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Divine Utterances: The Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria / Edition 1

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Overview

In Divine Utterances, Katherine J. Hagedorn explores the enduring cultural and spiritual power of the music of Afro-Cuban Santería and the process by which it has been transformed for a secular audience. She focuses on the integral connections between sacred music performances and the dramatizations of theatrical troupes, especially the state-sponsored Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba, and examines the complex relationships involving race, politics, and religion in Cuba. The music that Hagedorn describes is rooted in Afro-Cuban religious tradition and today pervades a secular performances that can produce a trance in audience members in the same way as a traditional religious ceremony.

Hagedorn's analysis is deeply informed by her experiences in Cuba as a woman, scholar, and apprentice batá drummer. She argues that constructions of race and gender, the politics of pre- and post-Revolutionary Cuba, the economics of tourism, and contemporary practices within Santería have contributed to a blurring of boundaries betwen the sacred and the folkloric. As both modes now vie for primacy in Cuba's burgeoning tourist trade, what had once been the music of a marginalized group is now a cultural expression of national pride.

The compact disc that accompanies the book includes examples of twenty songs to the orichas, or Afro-Cuban deities, performed by prominent musicians, including Lázaro Ros, Francisco Aguabella, Alberto Villarreal, and Zenaida Armenteros.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A highly original work . . . that will stand out as the most thorough exploration of Santería music performance, both religious and theatrical.”—Raul Fernández, University of California, Irvine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560989479
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: BOOK & CD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Katherine J. Hagedorn is associate professor of music at Pomona College.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Recorded Tracks
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Notes on Fieldwork: Dreaming Ogun 17
2 El Espectaculo: Invitation to the Dance 44
3 Embodying the Sacred in Afro-Cuban Performance: Negotiating the Rules of Engagement 73
4 Blurring the Boundaries: Merging Sacred and Profane 107
5 The Birth of the Conjunto Folklorico 136
6 Sacred Crimes: Criminalizing the Sacred in Historical Perspective 173
7 Resolver and Religious Tourism in Cuba 203
Conclusion 234
Glossary 241
Discography 256
Filmography 259
References 261
Index 287
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