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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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If God is All Good, Then Only the Devil Can Combat Evil

If God is All Good, Then Only the Devil Can Combat Evil

(p.175) Chapter 8 If God is All Good, Then Only the Devil Can Combat Evil
Holy Harlots

Kelly E. Hayes

University of California Press

This chapter analyzes the distinctive trabalhos associated with Pomba Gira and other exu spirits as strategic ritual acts that disclose a particular view of the world at the same time that they are intended to produce concrete effects in that world. It examines the specific nature of the transformations that these ritual works are believed to effect, and what this reveals about the participants' worldview. Trabalhos like those that Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira performed for Margarida not only permit their beneficiaries to conceptualize and endeavor to bring to fruition alternative scenarios for their lives; they also offer poignant testimony about what could be termed the micropolitics of power: the ways that gender, social marginalization, and systematic in equality work together to delimit the life chances of men and women living in Rio's urban periphery.

Keywords:   trabalhos, Pomba Gira, exu spirits, ritual, transformations, Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira, Margarida, gender, social marginalization

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