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Hosay Trinidad Muharram Performances in an Indo-Caribbean Diaspora

ISBN-10: 0812218256
ISBN-13: 9780812218251
Edition: 2003
Authors: Frank J. Korom
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Description: The multivocalic rite known as Hosay in the Caribbean developed out of earlier practices originating in Iraq and Iran which diffused to Trinidad by way of South Asian indentured laborers brought to the Caribbean by the British from the mid-1800s to  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 10/31/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

The multivocalic rite known as Hosay in the Caribbean developed out of earlier practices originating in Iraq and Iran which diffused to Trinidad by way of South Asian indentured laborers brought to the Caribbean by the British from the mid-1800s to the early decades of the twentieth century. The rituals are important as a Shi'i religious observance, but they also are emblems of ethnic and national identity for Indo-Trinidadians. Frank Korom investigates the essential role of Hosay in the performance of multiple identities by historically and ethnographically situating the event in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Caribbean contexts. Hosay Trinidad: Muharram Performances in an Indo-Caribbean Diaspora is the first detailed historical and ethnographic study of Islamic muharram rituals performed on the island of Trinidad. Korom's central argument is that the annual rite is a polyphonic discourse that is best understood by employing multiple levels of interpretation. On the symbolic level the observance provides esoteric meaning to a small community of Indo-Trinidadian Muslims. On another level, it is perceived to be representative of "transplanted" Indian culture as a whole. Finally, the rituals are becoming emblematic of Trinidad's polyethnic population. Addressing strategies used to resist integration and assimilation, Hosay Trinidad is engaged with theories concerning the notion of cultural creolization in the Caribbean as well as in the general study of global diasporas.

List of Illustrations
A Note on Orthography
Introduction
Orientations and Overview
Muharram Rituals in Iran: Past and Present
The Passage of Rites to South Asia
Onward to the Caribbean
Building the Tadjah, Constructing Community
Conclusion: Maintenance and Transformation via Cultural Creolization
Epilogue
Notes
Glossary
Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments

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