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. What is a ritual feeding of the poor?

2. All morning Mauvant is muttering that he is ________________ but no one pays him much attention.

3. Macena is the father of her children so she must do what?

4. This woman is a successful ____________ (market woman).

5. ____________ is finally reacted by Karen, Alourdes and their traveling companions.

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Sina's strength revealed in this chapter?

2. How does jealousy affect the plot of this story?

3. What is made clear in this chapter that we as Americans often fail to understand?

4. What is Alourdes' purpose for arranging the 'manje pov?'

5. What is the connection between one's power and the will of the spirits in the world of Vodou?

6. Who does Aunt Emma represent? Why is this important?

7. What is one of the most important lessons learned about the practice of Vodou from reading this book? How is Karen's involvement in Mama Lola's story important to most readers of this book?

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. Describe Vodou rituals and ceremonies as a whole. Give an example from this chapter that supports this.

10. What story takes place regarding Alourdes in the previous chapter? How is this related to this chapter?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

There is a growing need for Manbos.

Part 1) What is a manbo? How is this person important in Vodou culture? Why are manbos increasingly more important in Haiti? What does this reveal about Vodou culture and life in Haiti?

Part 2) How are these cultural changes seen in other cultures around the world? How is religion becoming more important in some cultures? Why?

Part 3) Would you want to be a manbo? Why or why not? Would you be able to accept a role such as this in another religious organization, if it were offered to you or asked of you? Why or why not? How do manbos reflect the role of religious leaders in a community?

Essay Topic 3

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.?

(see the answer keys)

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