Social and cultural foundations for the rise of female leadership of Voudou in New Orleans
Busby, Kendra Marie
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The Voudou women of New Orleans garnered leadership positions in the nineteenth-century differing from the rest of the United States. This thesis will provide possible explanations as to how this female role came into being. As a city isolated and consistently mismanaged, this enterprise details how New Orleans held an open a space for women, specifically free women of color, to achieve upward mobility unlike anywhere else in the country. It will also document how the voice of the Voudou woman, in particular, has roots in West African Vodu, a religious tradition varies from the European patriarchy with its delegation of women as near equal. Vodu’s survival upon transplantation to the New World and continued adherence through Haitian Vodou allowed this female role to survive. This work will then cite the Voudou Queen Marie Laveau as illustration for these leading female figures, aiding in a new historical approach to recover often forgotten, and sometimes overlooked, figures.