Spirit Dolls (Muñequitas) in New York Puerto Rican Homes:

Forms, functions, and meanings of altars in Puerto Rican homes on the island or the US mainland are already well documented in association with Espiritismo and Santería, two forms of Caribbean religious belief and practice. Ethnographic descriptions of the roles that dolls play within these contexts of belief are less common. In the New York Puerto Rican homes in which I was welcomed between 2004 and 2007, as a participant observer in Puerto Rican Espiritismo, altars decorated with flowers, food, water offerings, and statues of the saints co-existed with mesitas and other doll displays. Mesitas are little tables, set with offerings for the dolls who sit beside them.

Vejigante Masks of Emil Droz Torres

The papier-mâché vejigante masks of Amil Droz Torres, an artist from Puerto Rico who also worked part-time in Saratoga Springs “were an important component of the Carnaval de Vejigantes, the annual celebration held in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Begun in 1991, but with roots...

Sesame Flyers International

From the viewpoint of Sesame Flyers International, a nonportit organization providing social and cultural programs for Brooklyn’s Flatbush and Canarsie residents, Caribbean festival events are year-round. Martinez profiles this community organization and its role maintaining tradition.