Muskie School of Public Service
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.
Marcel, Hannah, "The Paul Barker Ethnographic Research in Haiti, 1950s-1960s: Assessing the USM VodouCollection" (2018). Thinking Matters Symposium Archive. 226.