In 1992 Smithsonian anthropologist Michael Atwood Mason traveled to Cuba for initiation as a priest into the Santería religion. Since then he has created an active oricha “house” and has initiated five others as priests. He is a rare combination: a scholar-practitioner who is equally fluent in his profession and his religion. Interweaving his roles as researcher and priest, Mason explores Santería as a contemporary phenomenon and offers an understanding of its complexity through his own experiences and those of its many practitioners. Balancing deftly between a devotee's account of participation and an anthropologist's theoretical analysis, Living Santería offers an original and insightful understanding of this growing religious tradition.
Michael Atwood Mason
Michael Atwood Mason is an anthropologist and exhibit developer at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, where he was a co-curator of the permanent African Voices exhibition.