theology and religion

Sopona – Giver of Smallpox

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Shhh! You do not want to wake this one up! Sopona, the Yorùbá god of smallpox and infectious disease originated in northern Nigeria in the 17th century, possibly by the Nupa, Tapa or Hausa people. Also known as Sakpata in voodoo, Sopona migrated to the new world with the slave trade. He became known as Sakpata in Brazil, Shakpana in Trinidad, and Babalú Ayé in Cuban Santeria where he was disguised […]

theology and religion

Punga – The Ancestor of Ugliness

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He whanau a Punga koe, for you are a child of a god – but don’t let it get to you head. Punga, your forefather is the god of ugliness, and all ugly things are his descendants. This old-fashioned insult (also “te aitanga a Punga”) is used to describe anything ugly or undesirable and has […]