How Can an Association of Congo Players Survive in the Changing Environment of the 21st Century in the Dominican Republic? A Case Study on the Brotherhood of the Congos of the Holy Spirit of Villa Mella


This study examines the Brotherhood of the Congos of the Holy Spirit of Villa Mella, Dominican Republic. Members of the Brotherhood and Dominican youth were interviewed to determine the current and future status of this co-fraternity of musicians, singers and dancers who perform in the name of the Holy Spirit. The paper examines the question: How can an association of congo players survive in the changing environment of the 21st century in the Dominican Republic?

I spent 7 months working with the Brotherhood and living in the community of Mata Los Indios, the birthplace of the co-fraternity. The paper is based on my interviews, observations, reading and research while there. Essentially, it is a descriptive case study of a traditional co-fraternity in a changing environment.

Because there seems to be ample evidence that both the youth and older Brotherhood members are committed to its survival, recommendations are made on ways in which they can successfully maintain the tradition.


Anthropology | Folklore | Sociology of Culture

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