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RARA:

Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora
$25
   Elizabeth McAlister

RARA: Vodou, Power and Performance
in Haiti and Its Diaspora
259 pages, paperback, 15 b/w photos and CD

Rara is a vibrant annual street festival in Haiti, when followers of the Afro-Creole religion called Vodou march loudly into public space to take an active role in politics. Working deftly with highly original ethnographic material, Elizabeth McAlister shows how Rara bands harness the power of Vodou spirits and the recently dead to broadcast coded points of view with historical, gendered, and transnational dimensions.

15 b/w photographs; includes a 24-track CD Rara is a vibrant annual street festival in Haiti, when followers of the Afro-Creole religion called Vodou march loudly into public space to take an active role in politics. Working deftly with highly original ethnographic material, Elizabeth McAlister shows how Rara bands harness the power of Vodou spirits and the recently dead to broadcast coded points of view with historical, gendered, and transnational dimensions.

CONTENTS
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Notes to the Compact Disc: Rara!
Introducing Rara
1 - Work and Play, Pleasure and Performance
2 - Vulgarity and the Politics of the Small Man
3 - Mystical Work: Spirits on Parade
4 - Rara and "the Jew": Premodern Anti-Judais
in Postmodern Haiti
5 - Rara as Popular Army: Hierarchy, Militarism
and Warfare
6 - Voices under Domination: Rara and the
Politics of Insecurity
7 - Rara in New York City: Transnational Popular
Culture
Appendix: Chronology of Political Events, 1990-1995, Annotated with Transnational Rara Band Activity
Glossary
Notes
Sources
Index

$25

Hardcover version is also available for $60 but may take a few extra days for shipping: 

"McAlister does an eloquent job of weaving together these characteristic manifestations of Rara."--Les Field, Royal Anthropological Inst Journal (man)

"McAlister has produced an in-depth ethnographic study of a musical/religious/political phenomenon which is fascinating reading."--The Beat

"McAlister demonstrates how religious ritual, Rara songs, and outbursts of violence during marches were coded messages of popular resistance to the ruling elite."--Choice

"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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