Holy Harlots

Holy Harlots Femininity, Sexuality, and Black Magic in Brazil

Paperback (13 May 2011)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Holy Harlots examines the intersections of social marginality, morality, and magic in contemporary Brazil by analyzing the beliefs and religious practices related to the Afro-Brazilian spirit entity Pomba Gira. Said to be the disembodied spirit of an unruly harlot, Pomba Gira is a controversial figure in Brazil. Devotees maintain that Pomba Gira possesses an intimate knowledge of human affairs and the mystical power to intervene in the human world. Others view this entity more ambivalently. Kelly E. Hayes provides an intimate and engaging account of the intricate relationship between Pomba Gira and one of her devotees, Nazaré da Silva. Combining Nazaré's spiritual biography with analysis of the gender politics and violence that shapes life on the periphery of Rio de Janeiro, Hayes highlights Pomba Gira's role in the rivalries, relationships, and struggles of everyday life in urban Brazil.

The accompanying film Slaves of the Saints may be viewed online at ucpress.edu/go/holyharlots.

Book information

ISBN: 9780520262652
Publisher: University of California Press
Imprint: University of California Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 306.6996121140981
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 293
Weight: 452g
Height: 227mm
Width: 156mm
Spine width: 19mm