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Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination$
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Kenneth Routon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034836

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034836.001.0001

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Tying the Yuma to the Stick

Tying the Yuma to the Stick

(p.87) Chapter 5 Tying the Yuma to the Stick
Hidden Powers of State in the Cuban Imagination

Kenneth Routon

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on a so-far unexplored dimension of the literature on the Special Period—namely, the ritual management of desire via the use of love magic in the tourist-driven economy of Havana, Cuba. Tracing ethnographically some of the ways in which love magic is both talked about and practiced, it focuses on how the distortions of a dollarized tourist economy have come to be perceived as magically controlled and controllable. Love magic targeting foreign tourists in post-Soviet Cuba is simply one strategy to make ends meet in the new culture of resolver.

Keywords:   ritual, love magic, Havana, post-Soviet Cuba, tourist economy, social culture

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