If God is All Good, Then Only the Devil Can Combat Evil

Kelly E. Hayes

in Holy Harlots

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520262645
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949430 | DOI:
If God is All Good, Then Only the Devil Can Combat Evil

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This chapter analyzes the distinctive trabalhos associated with Pomba Gira and other exu spirits as strategic ritual acts that disclose a particular view of the world at the same time that they are intended to produce concrete effects in that world. It examines the specific nature of the transformations that these ritual works are believed to effect, and what this reveals about the participants' worldview. Trabalhos like those that Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira performed for Margarida not only permit their beneficiaries to conceptualize and endeavor to bring to fruition alternative scenarios for their lives; they also offer poignant testimony about what could be termed the micropolitics of power: the ways that gender, social marginalization, and systematic in equality work together to delimit the life chances of men and women living in Rio's urban periphery.

Keywords: trabalhos; Pomba Gira; exu spirits; ritual; transformations; Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira; Margarida; gender; social marginalization

Chapter.  10187 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology of Religion

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