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. The first chapter of the book begins where?

2. Who should Karen marry?

3. The day arrives when a ________ (an evil spirit, in this case, a two legged horse which stands straight like a man) visits Madame Fouchard in the middle of the night.

4. What happens to Sina shortly after this?

5. His medicine, his power, is with him naturally, and he has no need even for what?

Short Essay Questions

1. What sets Alourdes further apart from the poor Haitians?

2. What all-important concept is discussed in this chapter? Give an example.

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

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

6. How do Alourdes and Maggie feel in American culture? Should they feel this way? Why or why not?

7. What contrast is discussed in this chapter? Describe this contrast.

8. What important themes in the world of Haitian Vodou are seen in this chapter?

9. Describe Karen's understanding of Alourdes' "Queen Bee" behavior.

10. What is revealed about the relationship between Mama Lola and the spirits in this chapter? How is this relationship important?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The roles of men and women are very different in Haitian culture.

Part 1) Describe the roles of men and women in Haitian culture. How are these roles revealed throughout this book? How is Vodou connected to these roles?

Part 2) How does this explain and reinforce the strength of the women in Alourdes' family? How might it also play a part in drawing Karen into Haitian and Vodou culture?

Part 3) What are the roles of men and women in your own culture? How have these roles come about? How do they compare to the roles in Haitian culture?

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

Vodou is a part of Haitian culture.

Part 1) Describe Vodou and Haitian culture. How is Vodou incorporated into everyday life in Haiti? How is it also similar to other religions?

Part 2) What religions are important and influential in the U.S.? How does religion affect the lives of many Americans? How does it influence the way our country was created and is now organized and run?

Part 3) Is religion a part of your own life? If so, how If not, why not? How different might your life be if you practiced Vodou? Explain.

(see the answer keys)

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