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Voodoo in New Orleans (Pelican Pouch) Paperback – 5 Jul 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Co; 2nd Revised edition edition (5 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088289336X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0882893365
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 211,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A thoughtful even-handed approach to a rather mysterious, oft misrepresented subject. It is helpful to keep in mind the year this book was first published (1946) if my memory serves me correctly. This enabled Mr. Tallant to speak with some of the then still living survivors of a brutal, disappeared world. I refer of course to the world of colonialism and slavery. Based upon his own research and the recollections of eye witnesses Mr. Tallant reconstructs as faithfully as possible the world in which Louisiana vodou/voodoo first thrived. This book is not simply of interest to occult historians but historians in general. The vast steamy cauldron that is Louisiana proved to be a melting pot of various different traditions. Catholicism, Traditional African Religion and European Witchcraft have influenced both the reality and the often false image of Voodoo. That is not to say this is a user friendly all inclusive system, a lot of elements of traditional Voodoo worship are quite shocking ( not the sex, I can handle the orgies) it was the animal cruelty I found distasteful. That said, this book is sold at the Voodoo Museum with good reason: it provides one with a crash course on both Voodoo beliefs and delineates the historical context in which it came to be practised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lkou980 on 27 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the most detailed and amazing book on the subject.
I have been doing research on New Orleans Voodoo for years and this book is one of the best.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Brewee on 12 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The witch queen of New Orleans, doctor John, voodoo, ... All these interesting things about all the magic of New Oleans
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Benn on 15 Feb 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have only read a little of the book, but it is fascinating so far,especially as I have recently been to New Orleans.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Sensational, not scholarly 20 Jan 2005
By Ryuutchi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are looking for an in-depth, scholarly work on the religion and practices of Voodoo in New Orleans this is, sadly, not the work for you. While interesting in a voyeuristic, sensationalist sense, Tallant's far-too-obvious biases and penchant for letting his interview subjects give sound bites like "Old Marie Laveau looked just like the devil herself, and she's settin' [sic] on a throne in Hell today," means that the image of Voodoo as a religion and/or money-making practice is frustratingly one-dimensional. Tallant seems content to let his interview subjects discuss the "devil-worshipping" without giving a well-rounded picture of what actually was being worshipped. He quotes newspaper articles with an almost pornagraphic fervor, and neglects to analyze the exoticism encoded into their language.

The book is good as a fun, tabloidesque read, and those people who have studied Voodoo religion will be able to puzzle together rites and loa blithely corrupted due to Tallant's distance from actual services. It is also a fine study in biases of the time, but should never be read without a very LARGE grain of salt.
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The only book of it's kind. 12 May 2001
By M. Stone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any book you see on Voodoo today, is either talking about Santeria or Haitian Voodou. Even the "New Orleans Voodoo Tarot" is mostly Voodoo from OUTSIDE of New Orleans. Here you will find the most mature research on Marie Laveau, which is worth the modest price of this book, alone. But you also get history that you will not find anywhere else. Tales of an entire lineage of conjure men and root doctors, the real heart of Louisiana Hoodoo. This book introduces you to men like Doctor Koku, Rooster, Papa Melon, Don Pedro and many others. If you want to see both sides of the New Orleans Voodoo coin, this is the only book that pulls back all the curtains of it's history.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Inside the world of New Orleans! 30 July 2001
By Melinda Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really don't understand the negative reviews of this book at all. Even Anne Rice recommends it and what better recommendation about voodoo history in New Orleans can you get than Anne Rice!?! Yes, the story is old, but it's a fantastic look of the smaller details of a hidden culture. I love New Orleans, and Tallant's book is well researched. Why do you think it's been reprinted since the 1940s. That's staying power, people. The history of Marie Lavaeu is worth the money. This is not a book to tell you how to practice voodoo or to give you a romanticized version of the religion. This is a book which tells the evolution of a special society within a very special city. Now excuse me while I go fetch another praline! Buy it. It's a great read. [From a person who knows and loves New Orleans and hoodoo too!]
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Folklore, but not actual Voodoo in NOLA 11 Jan 2012
By E. Crocker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've done anthropological work on Voodoo practices in New Orleans, both the newer Haitian forms and the traditional religion of the faithful. As pointed out by all the scholarly reviews both back then and today, Tallant has collected an interesting set of folklore narratives about Voodoo but no actual information about the religion as it is practiced. Also, some academics have looked through his notes from his interviews and found that he later added elements to the published versions of stories to make them racier and more exciting. Therefore, folklore scholars should be careful.

None of the narratives in Tallant's book match up with historical evidence for how Vodou was practiced in the times of slavery, during the time when he did his fieldwork, or in the modern context. In fact, it is so inaccurate that scholars of Vodou (such as myself) often use this book as a litmus test. If someone cites it as an accurate source of information about Vodou then you know their work is pretty much worthless/that they didn't do any fieldwork.

Unfortunately, there is very little written about Vodou practices in New Orleans that is worthwhile. Most of what is out there is sensational speculation. Tallant, unfortunately, falls into that category.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A really interesting look at voodoo 12 Jan 2000
By A Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book although there were no "secrets of voodoo" revealed. Shows a lot of intriguing information about Marie Laveau and Doctor John. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of voodoo.
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