Conjuring the Past

Kenneth Routon

in Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034836
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038858 | DOI:
Conjuring the Past

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This chapter attempts to disentangle ethnographically the meanings of ritual evocations of slavery, such as essentially embodied forms of social praxis, by demonstrating how they ingeniously defy those forces that conspire to silence such violent histories. In Cuba, such issues are not only entangled in representations that draw parallels between black maroon resistance in the colonial period and the political ideology of the 1959 revolution, but also muddled by the cultural politics of post-Soviet Cuban society. Recent efforts to reinvigorate grassroots support for the revolution and bolster a culture of resistance in an era of material scarcity by harnessing the island's Afro-Creole religions to the ideological agendas of the state have produced some rather peculiar juxtapositions between ritual and revolutionary visions of the slave past.

Keywords: slavery; social control; post-Soviet Cuba; colonial rule; material scarcity; political revolution

Chapter.  9882 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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