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Divine Horsemen: The Voodoo Gods of Haiti Paperback – October 1, 1972


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; First Edition edition (October 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385282141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385282147
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,307,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Moira Sullivan on May 13, 1999
Format: Library Binding
When the original edition Divine Horsemen went out of print, this Vantage paperback edition was released under the name of Divine Horsemen Voodoo Gods of Haiti. Same book, but collectors item for Deren enthusiasts.See review on this page for the new edition of the original work.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Pactor VINE VOICE on August 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story behind this book is more interesting then the book itself. Maya Deren was one of America's first avant garde film makers (wiki). In the late 40s, she won a Guggeinheim grant and went off to Haiti to study voodoo. Of course! She eventually produced Divine Horsemen, the Voodoo Gods of Haiti, which is represented as a definitive work on the subject. Having now read the book, I have to say that this fact, if true, reflects poorly on the english language literature on the voodoo faith.

Divine Horsemen was a damn sight better then the last book I read on Voodoo- Secrets of Voodoo by Milo Rigaud. Secrets of Voodoo is translated, poorly, from the french, and I couldn't understand a damn thing in it. At least Divine Horsemen is written in English.

The biggest negative in Divine Horsemen is Deren's writing style, which is trey "pompous undergradute." Towards the last hundred pages I found myself skipping entire paragraphs of hemming and hawing. On the positive side, Deren actually presents Voodoo as a comprehensible faith. Rigaud takes the approach of "Voodoo is crazeee," for example, he simply lists a bunch of voodoo gods in alphabetical order. Deren, on the other hand, creates a schematic organizing the voodoo faith on a vertical axis of "Principles": crossroads, underworld, earth, heavens, sea, fire, female & ancestral. Then she adds a horizontal axis of ethnicities that provide their own gods: Dahomey, Nago, Ghede, Juba, Ibo, Quita, Congo, Petro.

So then you have the Dahomey god ("loa") for crossroads, the petro loa of fire etc. Sure, it makes for multitudinous pantheon, but it's understandable.

Your basic Voodoo ritual is led by a Houngan(a priest) and then you have a series of sacrifices to one god from each principle.
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Format: Paperback
This is the original edition published in New York and England in 1953. Hard to find and has been re-released. See review above for the new edition
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Moira Sullivan on May 13, 1999
Format: Library Binding
Divine Horsemen was the title used in England by Thames and Hudson. When printed in paperback form in the US, The Voodoo gods became the title.Rare collectors item, if you can get ahold of it.See review for Divine Horsemen elsewhere on this page ( the new released version)
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