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PorLosDioses787
10 Jun 2019, 01:23
Hello everyone! My name is Giomar, and i am a teenaged Hispanic, and my faith is Cemiism/ Zemiism.

Now i know that many of you most likely do not know what my faith is all about, so i will give a short description, and then you guys are free to ask any questions.

Cemiism is a practice reviving the practices of the Taíno people. The Taínos are a group of Native tribal Indians hailing from the greater Antilles in the Caribbean, namely Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola (Haiti, Dominican Republic), and Jamaica.

However, when Christopher Columbus invaded these islands, despite the Tainos being exceptionally friendly and welcoming, he took advantage and decimated nearly the entire native population (like he did to the Aztecs, Mayans, etc)

Today, Most people of these countries have Taíno blood, but it is mixed with other races as well, like in the three Hispanic Islands (Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic), the populations' blood is a mixture of the natives, blood from Spain, and from the Africans that were brought via the slave trade.

Thus, this movement is highly linked to the revival of a Culture destroyed, and such many of its practitioners are people hailing from these islands or who has relation to them (that's not to say people of other races can't practice it)

Belief wise, it is a Polytheistic religion, believing in many lesser deities and two main deities, Yucahú, who is the creator of the world, and God of Yuca, the main crop of the Taínos, and a food which is really popular where i'm from (it's really yummy ) and, Yucahús' mother Atabey, the mother Goddess, who prevails over flat water surfaces, such as lakes, rivers, and the ocean.

Ancestors are also very important in this faith as well. They are called Huipas, or Cemi. Cemis are also the name of both the Gods, spirits, and the object representing a certain God, like an idol.

Some deities also have different manifestations. I don't know many of the manifestations, but i do know the ones of Atabey, Caguana, the spirit of love, and Guabancex, the violent face of Atabey, often referred to as a separate Goddess as well, who controls Hurricanes and many of other natural disasters.

Her presence was announced by Guataúba, the God of lighting, thunder, and destruction, and she was entrusted to the maintenance of a mythical land known as Aumatex.

Well, that is all, thank you all for reading, and don't hesitate to ask questions! I'm no Cacique (Taíno word for chief), but i'll try my best to answer your questions!

Bartmanhomer
10 Jun 2019, 01:51
Wow I never heard of that believe system before. Interesting and welcome to Pagan Forum. :)

anubisa
10 Jun 2019, 21:40
Very interesting. Welcome to the forum!

thalassa
11 Jun 2019, 04:57
Hello and welcome to PF!

Corvus
11 Jun 2019, 12:40
Welcome to the forum! I actually have heard of this religion. One of my friends is from Puerto Rico and talks about the native beliefs. As she's described it to me, there's a lot of syncretism between the island beliefs, and the imported African and Christian ones. Similar to Santeria and other diasporic religions, she describes it as a combination of foreign integration and continuation of the ancient traditions. When chatting, she's actually named some Lwa in the descriptions, but overall we haven't talked a lot about specifics. It seems like a very difficult faith to reconstruct. I'd love to hear more about it, and get new perspectives.

PorLosDioses787
11 Jun 2019, 17:14
Welcome to the forum! I actually have heard of this religion. One of my friends is from Puerto Rico and talks about the native beliefs. As she's described it to me, there's a lot of syncretism between the island beliefs, and the imported African and Christian ones. Similar to Santeria and other diasporic religions, she describes it as a combination of foreign integration and continuation of the ancient traditions. When chatting, she's actually named some Lwa in the descriptions, but overall we haven't talked a lot about specifics. It seems like a very difficult faith to reconstruct. I'd love to hear more about it, and get new perspectives.

Yes, it is kind of difficult to reconstruct because almost all of their practices were decimated by the spanish. The little information we do know is by the Spanish themselves. There are probably numerous unnamed gods, concepts, rituals, etc. but overall, i just let my ancestors guide me, along with the mother goddess, Atabey and the other Gods. I do enough to please them, and i give offerings and make rituals that i feel please them. It is kind of like any reconstrucionist religion, no one i really worshipping the Gods the way they originally were in the past, this is true for Kemetics, those who practice Hellenismos, And of the aztec reconstruction faith (of which i'm taking an interest in)
As for the syncretism, that's actually the first time i've heard of that actually. Tbh, i prefer to follow just one path instead of multiple Gods at once, but thats just me lol.

Heka
11 Jun 2019, 20:19
Welcome! I look forward to reading more about your faith!

Corvus
13 Jun 2019, 12:19
As for the syncretism, that's actually the first time i've heard of that actually. Tbh, i prefer to follow just one path instead of multiple Gods at once, but thats just me lol.

I think you're misunderstanding what syncretism is. The idea is that x gods and y gods are the same gods, or else that it is a fusion of them which creates a new type of religion. The Romans' habit of describing the native gods of their people using Roman names is a prime example. It isn't that they were following multiple pantheons, because logically that doesn't make sense. Their understanding was that gods were real, and thus they may choose to reveal themselves in different ways to different people.

In terms of fusion, this happens throughout the new world. Africans would worship their old gods at the foot of saint icons, finding those with similar symbolism or themes, and over time their common attributes would grow as Catholicism bled in. This is especially common in regions which have been colonized, invaded, or otherwise had a foreign power forced over the native culture. It happens throughout the Mediterranean as gods migrate also. This isn't even to ask why having multiple gods in a polytheist faith would be a problem.

PorLosDioses787
13 Jun 2019, 12:26
Oh sorry, i misread what you said in your post.
I thought you said your friend practiced the native beliefs alongside Santeria and Vodou, when you mentioned the Lwa.
That's what i meant by following Gods from on path, not from multiple paths at once lol, sory if i didn't make that clear ;)