Zombie Lore:
Marinette and Lousiana Voodoo

Continued from Real Zombies.

Now here's where the zombie lore gets interesting.

Who is Marinette?

She's known as a skeletal spirit (she was called Marinette of the Dry Arms, or Marinette of the Dry Feet) and has the ability to violently possess people.

She is also represented by a screech owl, and if that wasn't creepy enough, the Haitians know her as the protector of werewolves.

In other words, you don't mess with Marinette. She was well known and highly feared by Haitian Vodou followers.

She possessed a mambo (priestess), and then made a sacrifice to herself by slitting the throat of a black pig and then giving the blood to all the participants in the ceremony.

Anyway, it became the first black republic and the second independent nation in the American hemisphere. It became the Republic of Haiti.

Why is this important?

It started a panic in the United States about slavery, and was the first time anyone had actually thought that slavery might be wrong. It took American all the way to 1865 though to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which would end slavery, at least on paper.

It also meant that all previously enslaved Africans were now free, and also free to practice their religion. Hoodoo would thrive because of this.


Hang on, we'll get there in a minute. Hoodoo is a big part of zombie lore.

So where does Louisiana Voodoo come into play?

Louisiana, which was a French colony at the time, saw an immigration of West African slaves from 1719 to 1731. Haitian exiles would also emigrate to Louisiana after the Haitian Revolution in 1804.

Because there were so many slaves coming in (there were twice as many slaves as Europeans), the Vodon culture thrived, which would in turn help zombie lore thrive.

Charms and amulets were a big thing for them, and they could be used to heal, harm, or protect anyone of their choosing. They also practiced ancestor worship and belief in spirits, good and bad.

Louisiana Voodoo became what it is due to the large Roman Catholic influence. The names of Catholic saints eventually replaced the original African names.

Their God does not preside over follower's daily lives, but the spirits (Loa) do, as do dead ancestors. They serve these spirits, and these spirits can be good or evil.

Getting a lot closer to the real zombies.

Here's the fun part: Voodoo Queens, zombie voodoo, voodoo dolls, and bokors (who controlled real zombies)!

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