Document Detail

Santeria and Palo Mayombe: skulls, mercury, and artifacts.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19804524     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Santeria and Palo Mayombe are syncretic religions created in the New World based upon African religious beliefs combined with Christianity. The main worship of Palo Mayombe involves religious receptacles that may contain earth, sticks, varied artifacts, and animal and human remains. Due to the use of human and nonhuman remains, discovery of these items often leads to involvement by the police due to a concern of homicide. We review in detail the medical examiner records of two of these ritualistic cases including the autopsy, anthropology, police, and investigators' reports. For the human remains, careful consideration of the context in which the remains were recovered, their state of preservation, and the associated artifacts (e.g., beads and mercury) are important in determining the appropriate level of forensic significance. Anthropological examination with particular attention to taphonomic characteristics also may help determine the origin and forensic significance.
James R Gill; Christopher W Rainwater; Bradley J Adams
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article     Date:  2009-10-05
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of forensic sciences     Volume:  54     ISSN:  1556-4029     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Forensic Sci.     Publication Date:  2009 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-11-02     Completed Date:  2010-01-26     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0375370     Medline TA:  J Forensic Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1458-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner and Department of Forensic Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Caribbean Region / ethnology
Ceremonial Behavior*
Forensic Anthropology
New York City
Reg. No./Substance:

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