A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of by Carolyn Morrow Long

By Carolyn Morrow Long

Against the backdrop of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New Orleans, A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and fact of Marie Laveau disentangles the complicated threads of the legend surrounding the recognized Voudou priestess. in line with mysterious, oft-told stories, Laveau used to be a unprecedented big name whose sorcery-fueled impression prolonged generally from slaves to upper-class whites. a few debts declare that she led the "orgiastic" Voudou dances in Congo sq. and at the shorelines of Lake Pontchartrain, saved a huge snake named Zombi, and used to be the proprietress of an notorious condo of assignation. even though mythical for an strange mixture of non secular strength, attractiveness, air of secrecy, showmanship, intimidation, and smart enterprise experience, she additionally used to be recognized for her kindness and charity, nursing yellow fever sufferers and ministering to condemned prisoners, and her devotion to the Roman Catholic Church. the real tale of Marie Laveau, notwithstanding significantly much less flamboyant than the legend, is both compelling.

In setting apart verifiable truth from semi-truths and entire fabrication, lengthy explores the original social, political, and felony atmosphere during which the lives of Marie Laveau's African and ecu ancestors turned intertwined. adjustments in New Orleans engendered via French and Spanish rule, the Louisiana buy, the Civil struggle, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow segregation affected seven generations of Laveau's relations, from enslaved great-grandparents of natural African blood to great-grandchildren who have been legally labeled as white. concurrently, lengthy examines the evolution of latest Orleans Voudou, which till lately has been overlooked by way of scholars.

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