Cover image for St. James in the streets : the religious processions of Loiza Aldea, Puerto Rico
St. James in the streets : the religious processions of Loiza Aldea, Puerto Rico
Zaragoza, Edward C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, [1995]

Physical Description:
x, 180 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library GT4995.J35 Z37 1995 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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The story of a popular religious celebration, a "liturgy of the streets," the annual fiesta of St. James the Apostle in LoD'iza Aldea, Puerto Rico. It is also the story of how three cultures joined by a history of conquest and slavery--the Hispanic, African, and Arawak Indian--provide the fiesta with its unique configuration of symbols and meaning. Zaragoza describes the history of the celebration and the fiesta itself in rich detail, amply illustrating the text with photographs. Through a close study of the rituals and symbols of the celebration, he shows how the religious processions honoring St. James reveal two views of life. The statues of the saint imagine life to be like him, faithful and triumphant. The four ritual clowns which accompany the statues, the Spanish Gentleman, the Moor, the Old Man, and the Crazy Woman, show that life is not always victorious but more often ambiguous and ironic. However, at the close of the fiesta, the dominant image of St. James as the conquering hero remains.

Author Notes

Edward C. Zaragoza is Assistant Professor of Church History at Phillips Graduate Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma.

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