Abstract

Abstract:

This photographic essay brings evidence of the visible material and invisible spectral changes altar-homes, altar-rooms, and altars undergo, as interactions with them are experienced by ritual participants. Focusing on the visual documentation I gathered while working at the altar-home of Haydée, a Puerto Rican espiritista bruja, I explore the matter-of-fact, almost banal technologies by means of which healers may initiate transformational processes that sacralize their altar-homes, creating spatial proxies of distant sacred places in order to summon and cajole spirits to intervene in human affairs. In sum, this is an exploration of the ritual labor that enters in constituting the ritual life of altars, or how altars "do."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5111
Print ISSN
1556-8547
Pages
pp. 250-266
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-07
Open Access
No
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