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Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba

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Overview

Spaces set apart by religious practitioners to represent their understanding of the sacredness of their world provide useful windows into the collective history and the expression of ideas of a religion and its followers. Jualynne Dodson explores sacred spaces constructed between 1998 and 2007 by contemporary practitioners of four popular religions in Cuba's eastern Oriente region. Three of these religions, Palo Mayombé, Vodú, and Muertera Bembé de Sao, are Africa-based traditions while the fourth, Espiritismo, is indigenous to Cuba and Oriente, though it evolved from traditions of the U.S. and Europe. While the religions vary in historical development, in material artifact, and ritual activities that comprise their content, images in this book reflect inherited and shared cosmic orientation of the traditions.

The investigation of Dodson and the African Atlantic Research team offers an interconnected examination of the history and embedded understandings of these four religions while simultaneously offering a panoramic view of religious development in Cuba and practitioners' struggle for a self-defined, Africa-based nature for their religious activities on the island.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826343536
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Series: Religions of the Americas Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jualynne E. Dodson received her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught at Yale University, Hunter College, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Currently, she is on faculty in sociology and directs the African Atlantic Research Team at Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations and Maps Preface The African Atlantic Research Team Introduction 1 Ch. 1 Contours and Concepts 21 Ch. 2 African Cosmic Orientation: Core Commonalities 39 Ch. 3 What Sacred Spaces Do 61 Ch. 4 Palo Monte/Palo Mayombe 81 Ch. 5 Vodu 104 Ch. 6 Espiritismo 124 Ch. 7 "Land of the Dead" Beginnings: Muertera Bembe de Sao 147 Ch. 8 Findings and Conclusions 160 Notes 177 Glossary of Select Terms 189 Bibliography 192 Index 205
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