Sacred Art

Cuba's saints and santeros are show-stealers

Mayol's Los Santos de la Calle (Street Saints) series places the spectator directly inside the secretive world of santeros and paleros. His works depict priests and priestesses standing in front of altars in their homes or performing rituals for their godchildren. The photographer was able to gain entrance to sacred ceremonies and document Afro-Cuban spiritual rites and practices usually hidden from those who are not initiates.

One photo shows a young girl wrapped in a white shawl as her padrino (godfather) sprays a mouthful of rum on her head during a cleansing, while El Ojo Todo Poderoso (the all-seeing eye) seems to gaze at the viewer from a far corner of the room.

Mayol's fantastic images capture a world of magic and the occult that sears itself into the consciousness. In another work, an old palero is caught in mid-machete swing as the head of a sacrificed goat flops like a bag of cement near his bare feet.

González depicts two kinds of worship: religious (these  steps front an old Havana church) and political (the  ubiquitous Che, right)
González depicts two kinds of worship: religious (these steps front an old Havana church) and political (the ubiquitous Che, right)

Details

“Prayers for Saints and Orishas”: Through June 29. Centro Cultural Español, 800 Douglas Rd, Ste 170, Coral Gables; 305-448-9677, www.ccemiami.org.

For anyone curious about Cuba's profound and enduring spiritual roots, this authentic window into the island's beguiling culture is an offering that peels the lids off the eyes.

"Prayers for Saints and Orishas" will feature a concert by Jude Papaloko and Loray Mistik on Friday, June 29, at 8:00 p.m., followed by a closing reception for the show.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...