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Marie Laveau (1794–1881) was a Louisiana Creole. 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 part 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. Although there is plenty of information about Marie Laveau in the legends and lore of New Orleans, separating the fact from the myth has always been a challenge. Nearly everything that is known about her originates in the secretive oral tradition of the practitioners of Voodoo which has been embellished with hearsay and drama, making an already larger than life persona absolutely formidable in the tales that survive. Childhood and Early Years Marie Laveau is believed to have been born in the French Quarter of New Orleans on September 10, 1794, the illegitimate daughter of wealthy Creole plantation owner Charles Laveau and his mistress Marguerite (who was reportedly black and Choctaw Indian). Marie grew up on her father’s plantation where she was educated and studied to be a hairdresser. She was a devout Catholic who went to mass every day of her life. In her adult life she married Christophe Dominick Duminy de Glapion and had 3 children to survive into adulthood. One who was named Marie Glapion but also went by Marie Laveau ll and she also practiced voodoo.
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