Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica - Zora Neale Hurston (April 2013) Reread this as part of the collection Folklore, Memoirs and Other Writing, reposting review and quotes here. All page numbers are from that version. Orig. pub. 1938, traveling in Jamaica and Haiti, gathering folklore and voodoo lore. Participant-observer anthropology. (Note, for those it may upset: killing of various farm animals and a dog in ceremonies. Hurston's commentary in multiple areas makes it clear she doesn't enjoy this.)Skin color in Jamaica is complicated:p 281: "Everywhere else a person is white or black by birth, but it is so arranged in Jamaica that a person may be black by birth but white by proclamation. That is, he gets himself declared legally white. When I use the word black I mean in the American sense where anyone who has any colored blood at all, no matter how white the appearance, speaks of himself as black."p 282: "...When a Jamaican is born of a black woman and some English or Scotsman, the black mother is literally and figuratively kept out of sight as far as possible, but no one is allowed to forget that white father, however questionable the circumstances of birth. You hear about "My father this and my father that, and my father who was English, you know" until you get the impression that he or she had no mother. Black skin is so utterly condemned that the black mother is not going to be mentioned or exhibited."Hurston notes that this does seem to be changing, and there is a new respect for the black songs, stories, dances, etc. - the culture. That was in 1938 and now I wish I could read a history of Jamaica since then.In Haiti, p 335-6:"..."But where is the body of Charles Oscar Etienne?" Polynice cried. "He cannot be alive or this butchery could not have happened. He is the Chief military officer of Haiti with the care and protection of these unarmed and helpless people.""He is the friend of Guillaume Sam," someone answered him."But honor lays a greater obligation than friendship; and if friendship made such a monster of a man, then it is a thing vile indeed. No, Oscar Etienne is dead. Only over this dead body could such a thing have happened..."...After a while someone told him, "But Oscar Etienne is not dead. He was seen to leave the prison before five o'clock. It was he who ordered the massacre. He has taken refuge in the Dominican legation. He will not come out for any reason at all."...Polynice rushed to the Dominican legation and dragged out the cringing Etienne who went limp with terror when he saw the awful face of the father of the Polynices. He mumbled "mistakes" and "misunderstanding" and placed the blame upon President Vilbrun Sam......He [Polynice] dragged him to the sidewalk and gave him three calming bullets, one for each of his murdered sons and stepped over the dead body where it lay and strode off. The crowd followed him to the home of Etienne where they stripped it first and then leveled it to its foundation. In their rage they left nothing standing that one might say "Here is the remains of the house of Etienne who betrayed and slaughtered defenseless men under his protection for the crime of difference of politics." "Oscar Etienne was police chief under presidency of Vilbrun Guillaume Sam.You can read the entire chapter called The Black Joan of Arc (from Tell My Horse, p. 360) here. (At least as of 4/2/2013)p 398:"Everybody knows that La Gonave is a whale that lingered so long in Haitian waters that he became an island. He bears a sleeping woman on his back. Any late afternoon anyone in Port-au-Prince who looks out to sea can see her lying here on her back with her hands folded across her middle sleeping peacefully. It is said that the Haitians prayed to Dumballa for peace and prosperity. he sent his woman Cilla with a message to his beloved Haitians. ...The whale performed everything that the Master of Waters commanded him. He rode Madame Cilla so quickly and so gently that she fell asleep, and did not know that she arrived at her destination. The whale dated not wake her to tell her that she was in Haiti. So every day he swims far out to sea and visits with his friends. But at sundown he creeps back into the harbor so that Madame Cilla may land if she should awake. She has the formula of peace in her sleeping hand. When she wakes up, she will give it to the people."Quote from Literary Culture and U.S. Imperialism by John Carlos Rowe, about William Seabrook's vs Hurston's version of stories.p 456, from Ch. 13: Zombies"This is the way Zombies are spoken of: They are the bodies without souls. The living dead. Once they were dead, and after that they were called back to life again.No one can stay in Haiti long without hearing Zombies mentioned in one way or another, and the fear of this thing and all that it means seeps over the country like a ground current of cold air. This fear is real and deep. It is more like a group of fears. For there is the outspoken fear among the peasants of the work of Zombies. Sit in the market place and pass a day with the market women and notice how often some vendeuse cries out that a Zombie with its invisible hand has filched her money, or her goods. ...Also the little girl Zombies who are sent out by their owners in the dark dawn to sell little packets of roasted coffee. Before sun up their cries of "Cafe grille" can be heard from dark places in the streets and one can only see them if one calls out for the seller to come with her goods. Then the little dead one makes herself visible and mounts the steps.The upper class Haitians fear too, but they do not talk about it so openly as do the poor. But to them also it is a horrible possibility. Think of the fiendishness of the thing."p 457:"Yet in spite of this obvious fear and preparations that I found being made to safeguard the bodies of the dead against this possibility, I was told by numerous upper class Haitians that the whole thing was a myth....I had the rare opportunity to see and touch an authentic case. I listened to the broken noises in its throat, and then, I did what no one else had ever done, I photographed it. If I had not experienced all of this in the strong sunlight of a hospital yard, I might have come away from Haiti interested but doubtful. But I saw the case of Felicia Felix-Mentor which was vouched for by the highest authority. So I know that there are Zombies in Haiti."Reasons why people are made into Zombies, p 457-8:"A was awakened because somebody required his body as a beast of burden. In his natural state he could never have been hired to work with his hands, so he was made into a Zombie because they wanted his services as a laborer. B was summoned to labor also but he is reduced to the level of a beast as an act of revenge. C was the culmination of "ba' Moun" ceremony and a pledge. That is, he was given as a sacrifice to pay off a debt to a spirit for benefits received."P 458-9, after taking the victim from the tomb (and making it appear that the tomb hasn't been disturbed) the victim is taken away by a large group:"The victim is surrounded by the associates and the march to the hounfort (voodoo temple and its surroundings) begins. He is hustled along in the middle of the crowd. Thus he is screen from prying eyes to a great depress and also in his half-waking state he is unable to orientate himself. ...First he is carried past the house where he lived. This is always done. Must be. If the victim were not taken past his former house, later on he would recognize it and return. But once he is taken past, it is gone from his consciousness forever. It is as if it never existed for him. He is then taken to the hounfort and given a drop of liquid, the formula for which is most secret. After that the victim is a Zombie. He will work ferociously and tirelessly without consciousness of his surroundings and conditions and without memory of his former state. He can never speak again, unless he is given salt."p 469 - Nov. 8, 1936, hospital at Gonaives, permission given to visit by Dt. Rulx Leon, Director-General of the Service d'Hygiene"We found the Zombie in the hospital yard. They had just set her dinner before her but she was not eating. She hovered against the fence in a defensive position. ...She huddled the cloth about her head more closely and showed every sign of fear and expectation of abuse and violence. The two doctors with me made kindly noises and tried to reassure her. She seemed to hear nothing. Just kept on trying to hide herself....Finally the doctor forcibly uncovered her and held her so that I could take [a photo of] her face. And the sight was dreadful. That blank face with the dead eyes. The eyelids were white all around the eyes as if they had been burned with acid. It was pronounced enough to come out in the picture. There was nothing that you could say to her or get from her except by looking at her, and the sight of this wreckage was too much to endure for long....We discussed at great length the theories of how Zombies come to be. It was concluded that it is not a case of awakening the dead, but a matter of the semblance of death induced by some drug known to a few. Some secret probably brought from Africa and handed down from generation to generation. These men know the effect of the drug and the antidote. It is evident that it destroys that part of the brain which governs speech and will power. The victims can move and act but cannot formulate thought."p. 470:"Her name is Felicia Felix-Mentor. She was a native of Ennery and she and her husband kept a little grocery. She had one child, a boy. In 1907 she took suddenly ill and died and was buried. There were the records to show. The years passed. The husband married again and advanced himself in life. The little boy became a man....Then one day in October 1936 someone saw a naked woman on the road and reported it to the Garde d'Haiti. ...Finally the boss was sent for and he came and recognized her as his sister who had died and been buried twenty-nine years before. She was in such wretched condition that the authorities were called in and she was sent to the hospital. Her husband was sent for to confirm the identification, but he refused. He was embarrassed by the matter as he was now a minor official and wanted nothing to do with the affair at all. ...he was forced to come. he did so and reluctantly made the identification of this woman as his former wife.How did this woman, supposedly dead for twenty-nine years come to be wandering naked on a road? Nobody will tell who knows."p 480:"...I determined to get at the secret of the Zombies. The doctor said that I would not only render a great service to Haiti, but to medicine in general if I could discover this secret. But it might cost me a great deal to learn. I said I was devoted to the project and willing to try no matter how difficult. He hesitated long and then said, "Perhaps it will cost you more than you are willing to pay, perhaps things will be required of you that you cannot stand. Suppose you were forced to - Could you endure to see a human being killed? Perhaps nothing like that will happen, but no one on the outside could know what might be required. Perhaps one's humanity and decency might prevent one from penetrating very far. Many Haitian intellectuals have curiosity but they know if they go to dabble in such matters, they may disappear permanently. But leaving possible danger aside, they have scruples."p 483-4 Port-au-Prince physician: ..."We have a society that is detestable to all the people of Haiti. It is known as the Cochon Gris, Sect Rouge and the Vinbrindingue and all of these names mean one and the same thing. It is outside of, and has nothing to do with Voodoo worship. They are banded together to eat human flesh. Perhaps they are descended from the Mondongues and other cannibals who were brought to this island in Colonial days....It is because of their great secrecy of movement on the one hand and the fear they inspire on the other. It is like your American gangsters. They intimidate the common people so even when they could give the police actual proof of their depredations, they are afraid to appear in court against them....And now, if you are friendly to Haiti as you say you are, you must speak the truth to the world. Many white writers who have passed a short time here have heard these things mentioned, and knowing nothing of the Voodoo religion except the Congo dances, they conclude that the two things are the same. That gives a wrong impression to the world and makes Haiti a subject for slander."p 484: "Then I found out about another secret society. It is composed of educated, upper class Haitians who are sworn to destroy the Red Sect in Haiti.Also mentioned: "trial and conviction of the sorceress in the affair of Jeanne Nelie" - but then no one tells the details. No info via googling so far.Some secret society quotes that confirm Hurston's findings in Tome Premier, L. E. Moreau de St. Mery, can't find original online yet.p. 492:"They [the advance guard] are beautifully trained stealthy scouts. They faded off into the darkness swiftly like so many leopards with their cords in their hands. These cords are made from the dried and well cured intestines of human beings who have been the victims of other raids. They are light and have the tensile strength of cello strings. The gut of one victim drags to his death his successor. Except in special cases no particular person is hunted....Then the ceremony began to change the three victims into beef. That is, one was "turned" into a "cow" and two into "pigs." And under these terms they were killed, and divided."