By Elizabeth Thomas Crocker
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Extra resources for A Trinity of Beliefs and a Unity of the Sacred: Modern Vodou Pratices in New Orleans (thesis)
One was blue with no picture, one was pink for Santa Barbara and another was green for Nuestra Señora Del Carmen. There was also a white candle for the Virgen de Guadalupe and another that did not have a picture and had burned down too low to determine the color. Two wine bottles were on the altar, one on either side. The corks had been removed and the multi-colored trickles of wax that had run down the sides indicated that numerous candles must have been lit there. Mixed inbetween the candles and statues were numerous offerings.
However, many other people have been unable to return as well. Some of these were members of Manbo Sallie Ann’s peristyle. Others were probably Vodouists who had been raised in the religion. This has hurt the city’s Vodou practices in some ways but perhaps more interestingly these Vodouists unable to return home could spread their faith wherever they have resettled. Like their ancestors forced out of Africa, they too were forced to leave their homes and yet took their religion with them. Perhaps new centers of Vodou will spring up in Atlanta and Houston.
As Mikel Koven goes on to point out, these visits add “to the narrative core attached to the location, by engaging and replicating the legend itself” (2007:186). Through acting out a ritual offering and petition, the visitors can become part of the legend instead of just hearing about it. This interaction personalizes events and creates a connection to the space. In December 2007, I took offerings on a visit to her gravesite with my mother and sister. They listened carefully to how they were to petition Marie Laveau and dutifully placed items ritualistically at the base of the grave.
A Trinity of Beliefs and a Unity of the Sacred: Modern Vodou Pratices in New Orleans (thesis) by Elizabeth Thomas Crocker