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Making Caribbean DanceContinuity and Creativity in Island Cultures$
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Susanna Sloat

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034676

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034676.001.0001

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Secrets Under the Skin

Secrets Under the Skin

They Brought the Essence of Africa

(p.67) 6 Secrets Under the Skin
Making Caribbean Dance
Jill Flanders Crosby, Melba Nuñez Isalbe, Susan Matthews, Roberto Pedroso García
University Press of Florida

Jill Flanders Crosby illuminates the attachment to African ancestry in two small towns of Matanzas province in Cuba of adherents of Arará, a religion descended from the Ewe and Fon of Dahomey—contemporary Benin, Togo, and eastern Ghana. She describes ancestral stories, particular practitioners, ceremonies, sacred places, altars, and the fodunes (representations of deities) that are part of them in Perico and Agramonte. Having also spent years investigating the dances of the Ewe, she returns to Ghana and Togo and notes how relationships with Cuban practice are received there and concludes with evocative Arará dancing at a ceremony at a third Cuban town, Jovellanos.

Keywords:   Jill Flanders Crosby, Arará, African ancestry, Matanzas province, Cuba, fodunes, Dahomey, Ghana, Ewe, sacred places

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