Todd Ramón Ochoa

in Society of the Dead

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520256835
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947924 | DOI:

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This chapter introduces the thoughts, neighborhood, and mannerisms of the principal interlocutor of the author on Palo and Ocha/Santo called Isidra. She had lived her whole life within Cuba's African inspirations, and felt that to understand the conjunctions and incongruities of Palo and Ocha/Santo one had to understand the dead. To her the dead were the series of never-ending happenings that emerged out of life's routines, prosaic though these could be. She attributed to the dead the individuality of an ancestor she had known. But she would just as often refer to the dead as something else, something akin to a writhing, boundless mass, impersonal and anonymous. The chapter follows Isidra's insistence on the dead, as she tried to find a solution for one of her clients. Her insistence on the dead was immovable because her dead relatives offered to her the solution she sought.

Keywords: Isidra; interlocutor; Palo; Ocha; dead

Chapter.  3864 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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