Very interesting topic Æmilius.
Santeria, Palo-Mayombe, Obeah, Hoodoo, and Vodou or Vodoun or Voodoo, are, I believe, offshoots of Yoruba
. And at least two or three of these five offshoots are said to have questionable practices, whereas Yoruba is the original and purest form. Well, some might debate this, but that's how I understand it so far.
To add on:
In Anacalypsis, the early 19th Century Druid and Master Mason Godfrey Higgins wrote:
TWO ANCIENT ETHIOPIAS.—GREAT BLACK NATION IN ASIA.—THE BUDDHA OF INDIA A NEGRO.—THE ARABIANS WERE CUSHITES.—MEMNON.—SHEPHERD KINGS.—HINDOOS AND EGYPTIANS SIMILAR.— SYRIA PEOPLED FROM INDIA.
1. In taking a survey of the human inhabitants of the world, we find two classes, distinguished from each other by a clear and definite line of demarkation, the black and white colours of their skins. This distinguishing mark we discover to have existed in ages the most remote. If we suppose them all to have descended from one pair, the question arises, Was that pair black or white? If I were at present to say that I thought them black, I should be accused of a fondness for paradox, and I should find as few persons to agree with me, as the African negroes do when they tell Europeans that the Devil is white. (And yet no one, except a West-India planter, will deny that the poor Africans have reason on their side.) However, I say not that they were black, but I shall, in the course of this work, produce a number of extraordinary facts, which will be quite sufficient to prove, that a black race, in very early times, had more influence over the affairs of the world than has been lately suspected; and I think I shall shew, by some very striking circumstances yet existing, that the effects of this influence have not entirely passed away.
2. It was the opinion of Sir William Jones, that a great nation of Blacks1 formerly possessed the dominion of Asia, and held the seat of empire at Sidon. * These must have been the people called by Mr. Maurice Cushites or Cuthites, described in Genesis; and the opinion that they were Blacks is corroborated by the translators of the Pentateuch, called the Seventy, constantly rendering the word Cush by Ethiopia. It is very certain that, if this opinion be well founded, we must go for the time when this empire flourished to a period anterior to all our regular histories. It can only be known to have existed from accidental circumstances, which have escaped amidst the ruins of empires and the wrecks of time.
Of this nation we have no account; but it must have flourished after the deluge. And, as our regular chronological systems fill up the time between the flood and what is called known, undoubted history; if it be allowed to have existed, its existence will of course prove that no dependence can be placed on the early parts of that history. It will shew that all the earlychronology is false; for the story of this empire is not told. It is certain that its existence can only be known from insulated circumstances, collected from various quarters, and combining to establish the fact. But if I succeed in collecting a sufficient number to carry conviction to an impartial mind, the empire must be allowed to have existed.
3. The religion of Buddha, of India, is well known to have been very ancient. In the most ancient temples scattered throughout Asia, where his worship is yet continued, he is found black as jet, with the flat face, thick lips, and curly hair of the Negro. Several statues of him may be met with in the Museum of the East-India Company. There are two exemplars of him brooding on the face of the deep, upon a coiled serpent. To what time are we to allot this Negro? He will be proved to have been prior to the god called Cristna. He must have been prior to or contemporaneous with the black empire, supposed by Sir William Jones to have flourished at Sidon. The religion of this Negro God is found, by the ruins of his temples and other circumstances, to have been spread over an immense extent of country, even to the remotest parts of Britain, and to have been professed by devotees inconceivably numerous. I very much doubt whether Christianity at this day is professed by more persons than yet profess the religion of Buddha. Of this I shall say more hereafter.
4. When several cities, countries, or rivers, at great distances from each other, are found to be called by the same name, the coincidence cannot be attributed to accident, but some specific cause for such an effect must be looked for. Thus we have several cities call Heliopolis, or the city of the Sun; the reason for which is sufficiently obvious. Thus, again, there were several Alexandrias; and on close examination we find two Ethiopias alluded to in ancient history—one above the higher or southern part of Egypt, and the other somewhere to the east of it, and, as it has been thought, in Arabia.
Elsewhere Godfrey Higgins quotes a Roman or Greek historian (Diodorus Siculus or Herodotus I believe) saying that the two Æthiopias were in Khemet and India.
In The Arrow and the Spindle
by Samten Karmay, there is mentioned the Tibetan mythology of the Deity known as "The Little Black-Headed Man"; and the Sumerians referred to themselves as "The Black-Headed People". I've wondered if somehow there is possibly any relation here
to the Khemetian and Æthiopian depictions of Asar or Ausar (Osiris) and Heru (Horus) in their Pygmy forms (see also the Nubian Orisha or Neter known as Bes, Bas, or Basu).