Ethnographic study of life and ritual in an African American Yoruba revivalist community and its complex relation to Nigerian Yoruba identity A theoretically sophisticated exploration of how Yoruba Orisa voodoo religious practices are reworked as expressions of transnational racial politics Three flags fly in the palace courtyard of Oyotunji African Village. One represents black American emancipation from slavery, one black nationalism, and the other the establishment of an ancient Yoruba Empire in the state of South Carolina. Located sixty-five miles southwest of Charleston, Oyotunji is a Yoruba revivalist community founded in 1970. Mapping Yoruba Networks is an innovative ethnography of Oyotunji and a theoretically sophisticated exploration of how Yoruba Orisa voodoo religious practices are reworked as expressions of transnational racial politics. Drawing on several years of multi-sited fieldwork in the United States and Nigeria, Kamari Maxine Clarke describes Oyotunji in vivid detail - the physical space, government, rituals, language, and marriage and kinship practices - and explores how ideas of what constitutes the Yoruba past are constructed.
Kamari Maxine Clarke is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Yale University.