Midterm Examination Paper
Vodou is extremely important in the city of New Orleans and even America. The religion has directly shaped the culture of New Orleans and beyond for centuries and is continuing today. The nation would not be the same without the emergence of Vodou in New Orleans around the 17th and 18th centuries. Vodou is quite an extensive subject that could be discussed throughout countless books and videos. There are many things to be discussed such as; why is it so prevalent in New Orleans, how it became so popular, as well as key themes of the religion, to name a few.
New Orleans is located on the Gulf of Mexico and has the Mississippi River go right through it. These factors created a perfect opportunity for trade, which involved the trade of slaves in the 18th century. The fact that most of the slave trade ended up going through New Orleans created a society that was predominantly African. This large portion of Africans helped create one of the most rare cultures in America in the upcoming century.
This culture helped create opportunities for the Africans to celebrate their heritages more than Africans in any other city in America at the time. New Orleans was the only city in America that gave its slaves a day off on Sunday where they could meet and sing and dance to practice their traditions and religions. This took place in Congo Square, which is still around today. Congo square is still crucial today in maintaining and retaining the past culture and identity of Vodou. Many of the same traditions and ceremonies are still held in the square. This unique freedom gave slaves the opportunity to continue their religious practices and expand them further into America. This is the beginning of Vodou in America. Slaves used Vodou as a way to practice self-signification, or, in a way, rebelling against their oppressors to continue their heritages. Practicing their religions on Sunday was one of the last...