The Voodoo Queen of New Orleans
Most people associate Voodoo with dolls and witchcraft. They visualize the images of needles being inserted into a doll when they first hear the word voodoo. Therefore, a negative image of voodoo is created and widespread. However, the reality, in some cases, may be different than the general perception; same is the case of Marie Laveau – the renowned voodoo queen of New Orleans.
In this post, we have discussed the different phases of her life, how she got this title, and the powers she possessed. Continue reading!
Some people believe that Marie Laveau was born in 1801 while some records that her birth year is 1794. At the age of 18, she married Jacques Paris who disappeared after a few years and was later discovered dead. It is said that she had two children with him; however, none of them survived and passed away when they were young. After her husband was found dead, she used the term ‘Widow Paris’ to refer herself. This name is also written on her tomb.
Her second marriage was with a French man Jean Louis Christophe Duminy de Glapion. It is reported that they had 15 children. However, most of them died due to different diseases with yellow fever being the most prominent one as its outbreaks were common in that era in New Orleans.
Marie was quite active in social and community work. Her charity work made her a noteworthy personality. Some of her community work includes nursing people who suffered from yellow fever, and counseling condemned prisoners before their execution. She would also fight against execution. Since she devoted most part of her life in performing notable community service acts, it will not be wrong to state that she became a folk hero of that era.
It is believed that both Marie’s mother and grandmother were voodoo practitioners. Marie inherited this practice and passed on to her elder daughter, who continued practicing voodoo after Marie died in 1881.
Marie, after the death of her first husband, started to work as a hairdresser to support her family. It is believed that her clients included wealthy and elite white socialites. She also had slaves who would give information regarding her clients and other notable information related to them. Marie started to use this information to her advantage and convinced others she had mystical powers. She used to advise the people who used to visit her on different matters of their life i.e. relationships, legal procedures etc. In a short span of time, her popularity got widespread and she received the title of New Orleans’s Voodoo Queen.
Some people believe that Marie was seen around the place she was buried after the demise. It has become a popular tourist attraction in New Orleans.
It cannot be said with certainty whether she actually possessed mystical powers or she was just a clever lady who used the knowledge provided to her by clients and slaves in a tactful manner. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that her noble deeds and community work deserve respect and applause.