Elizabeth McAlister

Rara ! Vodou, power, and performance in Haiti and its diaspora

University of California press

Berkeley, 2002

bibliothèque insulaire

  parutions 2002
Rara ! Vodou, power, and performance in Haiti and its diaspora / Elizabeth McAlister. - Berkeley : University of California press, 2002. - XVIII-259 p. : ill. ; 24 cm + a sound CD.
ISBN 0-520-22822-7
With this book, Elizabeth McAlister, an involved observer, makes an incalculable contribution to our musical and cultural literature.

Edwige Danticat

: Rara is a vibrant annual festival in Haiti, when followers of the Afro-Creole religion called Vodou march loudly into public space to take an active role in politics. During this weeks of Lent, Rara bands parade for miles, playing music, dancing, performing rituals for Afro-Haitian spirits, for the ancestors, and for local « big men ».
Working deftly with highly original ethographic 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. In this first-ever book on Rara, she not only brings the Afro-Creole religious dimensions of the festival to light but also discusses the political uses Haitians are making of Rara, both in Haiti and in the United States.

Carefully researched, deeply thoughtful, and extremely well written, this book includes a CD featuring Rara's lively, percussive music, as well as photographs by veteran photojournalist Chantal Regnault.

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-Judaism 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, Glossary, Notes, Sources, Index

mise-à-jour : 6 décembre 2005