Afro-Cuban Religious Arts: Popular Expressions of Cultural Inheritance in Espiritismo and Santería

by Kristine Juncker

From a plantation in Havana Province in the 1880s to a religious center in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s, this book profiles four generations of women from one Afro-Cuban religious family. Each woman was a medium in Espiritismo and also a santera, or priest of Santería. Their portraiture, sculptures, and photographs offer rare and remarkable glimpses into the rituals and iconography of both religions—and shatter the popular assumption that Afro-Caribbean religions are exclusive organizations. The legacy of these women illustrates how ritual art became popular imagery and enabled Afro-Cuban religious expression to explode internationally.

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