One Great Wish New Orleans Voodoo
Although there is plenty of information about Marie Laveau and her daughter and namesake in the legends and lore of Old New Orleans, known as Marie II, separating the fact from the myth has always been a challenge for those seeking a true history of this famous New Orleans icon. Nearly everything that is known about them originates in the secretive oral tradition of the practitioners of Voodoo Hoodoo and that information has been embellished with hearsay and drama, making an already larger than life persona absolutely formidable in the tales that survive.
These hand carved and painted one of a kind Marie Laveau Statues features a gris gris bag and skulls. It is said that in New Orleans these rare Voodoo stautes grant the owner one great impossible wish when asked.
Marie Laveau (a brief history)
Courtesy of Haunted New Orleans Tours.com
Marie Laveau Glapion was born February 2, 1827, one of the 15 children crowding first the home on Rampart Street and then the St. Ann Street cottage. It was never known whether her mother, Marie I, chose the role for her daughter, or whether Marie II chose the role herself to follow in her mother’s footsteps. By most accounts she shared her mother’s features to an extraordinary degree, a virtual replica of Marie I. Others say the pupils of her eyes were half-moon shaped and this is how you could tell daughter from mother. Apparently, Marie II lacked the warmth and compassion of her mother because she seems to have inspired more fear and subservience than her mother did. Like her mother before her, she began work as a hairdresser; eventually, however, she abandoned that profession to run a bar and brothel on Bourbon Street, between Toulouse and Saint Peter.
Marie continued operations at the "Maison Blanche" (White House), the house which her mother allegedly had built for secret voodoo meetings and liaisons between white men and black women. Marie II was proclaimed to be a talented procuress, able to fulfill any man’s desires for a price. Lavish parties were held at the Maison Blanche offering champagne, fine food, wine, music, and naked black girls dancing for white men, politicians, and high officials. They were never raided by the police who feared that if they crossed Marie she might "hoodoo" them.
Marie II continued in the rich traditions and persona of the Voodoo Queen began by her mother so many years before. The Saint John's Day celebrations were especially connected to the Voodoo rituals of the time, celebrated along the shores of St. John’s Bayou where it met the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. The St. John celebration of 1872 was distinguished by the presence of both mother and daughter and began as a religious ceremony in the tradition of Marie I. She came with a crowd singing. Soon a cauldron was boiling with water from a beer barrel, into which went salt, black pepper, a black cat, a black rooster, a various powders, and a snake sliced in three pieces representing the Trinity. With all this boiling the practitioners ate, whether the contents of the cauldron or not is not known. Afterwards or during the feast was more singing, appropriately to "Mamzelle Marie." Then it was cooling off time at which all stripped and swam in the lake. This was followed by a sermon by Marie II, then a half hour of relaxation, or sexual intercourse. Then four naked girls put the contents of the cauldron back into the beer barrel. Marie I gave another sermon, by this time it was becoming daylight and all headed for home. Marie II continued these yearly rituals throughout her lifetime.
Strangely, although Marie I seemed almost to fade into obscurity, Marie II "died" well within in the public eye. Since the public had never made a true distinction between mother and daughter, the death of one ended the career of the other. Marie II still reigned over the voodoo ceremonies of the blacks and ran the Maison Blanche, but she never regained high notice in the press. Supposedly she drowned in a big storm in Lake Pontchartrain in the 1890s, but some people claimed to have seen her as late as 1918.