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Spirits and the Law Vodou and Power in Haiti

ISBN-10: 0226703797

ISBN-13: 9780226703794

Edition: 2011

Authors: Kate Ramsey

List price: $58.00
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Description:

After Haiti's recent earthquake, various American commentatorsfrom Pat Robertson to David Brooksjoined a long tradition of blaming Vodou for the country's woes.The Spirits and the Lawexamines that vexed history, asking why, from 1835 to 1987, Haiti banned many popular ritual practices. To find out, Kate Ramsey begins with the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath. Fearful of an independent black nation inspiring similar revolts, the United States, France, and the rest of Europe ostracized Haiti. Successive Haitian governments, seeking to refute the image of Haiti as primitive as well as contain popular organization and leadership, outlawed "spells" and, later, "superstitious practices." While not often strictly enforced, these laws were at times the basis for attacks on Vodou by the Haitian state, the Catholic Church, and occupying U.S. forces. Beyond such offensives, she argues that in prohibiting practices considered essential for maintaining relations with the spirits, anti-Vodou laws reinforced the political marginalization, social stigmatization, and economic exploitation of the Haitian majority. At the same time, she examines the ways communities across Haiti evaded, subverted, redirected, and shaped enforcement of the laws. Analyzing the long genealogy of anti-Vodou rhetoric, Ramsey thoroughly dissects claims that the religion has impeded Haiti's development.
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Book details

List price: $58.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/30/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 424
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.628
Language: English

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Note on the Spelling and Use of Terms in Kreyol
Introduction
Crimes of Ritual Assembly and Assemblage in Colonial and Revolutionary Saint-Domingue
Popular Spirituality and National Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Haiti
Penalizing Vodou and Promoting "Voodoo" in U.S.-Occupied Haiti, 1915-1934
Cultural Nationalist Policy and the Pursuit of "Superstition" in Post-Occupation Haiti
Epilogue
Notes
Bibliography
Index