Marie Laveau by New Orleans artist Dimitri Fouquet

Marie Laveau

Voodoo Queen of New Orleans

Marie Laveau (1794–1881) was a Louisiana Creole: descended from the colonial white settlers, black slaves and free people of color of southern Louisiana. For several decades this ‘Voodoo Queen’ held New Orleans spellbound. She staged ceremonies in which participants became possessed by loas (Voodoo spirits); she dispensed charms and potions, even saving several condemned men from the gallows; told fortunes and healed the sick.

The first white settlers of Louisiana were French, usually the second born sons of aristocrats who left France to seek adventure in the New World. These Frenchmen came to be called Creole, and made up the upper crust of New Orleans. The word was later used to refer to white Frenchmen as well as people of color in New Orleans. The Creole living in Louisiana at that time inter-mixed with Black slaves, free people of color, Indian and Acadian people. Many Creole today can trace there ancestors back to that time.

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