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Saturday Photo Hunt: CURSE

August 17th, 2014 (05:04 pm)

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For this weekend, the Saturday Photo Hunt theme is CURSE. I took this photo in St. Louis Cemetery #1 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the oldest of the many cemeteries in New Orleans, founded in 1789. This photo shows the resting place of Marie Laveau, the best known "voodoo queen" in New Orleans history, who died and was entombed here in 1881. (Voodoo as practiced in New Orleans at the time was a mixture of Catholicism and West African religions.) People respected and feared her, believing she could bring them love or luck, or CURSE them. Practitioners still leave offerings at her grave and mark it in red with the symbol XXX.

Aug16 Curse - IMG_1330 20% crop

In 1930, New Orleans resident Aileen Eugene described her memories of the voodoo queen:

"Marie Laveau was a voodooienne. She was the queen of them all. White and colored folks used to go to her. She could keep anybody from harming you and she could do anything you wanted done to anybody.... She used to say prayers and mix different things to give people to drink, to rub with, to throw over your shoulder, to throw in the river. Oh! She had a million things to do but everything would happen just like she would say.... Marie Laveau is a name that was respected by everybody and dreaded by a lot of people. When she died she had a big funeral with white and black paying their respect. For years after she died people used to go put money (silver) on her grave in the St. Louis Cemetery. Up until now some people goes there and put their hand on her grave and makes a wish and their wish is granted."