This series has gone through some of the major ports of African spiritual disembarkation: Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the United States, however, these are not the only locations where Africans were seasoned nor were they the only sites where Ifá developed into syncretic belief systems. All throughout the Caribbean as well as North and South America there are scores of variant forms of African syncretic religion. In Guyana for instance there is the Comfa tradition which is a term to generally describe the manipulation of spirits and spiritual energy. More precisely, Comfa refers to anyone who becomes entranced or possessed by beating drums, a key component of all African syncretic systems. As well, Comfa was developed not only from the Ifá traditions but as well it was built on diverse religious nuances of both Western and Eastern traditions.
The pantheon of the Comfa religion encapsulates a wide range of ethnic traditions beyond those of West Africa: Amerindian, Chinese, East Indian (Hindu), English, Dutch and Spanish. Accordingly, among the Guyanese, diversity is celebrated. By extension, the pantheon and structure of the religion is reflective of the highly diverse population. To explain, the Comfa cosmos is structured as such: Heaven or the Heights is reflective of the Christian ethereal plane, consisting of angels, biblical prophets and the apostles of Jesus. On the Earthly plane, there are spirits which exist to help guide humanity; they consist of entrees, deities, family and friends. The entrées are spiritual representatives of the seven ethnic groups of Guyana that make up the highly diverse population. These beings are ancestral agents and represent the African, Amerindian, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, English and East Indian ancestors of the country as well they signify the cultural diversity of Guyanese history.
The deities consist of Hindu and Amerindian Gods and represent the polytheistic nature of East and West Indian religious traditions. The family and friends of the Comfa tradition are those who are kin or acquaintances of the entrees and deities who may or may not have at one time occupied the Earthly plane. These spirits are known as the terrestrials as they are Earth bound. They mainly occupy spaces close to bodies of water – seas, oceans and rivers – and work on behalf of humans and mother Earth herself. As well, for Comfa practitioners the Earth is an entity of great importance because she provides all that humans need. Further, Mother Earth is signified as an African woman who is both protective and destructive, exhibiting the necessary duality of the mortal plane. Kean Gibson, author of the article “Guyana Comfa and Cultural Identity”, elaborates: “Within her bowels are the graveyard spirits, and the wandering spirits (spirits who have been invoked from the grave and not returned) move over her. Thus Mother Earth is destructive and generative at the same time.” Mother Earth is not God but a manifestation of God who is the beginning and end of all things ethereal and telluric.
Furthermore, the composition of the Comfa spiritual universe is not necessarily the heavenly bodies (e.g., stars, planets and/or constellations) instead the Comfa universe consists of the plants, animals, trees and bodies of water. Moreover, within Comfa cosmology humans are the conduits of power (both good and evil) as well as the epicenters of experience on the planet. To explain, according to Comfa belief humans are endowed with two spirits which illuminate themselves most clearly at high noon when the sun is highest in the sky. At this time of day two shadows appear: one that walks alongside the person and is a benevolent spirit meant help people through life and one that walks behind a person which is the evil or demonic spirit, known as jumbie(s). Gibson elaborates, “The demon spirit is capable of good and bad. It is capable of good by offering assistance, but one has to make pledges for the assistance. If these promises are not kept the spirits torment, chastise and possibly kill you.” Both spirits represent the duality of humanity and serve as reminders of the delicate balance of diverging energies on Earth.
Historically, the population of Guyana is slated towards diversity not hegemony, which greatly impacts how the religion is accepted by the populace as well as how other religions interact with Comfa. To explain, the practice of Voodoo and Obeah had a very particular relationship to their respective colonial governments. Both of the spiritual systems were an integral element of Haiti and Jamaica’s violent efforts to free themselves from the oppressive French and English colonial governments; Voodoo and Obeah were the weapons of change for the people of those islands. Comfa practitioners however was able established a relationship with the government as well as the other religious and cultural institutions of the country, allowing the belief system to be practiced openly and recognized as a part of the wondrous diversity of Guyana. Jeremy Peretz, author of Comfa, Obeah and Emancipation: Celebrating Guyanese Freedoms While Captive in Cultural Politics, elaborates: “Comfa is often equated with Obeah in popular thought, although far fewer people openly identify as practitioners of Obeah, unlike Comfa, of which more are proud to be participants. Perhaps this comes from years of stigma directed towards Obeah, or because of Comfa’s relationship to more “orthodox” forms of religion under colonial rule, particularly Christianity.”
Moreover, for the Guyanese populace the practice of Comfa is very closely tied their understanding and preservation of memory. To expound, Guyanese Emancipation is directly connected to the observance and celebration of cultural phenomena like Comfa which was integral to the movement towards freedom for the country’s marginalized population. Accordingly, a major element of Comfa practice is the observance and reenactment of the events and personalities that helped to establish emancipation in Guyana through dramas, plays, and dances. Peretz states, “through narrating, and at times through ritual embodying these Guyanese histories of Emancipation and related social processes, new or alternate interpretations and meanings surrounding those events may be generated and employed in understanding and confronting similar social issues today.” The Guyanese emphasis on memory and its narrative, even when it is manipulated to deal with present day issues, makes Comfa a high functioning spiritual tradition because it helps practitioners to connect to their history and consciously uses that history to deal with contemporary issues.
Moreover, in Comfa practice unlike Obeah there is a deliberate effort to be as ecumenical as possible. Peretz states, “Diverging from a view that forced missionization and forceful Christian proselytization largely account for the prominence of Church-like structures and other features in Comfa and earlier Faithist and Jordanite religions, these movements may have intentionally adopted such features not only in sincere faith, but also as tactics in gaining legitimacy for their practices.” Comfa, as a collective practice it seems, consciously seeks out diversity as a method of legitimacy as well as a means of adjusting to the great diversity of Guyana. This is likely the reason why Comfa is practiced by a wide array of people in Guyana. Simply put, the practice of Comfa provides an example of religious ecumenism that the rest of the planet could learn from and expound upon.
 Kean Gibson. Comfa religion and Creole language in a Caribbean community. (Albany: SUNY Press, 2001), 1. The author argues that there is a close connection to Comfa and Obeah in Guyana.
 Ibid., 1. Jeremy Jacob Peretz. Comfa, Obeah and Emancipation: Celebrating Guyanese Freedoms While Captive in Cultural Politics. (UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2015).
 Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, ed. Fragments of Bone: Neo-African African Religions in the New World. Kean Gibson, “Guyana Comfa and Cultural Identity”. (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 209.
 Ibid., 209.
 Jeremy Jacob Peretz. Comfa, Obeah and Emancipation: Celebrating Guyanese Freedoms While Captive in Cultural Politics. (UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2015), 20-21.
 Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, ed. Fragments of Bone: Neo-African African Religions in the New World. Kean Gibson, “Guyana Comfa and Cultural Identity”. (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 210. Bodies of water are extremely important in Comfa practice. Evidence suggests reverence for water comes from Amerindian beliefs or the Mami Water spirit of West Africa.
 Ibid., 210.
 Kean Gibson. Comfa religion and Creole language in a Caribbean community. (Albany: SUNY Press, 2001), 25.
 Ibid., 25-26.
 Ibid., 26.
 Jeremy Jacob Peretz. Comfa, Obeah and Emancipation: Celebrating Guyanese Freedoms While Captive in Cultural Politics. (UCLA Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2015), 20.
 Ibid., 4.
 Ibid., 5.
 Ibid., 23.