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Le pouvoir moral et spirituel des femmes dans le vodou Haïtien: La Voix de Mama Lola et de Karen McCarthy Brown

Claudine Michel
Numen
Vol. 50, No. 1 (2003), pp. 71-107
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3270556
Page Count: 37
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
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 many-faceted 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.

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