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Mama Lola Response Paper

Autor:   •  August 18, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,244 Words (5 Pages)  •  608 Views

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John Smith

Prof. Raver

Rel 256


Mama Lola Response Paper

To be completely honest here, I was always frightened by voodoo. I thought that was something sinister and evil. Naturally, as Hollywood made it out be. When I heard the word voodoo I immediately thought voodoo dolls. That’s the first thing that always came into my mind. I always thought that the general idea of voodoo was for cursing people by using any form of ones dna, like a piece of hair or some saliva, and performing a ritual where a doll would be made to be this person’s replica. This then would be used a form of torture by stabbing it with pins and needles and such things like that to make the person that the doll symbolized feel pain. But that’s not all I thought of it, I also imagined that there would be zombies and cannibalism and human and animal torture as well as human and animal sacrifice. I thought this was what was called black magic.  I also thought that this revolved around devil worship.

As a Russian Jew, I never thought of voodoo as being anything more than a savage practice. And as much as I hate to admit it I still think so, but only because of the animal sacrifices. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I am an animal rights activist but I like animals. It’s just that how the rituals of the voodoo religion go about doing so. I feel that if you need to sacrifice an animal you do it by bringing the least amount of pain to that animal and not having it bleed out and rubbing the blood on someone. In other words, kind of like the Jews do, clean and painless. But then again I don’t totally support some of my own traditions within my Jewish faith either.

 There is one day, which is the most important day for the Jews. It is Yom Kippur. It follows Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, literally meaning Head of the year. Yom Kippur is the most serious and dignified religious fast of the Jewish year signifying repentance. It’s the day of atonement. The practice is that a chicken, a cock for men and a hen for women, or money is swung around the head of a person and a prayer is said aloud by the rabbi. Then, in the chicken’s case, it gets its head chopped off. Somewhat similar to voodoo, except that after the prayer is said aloud the money or now headless chicken are donated to charity. This is called Kapparot, literally meaning atonement. Now the reason that this bothers me is because of the mass murder of poultry, but I guess what makes it somewhat alright is that its donated to charity.

 But as I read Mama Lola I have learned that voodoo is about the celebration of life and is meant to be uplifting. Voodoo goes hand-in-hand with Catholicism. There are many saints and spirits and each of these spirits have both a Catholic and African name, and it is a they who are worshiped not the devil.  The practice of voodoo is passed down through many generations. Voodoo originated from Africa it made its way to the Caribbean and South America.  Mama Lola practices Haitian voodoo. She lives in Brooklyn where she holds ceremonies in her home where she has many altars.


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