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Centered on the former slaving port of Ouidah, Benin, Dana Rush's research extends through Togo to Ghana, a region where exchanges of histories, ideas, and belief systems are given material forms. This is a land where Shango, Jesus, and the Buddha are all gods of Vodun; where Hindu and Vodun deities co-exist in symbiosis; where the spirits of people enslaved 150 years ago are paid tribute by the children of their long-lost masters; and where Haitian, Brazilian, and Cuban images, artists, and spirits remain relevant to contemporary West African practices.
The book is richly illustrated with color photographs of Vodun shrines, temple wall paintings, masquerades, and Hindu chromolithographs.
This book is the first publication in a new series called "Critical Investigations of the African Diaspora." The series grows out of Issues in Critical Investigation, a Vanderbilt initiative to assist junior scholars through critical feedback from senior faculty, annual symposia, and prize competitions in the humanities and social sciences. Dana Rush's Vodun in Coastal Benin is the winner of the inaugural Anna Julia Cooper Prize in the Humanities.