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Afro-Cuban Religious ArtsPopular Expressions of Cultural Inheritance in Espiritismo and Santería$
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Kristine Juncker

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049700

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049700.001.0001

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Iluminada and Carmen Arts of Historical Desire in 1950s and 1960s Spanish Harlem

Iluminada and Carmen Arts of Historical Desire in 1950s and 1960s Spanish Harlem

(p.96) 4 Iluminada and Carmen Arts of Historical Desire in 1950s and 1960s Spanish Harlem
Afro-Cuban Religious Arts

Kristine Juncker

University Press of Florida

During the late 1950s and the 1960s, Iluminada Sierra Ortiz and Carmen Oramas Caballery collaborated in their religious work with the intent to unify the larger Latin American community, particularly Caribbean women, then flooding into New York. The extant religious imagery from their homes and religious centers reveals critical reinterpretations of Caribbean women’s history. In these arts and altars for Espiritismo and Santería, historic, nineteenth-century Afro-Caribbean women figure as leaders and mediators between the past and the present. Examination of their altar designs illustrates important reconsiderations of Afro-Caribbean women’s histories relevant to the experiences of their multi-ethnic community struggling for survival in Spanish Harlem.

Keywords:   1950s, 1960s, Spanish Harlem, Espiritismo, Santería, altars, women, Iluminada Sierra Ortiz, Carmen Oramas Caballery

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