New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History

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The Voodoo tradition continues in the Crescent City even today. Rory Schmitt and Rosary O'Neill study the altars, art, history and ceremonies that anchor Voodoo in New Orleans culture. There is no more compelling nor more spiritual city than New Orleans. The city's Roman Catholic roots and its blended French, Spanish, Creole and American Indian populations heavily influenced the rites and rituals that West Africans brought to Louisiana as enslaved laborers. The resulting unique Voodoo tradition is now deeply rooted in the area. Enslaved practitioners in the nineteenth century held Voodoo dances in designated public areas like Congo Square but conducted their secret rituals away from the prying eyes of the city. By 1874, some twelve thousand New Orleanians attended Voodoo queen Marie Laveau's St. John's Eve rites on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The Voodoo tradition continues in the Crescent City even today.
ISBN: 9781467137997
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Louisiana
Series: American Heritage
Images: 67
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
RORY O’NEILL SCHMITT is an author, photographer and professor. Raised in New Orleans, Rory was always fascinated with art. Upon graduating from St. Mary’s Dominican High School, she moved to New York, where she attended Fordham University and earned her bachelor’s degree in art history and studio art, as well as a master’s degree in art therapy from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and a PhD in curriculum and instruction studies with a concentration in art education at Arizona State University in Tempe. Rory has gained professional experiences over the years at museums and galleries, such as the International Center for Photography, Cristinerose Gallery, Visual Arts Gallery and others. She currently works at the University of Southern California’s Bovard College, where she coaches and supports expert faculty. ROSARY HARTEL O’NEILL lives in New Orleans and New York City with her husband, Robert Harzinski. She is the author of twenty-five plays and three books of nonfiction. A Senior Fulbright Drama Specialist, she has received six Fulbrights. Other awards include residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, American Academy in Rome and the Irish Cultural Center and Cartoucherie Theatre in Paris. In New York City, she is an active member of the Actors Studio, the Players Club and the National Arts Club. In New Orleans, Louisiana, she is professor emeritus of drama and speech at Loyola University and a member of Louisiana Women in Film and Television. She founded the Southern Repertory Theatre, the premier professional theater in New Orleans.
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