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Open Access Escrava Anastácia: The Iconographic History of a Brazilian Popular Saint

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Escrava Anastácia: The Iconographic History of a Brazilian Popular Saint

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image of African Diaspora

This article describes the transformation of an image depicting an unnamed, enslaved African man wearing a metal facemask, a common form of punishment in colonial Brazil, into the iconic representation of the martyred slave Anastácia/Anastasia, the focus of a growing religious and political movement in Brazil. The authors trace the image to an early 19th century engraving based on a drawing by the Frenchman Jacques Arago. Well over a century later, Arago's image increasingly became associated with a corpus of myths describing the virtuous suffering and painful death of a female slave named Anastácia. By the 1990s, Arago's image (and variations of it), now identified as the martyred Anastácia/Anastasia, had proliferated throughout Brazil, an object of devotion for Catholics and practitioners of Umbanda, as well as a symbol of black pride. Cet article décrit la transformation de l'image d'un esclave Africain inconnu, portant un masque de métal, une forme courante de punition dans le Brésil colonial.

Cette représentation iconique de l'esclave martyr, Anastacia/Anastasia est devenue le noyau d'un mouvement politique et religieux d'importance croissante au Brésil.

Les auteurs font remonter cette image à une gravure du début du 19ème siècle, fondée sur un dessin du français Jacques Arago. Plus d'un siècle après, le dessin d'Arago a été graduellement associé à un corpus de mythes décrivant les souffrances, la vertu et la mort douloureuse d'une femme esclave appelée Anastacia. Vers 1990 l'image dessinée par Arago (et ses variations), à présent identifiées à la martyre Anastacia/Anastasia était répandue dans tout le Brésil, l'objet de dévotion de la part de catholiques et de fidèles de l'Umbanda ainsi qu'un symbole de la fierté noire.

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/content/journals/10.1163/187254609x430768
2009-05-01
2016-09-01

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