The majority of Americans today closely associate the term “Voodoo” with satanism, witchcraft and barbaric sacrifice. Yet, far from these illformed depictions and misconceptions— which first took root through the western dominance of 18th century colonial Haiti and have been perpetuated through mediums of popular culture ever since—a closer look at Haitian Vodou will illuminate that the spiritual practice transcends religion alone and should be better recognized as the very mechanism of unity that spurred AfroCaribbean independence via the Haitian Revolution of 1791. This paper explores not only the ways in which Haitian Vodou has been intentionally demonized throughout history in order to maintain western supremacy, but also scrutinizes Vodou as a product of transnationalism. Attempting to highlight the ways in which the evolving religion has shaped both the inhabitants of New Orleans throughout the twenty and twentyfirst centuries, as well as Haitian migrants postrevolution, this essay serves as a framework for rediscovering Vodou as more than a misunderstood religion.
An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Haiti on January 10th, 2010. The earthquake, an urgent crisis, occurred in the context of persistent social dysfunctions, amplifying both the chronic poor living conditions and adversities for children and families. The purpose of the study was to enquire into the possible ways children in Haiti are socialized by the religiousness and other coping ways of their mothers and caretakers in the childhood contexts of societal and continuous trauma.