Winti is the Afro-Surinamese traditional religion that resulted from the syncretization of the religious beliefs and practices of slaves brought to Suriname from west Africa. Similar religious developments can be seen elsewhere in the Americas and the Caribbean (e.g. in Brazil's Candomblé, Cuba's Santería, Haiti's Voodoo, Trinidad and Tobago's Orisa, etc.). The term 'Winti' literally means wind, because in the belief of the practitioners, just like the wind the spirits are omnipresent.
The foundation of Winti is the belief in a creator God called Anana Kedyaman Kedyanpon, the believe in pantheons of gods or spirits called Winti and the veneration of the ancestors. The term Winti was originally only the name of the gods or spirits but nowadays is used to refer to this religion in general.
Winti may further be described according to C. Wooding (a Winti expert) as:
"...an Afro American religion, within which the belief in personified supernatural beings occupies a central position. These personified supernatural beings can take possession of a human person, switch off their consciousness, as it were, and thereby reveal things concerning the past, present and future as well as cause and/or heal illnesses of a supernatural nature." (C. WOODING, Winti: een Afro Amerikaanse godsdienst in Suriname (Meppel: 1972)
Another Winti expert (H.J.M. Stephen, 1985) describes Winti as:
"...primarily a religion, which means that respect for the divine, worship and prayer are central. In addition, it has a strong magical aspect, which often has been emphasized too one-sidedly and unfairly. Magic involves the influence of earthly events by supernatural means."