Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sbantrelle P. Lewis
Marie Laveau is one of the most legendary African figures of the 19th and 20th centuries. As Vodu queen of New Orleans, her reign of power extended throughout the southern region of the United States. As a matriarch, Laveau's powers included healing the sick, extending altruistic gifts to the poor, and overseeing spiritual rites. Marie Laveau was respected and feared by both black and white alike. Even after her death, her legendary powers persisted through her daughter, also named Marie Laveau. Her grave is the second most visited grave site in the United States. In St. Louis Cemetery No. 14, one can find the burial ground of Marie Laveau. Each year, thousands of visitors flock to her burial site and adorn her plot with spiritual regalia, candles, money, flowers, and assorted personal items. This entry looks at her early life, the Vodu/Vodu context in which she was raised, her rise ...