Sunday, December 13, 2009

VOODOO: The Little Understood Religion

Scholar Lois Wilcken is the expert on Haitian Voodoo--literally writing the book on it. You can by the book here. Upon seeing the box set Alan Lomax In Haiti, Wilcken commented: Haiti, “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere” according to a tired cliché, re-surfaces as the Pearl of the Antilles through Alan Lomax’s compelling and comprehensive 1930s collection. Gage Averill and the project team have reached across seven decades to mine Haiti’s precious cultural gems, polish them, and put them on display. Haitianists beware, we have a new item on our “must” list!

Here is an excerpt from Wilcken's book Drums Of Vodou:
Vodou, commonly knows as “voodoo,” is a widely discussed but little understood religion. In this book author Lois Wilcken discusses politics in Haiti, anti-Vodou campaigns, plus the religious and cultural context of Vodou. But the chief contribution of this landmark book lies in its presentation and analysis of the sacred music of Haiti. Guided by the great Haitian master drummer Frisner Augustin, the author reveals the sacred rhythms of spirit possession. This book appeals to a wide range of percussionists, Caribbean music enthusiasts, scholars, and those interested in Vodou or neo-African religions.

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