Books

‘Lowcountry Voodoo’ offers insight into history that’s often not discussed

By Emily Smith

For The Sun News

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While most might consider the subject of voodoo to be, well, taboo, Carole Marsh Longmeyer is determined to shake things up a bit. Her most recent publication, “Lowcountry Voodoo A to Z” takes a more lighthearted but still comprehensive look at the vocabulary, history, and people of this mysterious craft.

Longmeyer begins with anecdotes about her time growing up and first learning about voodoo from her grandmother in Atlanta. However, Longmeyer admits that she did not take to it as a child and only came to believe later in life after learning more. She doesn’t give a background for voodoo, particularly in the Lowcountry, in her introduction since the entire book can be considered that background.

As indicated by the title, the process of the book is elementary, with words and phrases organized alphabetically. This takes her through explaining the use of alligator teeth or haint blue, all the way to witchdoctors and zombies.

Every so often, Longmeyer adds emphasis to entries by changing font and adding a washed background, meant to feel like a written note instead of a typed page. These entries tend to highlight something interesting, or are lists that add detail. For example, in the entry of D’s, Longmeyer lists the days of the week and their meanings in voodoo rituals.

This book has stories, quotes, historical and cultural facts, and simple definitions. Longmeyer ends her voodoo alphabet with a bibliography and list of resources, all indicating the hard work and research she put into the project.

Voodoo can be an interesting topic for the open-minded and curious. “Lowcountry Voodoo” is written very casually, like listening to a cheerful friend who happens to contain a wealth of information about a specific topic. The book does have its share of grammatical mistakes but with a big font and good spacing, it’s easy to read.

Longmeyer has presented a topic about an unusual part of Lowcountry history that isn’t often discussed, or even thought about. She does so in an affable manner, no doubt intending not to ruffle any feathers, and along the way she even works to establish common ground with those unfamiliar with voodoo.

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At A Glance

Title | Lowcountry Voodoo A to Z

Author | Carole Marsh Longmeyer

Publisher | Gallopade International

Length | 177 pages

Cost | $9.99

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