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Mysterious Marie Laveau: Voodoo Queen and Folk Tales Along the Mississippi Paperback – January 30, 1978


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing (January 30, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0911116834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0911116830
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,598,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Raymond J. Martinez was a long-time writer on New Orleans subjects. A resident of New Orleans, Martinez was also publisher of Hope Publishing Company.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 13, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're looking for an accurate history of Marie LaVeau, or insight into real Voodoo, this is not the book for you. Read "Jambalaya" by Luisah Teish instead.
However, if you want to step back in time to 1950's racism--complete with the N-word--and dark rumors about Voodoo, this is the book to read. Frankly, I was horrified to note Martinez' condescending, sometimes sneering, stereotypes. This book is already in my stack of paper to recycle.
For example, Martinez says that a loincloth is "the customary dress of the Negroes in Haiti, and for that matter, South Africa and most tropical countries." And, he advises us that Marie LaVeau's snake, Zombi, "fed only upon fair and tender children."
In describing Voodoo, Martinez claims, "Marie's rituals were, of course, so outrageously vulgar that children were forbidden to witness them...no person who pretended to be self-respecting could admit that so depraved a performance was enjoyable or even interesting."
But, as another reviewer noted, you can use this book to locate newspaper articles from Marie LaVeau's era. Otherwise, it's a waste of paper, unless you want to see what once passed for a generous and kindly attitude towards people and traditions of African descent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
Overall, I found the information and stories in this book to be fascinating. The writing style, however, is sometimes a bit confusing and jumbled. Martinez does give excellent references to historical sources such as newspaper articles, and his logic in either supporting or refuting some of the legends regarding Marie Laveau are sound. As a collector of occult books, I found this one to be useful for background and history, as well as full of entertaining folk tales.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diana L. Wyss on September 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
After finishing my first trip to New Orleans, I was hungry for more information on Marie Laveau and of voodooism. I found this little book in an airport shop and read it on the flight home. Interesting in a short story sort of way.
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By ashlynn@paganism.com on March 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
This interesting little book was originally published in 1956 and in it you will find the legend of Marie Laveau, as well as a section on "chiromancy" (palmistry) and some folk tales "from along the Mississippi" [river].
While Marie Laveau (1794-1881), "Queen of the Voodoos", was listed as a "free mulattress" in the vital statistics of her day; Mr. Martinez offers up other possibilities for her parentage. With his alternating style of "reporter" or "storyteller", he is careful to point out which "facts" are documented, and where they can be found, as well as giving the names and addresses of the long-dead principals.
The book is well worth it's modest price, if only to be used as reference to look up the various newspaper articles that were written about this mysterious woman, who's name still carries weight in some New Orleans circles.
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