Pombagira, the Holy Streetwalker



While Baba Yaga and Kālī are ancient Eurasian threshold divinities, mainly expressed by symbols of death and decomposition, transformation, the womb, ambiguity, and wilderness, Pombagira and Santa Muerte are contemporary examples of liminal personae that appeared as a consequence of crisis, “a weakening and eventual suspension of the ordinary, taken-for-granted structures of life” (Szakolczai 156), in the changing socioeconomic conditions of twentieth-century Latin America. They are polyvalent and mobile, and they excel in liminal activities while dwelling in peripheral areas of society and the world. Their worshippers are equally marginalized in their respective milieus in Brazil and Mexico, often being outsiders and holding an inferior status.


Brazilian Society Soap Opera Taboo Word Dwelling Place Sexual Power 
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© Małgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba 2015

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