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Ex-votos from the Church of São Lázaro
and the Votive Healing Process

By Natalia Marques da Silva | Mentor: Kristin Congdon

Abstract

Votive objects or actions, which are widely referred to as ex-votos, are made in thanksgiving to deities or miraculous beings for graces received. In an ex-voto, the completion of the vow constitutes it as a votive offering. The process of promising and completing a votive acts as a coping mechanism utilized both by individuals and by their communities. This article explores the votive traditions and related coping mechanisms found in the church of São Lázaro, in Salvador, Bahia through field work conducted in 2009.

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