The Voodoo Journey of Madame Dread

The Jewish Week has an article on Kathie Klarreich, a Jewish woman who went to live in Haiti after falling in love with the country (and her future husband, a drummer and Voodou practitioner in Haiti). Klarreich, who’s book “Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou and Civil Strife in Haiti” recounts how she ended up becoming a reporter for radio and newspaper outlets wanting an inside look into the ongoing political strife in the country. Klarreich’s book along with documenting the political realities of Haiti also tells of her experiences in Vodou ritual as an outsider.

“Her curiosity about all things Haitian led her to experience the voodoo tradition. She attended a five-day traditional ceremony and while dancing, was surprised at her writhing bodily reactions, as though spirits possessed her. “I was not a nonbeliever, but at each foreign juncture with the spiritual, I had only my Jewish spiritual upbringing as a frame of reference. This didn’t fit in that box. It didn’t fit anywhere. No feelings any rabbi evoked though any sermon I’d ever heard came close to reaching this kind of religious experience,” she writes.”

You can learn more about Klarreich and her book from the Madame Dread web site. The site also provides links to her reporting on Haiti for major media outlets and looks like a good source for regular news on Haiti.

Jason Pitzl-Waters

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