Friday, February 05, 2010

A Vodou Resource Site

Lots of talk about Vodou lately here among the polytheists (and among those who "view with alarm").

Christopher Chase, the Pomegranate's reviews editor, offers this link to a sort of portal site on Vodou. Reviews editors are like that.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Performance Studies and Reality Television

Living a cable channel-free life, I never saw Mad Mad House, but if you did and you want to read a performance studies-based analysis, I direct you to Jason Winslade's "You’ve Got to Grow or Go": Initiation, Performance, and Reality Television" (PDF file).

At the center of his analysis are the reality show's "alternate" characters, including the prominent Australian Witch Fiona Horne:

The five Alts were Fiona the Witch, Ta’Shia the Voodoo Priestess, Don the Vampire, Art the Modern Primitive and Avocado the Naturist. The use of just the first names and their “Alt” title was prominent in the show’s promotional materials and title sequence, in which their heads were placed paper doll-like (in South Park fashion) on small drawn bodies in cartoonish settings accompanied by equally cartoonish sound effects. For instance, a bubbling cauldron sound and a witch cackle accompanied Fiona’s brief scene. Further, these constructed characters exist as iconic figures in such settings as the Deliberation Room, where their gaudily painted portraits also feature prominently in the title sequence. These touches unapologetically fetishize and exoticize these characters and their “alternative” beliefs, perhaps to present them as more of a challenge to the mainstream contestants, who were predominantly young, white, upper middle class, and, if they had any religious affiliation, Christian.

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Saturday, August 09, 2003

African Religions Attracting Americans

This is not really new news, but the growth of religions of the African diaspora attracted the attention of this reporter.

From what I hear elsewhere, it is actually the new converts--not all of them necessarily of African descent--who are most insistent about purging Voudoun, etc., of syncretized Christian elements in order to make them purely Pagan.

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Thursday, April 10, 2003

Voudoun gets official recognition in Haiti

This story comes courtesy of Gina Oboler on the Nature Religions Scholars list. It quotes Haitian President Aristide as saying, "An ancestral religion, voodoo is an essential part of national identity."

Priests and priestesses are now asked to register with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which will allow them to conduct officially recognized marriages, etc.

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