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Voodoo Gods

Nature volume 145, pages 4950 (13 January 1940) | Download Citation



OBEAH in Jamaica and Voodoo in Haiti, as secret cults of the Negro, have both aroused considerable curiosity, mostly morbid. The literature relating to them is extensive, but more remarkable for its sensational statements than its ability to carry conviction as to its truth or accuracy of observation. It is, in fact, with a few notable exceptions, based on hearsay. Miss Hurston's knowledge of both cults has at least been acquired, to a great extent, at first hand; and her book is the work of a trained and experienced observer. As a member of the race she was qualified to take part in the ceremonial as an initiate, while as a pupil of Prof. Franz Boas she was able to grasp its significance as the manifestation of a form of religious belief, and view it with detachment.

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