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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Return to Book Page. Book chapters alternate between biographical stories of Mama Lola’s family starting with her great grand father Joseph Binbin Mauvant following a matriarchal pattern with those that focus on the everyday interaction between Mama Lola, Brown and the mythical, supernatural world of Vodou.

To neglect these rituals is to ask the spirits not to work for you, and Alourdes’s ministry, livelihood and heritage depends upon the work of the spirits. This is a really fascinating look at what kind of religion makes sense for people whose lives are extremely different from our own.

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It’s most cringing in the short stories in themselves a bit cringing where she writes about herself in third person. Entertaining, but more of an autobiography than a scholarly work. He is the representation of those who lived, those who are no longer remembered, and even those who were recently forgotten She neglects the reality of male vodou practitioners who are, for their part, possessed by female spiritsthe subjective nature of her own analyses, and the limited nature of her experiences with one particular individual’s approach to one parti Entertaining, but more of an autobiography than a scholarly work.

The writing was at times too academic and then vodo ephemeral for me to follow along closely, but that experience of disorientation probably priesteas mirrored the pridstess own experience well.

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

This is a really fascinating look at Vodou. At the risk of sounding a tad ornery, I suppose my issue with the book stems from [granted I read this almost 4 years ago!


Read more from the Study Guide. Both are excellent studies that shed much-needed light the colorful and vodoh world of Voodoo. Also in this episode, Mama Lola and Zaar, a healer, taught Tori and Mehi how to assemble an ancestral altar in their home, by explaining the meanings of different offerings and significance of location, cloth colors, and pictures of ancestors.

Since its first publication inMama Lola has played an integral role in bringing attention to the discrimination and marginalization that has continuously plagued the practitioners of Haitian Vodou.

When it reappears, I will give it another go. View the Study Pack.

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

Brown took an especially deep look into the healing aspects of the religion, by detailing the many healing rituals carried out by Mama Lola in conjunction with the “Lwa” of Vodou. Weaving several of her own voices–analytic, descriptive, and personal–with the voices of her subjects in alternate chapters of traditional ethnography and ethnographic fiction, Brown presents herself as a character in Mama Lola’s world and allows the reader to evaluate her interactions there.

Alphonse Macena and Mary Noelsine Joseph Sina develop a vodo relationship that is inherent with an instant mutual attraction and a belief of escape from their respective worlds that they saw in one another; while i resulting in a disastrous courtship that instills wisdom in Sina He denied her existence and ignored her until her late teens If I persisted in studying Vodou objectively, the heart of the system, its ability to heal, would remain closed to me.

After a brief period of marriage and a violent fight, which caused Alourdes to miscarry during the fifth month of her pregnancyshe left Kowalski.

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She explores the importance of women’s religious practices along with related themes of family and of social change. I doubt I lolw have picked this book up if it weren’t for the class I read it for, but I liked it non-the-less.

According to Brown, “there is no Vodou ritual, small or large, individual or communal, which is not a healing rite” Brown published her book, Mama Lola: Walking between the worlds Karen McCarthy Brown has penned a masterpiece! When I saw loa book on one lla my college courses mandatory reading lists I was dreading it. Brown’s sympathetic treatment of Brooklyj 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.


More than a book about religion, it is a book about humanity. Jun 28, Alexandra rated it it was amazing Shelves: Failure to understand this has led observers to portray the Vodou spirits as demonic or even to conclude that Vodou is a religion without morality—a serious misconception. 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.

Please help improve this article if you can. I recommend this, brookpyn offer further thoughts at: Jul 03, Ben rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn in an brookly to educate her audience about the real practices of the vodou religion and the Haitian people as a whole. By using this site, brrooklyn agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We really see in McCarthy’s Brown’s analysis of Voudou how “primitive” religions actually make sense and play an important role in people’s life.

InMama Lola resurfaced into the media when she made a guest appearance on Tori Spelling’s reality TV show, Tori and Deanwhere we learned about the cleansing ritual that Mama Lola had performed on Tori back inwhen Tori believed that ‘she had an evil eye on her’, that was causing turmoil within her life. University of California Press.