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Afro-Cuban Religion, Ethnobotany and Healthcare in the Context of Global Political and Economic Change

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Article of journalMoret, Erica. Afro-Cuban Religion, Ethnobotany and Healthcare in the Context of Global Political and Economic Change Bulletin of Latin American Research, 2008 vol. 27 no. 3 p. 333-350. Keywords:
Caribbean
Cuba
Anthropology, Ethnology | Religions, Beliefs | Wealth, Food

Abstract:

‘Globalisation’, driven by neoliberal-based policies, can be seen to have significant impacts on ethnobotanical practices, particularly through the commercialisation of traditional knowledge and rise in identity-based social movements. Despite its relative political and economic isolation in comparison to more ‘neoliberalised’ areas of Latin America, local-level shifts occurring in post-Soviet Cuba are similar to those occurring elsewhere in the region. Afro-Cuban ritual activities have proliferated, particularly in Havana, leading to an increased dependence on the rich magico-medicinal pharmacopoeias employed in hybridised religions such as santería and palo monte – suggesting that ‘globalisation’ may have profound, albeit indirect, implications for even the most economically marginalised countries such as Cuba.

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