History of Sanse
In this map, you can see how close Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic actually are.
I have been asked this question time and time again. While this is an oral tradition, and most of everything is not documented, I will teach you as I learned myself.
How did Sanse come about? How did it end up in Puerto Rico?
Some time, long ago, there was a man who came over from the Dominican Republic who was a Papa Boko of Las 21 Divisiones (Dominican Vodou) to Puerto Rico. He settled, lived and made his life there.
Along with him, came two (some say three) other practitioners of Las 21 Divisiones.
Now, when they came to Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans already had the practice of Espiritismo going. And when the Papa Boko lived for awhile in Puerto Rico, he started to be contacted by the Spirits already served on the Island.
Little by little, he started serving them as well. His Misterios had told him to do so, and to add them to his practice that it would help many people. So he went to study Espirtismo with a Puerto Rican Espiritista.
Well, Papa Boko realized that what Espiritismo taught was true indeed. It is the same out look he had. And likewise the Puerto Rican Espiritista (being how we are ; ) ) learned plenty from the Papa Boko and his assistants as well. So they started working together, and through their collaboration, Sanse was born. A perfect mix of Espiritismo, 21 Divisiones, Brujeria and other practices. They helped many and each had baptized many and thus Sanse quickly reached far and wide over the country.
That is why, you will hear Sancistas trace their lineages back to “Papa Boko”. Although many don’t know his name, there are those of us who do J
Other lineages say it was the other way around, and an Espiritista went to DR. Could be! Either way, this is the way Sanse came about.
But Sanse is a direct reflection of our Puerto Rican Culture!
Besides the original Tainos on the island, and the Africans that were brought over, many other people came and made Puerto Rico their home. The people of Puerto Rico represent a racial and cultural mix. In the early 1800s, French families and Haitians (fleeing Haiti) made Puerto Rico their home. Likewise the Irish fleed to Puerto Rico from revolutions and upheavals in their own country.
Romany gypsies came to the island even long before that. Puerto Rico was also known to have epsiodes of piracy quite frequently. As the name implies, Rich Port, pirates were a natural by product. Chinese labor was later brought to Puerto Rico as well.