The Voice of a Cuban Priestess Leading from the Inside
This chapter studies the life of Amelia Pedroso, a renowned Cuban ritual singer and priestess in the Santeria tradition. She generated remarkable achievements in male-dominated and heterosexual contexts, openly creating a lesbian and gay-friendly ritual house in Havana. In the early 1990s when she was in her forties, Amelia moved into a drumming domain that specifically prohibited Cuban women—although paradoxically, non-Cuban women were taught in Cuba. She formed an all-women ensemble and toured and ran workshops in the United States and Europe. Amelia attracted women to her, acquiring a role as an iconic activist, developing a network of students and religious godchildren, and leaving a remarkable transnational legacy following her death in 2000.
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