Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn, With a New Foreword by Claudine Michel / Edition 3

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Overview

Vodou is among the most misunderstood and maligned of the world's religions. Mama Lola shatters the stereotypes by offering an intimate portrait of Vodou in everyday life. Drawing on a 35 year long friendship with Mama Lola, a Vodou priestess, Karen McCarthy Brown tells tales spanning five generations of Vodou healers in Mama Lola's family, beginning with an African ancestor and ending with Claudine Michel's account of working with Mama Lola after the Haitian earthquake. Out of these stories, in which dream and vision flavor everyday experience and the Vodou spirits guide decision making, Vodou emerges as a religion focused on healing brought about by mending broken relationships between the living, the dead, and the Vodou spirits.

Deeply exploring the role of women in religious practices and the related themes of family and of religion and social change, Brown provides a rich context in which to understand the authority that urban Haitian women exercise in the home and in the Vodou temple.

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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: 9780520268104
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/5/2011
  • Series: Comparative Studies in Religion and Society
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 181,355
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen McCarthy Brown is Professor Emerita of the Sociology and Anthropology of Religion at the Graduate and Theological Schools of Drew University. Claudine Michel is Professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 2001 Edition
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction 1
1 Joseph Binbin Mauvant 21
2 Azaka 35
3 Raise That Woman's Petticoat 79
4 Ogou 93
5 The Baka Made from Jealousy 141
6 Kouzinn 155
7 Dreams and Promises 203
8 Ezili 219
9 Sojeme, Sojeme 259
10 Danbala 271
11 Plenty Confidence 311
12 Gede 329
Afterword 383
Glossary of Haitian Creole Terms 403
Bibliography 407
Index 415
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