When looking to research and learn more about African traditional religions and Afro-diasporic traditions, here are some titles to get you started. All of these sources to the best of my knowledge are trustworthy and written by well-respected practitioners, noteworthy scholars, or scholar-practitioners.
Many of these books and articles I have read myself, and the ones that I have not read, I still did my best to vet the authors and read reviews of the books to check their quality. The majority of these authors are black, Afro-Latine, or Latine.
West African Yoruba Ifá / Isese
Many thousands of years ago, the Yoruba people of West Africa (primarily in Nigeria) developed an oral tradition and sacred literature called Ifá. Worship of the Orishas comes from the Yoruba people’s Ifá traditions.
- Ifa Divination Poetry by Wande Abimbola
- The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts by Oloye Karade
- “The Study of Yoruba Religious Tradition in Historical Perspective” by Jacob K. Olupọna
- City of 201 Gods: Ilé-Ifè in Time, Space, and the Imagination by Jacob K. Olupọna
- Women in the Yoruba Religious Sphere by Oyeronke Olajubu
- Iyami Osoronga: Divine Femininity, Divine Femininity by Chief Fagbemileke Fatunmise
- The Architects of Existence: Aje in Yoruba Cosmology, Ontology, and Orature by Teresa N. Washington
- Our Mothers, Our Powers, Our Texts: Manifestations Aje in Africana Literature by Teresa N. Washington
Santería, Candomblé, & the Global Diaspora
Through the slave trade, Ifá traditions would become the basis of many Afro-diasporic religions around the world including Santería and Candomblé.
- Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion by Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
- Santeria: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America by Miguel A. De La Torre
- “Everyday and Esoteric Reality in the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé” by Sheila S. Walker
- Òrìsà Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yorùbá Religious Culture by Jacob K. Olupọna
- Osun across the Waters: A Yoruba Goddess in Africa and the Americas edited by Joseph M. Murphy and Mei-Mei Sanford