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Holy HarlotsFemininity, Sexuality, and Black Magic in Brazil$
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Kelly Hayes

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262645

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262645.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Pomba Gira and the Religious Imagination

Pomba Gira and the Religious Imagination

(p.38) Chapter 2 Pomba Gira and the Religious Imagination
Holy Harlots

Kelly E. Hayes

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the psychosocial dimension: the all-too-human relationships, rivalries, and longings dramatized within and by the phenomenon of Pomba Gira. Like any other figure of religious devotion, Pomba Gira is the subject of a well-developed popular mythology, a diverse and open-ended repertoire of stories, songs, prayers, ritual formula, and other narrative forms through which devotees understand and interact with the spirit. Despite great variety, these narrative forms share a recurring set of themes that establish Pomba Gira's unique characteristics and skills and shape how devotees like Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira craft their own stories about this entity's role in their lives. While Pomba Gira may appear in multiple guises, the spirit's most salient attribute is her seductive allure. Pomba Gira is invariably a woman of ill repute, sometimes a prostitute or courtesan, sometimes a dangerous enchantress or feiticeira.

Keywords:   human relationships, Pomba Gira, mythology, ritual, spirit, Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira, feiticeira

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