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Caribbean Islanders

José F. Blanco

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Caribbean immigrants have contributed greatly to the multicultural and multilingual diversity of the United States and Canada for a number of years. Often grouped either with other Hispanics or with African Americans, Caribbean people are actually part of a complex mosaic of cultures, languages, and dress practices. The Caribbean, named after its main pre-Columbian inhabitants, the Carib, has been shaped by the encounter of several cultures, including native groups such as the Puerto Rican Taínos

Vodou Ritual Garments in Haiti

Susan Elizabeth Tselos

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Dress is an important component within the religious and ceremonial context of Vodou worship in the country of Haiti in the West Indies. During Vodou’s religious celebrations, pilgrimages, and rituals, the status of the participants and worshippers is visually identified through the use of garments as well as other physical attributes.

Creolized Costumes for Rara, Haiti

Susan Elizabeth Tselos

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Latin America and the Caribbean 2005

Encyclopedia entry

Each spring, beginning immediately at the end of Carnaval, and building in intensity during the six weeks preceding Easter, Vodou religious temples (oumfòs) in Haiti, located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, dispatch a procession of characters that includes captains, colonels, queens, flag-bearers, and baton-twirling jugglers called majò jonc. This procession, known as Rara, is a yearly ritual of Haiti’s urban poor and the rural peasant class. Rara exists within the culture of Vodou, a sync

Dressing the Divine Horsemen: Dress as Spirit Identification in Haitian Vodou

Susan Tselos

Source: Undressing Religion. Commitment and Conversion from a Cross-Cultural Perspective 2000

Book chapter

Haitian Vodou seremoni (ceremonies) are a colorful, exuberant, vociferous way of honoring and worshipping the lwa, a pantheon of ancestral spirits who govern the well-being of the living. The lwa are intermediaries between the living and Gran Met (God). The lwa are responsible for all aspects of life. They provide for the success or failure of crops, good or bad business fortunes, financial riches or poverty, the life or death of a loved one and the abundance or dearth of one’s personal love life

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