The Cooking of History

The Cooking of History

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Over a lifetime of studying Cuban SanterAsa and other religions related to Orisha worshipa€”a practice also found among the Yoruba in West Africaa€”Stephan PalmiAc has grown progressively uneasy with the assumptions inherent in the very term Afro-Cuban religion. In The Cooking of History he provides a comprehensive analysis of these assumptions, in the process offering an incisive critique both of the anthropology of religion and of scholarship on the cultural history of the Afro-Atlantic World. Understood largely through its rituals and ceremonies, SanterAsa and related religions have been a challenge for anthropologists to link to a hypothetical African past. But, PalmiAc argues, precisely by relying on the notion of an aboriginal African past, and by claiming to authenticate these religions via their findings, anthropologistsa€”some of whom have converted to these religionsa€”have exerted considerable influence upon contemporary practices. Critiquing widespread and damaging simplifications that posit religious practices as stable and self-contained, PalmiAc calls for a drastic new approach that properly situates cultural origins within the complex social environments and scholarly fields in which they are investigated.At this point, however, we need to take note of a rather ironic aspect of Lasebikana#39;s linguistic ministry. ... During my visit to Brazil, the Bahians fondly remembered Lasebikan and chanted some of the songs which he taught them. ... too, seems to have passed through the transatlantic ordeal that transformed Philip Meffre from an African-born Brazilian babalawo into a YorubaChristiana€”if only in reverse.


Title:The Cooking of History
Author: Stephan Palmié
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2013-06-14
ISBN-13:

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