Presente! The Dwelling of Orishas in My Art

My interest in the presence of African spiritual and aesthetic retentions, rediscoveries, and reinventions in the Americas brought me to an important personal and professional crossroad where the paths of my aesthetic, scholarly, and spiritual journeys meet. These three paths were fused two decades ago when I.........Read More of this Abstract

Preserving Old While Creating New Traditions on the Congo Coast of Panama

In 1502, on Columbus' fourth and final voyage to the Americas, the admiral and his men were severely ill and their boats were in need of repair. While sailing on the Caribbean coast of the Republic of Panama they were caught in a terrible storm when they managed to enter a safe natural harbor. It is said that Columbus exclaimed Que porto bello! Italian for what a beautiful harbor......
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The Role of Art in the Veneration of the Black Christs Santos in the Americas

The encounter of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africans, and Europeans has given birth to a mestizaje cultural, a blending of cultural traditions, which uniquely describes the Latin American identity. The use of "art" objects as an integral component of religious worship was a commonality among the three cultures before the encounter, and continues to be central to the devotional practices of Latin Americans and Latinos. The manifestation of statues of a black Jesus Christ....... Read More of this Abstract


The Research Methods of an Artist-Ethnographer

In the last three decades Latino artists living in the United States who are engaged in the postmodern discourse of identity, pluralism and self-representation have turned to various ethnographic methods to research aspects of their culture for material to make art. The results have been an interesting mestizaje -- cultural mixing of African, Latin American and Euro-American aesthetics....... Read More of this Abstract

Los Congos de Costa Arriba: A living tradition in art

In 1502, on his fourth and final voyage to the Americas, Christopher Columbus entered a natural harbor on the Caribbean coast of Panama which he called Porto Belo, Italian for beautiful harbor. By the end of the century Portobelo had become one of the most important Spanish settlements in the Americas. The first Africans to arrive in the Americas with the Spaniards were hispanized having lived in Spain as servants, artisans, and slaves. They were called negros ladinos.......Read More of this Abstract

Santería Aesthetics in Contemporary Latin American Art

Santería is a New World religion based on Yoruba traditional beliefs and Roman Catholicism that was fused during the days of slavery in Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean and continues to proliferate wherever its devotees migrate. Santería is comprised of a complex mythology, a pantheon of hundreds of deities, referred to as orishas, and a system of symbols, signs and ceremonies.....Read More of this Abstract


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