By Aisha Beliso-De Jesús
Santería is an African-inspired, Cuban diaspora faith lengthy stigmatized as witchcraft and sometimes disregarded as superstition, but its spirit- and possession-based practices are speedily successful adherents the world over. Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús introduces the time period "copresence" to seize the present transnational adventure of Santería, during which racialized and gendered spirits, deities, monks, and spiritual tourists remake neighborhood, nationwide, and political barriers and reconfigure notions of expertise and transnationalism.
Drawing on 8 years of ethnographic examine in Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, and in long island urban, Miami, l. a., and the San Francisco Bay sector, Beliso-De Jesús lines the phenomenon of copresence within the lives of Santería practitioners, mapping its emergence in transnational locations and ancient moments and its ritual negotiation of race, imperialism, gender, sexuality, and non secular trip. Santería's spirits, deities, and practitioners enable electronic applied sciences for use in new methods, inciting exact encounters via video and different media. casting off conventional perceptions of Santería as a static, localized perform or as a part of a mythologized "past," this e-book emphasizes the religion's dynamic circulations and demands nontranscendental understandings of spiritual transnationalisms.
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Additional info for Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion
The ability to purchase perfume and cigarettes on the ﬂ ight as the mysterious sanitizing mist seeps up; and caramelos, small hard candies, neatly spread on a tray. On this ﬁ rst trip, however, it had been an exercise in unfamiliarity and panic. Making contact with Cuban soil was for many a political and temporal disjoint, an ecstatic experience of diasporic longings (van de Port 2011a). One man knelt down and kissed the hot Cuban tarmac. Our American guide explained how, for many on the ﬂ ight, this had been the ﬁ rst time Cubans living in the United States (like the lady in the trench coat) had been able to return to the island in over ten years.
I ran into one of my father’s friends, who stole me away for an evening, taking me to a tambor, a drum ritual in Old Havana. My official tour had been detoured. The exploration of how and why Santería had been so conspicuously left out of that official touristic narrative would haunt me through my dissertation and into this book. Interestingly enough (and unbeknownst to me), my father—Piri Ochún, as he is called—was also in Cuba in 1994 at the same time as my humanitarian tourism, but for his own religious purposes.
Myths of Yoruba ancientness have formed strategic elements in the emergence of Nigerian nationalisms and African American diasporas (Matory 2005). Notions of traditionality, a relatively recent phenomenon of various African modernities, have participated in the consolidation of globally imagined oricha (also orìsàs) practices (Sarracino 1988; Palmié 2002, 162–63; Matory 2005, 65–67). These transnational connectivities modeled after Internet connections, as discussed by Inderpal Grewal (2005, 24), are alternative ways to think about “the global” as linked to networks of colonialism and modernity.