This grand and ambitious book proposes comparative analysis of religious and popular devotions to syncretic goddess figures in Europe and the Americas, including the Caribbean. Małgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba focuses on “the Black Madonna/Great Mother Goddess figure,” reaching back to the fragmentary evidence of Neolithic worship and stretching forward to the present. The dark Madonna figure is nominally Catholic, and the author deploys a wealth of data to explain the facts and circumstances through which she is syncretic, at once more than Catholic and at times only superficially Catholic. The book is composed of four chapters, basically covering Poland; Mexico; Brazil and Cuba; and Aztlan, also referred to as “Greater Mexico.” The book has almost as many illustrations as it does pages, including 15 splendidly rendered color plates. The graphic material is quite helpful and provides a reference point to most, though not all, of the examples referred to in the text....
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Book Review| November 01 2008
The Black Madonna in Latin America and Europe: Tradition and Transformation
The Black Madonna in Latin America and Europe: Tradition and Transformation. By Oleszkiewicz-Peralba, Małgorzata.
University of New Mexico Press,
226pp. , $34.95.
Hispanic American Historical Review (2008) 88 (4): 737–738.
Robert Curley; The Black Madonna in Latin America and Europe: Tradition and Transformation. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 November 2008; 88 (4): 737–738. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-2008-041
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