Reckoning with the Dead

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:
Reckoning with the Dead

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This chapter delineates the procedures of creating a Lucero Mundo with several materials. The process begins with a pail of herbal water called agua ngongoro. This mix, which in Ocha/Santo is called omiero, is a bath of herbs, cascarilla, and holy water blessed by the Catholic Church, among other ingredients. All elements hot and dangerous, or unknown, are washed in agua ngongoro before being allowed to come into contact with a prenda-nganga-enquiso. After a cauldron has been cooled in agua ngongoro to receive the firmas, marking them on a cauldron is the first affirmative change the cauldron undergoes on its path to becoming a prenda-nganga-enquiso. Written on a cauldron, the firmas become the basic premise of a prenda's potential. They guarantee that materials placed therein, each of them versions of the dead, will not just retain their force of influence when brought under the control of the living but ensure it will be stable and malleable.

Keywords: Lucero Mundo; herbal water; agua ngongoro; omiero; firmas; prenda-nganga-enquiso

Chapter.  4173 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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