An Ethnographic Study of Papadjab, An Afro-Caribbean Devil Dancer

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This book examines the religious, mythological and performance elements of the traditional Afro-Caribbean street festival. Using the theories of performance, political economy and symbolic analysis, this work elucidates how elements of African, European and South American cultures interact to produce a unique understanding of the colonial and post-colonial experience.


“Through his analysis, [the author] offers a testament to the value of multi-pronged and locally-situated research, and he makes a compelling case for extending our understanding of creolized forms into a new realm.” – Prof Katherine Browne, Colorado State University

“[The author] captures how this uniquely Caribbean performance challenged dominant structures of society and enhanced oral tradition and art. . . . an excellent introduction to Caribbean culture and history and a serious scholarly analysis of performance art that emerges from the intersection of cultures.” – Prof. Aaron M. Lampman, Washington College

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Foreword by Katherine Browne
Chapter 1: Introduction
Research Overview and Context
Order of Papadjab Performers (Chart M-1)
Chapter 2: Methods and Ethnography
Chapter 3: The Papadjab Ritual
Chapter 4: Form and Structure
Structure and Performance
Language as Medium
Devils in our Midst
The Place of the Devil
Chapter 5: Papadjab in Context
Where did he come from?
An Urban Christmas
Papadjab and Political Economy
Decolonization and Uncertainty
The Beginning of the End
The End of an Era
Chapter 6: Conclusions
Transcript of Interviews
Kwéyòl Glossary of Terms
Names of Saint Lucia (Figure M-2)
Rough Timeline of Critical Events (Figure M-1)

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