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. There are _______ different subdivisions of Ogou.

2. The journey into rural Haiti is ____________ one.

3. The relationship between Sina and Alphonse Macena does not last long. Why?

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

5. Despite her power as a Vodou priestess and the protection that she enjoys at the hands of the spirits, ________________ is enough to upturn Alourdes' life.

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How is Marie Claire significant?

3. What do most Americans think of "voodoo?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 strong ties between the women in this family.

Part 1) Describe the women in this family. How is their oral history important? How are these women tied to one another? Why is this important?

Part 2) How does Karen become connected with these strong women? Why does she want to create ties with them? Would you want to create ties with them? Would you want to be connected with this family? Why or why not?

Part 3) To whom are you connected? How did this connection come to exist? How important is this connection to you? Why?

Essay Topic 3

Much of life in Vodou culture is out of the people's hands.

Part 1) Describe the role of Vodou spirits in Haitian culture. How are they important in everyday life in Haiti? How do these spirits guide Haitians in the decisions they make and the way they behave?

Part 2) Is there concrete evidence in this book that the Haitians are controlled by Vodou spirits? Explain. Are Haitians the only ones who feel their lives are guided by these spirits? Why or why not?

Part 3) Who or what guides the lives of most Americans? How does this compare to the Vodou spirits? How does this affect the lives of most Americans and our country as a whole?

(see the answer keys)

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