Abstract for: “Enregistered memory and Afro-Cuban historicity in Santería’s ritual speech,” 2007. Language & Communication special issue: “Temporalities of Text.” 27(3).
In this article I consider how registers of speech can index distinct chronotopes by indexing historical ‘voices’. Practitioners of Cuban Santería can temporally inflect their ritual speech by deploying two marked registers that contrast with standard Cuban Spanish and each other. These registers, called ‘Lucumí’ and ‘Bozal’, are associated with particular historical or mythic character-types and with distinct but overlapping domains of ritual practice. I examine how contrasts in the ideological values of these registers bring three distinct chronotopes into play, thereby projecting the continuing power of ancestors and African deities, and serving as forms of ‘enregistered memory’.
Kristina Wirtz, Department of Anthropology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Updated July 5, 2007