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Caribbean Pilgrimages: A Typology

Stephen D. Glazier
Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Vol. 22, No. 4 (Dec., 1983), pp. 316-325
DOI: 10.2307/1385770
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1385770
Page Count: 10
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Caribbean Pilgrimages: A Typology
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Abstract

This study analyzes two Caribbean pilgrimage types: fixed and flexible. Fixed pilgrimages (pilgrimages with specific destinations) are represented by the annual pilgrimage to Saut d'Eau in Haiti. Flexible pilgrimages (pilgrimages without specific destinations) are represented by the journeys sponsored by an indigenous Caribbean religion, the Spiritual Baptists of Trinidad. Both fixed and flexible pilgrimages may be found throughout the Caribbean region, but on each Caribbean island a particular type of pilgrimage dominates. Differences in pilgrimage types reflect attitudes toward the land, mobility of the gods, and national sentiments. Attitudes toward the land, however, was found to be the most important factor. This study concludes that fixed pilgrimages, such as the annual pilgrimage to Saut d'Eau, fit the model of pilgrimage behavior developed by Victor Turner, but that flexible pilgrimages, such as Spiritual Baptist journeys in Trinidad, do not fit Turner's model.

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