Marie Laveau: The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

marie_laveau_voodoo_queen_of_new_orleans_by_shayne13-d4u2pvfBy far the most well-known and popular true American voodoo legend that is still told today is the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. Born free in the French Quarter of New Orleans on September 10, 1794, she was the daughter of two free persons of color, both biracial, one of whom was Creole. Despite the fact that she was into some hardcore voodoo, she was a devote catholic because of her religious upbringings, but that didn’t stop her from ruling the voodoo-world. Voodoo is defined as a polytheistic religion practiced chiefly by West Indians, deriving principally from African cult worship and containing elements borrowed from the Catout_of_africa___tituba_by_panijeziora-d2aoc14holic religion, so it’s no wonder why it became quite popular in America.

Voodoo was first used in America by the slave girl Tituba (a witch who was accused of sorcery during the Salem Witch Trials), who was reported to have given the power to all the witches of Salem. As a West African religion, it spread to the Caribbean by the slave tradenashville-witchcraft and is still practiced in the world today, particularly a major religion in both Haiti and Louisiana. During the 19th century, Voodoo Queens became central figures to Voodoo in the United States. Voodoo Queens controlled many of the ceremonial meetings and ritual dances, they also earned an income by administrating charms, amulets, and Marie_casts_a_spell_on_two_copsmagical powders guaranteed to cure ailments, grant desires, and confound or destroy one’s enemies. Marie Laveau was said to have the powers of necromancy, transmutation, telekinesis, healing, pinning, mind control, and an incomparable war cry.

large_ulrichShe was sought out by many for advice, healing, and power; but she only helped those who she deemed deserving. All MarieLaveau_(Frank_Schneider)others were either cast away, or in some cases, destroyed. Being a queen wasn’t her primary career, she actually worked at and owned her own hairdressing shop with the help of her slaves. That’s right, despite the fact that she was black she owned her own slaves, New Orleans had some really complicated social strata back then, and Marie Laveau was a prime example. In 1819, at the ripe young age of 18, Laveau married Jacques Paris, with whom she had two children, both of which are believed to have died young. Her husband also passed away under mysterious circumstances…
marie-laveau-grave

Later Laveau entered into a common-law marriage with Louis Christophe Dominick and they had seven children together. In all, it’s believed Marie gave birth to 15 children, only one of whic6935901417_1e524fe6f9_zh who lived to adulthood, her daughter Marie Laveau II. After her mother retired due to old age, Marie Laveau II picked up the mantle her mother left behind, but she was nowhere near as powerful nor as popular. It’s believed that she drowned in Lake Pontchartrain when a ritual went wrong, she was still quite young. Marie Laveau died in 1881, and is said to be buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, in the tomb of her husband’s family, the Glapions. Today Marie Laveau remains famous in New Orleans, due to the rumor that Laveau will grant your wishes beyond the grave if you draw an “X” on her tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb, and yell out your wish. If your wish is granted, you are required to come back, circle your “X”,  and leave Laveau an offering, otherwise your wish will turn into a curse. Marie Laveau is brought back to life in American Horror AHSCovenPosterStory: Coven.american-horror-story-coven-poster1Her character is portrayed by Angela Bassett, and she does and amazing job of intimidating both the characters and the audience alike with her merciless, unrelenting wrath, much like how the real Voodoo Queen ruled her domain.

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29 thoughts on “Marie Laveau: The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

  1. Almost none of this information is factual; it seems to be taken from the work of Robert Tallant, who is far from a reliable source. Vodou is a religion. It has magical elements – just as Christianity, Islam and Judaism do. Marie Laveau was a devout Catholic who, in accordance with the teachings of Christ, visited condemned prisoners, bringing them food and attempting to save their souls. She also courageously helped heal victims of yellow fever. She was not a horrible monster, but powerful force for good in her community, as is Vodou itself. Vodou is responsible for the only successful slave revolt in history and the formation of the Republic of Haiti. Vodou is systematically distorted and maligned precisely because of this fact (and “American Psycho” continues faithfully in this tradition). If you want a scholarly accounting of her life and times, see Carolyn Morrow Long’s “A New Orleans Voudou Priestess.” If you want to understand Haitian Vodou, you might start with Mambo Chita Tann’s “Haitian Vodou,” But don’t expect any cheap thrills.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When your main source is American Horror Story, the information probably isn’t going to be very factual. They tried to make her story more appealing to the younger viewers by exploiting and changing all previous good-natured aspects of her personality into a wicked, devious monster. My writings were based off their cruel interpretation of her, because my goal, as well as the writers of American Horror Story, is to appeal to our society’s youth. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but my blog’s name is literally Tumblr Trash, so I aspire to live up to that title.

      Liked by 2 people

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