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By Jualynne E. Dodson

Areas set aside through spiritual practitioners to symbolize their knowing of the sacredness in their global offer worthy home windows into the collective heritage and the expression of principles of a faith and its fans. Jualynne Dodson explores sacred areas developed among 1998 and 2007 via modern practitioners of 4 renowned religions in Cuba's jap Oriente area. 3 of those religions, Palo Mayomb?, Vodu, and Muertera Bemb? de Sao, are Africa-based traditions whereas the fourth, Espiritismo, is indigenous to Cuba and Oriente, although it developed from traditions of the U.S. and Europe. whereas the religions range in ancient improvement, in fabric artifact, and formality actions that include their content material, photos during this ebook replicate inherited and shared cosmic orientation of the traditions. The research of Dodson and the African Atlantic learn workforce deals an interconnected exam of the heritage and embedded understandings of those 4 religions whereas at the same time supplying a breathtaking view of spiritual improvement in Cuba and practitioners' fight for a self-defined, Africa-based nature for his or her spiritual actions at the island.

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The Book Sacred Spaces and Religious Traditions in Oriente Cuba presents data from our research and thinking about sacred spaces from four of the eight Cuban religions actively practiced in Oriente: Palo Monte/Palo Mayombe, Vodú, Espirit­ismo, and Muertéra Bembé de Sao. The book is divided into three parts. Part I, composed of appropriate maps and chapters 1 through 3, serves to delineate the historical and conceptual context through which we view and comprehend Oriente religious practices. Part II, composed of chapters 4 through 6, presents the descriptive data on three of the four religions we investigated.

The recent migrants successfully contributed to Oriente’s economic sectors through their expertise in coffee, tropical fruit, and, eventually, sugar cultivation. The region’s French Haitian presence transferred needed expert production knowledge as numerous cafetales (small coffee farms) began to spring up under the direction of the new Oriente settlers. Palenques, too, began to reflect the presence of African descendants from Haiti as these enslaved laborers also ran away from bondage. Whether in palenques of African ethnic mixtures or in other locations, the Ewé Fon/Adja of Haiti and the Kongo descendants in Cuba shared many cosmic understandings.

This means that those who arrived in Oriente were largely from the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Kongo region of West Central Africa (see map 3). The fact is important because, as the first descendants to the island, members of ethnic groups from this kingdom inaugurated the region’s cosmic orientation and ritual foundations. 19 contours and concepts 25 Map 3: The west and west central portions of Africa designating ex­­portation points for captive Africans. Note the words “kibombo” and “bembé” that are also active components of the Oriente communication lexicon, and note the city of Benin as well as the Kongo, Oyo, Mandinga, Ashanti, and Dahomey empires.

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