More About the Author
Alex Cuoco is a native of Brazil, who came to reside in the United States at a young age. His fascination with African indigenous traditions was inspired early in his life by the presence of African cultures in Bahia, Brazil.
Alex has travelled to Africa where he spent a long time researching and studying West African deities, Yorùbá orishas and culture, as well as voduns from Benin and nkisi from Angola-Congo. He travelled extensively through Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Angola-Congo and across the continent to Mozambique and Madagascar studying the different religious beliefs and cultures. It was during this time that his bond and fascination with the orishas and other African deities grew stronger and they became a prominent and permanent part of his life.
Upon returning to the United States, Alex's fascination with African cultures and the veneration of orishas, voduns and nkisi had grown stronger. At that time, he went to live in New Orleans, where West African rituals took the form of "voodoo" a term used erroneously by western societies to refer to the religious practices of the Fõn people of the Republic of Benin.
During his years in New Orleans, Alex continued his extensive research on the presence and the diversity of orisha and vodun rituals throughout the African Diaspora. Since then, he has kept in touch with several of his friends, who are active worshippers of òrìṣà and vodun and, who are deeply rooted in the indigenous cultures of Yorùbá Nigeria, Angola, the Republic of Benin as well as the spiritual houses of Bahia, Brazil. This book is the result of 20 years of research and studies of West African indigenous religions.
In 1993, during one of his visits to the city of Salvador, in Bahia, Brazil, the prominent presence of African cultures and the magical devotion by the Bahian people to the worship of the orishas, was the culminating inspirational point for the creation of this book. Another magical source of inspiration was the magnificent Pierre Fatumbi Verger and his brilliant and detailed studies of the traditional culture of orishas, voduns and West African indigenous cultures, which without a doubt are masterpieces people refer to, to this day. After discussing this project with Pierre Verger and seeking his spiritual guidance this project was officially born. Sadly, Pierre Fatumbi Verger passed away in 1996.