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#2598: Dolls/Vodou : Davis comments (fwd)

From: Karen Davis <kdavis@marygrove.edu>

	Grace Benson writes: 
> Who is collecting all the information about the use of dolls and about to
> publish so we will all benefit from such knowledge? 
It is easy (we think) to write about "Voodoo Dolls" since we all have the
image of a (usually cloth-bodied) simplified or abstracted small human
figure into which one is supposed to stick pins to cause harm to the person
re-presented by the doll. However, once we begin to ask if this "doll"
question includes those NOT made of cloth (e.g. of plastic, wood, metals,
etc.), those which are very large (more like large puppets or
masks/masquerades), those which are not stuck, but bound up into wangas or
as wangas or onto trees, and those which may be pierced by objects other
than pins (e,g, nails, razors) or for purposes other than evil aimed at one
human being (e.g. for oathing or messages), then this becomes a much wider
issue of the uses in Haiti of figures representing human beings, various
spiritual & secular uses. And, at this point, it becomes clear that one will
find many, many parallels and correlations since all human societies
represent human figures (except perhaps for some Islamic communities,
although I could dispute this).