Download Ritual, Discourse, and Community in Cuban Santeria: Speaking by Kristina Wirtz PDF

By Kristina Wirtz

How do Santería practitioners in Cuba create and keep spiritual groups amidst tensions, disagreements, and festival between them, and within the absence of centralized institutional authority? What serves because the "glue" that holds practitioners of other backgrounds jointly within the construction of an ethical neighborhood? studying the spiritual lives of santeros in Santiago de Cuba, Wirtz argues that those groups carry jointly now not simply because contributors agree on their interpretations of rituals yet simply because they typically disagree.
Religious existence is marked through a chain of "telling moments"--not simply the moments themselves yet their narrated representations as they're retold and mined for spiritual meanings. lengthy when they take place, spiritually increased studies stream in narratives which can show skepticism or awe and carry the promise of extra such studies. the writer unearths that those episodes resonate in gossip and other kinds of public observation concerning the stories in their fellow Santería practitioners.
Drawing on ethnographic study approximately Santería ideals and practices, Wirtz observes that practitioners are continually engaged in mirrored image approximately what they and different practitioners are doing, how the orichas (deities) have spoke back, and what the implications in their activities have been or may be. by means of focusing their reflective realization on specific occasions, santeros re-create, second to second, what their faith is. Wirtz additionally argues that Santería can't be thought of in isolation from the advanced spiritual panorama of up to date Cuba, within which African-based traditions are considered with a mixture of fascination, folkloric satisfaction, and suspicion. [Interactions one of the conflicting discourses approximately those religions—as sacred practices, folklore, or harmful superstitions, for example—have performed a primary position in constituting them as social entities.] This booklet will curiosity students of faith, the African diaspora, the Caribbean, and Latin the United States, in addition to linguistic and cultural anthropologists.
 

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2. Diagram of ritual kinship connections in Santería. Introduction: Telling Moments 17 Emilio’s narrative makes clear that even in ritual, and even with as dramatic an event as seeing the divination cowries fall into a foreboding pattern and hearing the dire prognosis, “a grave is open,” religious experience is more complicated than simply hearing divine voices or sensing something transcendent in a ritual. Phenomenological experience is certainly part of the equation, but we cannot leave matters there.

Diagram of ritual kinship connections in Santería. Introduction: Telling Moments 17 Emilio’s narrative makes clear that even in ritual, and even with as dramatic an event as seeing the divination cowries fall into a foreboding pattern and hearing the dire prognosis, “a grave is open,” religious experience is more complicated than simply hearing divine voices or sensing something transcendent in a ritual. Phenomenological experience is certainly part of the equation, but we cannot leave matters there.

I found the ritual process of making cowrie shells speak or reading divine responses into coconut shell pieces compelling in the way such divinations provided a direct and personal message, as if calling up God on the phone. The messages received were, I noticed, sometimes cryptic, demanding interpretation, and sometimes simple and direct, demanding action. As I eagerly participated in rituals and willed myself to let go and believe, I wondered whether Cuban participants felt the same visceral response to ritual Introduction: Telling Moments 9 speech and song that I did.

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