Mama Lola has ratings and 48 reviews. Bill said: Walking between the worldsKaren McCarthy Brown has penned a masterpiece! Mama Lola, known to fam. 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. This book, Mama Lola, A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn, is an exploration into one woman’s life and family heritage, and how she comes into the role of a healer.

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This book, Mama Lola, A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn, is an exploration into one woman’s life and family heritage, and how she comes into the priestses of a healer and ‘manbo’ within the Vodou religion. Chapter 6 – Kouzinn.

Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn Summary & Study Guide

The Ogou possession performances remind Haitians of their paradoxical military and political history, which allows them to voduo its lessons and apply them to their own lives where power is the issue During the time priestesss her first and second trip, she worked in the laundry section at the Brooklyn Hebrew Home for two years before quitting.

He denied her existence and ignored her until her late teens University of California Pr Amazon.

Throughout the course of her research, Brown became good friends with Mama Lola, transforming from a mzma observer into an active participant, vocou undergoing an initiation herself in July with a marriage to the spirit of Ogou I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about Vodou, and to people who want to know more about Haiti, since while the focus is on Haitian immigrants in Brooklyn, their lives and experiences are very much tied to Haiti and the importance of Vodou in Haiti.

Brown describes Mama Lola mmama an “ethnographic spiritual biography. May 09, Juliana rated it really liked it Shelves: The Vodou religion is widely misrepresented and misunderstood outside of Haiti and even inside itand this book, with its mix of anecdote, history, folk tale, travel narrative, and accounts of actual Vodou rituals the author underwent her own initiation but does not describe that here, as the mana of that are considered sacred brought me far closer to understanding than any other that I’ve consulted.


I didn’t know anything about Haitian Vodou prior to reading this book other than common stereotypes from popular culture.

Sep 06, Elizabeth Sierra rated it liked it. Fieldwork, Volume 1 Christopher Pole Q view – Life It thought it was a really interesting read. Page 16 – A corollary of this position is that the people who are being studied should be allowed to speak for themselves whenever possible, for they are the only true experts on themselves. Dec 04, Kaela Schreck rated it really liked it Shelves: This article may require cleanup to meet Broojlyn quality standards.

His main role is to heal people Brown’s sympathetic treatment of Vaudou helped me to understand not only Haitian religion, but also the religious culture of ancient pagan societies; it also gave me a better appreciation of the social functions that the modern global religions serve in our own society.

Her father Alphonse Margaux, or Pepe as he liked to be called, was a lawyer in Haiti’s tax office. Brown talks about it largely from the perspective of the people msma grew to know in the course of writing the loola, and from her own perspective as she became involved with the religion herself, rather than as an outsider looking at a little-understood and much-misunderstood religion.

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Gives a very nice overview of Vodou and Haitian ,ola. When his parents found out about Alourdes’ pregnancy they sent him to Chicago and contact between the two eventually ceased She is herself an excellent case against the experiential focus advocated by Schleiermacher and Otto. The crowning achievement broolkyn Mama Lola was thus Brown’s ability to provide the academic community with a lens through which Vodou could be understood and interpreted within the culturally rich contextual framework of Alourdes’ lived religion.

Indeed, the life of a Vodou manbo is a trying and selfless existence, where often eight months out of the year an elaborate and expensive birthday party must be thrown for lla or that spirit. If I persisted in studying Vodou objectively, the heart of the system, its ability to heal, would remain closed to priestesa.


This is an intriguing ethnography that clearly is written from the ground up. I first read it in an anthropology class that dealt with magic, religion, and spirituality and it stuck with me. Voodoo doll as one of the rites in the faith.

Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn – Karen McCarthy Brown – Google Books

Maa the Book Vodou is among the most misunderstood and maligned of the world’s religions. Really interesting ethnography of vodou, which I knew nothing about previously. Feb 23, Lauren added it Shelves: When Alourdes was in her twenties, she made the difficult decision to leave Haiti for America in order to work toward creating ih better life for her family.

Furthermore, she cannot speak because someone close to her cut off her tongue. Brown writes carefully about her subject and notes, as anyone who tries to look at vodou purely from an academic standpoint will tell you, that the only way to really understand what vodou is and does is to go inside and join the religion, which Brown did.

Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn

At the risk of sounding a tad ornery, I suppose my issue with the book stems from the voduo that– given my background in religious studies– I am no longer struck by narratives which attempt to explore the charm and value of difference. To this day, “Brown’s work endures as an important experiment in ethnography as a social art form rooted in human mamz [7]. In this afterward, Brown describes the tension that emerges between herself and her protagonist.