Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn / Edition 1

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Overview

Karen McCarthy Brown's classic book shatters stereotypes of Vodou by offering an intimate portrait of African-based religion in everyday life. She explores the importance of women's religious practices along with related themes of family and of social change. Weaving several of her own voices—analytic, descriptive, and personal—with the voices of her subjects in alternate chapters of traditional ethnography and ethnographic fiction, Brown presents herself as a character in Mama Lola's world and allows the reader to evaluate her interactions there. Startlingly original, Brown's work endures as an important experiment in ethnography as a social art form rooted in human relationships. A new preface, epilogue, bibliography, and a collection of family photographs tell the story of the effect of the book's publication on Mama Lola's life.

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Editorial Reviews

Joan Dayan
I know of no other work about Vodou that can teach the uninitiated so fully what it means to know: how unassuming, contingent and matter-of-fact real konesans :understanding) must be.
Roland Littlewood
This volume is superb: a poignant account of a Haitian migrant to New York and how she appropriates and reworks her family knowledge of healing and ritual... Gently informed by her own life and by women's anthropology, Brown offers a sympathetic and vivid portrait of the lives of a group of women.
Constance Casey
Novelistic chapters, beautifully written, are alternated with a narrative of the present, including descriptions of the members of the Vodou pantheon and how Alourdes serves themÉ. She has written a life story that is full of feeling.
Eugene V. Gallagher
Brown's ethnographic short stories vividly capture the complicated personal history that is summed up in Mama Lola's full name and they also dramatize the larger social processes at work in Haiti's recent history... Mama Lola provides an engaging, detailed, and sympathetic account of the world of Haitian Vodou. Brown has used a variety of interesting, and even daring, techniques to make that world come alive.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brown befriends a Haitian vodou priestess who practices in her Brooklyn, N.Y., home. Photos. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520224759
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/4/2001
  • Series: Comparative Studies in Religion and Society Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 447
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen McCarthy Brown is Professor of Anthropology of Religion at The Caspersen School of Graduate Studies and The Theological School of Drew University.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 2001 Edition
Preface to the First Edition

Introduction
1. Joseph Binbin Mauvant
2. Azaka
3. Raise That Woman's Petticoat
4. Ogou
5. The Baka Made from Jealousy
6. Kouzinn
7. Dreams and Promises
8. Ezili
9. Sojème, Sojème
10. Danbala
11. Plenty Confidence
12. Gede
Afterword
Glossary of Haitian Creole Terms
Bibliography

Index

What is new in this edition? Preface to the 2001 Edition; Afterword; more substantial Bibliography; and 21 photographs of Mama Lola and her family (no photographs were printed in the first edition)

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted January 25, 2013

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