Black Carib Religion and the Recovery of Africa
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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To those who read parts or all of the manuscript, my heartfelt thanks:Elizabeth McAlister, Manuel Vasquéz, Matthew Hull, Erika Büky, andImportant financial support for different stages of the project wasprovided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (2001, 2003),the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University (2004),...
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Proust’s masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu (The Remembranceof Things Past), begins with the rush of memory erupting from a par-ticular place and time. The narrator has returned to his old home. Hefeels cold; his mother serves him tea and a small cake, a madeleine. Ashe dips the cake into the tea and tastes it, his mind is flooded by places...
1. What Is Diasporic Religion?
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This chapter lays out the parameters for the central theoretical issues ofthe book, moving from the widest to the narrowest distinctions. Iexamine, in turn, diaspora, diasporic religion, African Diaspora, andAfrican diasporic religions, the latter specifically in New York City. Theattempt to establish a solid theoretical footing for the starring phrase...
2. “These Sons of Freedom”: Black Caribs across Three Diasporic Horizons
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Garifuna diasporic religion presupposes a distinction from somethingelse from which it departs, namely Garifuna religion as it developed athome. But Garifuna homeland religion, too, emerged from a historicaland spatial journey, out of dislocations from Africa to St. Vincent toCentral America to the United States. It was formed across three dias-...
3. Shamans at Work in the Villages
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What does it mean to join a diaspora, to become diasporic, in practice?The next four chapters try to answer this question. They are arrangedin two pairs: this chapter and the next compare shamans’ work in home-land villages of Honduras and in the Bronx, respectively; chapters 5 and6 compare large-scale ritual events as performed in Honduras and the...
4. Shamans at Work in New York
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...at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that heIn this chapter I consider Garifuna religious leaders in New York andDiaspora religion—a set of practices consciously part of a specific reli-gious family that includes Santería, Palo Monte, Vodou, Candomblé,and Spiritism. I first present shamans’ own stories of how they became...
5. Ritual in the Homeland; Or, Making the Land “Home” in Ritual
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This chapter and the next juxtapose readings of ritual performance inthe homeland and in the diaspora. In the homeland, the central ritualevent brings into being, through performance, the momentary fusionof kin, ancestors, and territory. With the external boundary of theethnic group rarely in question in Garifuna villages, the ritual primarily...
6. Ritual in the Bronx
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With the exception of the dügü, all Garifuna rituals can be, and are,performed in diaspora. The requirement that the dügü take place onhomeland soil enhances its prestige in the Bronx. It is distinguished asthe return par excellence, a veritable pilgrimage. Yet many Garifuna willnever take part in a dügü. For some, their illegal status in the United...
7. Finding Africa in New York
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When I have asked Garifuna leaders why Santería exerts influence overother religious groups in the Bronx, I have received many conflictingresponses. One informant asserted simply that “Santería is more encom-passing—it’s the respect for nature.” Others frequently responded thatthey were impressed with the dramatic spectacle of oricha like Baba...
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...“It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,” theIf ritual is a genre more resistant to innovation than other kinds ofhuman action—whether because it is kinetically based and buriedbeneath conscious critique, or because it has no author and is collec-tively owned and resistant to individual innovation, or because its very...
Appendix. Trajectory of a Moving Object, the Caldero
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Page Count: 343
Publication Year: 2007