Puerto Rico is a territory that used to be under Spanish rule for more than 100 years in the North American continent but by the end of the 19th century it became a united states of America territory.
During the transatlantic slave trade, many of Yorubas were brought to Puerto Rico as slaves to work on the sugarcane plantations. Their names, languages and identity were taken away from them like other captured people from west African Ethnicities.
Yoruba civilization most especially the religious and musical part seems to be the major survivor of the horrors of slavery and the “whitewashing” of Puerto Rico.
Yoruba religion like Santeria is very present in Puerto Rico and many people with different skin tones, currently call themselves Yorubas. Yoruba identity has therefore survived as a religion in Puerto Rico attesting to the resilience of our people. Today in Puerto Rico, many people now identify themselves as Yorubas
Among the African cultures represented in Puerto Rico by Negro slaves, the Yoruba culture is the one that seems to have left the greatest influence. In the Yoruba religion, Ogun, god of war, has great importance as well as Shango, a legendary king who reached divinisation, becoming one of the most po~ular deities. Shango is· for the Yorubas the god of lightning, thunder, and the storm, and is a powerful and brave warrior. In Yoruba. sculpture he is frequently depicted as a warrior on horseback . These attributes that the Yoruba believe’ Shang6 has are very similar to those of santiago Matamoros ,(St. James the Moorkiller).
PUERTO RICO AND AFRICA: ELEMENTS OF YORUBA CULTURE By J. Emanuel D. Gonzalez