Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Karen McCarthy Brown
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How old is Joseph Binbin Mauvant?

2. The chapter about the spirit Azaka, or "Kouzen Zaka" begins with Karen telling the story of her journey to Mama Lola's home in ______________.

3. Sina realizes that Macena will not leave the family compound, so she and her eldest daughter, Gloria, decide to do what?

4. The compound is a grouping of huts for whom?

5. When Karen arrives, where does she find Mama Lola?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does this similarity relate to their decision to take up the ason and serve the spirits?

2. How does one feel regarding Karen? Is it easy to sympathize with her? Why or why not?

3. Why is oral tradition important in this culture?

4. How do you feel about Karen marrying Ogou? How does this marriage change the path of Karen's life? What does this also teach her?

5. What does Sina's character reveal about women in this culture? How do the women compare to the men?

6. Compare Azaka to Joseph Binbin Mauvant.

7. How are Sina and Philo similar? What actions do they take? What does this reveal about them?

8. How are vodou ideals understood? Give an example from the text that supports this. How might a modern-day American reader feel about this?

9. What does this chapter reveal about the Mauvant family and life in Haiti and in the Mauvant family compound?

10. How is Marie Claire significant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Karen and Alourdes are greeted in Haiti with a mix of fascination and expectation.

Part 1) Describe Alourdes and Karen's trip to Haiti. Why are they greeted in this way? What does this reveal about Karen, Alourdes, and the Haitian people?

Part 2) How does this greeting to one's greeting upon arriving in a community in the U.S.? Why would these similarities and/or differences exist?

Part 3) How might you be greeted in Haiti? Why might you be greeted in this way? How are people greeted in this way? How are people greeted into various countries and cultures around the world? Why do these differences exist? How do these differences reflect the relationships between various groups of people?

Essay Topic 2

There are many Vodou spirits.

Part 1) Describe four of these spirits. What is the role of each spirit in Vodou culture? How is this connected with the treatment of these spirits by Vodou practitioners?

Part 2) How do Vodou spirits influence the lives of the Haitians? Are they a powerful force in Haitian culture? Why or why not?

Part 3) What spirits or religious entities are influential in other cultures around the world? How are they influential in the U.S.?

Essay Topic 3

There are four steps in the initiation ritual.

Part 1) What are these four steps? Describe and analyze each step. What is the purpose of each step? How does one step lead to another? What do these steps reveal or reinforce about Vodou?

Part 2) How does this initiation rite compare to rituals found in other religions and organizations? Why do these similarities exist?

Part 3) In what rituals have you participated? Why? How did you feel about these rituals and other religious rituals? Why is ritual important to humans?

(see the answer keys)

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