Re: Santeria
Sat, 28 Jan 1995 18:07:21 GMT

My experience as a student has been that it IS hard to find out
about this stuff. I have considered doing my MA paper on Santeria groups
in Buffalo, and my thinking was what you said, start hitting the botanicas
and candle shops. If you speak any Spanish, I'd say use it if you get the
chance. Often people will feel better disposed toward you, flattered even,
if they see that you have bothered to find out a little about their culture.
Also, do some preparation beforehand so you can ask questions, even if you
already know the answers. Again, I think that seeing they aren't dealing
with a complete ignorant will make people more inclined to help you.
The best book I found on Santeria was George Brandon's _The Dead
Sell Memories_ about Santeria in New York City. There is a lot of crap out
there, but even the stuff that's not scholarly can be useful. You just have
to sift through all the mysticism and stuff for the anthropology. I can
probably track down some more bibliography from when I was doing my reading,
if you like. I WAS surprised by how little I could find on the subject,
E-mail me, if I can help, or just
to let me know how it goes.
Good luck!

In article <>, (Lewis J. Bornmann) writes:
> Ok, I don't know that this is the place to ask, bu it's worth a shot.
>I'm taking an anthropology of religion class, and we're supposed to get a
>taste of fieldwork by attending services for a religion we're not
>familiar with. The teacher gave us a handout with a variety of churches
>listed as a suggestion, most of them being catholic with a sprinkling of
>presbyterian and lds mixed in.
> Good enough, it was meant as help. Here's the problem. I'd like to
>learn about Santeria. I've read a little bit and it sounds interesting,
>I'd like to learn more about it. But I don't know anyone who knows
>anything about it. I have several months to complete the assignment, and
>I can travel given a little notice. So. Can anyone help me out? I
>would appreciate anything. I've been trying to do research, but all I
>can find are a couple of books, and as for real people nothing at all. I
>live in San Francisco. It seemed to me that if there would be anything I
>could use it wuld be here, but so far nothing. Apparently it's not
>something to advertise, which I might have to accept. I plan to start
>haunting the candle shops in the mission, but other then that I'm stuck.
> No, I'm not good at this.