In the Name of the Nation: Blood Symbolism and the Political Habitus of Violence in Haiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Analysis of cultural categories such as personhood, family, and community, and the class of relations they imply, highlights how blood symbolism is paradigmatic in the production of social and political boundaries among Haitians. The principle that endows an individual or an individual's family with a social identity also functions as an exclusionary principle, allowing one to ritually, morally, and physically destroy rivals in the name of family, community, or nation. Drawing from research conducted in rural and urban Haiti as well as in the Haitian diaspora, this article explores how blood constitutes an organizing principle of the Haitian sociocultural universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-266
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012



  • Anthropology of power and politics
  • Blood symbolism
  • Haiti and political habitus
  • Ritual of violence
  • Witchcraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this