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A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend…

A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau (2007)

by Carolyn Morrow Long

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This very methodical recitation of the facts and many fictions about its subject is less of a history than a catalog and hence reads very woodenly. It suffers from the lack of information available directly connected to Marie Laveau, but does admirable work using other sources to try to reconstruct what might have been -- which is clearly distinguished from what we know. Readers hoping to learn the "truth" will be disappointed; as many questions remain as are answered. ( )
  Bostonseanachie | Jun 5, 2016 |
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I dedicate this book to the unacknowledged interviewers and researchers of the Louisiana Writers' Project: Hazel Breaux, Edmund Burke, Catherine Dillon, Robert McKinney, Henriette Michinard, Zoe Posey, Jacques Villere, Maude Wallace, and Cecile Wright. Their work opened the way and removed the barrier for me.
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On June 15, 1881, the Voudou priestess Marie Laveau died from the complications of old age at her home on St. Ann Street in the original French Quarter of the city and was interred in the Widow Paris tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. I.
Through a process of creative borrowing and adaptation, enslaved Africans interpreted Roman Catholicism to suit their own needs, accaisoning the evolution of the New World Afro-Catholic religions of Haitian Vodou, Cuban Santeria, Brazilian Candomble, and New Orleans Voudou.
Atibô-Legba, l'uvri bayé pu mwé, agoé! Papa-Legbam l'uvri bayé pu mwé pu mwé pasé - remove the barrier for me so that I may pass through." (Song for Papa Legba, guardian of the crossroads, opener of the way for all human endeavor, and keeper of the gate to the spirit world.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813032148, Paperback)

Legendary for an unusual combination of spiritual power, beauty, charisma, showmanship, intimidation, and shrewd business sense, Marie Leveau also was known for her kindness and charity, nursing yellow fever victims and ministering to condemned prisoners, and her devotion to the Roman Catholic Church.
In separating verifiable fact from semi-truths and complete fabrication, Carolyn Morrow Long explores the unique social, political, and legal setting in which the lives of Laveau’s African and European ancestors became intertwined in nineteenth-century New Orleans.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:06 -0400)

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