What article did I read about Haitian vodou practitioners?
March 2, 2020 11:53 AM   Subscribe

A few years ago, I read an article (that might have been from Metafilter) about an investigative journalist who went to Haiti to experience vodou. The thing that I remember most was a discussion of how Haitian priests who created zombis needed permits to move their zombis across other priests' territories. I'm dying to read this article again, but my Google-fu is failing me!

I don't remember many other details - it might have been a Vice article, but maybe not. It might have referenced Clairvius Narcisse, but it wasn't primarily about Wade Davis. Please help me Metafilter, you're my only hope!
posted by WidgetAlley to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields, by William B Seabrook?
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 2:05 PM on March 2

I thought I came across it on Mefi too but I can’t find it. But I think this is what you’re looking for: Into the Zombie Underworld
posted by rodlymight at 2:22 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

Short Fiction* Review: Dead Men Working in the Cane Fields (* Reported as fact, or at least reported as accurate recounting of local stories, superstitions and myths)

Available to read for free from the Internet Archive, starting here. On a very quick read, it doesn't appear to have any mention of priests asking each-other for permission for their zombies to cross each-other's territory.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:27 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

Into the Zombie Underworld by Mischa Berlinski, Epic Magazine (courtesy of this 2015 FPP posted by the man of twists and turns):

"The body was buried at 5 pm Friday," Mano said. "By 9 pm we were in possession of her zombie. The next day, Saturday, we held a meeting of our band of sorcerers.… We decided to take the zombie to Chardonette, passing by the village of Carrefour Charles. But we were held back there and forbidden passage by the chief sorcerer of Carrefour Charles. According to the rules governing occult societies, we needed to have a laissez-passer signed by the departmental chief, allowing us to transport the zombie. As a result, the zombie of Nadathe was seized. Not having the appropriate papers, we went back home, empty-handed – for this was an act we had performed without the approval of our chief. We had thought we could take the zombie as contraband, without papers! But this, unfortunately, did not bear fruit.… Now the zombie can be found in the hands of the chief of Carrefour Charles, Madame Precieuse St. Louis."
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:08 PM on March 2

You are all INCREDIBLE, thank you so much for solving this brain itch for me!!
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:48 AM on March 3

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