Drawing on examples from the Lisbon Gypsies' ritual repertoire, the article attempts to account for the contingencies and fluctuations that traverse rituals as well as the feelings and emotions of its performers. Comparisons to other gypsy ethnographies are made in order to discuss the apparent lack of or fragmentary nature of certain formalized rituals; as a result, some improvised ritual-like performances among the Lisbon Gypsies will be considered. Finally, bearing in mind that ritual configurations are not ahistorical—affected sometimes by radical changes in the encompassing social world, as others undergo more subtle alterations—two concepts are advanced in order to properly place them in social time and explain certain discrepancies between the acts involved in ritual events and what people feel about them: retrospective and prospective forms of ritual.


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pp. 721-751
Launched on MUSE
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