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Marie Leveau: Fact and Fiction

Added: Wednesday, March 29th 2023 at 8:37pm by VickieCollins


All of the above pictures sare representations of a legend of New Orleans - one Marie Laveau.  And not only was she a legend, she was a real person.  By the way, the picture on the right in the first row is from the last season of American Horror - one of the fictional presentations of a real person.

She was born in 1801 or thereabouts. Wikapedia states that it was on Sept 1st.  Of course even that was a matter of legend, the legend being 1794.  She went on to become the Queen of Voodoo, still known of today.  She died around 1881 or so and her grave is still a prime tourist attraction.

There was also a Marie Laveau 2 but controversy about whether that was her daughter (the one that it would most likely have been denied it), or another person trying to build her business off of the Marie Laveau name.  She being known as the most powerful voodoo queen of the time.

Her ancestry was White and Black, with father and grandfather White land owers, and the mother and grandmother being part Black slaves or placees (a placee was basically a kept woman of color for a White landowner).

History shows that she was a slave owner in her own right, records show.  She also was a "consultant' to both white and black and had often had the ear of the most powerful members of the society of that day.  She was friends with the Priest at St Louis and was a life long Catholic.

Many of the people of New Orleans blended Voodoo (also known as voodon), African spirituality with Christianity without any thought of contradiction.  Even today, asking the manager of the Voodoo Temple here in New Orleans, I am told that most of the people getting readings and consultations there are also practicing Catholics.

It was, and is by many, considered to be a good devision of power.  Voodoo for earthly power and weath, and love. Christianity for the hereafter.

Only later did most people see a discrepency.  Not in her earlier years.


User Comments

Marie is a woman of legend and history.  This is a repeat post from several years ago, maybe even before my move to New orleans in 2014.  Anyway, it was a look at the legend and fact about voodoo queen Maria levaux.  The legend tends to paint her as an evil witch, reality was somewhat different.  She was in fact a practional of Africia medicine but also a fervent attendant at St Louis Carthrel here in the French Quarter (the original New Orleans).

That is Angela Bassett, rughgt????????????

One of the pictures is Angela Bassett, who played Maria Laveau in American Gothic, the Coven season, I believe.

The others are all images of ideas of what the original woman looked like.  Notice in some of them, she is quite light.  She was in likelihood about 1/8th African.  Her mother and grandmother and possible grandmother had born children by white plantation owners.

There is a country song that paints her as very very Black and snaggle toothed, and that is very inaccurate. In addition to African medicine remedies, she was a beautian.

There you go again....digging up this revelant AA History stuff!!  Shame on you, but I love it.  Personally I have a problem with Voodoo, but trust me its not because I do not believe it!  Most older southern Blacks very much believe it exist and actually fear it!!{#basic-mouth-shut.gif}{#basic-mouth-shut.gif}

{#bag-on-head.gif}{#basic-cool.gif}  Hey, I consider her part of a history that fascinates me.  The story of Maria Leveau illustrates why New Orleans is unique for the United States, not just the south.  The only city that comes close might be Savannah Ga.  Oddly enough, however Chicago has Voodoo or Santera roots in the Black community there. as well.

I say that because Priestess Mariam, one of the top well known current "voodoo" figures in New Orleans learned her "craft" in Chicago from a Santera priest.  Mariam, btw, was the one that was part of one of Nicholas Gages' weddings in Hawaii.  He flew her over to preform a dance for the wedding to "bring all the strings together for his wedding".

I believe however, that Maria Leveau was a healer, using Africian rituals and herbs more than the boogey man type witch that she is often displayed as. 

Oh, diffinitely most of the Voodoo Priestess were healers first and Mystics second.

You went to the Priestess for all sorts of home remedies and cures!!{#basic-laugh.gif}

I learned a great deal about this from a Student I had when I was a Principal at a Residential Private School.  She was a Mau Mau Princess (Priestess) from West Africa (Liberia).  Really deep stuff....wonderful kid, but really deep stuff.  All the African Students treated her like Royalty...the American students and Staff did not get it.  But trust me...she had knowledge of "Things"!!{#basic-mouth-shut.gif}{#basic-mouth-shut.gif}

Maybe a bit of "funny" aside.  I went to the temple and bought a couple of gris gris, one for money, one for love, that type thing. (no counseloring just off the rack doodads) and with my usual curious mind asked some questions.

The mayor question was "so how many people follow the voodoo path here in New Orleans.  The answer was that she had no idea.  First off many people that came in were tourists and not from New Orleans. The 2nd was that many locals were saturday voodoo, sunday Catholic.

That meant that she had no idea how deeply involved the sat-sun group were into it, and besides there were other Priests and Priestess in the city.

Oh, and there is a movement to go "pure santaria/voodoo" and get rid of the Catholic overlay, but it seems to be a smaller group.  I learned that from reading articles bout the local scene.

I have a tendency to "get obsessed about things" and try to learn as much I can so obviously I did some reading although goodness I still know very little.

Oh and even funnier, one time when I was staying at a hotel close to the temple, I needed a safety pin for a garment I was going to go out as Vickie in....and walked in there and asked if she "had something like a safety pin?"

Her response..."you mean, maybe, an actual safety pin?"

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