rara vodou power and performance in haiti and its diaspora

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Author : Elizabeth A. McAlister
ISBN : 0520228227
Genre : Religion
File Size : 41. 84 MB
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"This is a startling, stunning, and fascinating book about the blend of music, religion, and politics in Haitian culture. McAlister's mastery of many different ways of knowing makes this study an endless source of insight, intrigue, and inspiration. Rara! succeeds magnificently as an exploration into Rara rituals and Haitian music, but it also presents original and generative insights into every aspect of Haiti's past, present, and future."--George Lipsitz, author of Dangerous Crossroads "This is a major contribution to the literature on Vodou, Haiti, popular culture, Caribbean culture and music, transnational immigrant practices, and the corpus of black religions in the Americas. It is an extremely well-written, well researched and argued, and highly readable book."--Lawrence H. Mamiya, co-author of The Black Church in the African American Experience "This is a smart and thoughtful book by a very talented ethnographer. Anyone interested in Haiti will appreciate the work of Elizabeth McAlister."--Karen Brown, author of Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn "A rare in-depth look at an extremely popular, yet often misunderstood phenomenon. With this book and CD, Elizabeth McAlister, an involved observer, makes an incalculable contribution to our musical and cultural literature."--Edwidge Danticat, author of The Farming of Bones: A Novel


Author : Elizabeth McAlister
ISBN : 9780520926745
Genre : Religion
File Size : 44. 58 MB
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Rara is a vibrant annual street festival in Haiti, when followers of the Afro-Creole religion called Vodou march loudly into public space to take an active role in politics. Working deftly with highly original ethnographic material, Elizabeth McAlister shows how Rara bands harness the power of Vodou spirits and the recently dead to broadcast coded points of view with historical, gendered, and transnational dimensions.

A Day For The Hunter A Day For The Prey

Author : Gage Averill
ISBN : 0226032930
Genre : Music
File Size : 69. 77 MB
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The history of Haiti throughout the twentieth century has been marked by oppression at the hands of colonial and dictatorial overlords. But set against this "day for the hunter" has been a "day for the prey," a history of resistance, and sometimes of triumph. With keen cultural and historical awareness, Gage Averill shows that Haiti's vibrant and expressive music has been one of the most highly charged instruments in this struggle—one in which power, politics, and resistance are inextricably fused. Averill explores such diverse genres as Haitian jazz, troubadour traditions, Vodou-jazz, konpa, mini-djaz, new generation, and roots music. He examines the complex interaction of music with power in contexts such as honorific rituals, sponsored street celebrations, Carnival, and social movements that span the political spectrum. With firsthand accounts by musicians, photos, song texts, and ethnographic descriptions, this book explores the profound manifestations of power and song in the day-to-day efforts of ordinary Haitians to rise above political repression.

Vodou Nation

Author : Michael Largey
ISBN : 9780226468655
Genre : History
File Size : 53. 9 MB
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While the Haitian musical tradition is probably best known for the Vodou-inspired roots music that helped topple the two-generation Duvalier dictatorship, the nation’s troubled history of civil unrest and its tangled relationship with the United States is more intensely experienced through its art music, which combines French and German elements of classical music with Haiti's indigenous folk music. Vodou Nation examines art music by Haitian and African American composers who were inspired by Haiti’s history as a nation created by slave revolt. Around the time of the United States’s occupation of Haiti in 1915, African American composers began to incorporate Vodou-inspired musical idioms to showcase black artistry and protest white oppression. Together with Haitian musicians, these composers helped create what Michael Largey calls the “Vodou Nation,” an ideal vision of Haiti that championed its African-based culture as a bulwark against America’s imperialism. Highlighting the contributions of many Haitian and African American composers who wrote music that brought rhythms and melodies of the Vodou ceremony to local and international audiences, Vodou Nation sheds light on a black cosmopolitan musical tradition that was deeply rooted in Haitian culture and politics.

Race Nation And Religion In The Americas

Author : Henry Goldschmidt
ISBN : 9780195149197
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 63. 67 MB
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A collection of new essays exploring the complex and unstable articulations of race and religion. Drawing on original research, the authors investigate how race and religion have defined global relations, shaped the everyday lives of individuals and communities and how communities use religion to contest the power of racism.


Author : Phyllis Galembo
ISBN : 9781580086769
Genre : Art
File Size : 34. 77 MB
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Now Back in Print!Eighty-plus brilliant color photographs are accompanied by captions and essays from experts of Voodoo, or VODOU, the dazzlingly symbolic spiritual tradition. Photographer Phyllis Galembo shows us the human and divine faces and voices of real Haitian Vodou in a beautiful, personal, and intimate document of a fascinating and deeply misunderstood religion.Reissued with a new cover to coincide with the author's one-person show at the Albany Institute of History and Art in New York.A groundbreaking collection that was before its time. As alternative religions such as Wicca gain in popularity, less understood traditions such as vodou are garnering more attention. Captions and essays from experts in the field accompany brilliant photographs documenting the vodou religious practice.

Diaspora Conversions

Author : Paul Christopher Johnson
ISBN : 9780520249707
Genre : Religion
File Size : 85. 47 MB
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"I'm extremely impressed by Johnson's book. Diaspora Conversions offers an outstanding combination of theoretical acuity, erudition, and ethnographic prowess. It is bound to become highly influential in the study of religion in motion."—Manuel A. Vasquez, co-author of Globalizing the Sacred: Religion Across the Americas "Johnson's work bursts through the present conversations on African diaspora and brings us onto entirely new ground, shattering simplistic ideas and replacing them with critical distinctions. This smart and talented ethnographer succeeds in combining detailed and rich ethnographic fieldwork with an unrelentingly critical and sophisticated analysis. Johnson's work brings to life one of the most central, perhaps the most central, classic question of African American anthropology: "How is Black culture constituted, even through dislocation and displacement?"—Elizabeth McAlister, author of Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora "Diasporic Conversions convincingly breaks new ground by showing how the meaning of 'homeland' is fundamentally a product of historically situated and contested forms of collective imagination. What will make Johnson's book a benchmark in the study of the African diaspora, and diasporic situations more generally, is that it is not just a richly documented and rigorously argued ethnography, but a genuine anthropology of historical consciousness."—Stephan Palmié, author of Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition

Creole Economics

Author : Katherine E. Browne
ISBN : 9780292783379
Genre : History
File Size : 21. 72 MB
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What do the trickster Rabbit, slave descendants, off-the-books economies, and French citizens have to do with each other? Plenty, says Katherine Browne in her anthropological investigation of the informal economy in the Caribbean island of Martinique. She begins with a question: Why, after more than three hundred years as colonial subjects of France, did the residents of Martinique opt in 1946 to integrate fully with France, the very nation that had enslaved their ancestors? The author suggests that the choice to decline sovereignty reflects the same clear-headed opportunism that defines successful, crafty, and illicit entrepreneurs who work off the books in Martinique today. Browne draws on a decade of ethnographic fieldwork and interview data from all socioeconomic sectors to question the common understanding of informal economies as culture-free, survival strategies of the poor. Anchoring her own insights to longer historical and literary views, the author shows how adaptations of cunning have been reinforced since the days of plantation slavery. These adaptations occur, not in spite of French economic and political control, but rather because of it. Powered by the "essential tensions" of maintaining French and Creole identities, the practice of creole economics provides both assertion of and refuge from the difficulties of being dark-skinned and French. This powerful ethnographic study shows how local economic meanings and plural identities help explain work off the books. Like creole language and music, creole economics expresses an irreducibly complex blend of historical, contemporary, and cultural influences.

Our Lady Of Class Struggle

Author : Terry Rey
ISBN : UOM:39015048737574
Genre : Religion
File Size : 88. 60 MB
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This book is one of the most extensive single ethnographical studies on religion yet conducted in the Caribbean. It is a sociological analysis of the Marian devotion in Haiti that aims to reveal the differences between the Marianism of Haitian poor and that of the Haitian elite, and to explain the forces that underlie these differences, and to understand the syncretism of Marian beliefs and symbols with their correspondents in Haitian Vodou. Data generated through over four hundred interviews with Catholics and Voduisants and extensive participant/observation at Marian feasts throughout Haiti over a four-year period is analyzed and explained with references to the theories concerning religion and class of Antonio Gramsci, Max Weber, and Pierre Bourdieu. Two case studies personalize the elite/popular schism at the heart of Haitian Marianism, while a historical survey of the roles that the Mary symbol has played in Haitian politics reveals both the ways in which the dominant in Haitian society have, since the arrival of Columbus in 1492, attempted to manipulate the symbol and myth of the Virgin to legitimize and perpetuate the social inequalities upon which their power and privilege depends, and instances of Marian appropriation by the subjugated, who have at times transformed Mariology into a source of inspiration for struggle against domination. Historical research also discloses how the Catholic Church hierarchy has aimed to employ the Virgin Mary in its epic campaign to eradicate Vodou from Haitian society. The reason that this campaign has failed is due to the fact that the Virgin Mary was widely assimilated with Ezili, the Vodou spirit of love and sensuality, making Haiti's Maryuniquely Haitian. In sum, the effects of Vodou and of class struggle on Haitian Marianism are discussed and analyzed.

Walking On Fire

Author : Beverly Bell
ISBN : 080148748X
Genre : History
File Size : 84. 3 MB
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Haiti, long noted for poverty and repression, has a powerful and too-often-overlooked history of resistance. Women in Haiti have played a large role in changing the balance of political and social power, even as they have endured rampant and devastating state-sponsored violence, including torture, rape, abuse, illegal arrest, disappearance, and assassination. In Walking on Fire, Beverly Bell, an activist and an expert on Haitian social movements, brings together thirty-eight oral histories from a diverse group of Haitian women. The interviewees include, for example, a former prime minister, an illiterate poet, a leading feminist theologian, and a vodou dancer. Defying victim status despite gender- and state-based repression, they tell how Haiti's poor and dispossessed women have fought for their personal and collective survival. The women's powerfully moving accounts of horror and heroism can best be characterized by the Creole word istwa, which means both "story" and "history." They combine theory with case studies concerning resistance, gender, and alternative models of power. Photographs of the women who have lived through Haiti's recent past accompany their words to further personalize the interviews in Walking on Fire.

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