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Better Off DeadThe Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human$
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Deborah Christie and Sarah Juliet Lauro

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234462

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234462.001.0001

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“We are the mirror of your fears”: Haitian Identity and Zombification

“We are the mirror of your fears”: Haitian Identity and Zombification

Chapter:
(p.24) Chapter 2 “We are the mirror of your fears”: Haitian Identity and Zombification
Source:
Better Off Dead
Author(s):

Franck Degoul

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823234462.003.0003

This chapter presents findings of fieldwork, conducted in Haiti from 2001 to 2003, on the contemporary folklore of the phenomenon of zombification. The chapter illustrates that the myth of the zombie is used to constitute a sense of national identity, that the witchdoctors wield zombification, or the threat of it, as a kind of weapon of the imaginary. Using evidence collected, such as interviews with practitioners of Vodou, and personal experiences in the field, this chapter illustrates that, among a certain segment of the population, the zombie is reconstituted in the popular Haitian vernacular as a site of resistance to foreign aggression, rather than a means of denigrating the people as uncivilized.

Keywords:   Haiti, folklore, voodoo, zombie, zombification, magic, resistance, anthropology

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