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#778: Best book on Voodoo
Answer to the "best book on voodoo":
"The Divine Horseman" by Maya Dayan - an unbelievably sensitive
account of an American who studied voodoo extensively in the 1940's (50's?),
died suddenly, and was buried next to her Houngan in the countryside. A
short while later her Japanese husband died suddenly, then buried next to the
two. The black and white photos in the book are extraordinary. suzanne seitz
Corbett adds. Maya Deren was also shot a great deal of film. It ended
up in the Library of Congress and about 15 years ago was edited into a film
called THE DIVINE HORSEMAN: THE LIVING GODS OF HAITI. The film is very
long and quite interesting. It focuses on possession and during the
presentation of Deren's footage there is lots of Voodoo drumming and singing
and a deep sonorous voice which reads from Deren's book.
The last part of the film switches to carnival and Rara. I find it less
interesting, but it is historic footage of the main carnival parade near
1950. The information I have is that the film is from Mystic Fire video
(about $30). FyI, their phone number for big and/or educational orders:
From: Sandra Mignot <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To suggest one book about Haïti : Alfred Métraux, le vaudoo haïtien, in
french. I don't know if it has been translated and published in english.
This book is a little bit old, but the author made a serious study and was
deeply integrated in the vaudoo societies near PAP.
More recently, Laënnec Hurbon wrote Les mystères du vaudoo (découvertes
Gallimard) wich is historically very rich. Lots of illustrations, testimony
Corbett adds: Both books are translated into English I think both are still
in print. If not in print they are easy to acquire. I know I have the
Metraux book for sale in both hardbound and paper. In English it is:
VOODOO IN HAITI. The Hurbon book was published in the U.S. as:
VOODOO: SEARCH FOR THE SPIRIT. Isbn: 0-8109-2857-4
It was published in England as: Voodoo: Truth and Fantasy.
The Hurbon book is filled with bright color photographs and reproductions
of Haitian Voodoo art work.
I presume these are still in print. I have both in my library, but neither
on my "for sale list."