Friday, October 3, 2014



Sanse also known as Los Sance or lo Zanci as a tradition began flourishing in Puerto Rico in the center western coastal city of Mayaguez in the 1930s, the old folks tell of a Haitian Houngan "some say Dominican" Papa Boco who migrated to Puerto Rico around this time and saw the similarities between Espiritismo Criollo and Vodou and or 21 Diviciones, so although Sance has similarities in Vodou its roots stem from Espirisitmo Criolla.  Unlike similar traditions such as Umbanda and Vodou, Sanse for the most part was an underground and private subculture within a subculture within a culture and did not get its recognition as a tradition until the late and early 1970s and 1980s with the rise of the Newyorican branch known as Santerismo which has similar traits as Sance,

Sanse is the name of a small Afro-Taino Puerto Rican Spirituality that mixes teachings of Alan Kardec` Espiritismo, Catholicism, and sects brought by the African slaves and what little remained of the Taino Spiritual tradition. The practice of Sance usually is directed by a man or a woman called a Sancista, Presidente de Mesa or Padrino, Madrina "Papa or Mama" which is both a medium and a Shaman healer of soul and spirit that incorporate ancestral dead people's spirits, called "Muertos", "Seres", "Guias" and "Entidades", with that of higher beings known as Misterios.
The Entidades can be Indios often Taino or Arawaque, historical religious figures such as Catholic Saints, nuns, folk saints, healers or folk heroes, Spirits of Curanderos, Yerberos, African Spirits known as "Misterios" "Orichas" and "Loases" and African slaves known as Prietos, Negros, Cimarones, Congos, Madamas and Madamos.
Sancistas like their fellow Espiritista whom follow Santerismo, Espiritismo Criolla and Folclorica gather in Templos and Centros or in small groups in homes or apartments known as Sociedades, where they practice ceremonies such as Sesiones, Misas and Veladas. Similar to Haitian Vodou in Sance the Padrino, Madrina and all who participate dress in white, and use Pañuelos in the color or pattern which honors a certain Misterio or Muerto and are leaders who have gone years of extensive training and ceremonies.
Ceremonial meetings are done both indoor and outdoors during these ceremonias, the Sancista medium are often helped by men and women known as Ahijados or Ahijadas or as Banco Espirituales, where they hold counsels for the entities and are ceremonies filled with Catholic and Espiritists prayers and Afro Caribbean chants, singing and dancing which are also known as Puntos.
If these meetings happen outdoors which they often do in places of nature such as streets, crossroads, forests, beaches, or external places in general, they are called Presentaciones de Puntos which are often ceremonial baptisms to new Ahijados or Ahijadas where the members pray and offer food, flowers, candles, and gifts to the entities.
Sance as well as Espiritismo is a spiritual healing tradition that helps to improve the lives of others often the poor, and is a practice of goodness and a Sancista never uses his or her Dones or Facultades to harm anyone.

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