The history, altars, art and ceremonies that anchor Voodoo in Crescent City culture are revealed in this authoritative study.
The diverse spiritual roots of New Orleans run deep—and they all converge in the practice known as Voodoo. The city's Roman Catholic influence and its French, Spanish, Creole and American Indian traditions blended with the rites and rituals that West Africans brought to Louisiana as enslaved laborers. The resulting Voodoo tradition became a unique and integral part of New Orleans culture and heritage.
While 19th century enslaved practitioners held Voodoo dances in designated public areas like Congo Square, they also conducted 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. This cultural history traces the Voodoo tradition from its earliest beginnings to its continued practice in the Crescent City today.