Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn Short Essay - Answer Key

Karen McCarthy Brown
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What does the author say is the purpose of every other chapter in the book? What does this reveal about the author's role in writing these chapters?

As Karen McCarthy Brown explains in the foreword, every other chapter of the book is meant to reproduce stories which have been acted out and passed down from generation to generation in Alourdes' family. In order to recreate these stories which were preserved in the oral tradition, McCarthy Brown had to take certain creative liberties, imagining the details of the day and the on-goings of the compound.

2. How is the legend of Joseph Binbin Mauvant important?

The departure of Joseph Binbin Mauvant is a legendary event, as was the man himself, and the vomiting and offering of his power stone to his granddaughter is of particular significance. The power of Mauvant is passed down from Philomise to Alourdes despite her refusal, though the transition into the life of a "manbo" would have been an easier one had Philomise accepted this gift.

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