Black Atlantic Religion by J. Lorand MatoryBlack Atlantic Religion illuminates the mutual transformation of African and African-American cultures, highlighting the example of the Afro-Brazilian Candomblé religion. This book contests both the recent conviction that transnationalism is new and the long-held supposition that African culture endures in the Americas only among the poorest and most isolated of black populations. In fact, African culture in the Americas has most flourished among the urban and the prosperous, who, through travel, commerce, and literacy, were well exposed to other cultures. Their embrace of African religion is less a "survival," or inert residue of the African past, than a strategic choice in their circum-Atlantic, multicultural world. With counterparts in Nigeria, the Benin Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad, and the United States, Candomblé is a religion of spirit possession, dance, healing, and blood sacrifice. Most surprising to those who imagine Candomblé and other such religions as the products of anonymous folk memory is the fact that some of this religion's towering leaders and priests have been either well-traveled writers or merchants, whose stake in African-inspired religion was as much commercial as spiritual. Morever, they influenced Africa as much as Brazil. Thus, for centuries, Candomblé and its counterparts have stood at the crux of enormous transnational forces. Vividly combining history and ethnography, Matory spotlights a so-called "folk" religion defined not by its closure or internal homogeneity but by the diversity of its connections to classes and places often far away. Black Atlantic Religion sets a new standard for the study of transnationalism in its subaltern and often ancient manifestations.
Diaspora Conversions by Paul Christopher JohnsonBy joining a diaspora, a society may begin to change its religious, ethnic, and even racial identifications by rethinking its "pasts." This pioneering multisite ethnography explores how this phenomenon is affecting the remarkable religion of the Garifuna, historically known as the Black Caribs, from the Central American coast of the Caribbean. It is estimated that one-third of the Garifuna have migrated to New York City over the past fifty years. Paul Christopher Johnson compares Garifuna spirit possession rituals performed in Honduran villages with those conducted in New York, and what emerges is a compelling picture of how the Garifuna engage ancestral spirits across multiple diasporic horizons. His study sheds new light on the ways diasporic religions around the world creatively plot itineraries of spatial memory that at once recover and remold their histories.
Encyclopedia of African Religion by Molefi Kete Asante (Editor); Ama Mazama (Editor)As the first comprehensive work to assemble ideas, concepts, discourses, and extensive essays in this vital area, the Encyclopedia of African Religion explores such topics as deities and divinities, the nature of humanity, the end of life, the conquest of fear, and the quest for attainment of harmony with nature and other humans. Editors Molefi Kete Asante and Ama Mazama include nearly 500 entries that seek to rediscover the original beauty and majesty of African religion. Features include: it helps readers grasp the enormity of Africa's contribution to religious ideas by presenting richly textured concepts of spirituality, ritual, and initiation while simultaneously advancing new theological categories, cosmological narratives, and ways to conceptualize ethical behavior it provides readers with new metaphors, figures of speech, modes of reasoning, etymologies, analogies, and cosmogonies it reveals the complexity, texture, and rhythms of the African religious tradition to provide scholars with a baseline for future works.
Publication Date: 2008-11-26
The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions by Patrick Taylor (Editor); Frederick I. Case (Editor)The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions is the definitive reference for Caribbean religious phenomena from a Caribbean perspective. Generously illustrated, this landmark project combines the breadth of a comparative approach to religion with the depth of understanding of Caribbean spirituality as an ever-changing and varied historical phenomenon. Organized alphabetically, entries examine how Caribbean religious experiences have been shaped by and have responded to the processes of colonialism and the challenges of the postcolonial world. Systematically organized by theme and area, the encyclopedia considers religious traditions such as Vodou, Rastafari, Sunni Islam, Sanatan Dharma, Judaism, and the Roman Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist churches. Detailed subentries present topics such as religious rituals, beliefs, practices, specific historical developments, geographical differences, and gender roles within major traditions. Also included are entries that address the religious dimensions of geographical territories that make up the Caribbean. Representing the culmination of more than a decade of work by the associates of the Caribbean Religions Project, The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions will foster a greater understanding of the role of religion in Caribbean life and society, in the Caribbean diaspora, and in wider national and transnational spaces.
"Fontes: Pierre F. Verger. Orixás (Ed. Corrupio, 1997); Juana Elbein Santos. Os nagôs e a morte (Ed. Vozes, 1976); Adilson de Oxalá. Igbadu--a cabaça da existência (Ed. Pallas, 1998)"--At bottom of each postcard, on mailing side. Each card includes illustration with text describing an orisha.
Mysteries and Secrets of Voodoo, Santeria, and Obeah by Lionel Fanthorpe; Patricia FanthorpeThe secrets of Santeria, Voodoo and Obeah are among the oldest enigmas in the world. Their roots go back to pre-historic Africa - perhaps even beyond that. From the 16th century onwards, the slave trade brought these ancient mysteries to the West, where they blended strangely with traditional Christianity: the ancient African gods became identified with legendary saints. This integration of the two faiths slowly evolved to form the many varieties of Santeria, Obeah and Voudoun that are widely practiced throughout the world today. Their characteristic dancing and drumming seem able to invoke strange states of mind in which almost anything is possible. Even stories of zombies - the walking dead - still persist. Is there a rational explanation for them? Contemporary Voudoun priests, priestesses, magicians and enchanters use rare herbs and spices as well as charms, dolls and talismans to control the natural world in ways that science cannot always explain. Accounts of their inexplicable successes are examined in depth. Most intriguing of all are the claims that are made for their love philtres and aphrodisiacs. What powers do these old religions still possess?
Reinventing Religions by Sidney M. Greenfield (Editor); André Droogers (Editor)Once a central concept in anthropology, syncretism has recently re-emerged as a valuable tool for understanding the complex dynamics of ethnicity, postcolonialism, and transnationalism. Building on a century-long tradition of scholarship, this important book formulates a broader view of the mixing and interpenetration of religious beliefs and practices, primarily from Africa and Europe, highlighting the ways in which religions and cultures on both sides of the Atlantic have been assimilated and innovatively changed. Divided into four sections, the book focuses on religious syncretism in Brazil, Jamaica, and other parts of the Caribbean and West Africa. Greenfield and Droogers have brought together an array of outstanding international scholars whose rich and varied essays on specific geographical locales and customs comprise an innovative and comprehensive view of the transference of religious traditions and their continuity and reformulation on two continents.
Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora by Joel E. Tishken (Editor); Toyin Falola (Editor); Akintunde Akinyemi (Editor)Sàngó in Africa and the African Diaspora is a multidisciplinary, transregional exploration of Sàngó religious traditions in West Africa and beyond. Sàngó--the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning--is a powerful, fearful deity who controls the forces of nature, but has not received the same attention as other Yoruba orishas. This volume considers the spread of polytheistic religious traditions from West Africa, the mythic Sàngó, the historical Sàngó, and syncretic traditions of Sàngó worship. Readers with an interest in the Yoruba and their religious cultures will find a diverse, complex, and comprehensive portrait of Sàngó worship in Africa and the African world.
Cuban Fiestas by Roberto Echevarría González; Roberto González EchevarríaA luminous history of Cuba's most dynamic and defining rituals and the ever-improvisational character of Cuban culture In the Cuban town of Sagua la Grande, a young Roberto González Echevarría peers out the window of his family home on the morning of the Nochebuena fiesta as preparations begin for the slaughter of a feast day pig. The author recalls "watching them at a distance, though thinking, fearing, that once I grew older I would have to participate in the whole event." Now an acclaimed scholar of Latin American literature, González Echevarría returns to the rituals that defined his young life in Cuban Fiestas. Drawing from art, literature, film, and even the national sport of baseball, he vividly reveals the fiesta as a dynamic force of both destruction and renewal in the life of a people. Roberto González Echevarría masterfully exposes the distinctive elements of the fiesta cubana that give depth and coherence to more than two centuries of Cuban cultural life. Reaching back to nineteenth-century traditions of Cuban art and literature, and augmenting them, in the twentieth, with the arts of narrative, the esthetic performances of sport and entertainment in nightclubs, on the baseball diamond, and in movie theaters, Cuban Fiestas renders the lilting strains of the fiesta and drum beats of the passage of time as keys to understanding the dynamic quality of Cuban culture. González Echevarría's explorations are also illuminated by autobiographical vignettes that unveil the ever-shifting impact of the fiesta on the author's own story of exile and return. ]]>
The Jumbies' Playing Ground by Wyndham Nicholls; John Nunley (Foreword by)During the masquerades common during carnival time, jumbies (ghosts or ancestral spirits) are set free to roam the streets of Caribbean nations, turning the world topsy-turvy. Modern carnivals, which evolved from earlier ritual celebrations featuring disguised performers, are important cultural and economic events throughout the Caribbean, and are a direct link to a multilayered history. This work explores the evolutionary connections in function, garb, and behavior between Afro-Creole masquerades and precursors from West Africa, the British Isles, and Western Europe. Robert Wyndham Nicholls utilizes a concept of play derived from Africa to describe a range of lighthearted and ritualistic activities. Along with Old World seeds, he studies the evolution of Afro-Creole prototypes that emerged in the Eastern Caribbean--bush masquerades, stilt dancers, animal disguises, she-males, female masquerades, and carnival clowns. Masquerades enact social, political, and spiritual roles within recurring festivals, initiations, wakes, skimmingtons, and weddings. The author explores performance in terms of abstraction in costume-disguise and the aesthetics of music, songs, drum-rhythms, dance, and licentiousness. He reveals masquerades as transformative agent, ancestral endorser, behavior manager, informal educator, and luck conferrer.