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)
A shocked nation watched as TV crews broadcast footage of a submerged city. Cars bobbed along next to boats, houses were barely visible under the brackish waters and survivors floated down streets in upturned refrigerators. Hospitals and nursing homes were left without power or running water. It was chaos (Moyer 2005, Brinkley 2007). It took months before officials allowed residents to move back to what was left of their homes. Though much of the French Quarter remained above water, the city had expanded over the years to include the lower elevations of the land.
Both have numerous candles and magical ritual ingredients that come with no instructions or explanations presenting the assumption that the patrons already know what to do with them. This attempts to present a view of the other to the tourist, as if they have stepped into a space where they could encounter mysterious Vodouists at any moment. Signs in the stores offer psychic readings and the shelves stock books on everything from Vodou to European witchcraft. Other stores such as Voodoo Authentica, Erzulie’s Authentic Voodoo and New Orleans Mistic offer similar services and goods.
Starting with Marie Laveau, people have used Vodou to entice tourists and outsiders in order to make money. For this reason, she says that no one in the community respects Marie Laveau and, even those who claim to be her relatives do not have altars to her. In Brenda Marie Osbey’s view, this commercialized version of Vodou has relayed many errors to the public about her religion that are now believed to be true. She states that researchers such as Zora 58 Neale Hurston were fooled by these con artists, and this is why none of their accounts of her religion matches up with what people believe and practice today.
A Trinity of Beliefs and a Unity of the Sacred: Modern Vodou Pratices in New Orleans (thesis) by Elizabeth Thomas Crocker