zombies and dolls with pins?

Vodou: Behind the Hollywood image of "Voodoo"

14 min

Haiti had a very bad year last year, with an earthquake, cholera, and other problems in an already impoverished society. One of the cultural mainstays of Haiti is the much maligned practice of Vodou. Hollywood has had a field day with what it calls Voodoo, and of course Zombies are the rage right now.

A new exhibition, going behind the Hollywood portrayal, has opened at Stockholm’s Museum of Enthography.

The exhibition was opened by Haitian anthropologist and Vodou priest, Rachel Beauvoir-Dominque with her colleague Didier Dominque. Together they led the way through the two halves of the exhibition, the light public side and the secret dark side.

Haiti is said to be the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a history that begins with the killing off of the native population, the import of slaves from Africa, the population's rising up against slavery and colonization, only to face foreign occupation and rule by generations of dictators. Not to mention the earthquake, cholera, and flooding of the past year.

But has Vodou helped to keep Haiti in its impovershment, or has it been a comfort to the Haitian people?

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