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Santeria Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion

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Santeria Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ever since its emergence in colonial-era Cuba, Afro-Cuban Santería (or Lucumí) has displayed a complex dynamic of continuity and change in its institutions, rituals, and iconography. In Santería Enthroned, David H. Brown combines art history, cultural anthropology, and ethnohistory to show how Africans and their descendants have developed novel forms of religious practice in the face of relentless oppression.

Focusing on the royal throne as a potent metaphor in Santería belief and practice, Brown shows how negotiation among ideologically competing interests have shaped the religion's symbols, rituals, and institutions from the nineteenth century to the present. Rich case studies of change in Cuba and the United States, including a New Jersey temple and South Carolina's Oyotunji Village, reveal patterns of innovation similar to those found among rival Yoruba kingdoms in Nigeria. Throughout, Brown argues for a theoretical perspective on culture as a field of potential strategies and "usable pasts" that actors draw upon to craft new forms and identities—a perspective that will be invaluable to all students of the African Diaspora.

American Acemy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion (Analytical-Descriptive Category)

Synopsis:

Ever since its emergence in colonial-era Cuba, Afro-Cuban Santería (or Lucumí) has displayed a complex dynamic of continuity and change in its institutions, rituals, and iconography. In Santería Enthroned, David H. Brown combines art history, cultural anthropology, and ethnohistory to show how Africans and their descendants have developed novel forms of religious practice in the face of relentless oppression.

Focusing on the royal throne as a potent metaphor in Santería belief and practice, Brown shows how negotiation among ideologically competing interests have shaped the religion's symbols, rituals, and institutions from the nineteenth century to the present. Rich case studies of change in Cuba and the United States, including a New Jersey temple and South Carolina's Oyotunji Village, reveal patterns of innovation similar to those found among rival Yoruba kingdoms in Nigeria. Throughout, Brown argues for a theoretical perspective on culture as a field of potential strategies and "usable pasts" that actors draw upon to craft new forms and identities—a perspective that will be invaluable to all students of the African Diaspora.

About the Author

David H. Brown, Ph.D., is a nonresident fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and founder and manager of Folkcuba.com, L.L.C. He is the author of The Light Inside: Abakuá Society Arts and Cuban Cultural History.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part I: Institutional and Ritual Innovation

1: Black Royalty: New Social Frameworks and Remodeled Iconographies in Nineteenth-Century Havana

2: From Cabildo de Nación to Casa-Templo: The New Lucumí, Institutional Reform, and the Shifting Location of Cultural Authenticity

3: Myths of the Yoruba Past and Innovations of the Lucumí Present: The Narrative Production of Religious Cosmology, Hierarchy, and Authority

Part II: Iconographic Innovation

4. Royal Iconography and the Modern Lucumí Initiation

5: "The Palace of the Obá Lucumí" and the "Creole Taste": Innovations in Iconography and Meaning

Conclusion

Appendixes

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226076102
Author:
Brown, David H.
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago
Subject:
History
Subject:
Sociology of Religion
Subject:
Ethnic & Tribal
Subject:
Kings and rulers
Subject:
Art and religion
Subject:
Santeria
Subject:
Kings and rulers in art.
Subject:
SOC039000
Subject:
Santeria - History
Subject:
Metaphysics-Magic Witchcraft and Paganism
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
no. 915.002
Publication Date:
20031031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 color plates, 114 halftones
Pages:
440
Dimensions:
9.25 x 8.50 in

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Related Subjects


Metaphysics » African and Latino
Metaphysics » Magic Witchcraft and Paganism
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » Social and Political Issues
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Baseball » General

Santeria Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion New Trade Paper
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Product details 440 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226076102 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Ever since its emergence in colonial-era Cuba, Afro-Cuban Santería (or Lucumí) has displayed a complex dynamic of continuity and change in its institutions, rituals, and iconography. In Santería Enthroned, David H. Brown combines art history, cultural anthropology, and ethnohistory to show how Africans and their descendants have developed novel forms of religious practice in the face of relentless oppression.

Focusing on the royal throne as a potent metaphor in Santería belief and practice, Brown shows how negotiation among ideologically competing interests have shaped the religion's symbols, rituals, and institutions from the nineteenth century to the present. Rich case studies of change in Cuba and the United States, including a New Jersey temple and South Carolina's Oyotunji Village, reveal patterns of innovation similar to those found among rival Yoruba kingdoms in Nigeria. Throughout, Brown argues for a theoretical perspective on culture as a field of potential strategies and "usable pasts" that actors draw upon to craft new forms and identities—a perspective that will be invaluable to all students of the African Diaspora.

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