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ERIC Number: EJ1072917
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1940-5847
Voodoo Dolls, Charms, and Spells in the Classroom: Teaching, Screening, and Deconstructing the Misrepresentation of the African Religion
Reuber, Alexandra
Contemporary Issues in Education Research, v4 n8 p7-18 Aug 2011
"New Orleans voodoo," also called "créole voodoo," is an amalgamation of an honoring of the spirits of the dead, a respect for the elderly and the spiritual life, African knowledge of herbs and charms, and European elements of Catholicism. It is a religion of ancestor worship that is unknown to us, and that we are not necessarily exposed to or included in. As such, it is something foreign to our own belief system. Being ignorant about what the religion entails, people in general stigmatize it as something not worthy to discuss, nor to practice. Unfortunately, popular novels like "Voodoo Season" (2006) and "Voodoo Dreams" (1995) by Jowell Parker Rhodes, and especially Hollywood's production of horror movies such as "White Zombie" (1932), "I Walked with a Zombie" (1943), "The Serpent and the Rainbow" (1987), "Voodoo Dawn" (1998) or "Hoodoo for Voodoo" (2006), do not provide the public with a truthful background of the African, Haitian, or New Orleanean voodoo tradition. All too often these fictional sources fuel the already existing misrepresentations of the religion and represent it as something shadowy, highly secretive, and fearful. This differentiated introduction to New Orleans voodoo via Iain Softley's film "The Skeleton Key" (2004) exposes students to the major characteristics of the religion, makes them aware of popular culture's falsified voodoo construct, and teaches them how to deconstruct it. This interactive approach is student centered, appeals to their individual intelligences and learning styles, promotes critical thinking, and trains analytical skills.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A