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    Saturday, July 18, 2015

    Afro-Cuban Religious Arts: Popular Expressions of Cultural Inheritancein Espiritismo and Santería

    From a plantation in Havana Province in the 1880s to a religious center in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s, this book profiles four generations of women from one Afro-Cuban religious family. The women were connected by their prominent roles as leaders in the religions they practiced and the dramatic ritual artwork they created. Each was a medium in Espiritismo—communicating with dead ancestors for guidance or insight—and also a santera, or priest of Santería, who could engage the oricha pantheon. Kristine Juncker argues that by creating art for more than one religion these women shatter the popular assumption that Afro-Caribbean religions are exclusive organizations. The portraiture, sculptures, and photographs in Afro-Cuban Religious Arts offer rare and remarkable glimpses into the rituals and iconography of Espiritismo and Santería. Santería altars are closely guarded, limited to initiates, and typically destroyed upon the death of the santera while Espiritismo artifacts are rarely considered valuable enough to pass on. The unique and protean cultural legacy detailed here reveals how ritual art became popular imagery, sparked a wider dialogue about culture inheritance, attracted new practitioners, and enabled Afro-Cuban religious expression to explode internationally. Download Link
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    Item Reviewed: Afro-Cuban Religious Arts: Popular Expressions of Cultural Inheritancein Espiritismo and Santería Rating: 5 Reviewed By: asar tehuti
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