Shannon Taggart’s Voodoo Experience

19 Oct 2012

Shannon Taggart’s fascination with the mysterious Haitian voodoo rituals takes her to Brooklyn NY.

Photographer Shannon Taggart’s lifetime fascination with the mysterious Haitian voodoo rituals has taken her to Brooklyn NY. Here she came face to face with possession, spirits and ceremonial rituals, as she was granted access to Mambo Rose Marie Pierre’s Basement Temple.

Taggart photographed priests and worshipers posessed by the Loa – powerful spirits that act as intermediaries between man and Voodoo’s distant god, Bondye. While most Loa are benign, some are malicious, but every spirit has a distinct personality and purpose.

Beckoning the Loa requires elaborate preparations unique to each individual spirit – choosing the Loa by drawing its symbol in cornmeal sprinkled on the floor. Then a series of ritual dances and songs are performed to summon the Loa. When the spirit finally possesses the worshiper, the scene turns wild and frantic, followed by  short-term amnesia, which causes the voodoo practitioner to forget everything that happened while the Loa was residing in their body.

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

Voodoo People

And as a sound track for this story, a classic track from The Prodigy:

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