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To and Through the Doors of Ocha

Title: To and Through the Doors of Ocha: Music, Spiritual Transformation, and Reversion Among African American Lucumí.
Name(s): Beckley-Roberts, Lisa Michelle, author
Gunderson, Frank D., professor directing dissertation
Jones, Maxine Deloris, university representative
Bakan, Michael B., committee member
Von Glahn, Denise, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Music, degree granting college
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2016
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (288 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation asserts that members of Ile Asho Funfun, the Lucumí spiritual house at the center of the research, is comprised of members who have undergone the process of converting to the spiritual practice of Lucumí and, as such, have experienced tremendous personal transformation. The author argues that the religious practice of Lucumí was introduced to African Americans through music and dance traditions in the 1940s by performing artists and that since that time music has been one of the foremost tools of conversion. Among the theories asserted herein, the author develops the theory of reversion to describe the process of conversion from Christianity to Lucumí. Borrowed from Islamic traditions that use the term to refer to a return to the natural state of awareness of the one true God, reversion here is viewed as a return to the religion of practitioners' ancestors and to a set of practices that are innately a part of human understanding of the cosmos and Creator as well their place within the cosmos and with the Creator. Furthermore, the author contends that process of reversion is ongoing, informed by Afrocentricity, and impacted by the constant expansion and contraction of the religion. These occur as individuals and the community adjust to life events while negotiating their identity as both African and American. This dissertation establishes the theories of expansion and contraction as the processes by which African practitioners of Yoruba-derived religions have always adapted their practices to the situation and environment. The author introduces these concepts as a more precise description of processes of adaptation than the more commonly cited concept of syncretism. The author both observed and practiced the religion for ten years prior to undertaking the research and did field work and ethnographic research for six years while studying for and writing this dissertation using a reflexive approach.
Identifier: FSU_2016SP_BeckleyRoberts_fsu_0071E_13164 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2016.
Date of Defense: February 4, 2016.
Keywords: African-American, Conversion, Ethnomusicology, Lucumi, Reversion, Yoruba
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Frank Gunderson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Maxine Jones, University Representative; Michael B. Bakan, Committee Member; Denise Von Glahn, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
African Americans -- Study and teaching
Africa -- History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Beckley-Roberts, L. M. (2016). To and Through the Doors of Ocha: Music, Spiritual Transformation, and Reversion Among African American Lucumí. Retrieved from