Rara!: Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora

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"This is a startling, stunning, and fascinating book about the blend of music, religion, and politics in Haitian culture. McAlister's mastery of many different ways of knowing makes this study an endless source of insight, intrigue, and inspiration. Rara! succeeds magnificently as an exploration into Rara rituals and Haitian music, but it also presents original and generative insights into every aspect of Haiti's past, present, and future."—George Lipsitz, author of Dangerous Crossroads

"This is a major contribution to the literature on Vodou, Haiti, popular culture, Caribbean culture and music, transnational immigrant practices, and the corpus of black religions in the Americas. It is an extremely well-written, well researched and argued, and highly readable book."—Lawrence H. Mamiya, co-author of The Black Church in the African American Experience

"This is a smart and thoughtful book by a very talented ethnographer. Anyone interested in Haiti will appreciate the work of Elizabeth McAlister."—Karen Brown, author of Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn

"A rare in-depth look at an extremely popular, yet often misunderstood phenomenon. With this book and CD, Elizabeth McAlister, an involved observer, makes an incalculable contribution to our musical and cultural literature."—Edwidge Danticat, author of The Farming of Bones: A Novel
 

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Contents

Work and Play Pleasure
25
Vulgarity and the Politics of the Small
59
Spirits on Parade
85
Premodern Anti
113
Hierarchy
135
Rara
159
Transnational
183
Chronology of Political
209
Sources
237
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About the author (2002)

Elizabeth McAlister is AssociateProfessor of Religion at Wesleyan University.

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