Spring 2018

Document Type

Poster Session


Muskie School of Public Service


Nathan Hamilton


USM Vodou Collection, African Diaspora, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Africa, slave trade, artifacts, Haitian Vodou


The Collection was obtained by Paul Barker, a faculty member of the Gorham State Teachers College, during the period of 1950-1960s (see Figures 1-4, 7). It is compiled of religious artifacts mostly relating to Haitian Vodou, with a few objects from Africa and the Dominican Republic. Haitian Vodouis heavily influenced by aspects of African religions that traveled to the Americas on the slave trade. It shares some characteristics with Louisiana Voodoo, Santeria, and other Afro-Caribbean religions who were also influenced by religions being introduced to the Americas by means of the slave trade. Each religion developed distinct characteristics shaped by the separate histories and influences of their geographic locations. In Haiti, the predominantly African rituals blended with elements of native religions and Christianity to create Haitian Vodou. This blending of religious elements is seen elsewhere across the African Diaspora, showcasing the survival and adaptability of African culture in the face of intense hardship.

Start Date

April 2018



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.