WITCHCRAFT, MYSTICISM AND MAGIC IN THE BLACK WORLD by James Haskins

WITCHCRAFT, MYSTICISM AND MAGIC IN THE BLACK WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Haskins takes some care at the beginning to point out differences between witchcraft and magic in the white world (where the occult is undergoing a widely noted revival) and the black (where it had never died), to trace black practices to Africa where religion and magic were inseparable from each other and from daily life, and to examine the reasons why magic flourished under conditions of slavery and oppression and the process by which the Protestant devil probably became associated with the African ""divine trickster."" Of the three conducting biographical sketches, the Southern folk hero High John seems peripheral here and Titubal of Salem Village is already well known, but New Orleans voodoo Queen Marie Laveau is an intriguing and less familiar figure. And with all of Haskins' attention to origins and explanations his review of Batuque in Brazil and voodoo (a form of Dahomey serpent cult with bits of assimilated Catholicism) in New Orleans and Haiti contain enough of ritual and superstition (Haskins' word), curses and charms to satisfy browsers attracted by the title.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday