forResearch & Recreation
~ * ~
The following is a list of the many books, and other sources, researchers, writers, academics and the just plain curious may find useful and entertaining. We will attempt to keep adding to the list to make it as useful, and absorbing, as possible.
Subject Search: You can use the search function either in your window menu functions, or on our Home Page to locate, by keywords (Laveau, History, Gris-Gris, Louisiana, author, etc.), which books might be most the focused to your interest. Otherwise, the books are listed separately and alphabetically by the subject groupings:
Note: many of the subject areas criss-cross into other categories in different books.
In most cases, the majority of these books are available in libraries. A few may, (in part), even be on line. If you would like own, or purchase, any of the books, please note the following.
Get the Book: If you want a copy of any book for yourself; even if a given book is not listed in our Gift Shop section, please check with us as we may be able to get it for you. Some books may be very hard to find, or out of print and circulation. If so, if we might be able to help you locate a copy, we will be happy to do try.
Critiques, Reviews and Additions: This section is intended to be interactive so if you have critique, opinion or review you’d like to add to the books listed, either post it to our Blog or drop us an Email.
If you find a new resource you think should be added, let us know about that as well.
New Orleans & Louisiana VoodooA New Orleans Voudou Priestess,
The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau
By: Carolyn Morrow Long
Physical Book: 294 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 2006Category: History
Primary Subjects: Marie Laveau
Description: Excellent book that draws the facts of Marie Laveau, and New Orleans Voodoo, through the screen of folklore. Fascinating details reveal the true stories and prove that truth is often stranger than fiction. Objective and thorough, it is an accurate historical resource.
A Treasury of Afro-American Folklore
By: Harold Courtlander
Physical Book: 618 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1976
Category: Folklore, Anthropology, Dance, Songs
Primary Subjects: Folktales, Songs, Dances, Art
Description: Louisiana’s own Compère Lapin emerges as the trickster who reflects the character of the Voodoo spirits in Africa. Dances in Congo Square, songs, gris-gris and the Creole language as well as an encyclopedia of African folkways in the Americas.
Africans in Colonial Louisiana,
The Development of Afro-Creole in the Eighteenth Century
By: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall
Physical Book: 434 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1992
Category: History, Ethnography
Primary Subjects: Africa, Louisiana, Slavery
Description: Groundbreaking work that identifies African heritage in Louisiana with specific cultures and places in Africa. Unintentionally serves as a matrix, resource and illustration for the development of Voodoo in Louisiana and proves it’s independence and separate development from Haitian Voodoo.
Creole New Orleans, Race and Americanization
By: Arnold R. Hitsch and Joseph Logsdon, editors
Physical Book: 334 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1992
Category: History, Ethnography, New Orleans, Creole
Primary Subjects: New Orleans, Creole, History
Description: New Orleans is really two cities, one Creole and one American. To understand Voodoo in New Orleans is to understand its origins in the Creole culture and distortions in the American one. The book recalls the unique status of New Orleans’ community of free persons of color during the colonial periods and before the Civil War.
By: Lyle Saxon, editor
Physical Book: 581 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1946
Category: Folklore, History, Voodoo
Primary Subjects: New Orleans, Louisiana, Voodoo, Superstitions
Description: A collection of Louisiana folktales covering everything from the old Creole French songs sung by street vendors, to pirates, to Cajuns, to Voodoo.
Mysterious Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen
and Folk Tales Along the Mississippi
By: Raymond J. Martinez
Physical Book: 96 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: unknown
Primary Subjects: Voodoo, Marie Laveau
Description: Entertaining and colorful tales of Marie Laveau and Voodoo based on folklore. Many diverse black and white illustrations.
The Spirit of Black Hawk
By: Jason Berry
Physical Book: 158 Pages, Hardcover
Year Published: 1995
Category: Ethnography, Africa-American, New Orleans, Mardi Gras
Primary Subjects: Black Spiritualism
Description: Black Hawk is an African American spiritual practice based on Native American spirits. While it denies being Voodoo, it’s practices, especially with potions, are almost identical. Recounts Marie Laveau, Congo Square and the controversy of the origins of Mardi Gras Indians. Basically illustrates the "uptown" (non-creole) parallel (to Voodoo) manifestations of spiritualism in New Orleans. Color photo illustrations.
Voodoo in New Orleans
By: Robert Tallant
Physical Book: 247 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1946, 1974, 2003
Category: History, Folklore
Primary Subjects: New Orleans Voodoo, Marie Laveau
Description: The "classic" account Voodoo and Marie Laveau in New Orleans. Well written, if politically incorrect by current standards, it is the most recognized book on the subject. Based mainly on folklore research conducted by the Worker’s Progress Administration during the Great Depression, what it lacks in historical accuracy it makes up for in color and romance.
Voodoo Queen the Spirited Lives of Marie Laveau
By: Martha Ward
Physical Book: 246 Pages, Hardcover
Year Published: 2004Category: Hybrid History and Fiction
Primary Subjects: Marie Laveau, Zora Neale Hurston,Description: A blend of good historical data mixed with a personal agenda forced into the prism of Women’s Studies. Easy reading but often the facts and the narrative fiction are indiscernible. Much is based on the original data of Zora Neale Hurston who visited New Orleans in the 1920’s and whose work may reflect more on the business and shenanigans of Hoodoo, than Voodoo.
Voodoo & AfricaMuntu, African Culture and the Western World
By: Janheinz Jahn
Physical Book: 267 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1961, 1990
Category: Anthropology, Culture, Philosophy
Primary Subjects: African Culture, Spirituality and Dance
Description: A comprehension of African spiritual beliefs in contrast Western culture. Identifies the role of dance in the religion. Sometimes relies on Haitian, rather than African, descriptions of Voodoo. Translated from German. Photos.
Possession, Ecstasy & Law in Ewe Voodoo
By: Judy Rosenthal
Physical Book: 282 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1998
Category: Anthropology, Ethnography, Voodoo
Primary Subjects: Voodoo, Africa
Description: An in depth study of Voodoo In Africa. Integrates Voodoo into the social, economic and political realities of contemporary West Africa. Excellent in the comprehension that Voodoo spirits are neither static nor consistent and very subject to parochial, chronological and circumstantial differences.West Africa, An Introduction to its History
By: Michael Crowder
Physical Book: 214 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1977, 1990
Category: History, Africa, Textbook
Primary Subjects: History
Description: West African History before, during and after the slave trade. Provides a background and backdrop for the origins of Voodoo. Geography, ethnography and the historical origins of the birthplces of Voodoo in Ifé, Benin and Oyo. Well illustrated.
Haiti, the Caribbean & the Americas
Divine Horsemen, The Living Gods of Haiti
By: Maya Deren
Physical Book: 350 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1952. 1970, 1983, 1991
Category: Anthropology, Folklore
Primary Subjects: Haiti, Voodoo
Description: An in depth review of Haitian Voudoun. Chapters include a survey of spirits (loas), rituals, priest and priestesses, drums, dance, vevers (mystical signs), glossary and other related subjects. Hand drawings, map and some photos.
Secrets of Voodoo
By: Milo Rigaud
Physical Book: 219 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1998
Category: Voodoo, Anthropology
Primary Subjects: Voodoo, Haiti,
Description: Clear and encompassing explanation of Voodoo in Haiti. Covers spirits, rituals and characteristics of Haitian Voodoo.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
By: Wade Davis
Physical Book: 371 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1985
Category: Anthropology, Biology, History
Primary Subjects: Zombis, Haiti, Voodoo
Description: An exposé of the legends and reality of zombies in Haiti. The author, a Harvard Scientist, explains the biological process of creating a zombi against the historical and religious matrix of Haiti. Some photo illustrations.
Voodoo ~ How ToHoodoo and Voodoo, the Craft as Revealed
by Traditional Practitioners
By: Jim Haskins
Physical Book: 228 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1978, 1990
Category: Anthropology, How To
Primary Subjects: Voodoo, Hoodoo
Description: Some historical context mixed with contemporary citations. Mainly a collection of "how tos" associated with the superstitions of Hoodoo. Photo illustrations.
Jambalaya, The Natural Woman’s Book of
Personal Charms and Practical Rituals
By: Luisah Teish
Physical Book: 268 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: 1985
Category: Personal Memoir, How To Book
Primary Subjects: Orisha, Afro-Centric Spirituality, Voodoo
Description: A "how to" constructed through very personal beliefs. While the book pays homage to Marie Laveau and New Orleans it contains mainly universal Afro-Centric practices and advocacy. Hand drawn illustrations and several charts.
Voodoo Charms and Talisms
By: Robert Pelton
Physical Book: 142 Pages, Paperback
Year Published: [copyrighted] 1997
Category: How To
Primary Subjects: Hoodoo, Voodoo, Occult
Description: Written and reads like a recipe book. Oriented mostly to the superstitions, fetishes and products of the Hoodoo business. Potions, oils, powders, incense and numerology.