photographer Jan Sochor captures the ritual scenes here in Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

A young man wears a blindfold in an initiation ritual.

A Cuban woman sells natural objects, including seashells and feathers, that have mystical qualities according to Afro-Cuban spirituality

A Palo priest sits in his home temple and prepares for a ritual.

A believer draws a symbol on the temple floor that's considered the key to release spiritual powers linked to the altars.

Drawings on the walls of the African heritage center in Santiago, Cuba, portray spiritual traditions carried over by African slaves to the island.

A goat is adorned and prepared for sacrifice.

A Palo Monte priest, wearing a typical red and white bracelet, in Havana.

A Palo priest sacrifices a goat during a ritual in Santiago de Cuba.

The altar, known as "la prenda" or "el caldero," is filled with objects deemed magical.

Many spiritual customs in Cuba fuse Catholic and African elements. Here a cross is carried during the Palo worship

Palo religious signs and symbols are painted on the wall in Callejon de Hamel in Havana, Cuba.

A believer must wear a red blindfold through part of his initiation ritual, in Santiago de Cuba.

The Palo altar displays Catholic statuettes alongside other sacred Afro-Cuban objects.

This slaughtered pig went to a religious ritual in Santiago de Cuba.



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