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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: 27 September 2021

Balancing Human and Spirit Worlds

Balancing Human and Spirit Worlds

(p.201) Chapter 9 Balancing Human and Spirit Worlds
Holy Harlots

Kelly E. Hayes

University of California Press

This chapter, as the final line of the ponto cantado, suggests that the aim is to balance without falling, to exploit the resources of both the human and the spirit worlds simultaneously in order to maximize health, wealth, and well-being and to minimize suffering. This is the delicate dance of survival, and it depends on a zelador's ability to negotiate competing demands and obligations to the best of her ability. The logic of balançando is that one must be both flexible and firm, defensive and offensive, oscillating between different strategies as the situation warrants. In some senses Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira's life story is an example of balançando, fluctuating between periods in which her identity as a zelador took greater precedence and periods in which her identity as a wife and mother was foremost, moving in and out of these roles in response to events in her life.

Keywords:   ponto cantado, balance, human, spirit worlds, health, wealth, suffering, balançando, Maria Nazaré de Souza Oliveira, zelador

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