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- ISBN: 9780415972505 | 0415972507
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 4/21/2005
Numerous eyewitness accounts described New Orleans' famous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux as "the most powerful woman there is". As a person of African descent and a woman she was barred from holding public offices according to Antebellum United States laws. Nevertheless, it appears that it was she who ruled over the city, not the municipal authorities. This study investigates the emergence of powerful female leadership in New Orleans' Voodoo tradition. It provides a careful examination of the cultural, historical, economic, demographic and socio-political factors that contributed both to the feminization of this religious culture and its strong female leaders. The quintessential example for this phenomenon of female power was Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux, the most prominent and most influential Voodoo leader in the history of the city. She thus receives special attention in this analysis.