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Voodoo$

! Dahomean$religion/$from$Haiti=hierarchy$of$spirits$$
! Voodoo$mixed$with$Catholicism$=$African$spiritualism$$
! 1804/$voodoo$cults$started$in$NOLA$$
! voodoo$dancer/$spirit$figures$$
! had$a$critical$role$in$revolution$to$French$in$Haiti,$but$went$underground$after$the$
African$masses$got$their$independence.$
! Elites$outlawed$it$because$Haiti$should$be$civilized$$
! 1860/$Government$and$Vatican$allied$themselves$to$persecute$the$practice$of$vodou$
! by$the$1940s,$the$Haitian$government$supported$peasantry$culture,$involving$voodoo,$
which$was$considered$to$be$at$the$center$of$it$(WIlcken$20)$
! Tourist$attraction$folkloric$dancing$with$voodoo$influences$with$drums$$
! Butchered$by$American$media/$voodoo$in$super$natural$movies$in$Hollywood,$doesnt$
represent$culture$correctly$$
! Rituals$to$destroy$slave$system$$
$
Mardi$Gras$Indians$$
! rise$in$1880s/$after$submersion$due$to$disappearance$of$voodoo$and$congo$square$
! stopped$worshipping$spirits,$focused$on$the$lyrics$to$celebrate$rebellion$$
! Africans$honoring$Indians:$common$struggles$and$seeking$freedom$
! Becate$Babtiste:$1880s/$started$Creole$Wild$West$tribe$
o! Grand$uncle$of$Tootie$Montana/$chief$of$Yellow$Pocahontas$
! Being$an$Indian$meant$that$you$could$hide$behind$the$faade/$that$youre$not$actually$
that$lower$class$citizen$that$society$has$brought$upon$you.$
! Uptown$vs$Downtown/$separation$and$problems/$jazzmen$bridged$gap$
o! Eugene$Honor$and$Dandy$Lambert$were$friends$in$jail$(from$different$parts$of$
NOLA)$$
! Mardi$Gras$in$1940/$there$was$a$fight$between$tribes/$ended$up$injuring$a$policeman$
o! Now$maskers$could$not$have$weapons$
! Neighborhood$borders$become$less$distinct/$focus$less$on$fighting$and$more$on$
improving$self$image$$
! Fake$fighting$in$bars:$mock$fights/$with$dance$and$chants/$better$of$the$two$competitors$
win$
! we$used$to$fight$with$knives$and$guns.$Now$we$compete$by$the$beauty$of$our$
costumes$(Berry$241)$
! After$WW2/$more$detailed$costumes/rhinestones,$sequins,$recycled$mardi$beads/$took$a$
whole$year$to$make$
! Costumes$subject$of$some$chants$
! From$across$the$bar,$The$Wild$Magnolias$would$practice$songs$and$dances$they$would$
eventually$do$on$Mardi$Gras$
! The$Mardi$Gras$Indians$are$a$product$of$black$Carnival$in$black$neighborhoods$
(Sublette$94).$
! Resistance/$we$wont$bow$down$Sub$94$

! Costumes$
o! /outfits/headdresses$up$to$8$feet$tall$$
o! Allegorical$Native$American$patches,$even$though$theyre$from$African$descent$$
o! Beadwork$like$Nigeria/Haiti$
o! Can$cost$thousands$of$dollars$$
o! Dress$up$as$Indians:$statement$about$African$survived$and$how$cultures$mixed$
(Sublette$295)$
! Real$performances:$sacred$theatre$that$takes$place$on$the$streets$of$black$
neighborhoods,$uptown$and$downtown,$uniting$the$black$population.$$(Sublette$295)$
! Lower$class,$outsider$culture$
! Underground$tradition/not$meant$for$mass$participation$like$Second$Line$
! On$mardi,$dont$get$a$permit$
! Song$style$based$from$Cuban$ports$near$NOLA$(Havana,$Matanzas)$
o! People$at$ports$had$background$of$Abaku$society$Africa/$also$had$street$theatre$
and$huge$costumes,$voice$and$percussion$music$
! Costumes$and$rituals$resemble$Carnival$from$Trinidad/$big$costumes,$spies$(Spy$
Boy),musical$street$battles,$$$
! A$mans$thing/few$women$
! Gangs$fight$over$territory$and$respect$
! Tootie$Montana/$change$from$physical$combat$to$aesthetic$combat$
! SHALLOW$WATER$OH$MAMA$
! As$they$tried$to$rebuild$their$lives$and$their$community,$they$sewed$their$suits$in$the$
dark,$empty$city$This$was$a$sacramental$act.$These$were$men$who$had$fought$all$their$
lives$against$the$amnesia$that$is$slaverys$legacy.$Now$the$survival$of$their$community,$
and$their$history,$and$their$identity$was$on$the$line.$(Sublette$310)$
African$History$
! 1720s:$slaves$shipped$from$Africa$to$the$Caribbean.$They$were$under$brutal$conditions,$
and$mentally$affected$by$the$dislocation.$They$had$to$stray$from$their$lingual$and$
cultural$roots$from$Africa.$$
! But$the$disparate$tribal$people$shared$a$primal$bond$rooted$in$the$mother$culture:$
communication$with$ancestral$spirits.$(Berry$229).$
! When$a$leader$died,$a$ceremony$would$take$place$where$there$were$masked$dancers,$
who$represented$the$dead$elders.$They$honored$them$with$instruments$such$as$rattles,$
wooden$horns$and$strings,$drums$and$singers.$This$all$happened$in$procession$like$
fashion$walking$in$a$line$and$uniform$group.$
! Despite$separation$from$families$during$slavery,$they$kept$their$traditions$and$
spirituality/$drums$and$dances$to$call$spirits$$
! The$use$of$drums$was$an$African$language$$
! Rebellion$through$religion$and$dance/$like$the$calinda.$Animal$sacrifices,etc$is$rebellion$
through$cultural$preservation.$$$
$
$
Indian$History$

! In$NOLA$long$before$slaves$arrived.$As$they$dispersed,$they$left$behind$their$culture$to$
influence$new$inhabitants.$$
! Angered$by$Colonists$$
! They$(Taino)$introduced$African$refugees$to$medicinal$herbs,$and$religious$practices$

$
In$NOLA$
! Sunday$they$would$come$out$and$dance$with$drums$and$express$freedom$$
! Congo$square$was$bridge$from$African$culture$to$NOLA$$
! Black$slaves$would$buy$things$for$owners$from$Indians$which$formed$relationship$
o! 1890/Griffon$(mix$of$black$and$Indian)$$
o! both$had$ceremonies$based$on$music$and$drum$percussion$$
! Carnival$$
$
Music$
! Drums/$sheepskin$on$one$end$$
! Primitive$instruments$
! Drums/$used$in$jazz,$R&B,$Mardi$Gras$Indians$$
$
Masking$$
! 1792$only$whites$could$mask$
! 1827/$masquerade$balls$$
! 1852/$procession$of$masking$
! for$blacks,$became$a$new$identity/$hide$from$whites,$gave$them$freedom,$scared$off$
whites.$
$
Vodou$music$$
! use$of$drums$brought$to$Sunday$worship$$
! ousi$kanzo/$responsible$for$song,$dance,$prepare$sacrifice$$
! chief$concern/$tanbouin$(drummer)/$rhythm$patterns$based$on$ritual$activities.$Must$
know$vodou$songs$and$be$able$to$join$in$
o! drummer$shouldnt$be$involved$in$spirit$possession$because$that$would$mess$up$
the$spiritual$process$$
! largest$room$in$temple$is$the$peristil$dance$floor$
o! dances$take$place$around$the$poto$mitan/$center$post$
o! drummer$sit$down$against$the$wall$$
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Voodoo$religion$
! A$horizontal$line$separates$the$dead$from$the$living$$
! A$vertical$line$separates$the$spiritual$world$from$the$physical$one$$
! Cosmic$sea:$home$to$spirits,$like$Iwa.$They$represent$life$principles.$They$pass$through$
people/spirit$possession$$
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Voodoo$vs$Mardi$Gras$Indians$
! Chief$&$Queen.$Papa$&$Maman$$