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Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 21:25:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob Corbett <bcorbett@crl.com>
Subject: H31: Historical periods of Voodoo
Message-Id: <Pine.SUN.3.91.950716212532.24136R-100000@crl8.crl.com>

Some brief notes on Voodoo's historical development

By Bob Corbett, December 1991

In James Leyburn's landmark work The Haitain People, he sketches the historical development of Voodoo. I have taken his categories and briefly elaborated them where it seemed helpful.

1730-1790. The emergence of Voodoo. Gradual ascendency of Dahomean form.

1790-1800. Revolutionary period. Voodoo, too, experienced growth and cohesion.

1800-1815. Voodoo was suppressed by three of Haiti's most famous rulers, Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines and Henry Christophe.

1815-1850. Quiet diffusion. Under Emperor Soulouque Voodoo became acceptable to the regime and emerged publicly.

1860-1945. Various periods of Roman Catholic suppression, culminating in an all out war against Voodoo in the 1940s. After the failure of this war the Roman Catholics have decreased their overt suppression of Voodoo.

1945 to present. Co-optation of Voodoo by the Duvalier movement and growth of American Fundamentalist Protestant challenge to Voodoo.

1975 to present. Emergency of Voodoo, especially in connection with the lwa, Ogoun, as a force in the peasant movement toward progressive reform in Haiti.