"This new and valuable book delves into the 'interior' experience of voodoo, as opposed to the usual outsider focus on ritual and cosmology. In telling the story of her own initiation and painstaking education in voodoo, Beaubrun takes us into the mystical dimensions of this ancient religion." The Guardian UK
Like all the great religions Vodou has an external, public practice of rituals and ceremoniesand also an internal, mystical dimension. Before Nan Dòmi , works about Vodou have concentrated on the spectacular outward manifestations of Vodou observancehypnotic drumming and chanting, frenetic dancing, fits of spirit possession. But practically all reports on Vodou are outsider accounts, which means that they are stopped at the threshold.
Mimerose Beaubrun, educated as an anthropologist, set out to write another such work, but in the process she met the woman who would become her ultimate teacher and guide to the religion's internal mysteries: Tante Tansia, whose knowledge, wisdom and spiritual power govern the text of Nan Dòmi.
Nan Dòmi is the only account of Vodou's private, mystical, interior practice that has been offered to the public so far. Its content stands in the same relation to ceremonial Vodou as Zen to conventional Buddhism, Sufism to conventional Islam, the practice of the desert saints to conventional Christianity. Mimerose Beaubrun has been a student of Vodou for half of her life, but she is also an adept, and in this uniquely valuable work, she divests herself of all scholarly apparatus to speak from Vodou's purest heart.
This English edition includes a fascinating introduction by Madison Smartt Bell, placing the religion and Beaubrun's memoir in historical context.
Praise for Nan Dòmi:
"Mimerose Beaubrun's book Nan Dòmi: An Initiate's Journey into Haitian Vodou the first part of the title refers to a spiritual state is a welcome addition to the canon of vodou scholarship, a deeply felt inside account of a faith of often daunting complexity." The Miami Herald
" Nan Dòmi is a fascinating look inside the Haitian Vodou religion. Mimerose Beaubrun provides a valuable contribution taking us along into the world of Nan Dòmi, a dream state and stage in the initiate's journey to mastery In the process the reader is introduced into a world that is far more than a religious tradition. Haitian Vodou is also a way of speaking about Haiti, as Beaubrun explains, 'its language, culture, even its way of walking, of preparing food, of dressing, of making love, of communicating with unknown worlds.' The book casts its spell on the reader who persists in the journey under the tutelage of Beaubrun and her teachers. Madison Smartt Bell's excellent introduction places the religion and Beaubrun's memoir in historical context." Julia Alvarez
"Vodou is one of the most valuableand misunderstoodof all New World cultural creations. Mimerose Beaubrun's remarkable work opens up for the first time the internal world of Vodou, and what emerges is a singular engagement with a system of belief that cannot fail to impress any reader with its sheer sophistication and complexity. Gradually, the author recounts the ways in which she came to know the timeless wisdom of Vodou. Absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in Haiti, or in religion and society more broadly." Martin Munro, author and editor of Haiti Rising: Haitian History, Culture and the Earthquake of 2010
|Publisher:||City Lights Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Mimerose Beaubron was born in Ouanaminthe, in northwest Haiti. A social and cultural anthropologist, she is also the co-founder and principal singer of the world music band, Boukmans Ekperyans. In 2002 she, along with the group, was nominated as a Peace and Goodwill ambassador by the United Nations.
Madison Smartt Bell is an American writer, known for his trilogy of novels about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, published 1995-2004.Finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of a PEN/Faulkner award, Bell was raised in Nashville, has lived in New York and London before settling in Baltimore, Maryland.
Table of Contents
Note to readers 10
Preface Madison Smartt Bell 11
Chapter 1 The Teaching of Perception with Aunt Tansia 47
Chapter 2 Placement of the Head 61
Chapter 3 Lira or a State of Lucid Dreaming? 71
Chapter 4 The Double and the Dream Body 83
Chapter 5 The Purification 105
Chapter 6 Manipulating the Double 111
Chapter 7 Walking in the Swarm of Stars 115
Chapter 8 Fixed in Mystical Knowledge 119
Chapter 9 The Eye of the Water 127
Chapter 10 Establishing a Means of Communication 139
Chapter 11 Manipulating One's Gift 151
Chapter 12 The Importance of Je 157
Chapter 13 I Remember 167
Chapter 14 You Must Be Perspicacious in Order to See or There Are Conditions for Seeing 215
Chapter 15 Having Cold Eyes or the Fear of the Unknown 229
Chapter 16 Laziness or Indecision 235
Chapter 17 Watch Your Step or Constant Attention 241
Chapter 18 Witness of the Nannan-rèv 253
Chapter 19 The Farewell Ceremony 261