LE POUVOIR MORAL ET SPIRITUEL DES FEMMES DANS LE VODOU HAÏTIEN: LA VOIX DE MAMA LOLA ET DE KAREN MCCARTHY BROWN

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Abstract

The article attempts to interpret morality in Haitian Vodou by illustrating its ethical framework in the day-to-day realities of its followers. In so doing, I demonstrate how Vodou as a living system of belief and practice has historically served as the informal infrastructure for morality in Haiti. To this end, I draw upon the work of Karen McCarthy Brown whose work on Mama Lola, a Haitian priestess living in Brooklyn, is an insightful venture into the heart of this widely misunderstood religious and social system. Furthermore, this essay offers the perspective of a very distinctive single voice which emerges from the long and complex dialogue between the multiple voices of the researcher/observer/participant and the manyfaceted voices of the priestess/informant. Their diverse perspectives and individual utterances fuse successfully in a powerful articulation of feminist intervention and cultural understanding. Their lives and their work clearly establish how the Haitian religion empowers women and how the manbo subtly manifests Haitian female power.

LE POUVOIR MORAL ET SPIRITUEL DES FEMMES DANS LE VODOU HAÏTIEN: LA VOIX DE MAMA LOLA ET DE KAREN MCCARTHY BROWN

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