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Society of the DeadQuita Manaquita and Palo Praise in Cuba$
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Todd Ochoa

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520256835

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520256835.001.0001

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Little Corners

Little Corners

(p.40) 3. Little Corners
Society of the Dead

Todd Ramón Ochoa

University of California Press

This chapter continues the study of the ambient dead or Kalunga, which takes turns and assumes multifarious shapes as it becomes influential. Kalunga churns forth versions of itself continously, generating them spontaneously. These forms are the excess of possibility sparked by the mutual affirmation of immediate existence and objectified matter in the lives of those who practice Palo. Taking the form of a collection of household and found objects, the ambient dead occupy a secluded corner of the house, out of the way. The “little corners” as the assemblages are called, are routinely kept outdoors in a far corner of the patio or in an outhouse. One of the most outstanding points about the little corners is that in their marginality to the Laws of Palo and Ocha/Santo they gain a unique autonomy. They are free from the social hierarchies that define ceremonies in Palo and Ocha/Santo because one does not have to be initiated to keep a rinconcito.

Keywords:   ambient dead, Kalunga, Laws of Palo, Ocha, rinconcito, social hierarchies

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