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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access February 13, 2019

La Divina Pastora, the Dougla Madonna

Alison Mc Letchie
From the journal Open Cultural Studies

Abstract

This article contextualises the adoration of la Divina Pastora (Siparia Mai) in Trinidad with the racially charged politics of the island nation. Using interviews and participant observation, it demonstrates the importance and unique nature of this practice which allows people of many faiths share in the space that is la Divina. This religious, cultural and social space is one of many on the island where diversity is celebrated, unlike the political arena where race-baiting is used to rally the electorate. The article uses various theories of race to analyse why Hindus and Catholic devotees are willing to share access while their political leaders seem unwilling and/or unable to do the same meaningfully. The paper concludes that while no current theory of race sufficiently explains the la Divina experience but that She embodies the national hegemonic ideal which politicians claim they embrace but which they do little to encourage because doing so will undermine their political base.

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Received: 2018-10-09
Accepted: 2018-12-07
Published Online: 2019-02-13
Published in Print: 2019-02-01

© by Alison Mc Letchie, published by De Gruyter Open

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License.

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