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 and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Gede's domination of the realm of death is reflective of a time when males held the power in Haitian families, and this is not the case any longer. In consequence, and in showing how flexible and ever-evolving the culture of Vodou is, a strong female version of Gede is slowly emerging, whose name is _____________.

2. Philo catches the black fever plaguing Haiti. During her recovery, Ageou visits Philo in a dream and tells her what?

3. It is noted that what was removed at the same time?

4. In July of 1981, they travel to Haiti and meet up with a Haitian woman named ____________ who will undergo the initiation as well.

5. There are ___________ levels of initiation into Vodou.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Dreams are important in Vodou culture.

Part 1) Describe the dreams that are discussed in this book. How are they tied to Haitian Vodou culture? How are these dreams important in this culture?

Part 2) Are dreams important in our own culture? Why or why not? How does a Western interpretation of dreams compare to that of a Vodou interpretation? Why?

Part 3) What types of dreams are important to Americans? Why is this type of dreaming compare to the dreams one has during sleep? What does this reveal about our culture?

Essay Topic 2

There are many short, fictitious stories in this book.

Part 1) Describe two of these short stories. How is each important to the book? What do they each reveal about Haiti, Alourdes' family, and/or Vodou?

Part 2) How are these stories representatives of Haiti's oral tradition? Why is oral history so important to Alourdes' culture? How are the people of Haiti influenced by stories such as these?

Part 3) How is oral history important to other cultures around the world? How is it also a part of American culture? Why might fictitious stories be universal? Why are they created by humans?

Essay Topic 3

Karen's involvement in Vodou develops throughout this book.

Part 1) Describe Karen's involvement in Vodou at the beginning of this book? What has drawn her to Mama Lola and the subject of Vodou?

Part 2) How do her feelings regarding Vodou change over the course of the book? What causes these changes? How does this in turn change significant aspects of Karen's life and beliefs?

Part 3) What were your original beliefs regarding Vodou prior to reading this book? How did your views change over the course of reading this book? What led to these changes? How might these changes affect your beliefs regarding other religions and beliefs?

(see the answer keys)

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