Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn Test | Final 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. In this chapter we learn that Vodou rituals are always opened with what?

2. During this procedure, she dreams of ____________ that makes her swear she will take the ason. She does swear it, and the medical procedure is a success.

3. Why do they come to her apartment?

4. Philo discovers she is pregnant and does everything she can think of to miscarry, as another mouth to feed is the last thing she needs. The spirit __________________ comes to her in a dream and tells her to stop trying to kill her baby.

5. Why must this be dislodged?

Short Essay Questions

1. What are Philo's plans for Alourdes, prior to her birth? How does this plan change?

2. What do the initiates have to do in the cemetery?

3. How is the similarity described in number 45 significant?

4. What similarity exists between Marie Claire and Maggie?

5. 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?

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

7. Compare the focus on morality and sexuality in the Vodou culture as compared the many people in America? How do these differences affect many Americans' views of Vodou?

8. How is myth important in Alourdes' life of Vodou?

9. How do each of the four initiates handle the initiation rites? Who handles it the best?

10. Who is important in this chapter? Why is she important in comparison to Alourdes?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Gede's dominon is the realm of death.

Part 1) Who is Gede? What is his role in Vodou? How important is he in Vodouism? Why? What is his connection to the other Vodou spirits?

Part 2) To whom can Gede be compared? What are the similarities and differences between Gede and this person or spirit? What do these spirits reveal about those who believe in them?

Part 3) What is the female version of Gede? How is she coming into existence? Why is she coming into existence? What does belief in her reveal about Haitian and Vodou culture?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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