Spirits, Blood, and Drums: The Orisha Religion in Trinidad / Edition 1

Spirits, Blood, and Drums: The Orisha Religion in Trinidad / Edition 1

by James T. Houk
     
 

ISBN-10: 1566393507

ISBN-13: 9781566393508

Pub. Date: 10/28/1995

Publisher: Temple University Press

James Houk's field work in Trinidad and subsequent involvement in the Orisha religion allows him a uniquely intimate perspective on a complex and eclectic religion. Originating in Nigeria, Orisha combines elements of African religions (notably Yoruba), Catholicism, Hinduism, Protestantism Spiritual Baptist, and Kabbalah. A religion of spirits and spirit possession,…  See more details below

Overview

James Houk's field work in Trinidad and subsequent involvement in the Orisha religion allows him a uniquely intimate perspective on a complex and eclectic religion. Originating in Nigeria, Orisha combines elements of African religions (notably Yoruba), Catholicism, Hinduism, Protestantism Spiritual Baptist, and Kabbalah. A religion of spirits and spirit possession, ceremonies and feasts, churches and shrines, sacrifices and sacred objects, Orisha is constantly shifting and unstable, its practice widely varied. As a belief system, it is a powerful presence in the social structure, culture, and, more recently, the political realm of Trinidad.

Houk carefully examines the historical forces that have transformed Orisha from a relatively simple religion in colonial Trinidad to an abstruse mix of belief, ritual, and symbolism. The voices of worshippers and Orisha leaders spring to life the intensity and power of the religion. Houk's own recounting of participation in many of the mystical ceremonies, including taking on the important role of drummer in several feasts, his initiation into Orisha, and his exceptional field research provide fascinating details essential in understanding the development of this Caribbean religion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566393508
Publisher:
Temple University Press
Publication date:
10/28/1995
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
1Orisha Experiences3
2Religion, Postmodernism, and Methodology17
3The Setting25
4African Roots of the Orisha Religion47
5Catholicism and the Orisha Religion61
6The Spiritual Baptists71
7Hinduism and the Kabbalah86
8Spirits and Spirit Possession107
9Social Organization of the Orisha Religion125
10The Orisha and Their Abodes140
11The Ebo, Feast for the Gods156
12The Orisha Religion as an Open System169
13Syncretism and Eclecticism versus Africanization180
14The Transmission of Religious Knowledge in the Orisha Religion191
15The Transformation of the Orisha Religious System199
Appendix AA Demographic Estimate of Spiritual Baptists211
Appendix BA Demographic Estimate of Orisha Worshipers213
Notes215
Glossary219
References221
Index233

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