Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marie Laveau, Voodoo Priestess Paper Doll

Think you've seen everything Tom can do? Think again.

I've long been fascinated by the blending of religions in the Caribbean, such as santeria in Puerto Rico and Cuba, which incorporates Catholicism with ancient Yoruba beliefs in spirits and gods. In this book, Tom explains how that process occurred in New Orleans with voodoo and Catholicism.

This is a beautiful, extraordinary work. I loved finding the similarities between santeria and voodoo, in costumes and certain beliefs, names given to "orishas" like Elegua. This is a 48 page all-color book with 24 dolls and costumes. Tom's research and writing-- and his rendering of Laveau and the various voodoo spirits -- are outstanding.

You can order directly from Schiffer at


From the Schiffer website:
Paper dolls and accurate costume details help take you inside the world of Marie Laveau (1794 -1881) New Orleans' powerful "voodoo queen." Laveau was both widely respected as a healer to all who sought her help and feared as a woman capable of putting a powerful hex on any enemy. She bartered information, liaisons, and love potions to black and white alike, and was believed capable of solving everything from unrequited love to the desire to win elections. Join the fascinated onlookers who once paid admission to watch her lead the famous Voodoo rituals in Congo Square. Marie Laveau left a legacy on the spiritual life of New Orleans, melding Voodoo traditions from Africa and Haiti with Catholic symbols and customs. This book includes dolls of Laveau at various stages of her life, along with the important people in her life, including lovers, mentors, and all-important Voodoo deities.

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