The Buddha in the Botanica

I am rather smitten by this blog, written by a religious studies scholar. I rarely see articles about historical interactions between Africans and Asians, so this article won me over pretty quick. I will be adding this site to my links soon.

Many years ago I came upon an interesting presence while visiting El Cobre, a village in southeastern Cuba. Translated simply as “Copper,” El Cobre is well known for its 19th century mining concerns, but even more famously, it is the site of the national basilica for the luminous patron saint of Cuba, Our Lady of Charity. But that is not what interested me. In the house where I stayed, tucked away in a corner, was a small boveda – a domestic altar for the ancestors. Amidst the clutter and bric-a-brac of candles, baby dolls, water glasses and other Santerismo items sat a tiny statue of a serene, reclining Buddha. budaWhen I asked why he was there, virtually surrounded by a contingent of foreign gods, the host for our group laughed and said, “why not? There were lots of Chinese down here.” Well yes, there were lots of Chinese down there…

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One Response to “The Buddha in the Botanica”

  1. That’s not Buddha. It’s Budai. Most westerners mix them up.

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