Amazing Historical and Contemporary Facts From Your Favorite Authors
The Big Easy - Mysterious Louisiana Voodoo, Colorful Politics and More...
The perfect setting for mystery, suspense and romance novels!
Offered by Lynn Emery, author of GOTTA GET NEXT TO YOU
Louisiana was both a Spanish and French Colony. The Spanish ruled the territory longer, but French influence proved to be greater. The French imported more of their culture and settled here to live. Spanish governors mostly commuted and didn't put down roots. Louisiana is divided into parishes rather than counties like the other forty-nine states. This is a legacy of Roman Catholic political legacy. Our colorful brand of politics is also a legacy of our days of being a colony. The Spanish and French governors helped their many relatives gain office and land grants. Nepotism, graft and political feuds have a long tradition here in the Bayou State.
Voodoo is a very secret tradition by serious practitioners. Those who perform for tourists, like a few people in New Orleans, are the exception and almost invariably just for show. True priestesses or priests don't want to advertise because rivals will cast spells to counter their magic. Louisiana voodoo is an import from the many free people of color and slaves who came to this state from Haiti or other parts of the West Indies. It is based on an African religion with elements of Catholicism mixed in.
Voodoo is above all a religion that involves paying honor to a host of spirits. The infamous Marie Leveau, circa 18th century Louisiana, was as much a master of public relations as she was a voodoo priestess. She used a network of informants, many of them hairdressers, dressmakers and domestic servants to New Orleans rich and powerful. In this way she knew of affairs, financial shenanigans, in short their darkest secrets. So she amazed judges, politicians, socialites and others with her "powers" to see all the skeletons in their closets. She used the famous Congo Square gatherings to enhance her reputation as a powerful woman to be feared.
One final note - New Orleans has been called the most European city in America for good reason. One frequent error made is the assumption that New Orleans natives have a southern accent. This is far from accurate. In fact many neighborhood accents are closer to those you'd hear in the Bronx (NY)! The Big Easy is a cultural gumbo.