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Experiential CaribbeanCreating Knowledge and Healing in the Early Modern Atlantic$
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Pablo F. Gómez

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630878

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630878.001.0001

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(p.70) 3 Movement
Experiential Caribbean

Pablo F. Gómez

University of North Carolina Press

Caribbean spaces were nourished physically and culturally by their sea links and a vast network of terrestrial connections uniting small rural settlements and larger urban spaces like Cartagena and Habana. Free blacks and slaves frequently traveled between different caribben locales, and between urban settlements and rural areas in the region, where they had contact with maroon blacks. These elastic, unbounded migrations proved to be journeys of historical consequence. The chapter explores how black ritual practitioners and their cosmopolitan practices of knowledge production about the natural world moved within this vibrant world. It argues that black ritual practitioners’ claims about the world emerged from local particulars that fostered an adaptive praxis predicated on the experiential. Early modern Caribbean epistemologies about the body were shaped not only by ritual specialists, but also by their patients. The chapter shows how this was a population that was highly mobile and exposed to ideas and treatments coming from all over the world. In the Caribbean, this amalgamating culture was driven by the imperatives of creating new healing techniques that could be deployed under myriad biological, political, cultural, and economical circumstances.

Keywords:   Movement, Circulation of Knowledge, Cosmopolitanism, Competition, Incorporation of Healing Traditions, Training of healers, Creativity, Sharing Knowledge

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