From Publishers Weekly
Mama Lola, better known as Alourdes, earns a living by conducting Haitian vodou healing work in her Brooklyn home. In 1978, Brown, professor of sociology and the anthropology of religion at Drew University in New Jersey, met Alourdes while doing an ethnographic survey of the local Haitian immigrant community. Intrigued by the priestess and by the misunderstood, oft-maligned practices of vodou and the religion's loyal but secretive followers, Brown gradually won Alourdes's friendship and enthusiastically participated in ceremonies such as "birthday parties" for important spirits ( lwa ). The lwa , which are said to possess celebrants during rituals and to relay messages through dreams, are as likely to punish as to reward believers. In this commendable, illuminating study, replete with magical tales of past and present in Haiti and America, Alourdes reveals enduring faith and respect for her religion despite hardship. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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"Brown offers a sympathetic and vivid portrait of the lives of a group of women." -- Roland Littlewood, Political and Social Science
"I know of no other work about Vodou that can teach the uninitiated so fully what it means to know." -- Joan Dayan, Women's Review of Books
"Mama Lola provides an engaging, detailed, and sympathetic account of the world of Haitian Vodou." -- Eugene V. Gallagher, Journal of the American Academy of Religion
"[Brown] has written a life story that is full of feeling." -- Constance Casey, Los Angeles Times