The Serpent and the Rainbow

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 5, 2010 - Social Science - 304 pages
A scientific investigation and personal adventure story about zombis and the voudoun culture of Haiti by a Harvard scientist.

In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombis—people who had reappeared in Haitian society years after they had been officially declared dead and had been buried. Drawn into a netherworld of rituals and celebrations, Davis penetrated the vodoun mystique deeply enough to place zombification in its proper context within vodoun culture. In the course of his investigation, Davis came to realize that the story of vodoun is the history of Haiti—from the African origins of its people to the successful Haitian independence movement, down to the present day, where vodoun culture is, in effect, the government of Haiti’s countryside.

The Serpent and the Rainbow combines anthropological investigation with a remarkable personal adventure to illuminate and finally explain a phenomenon that has long fascinated Americans.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aeceyton - LibraryThing

I forgot how much I loved this book. It's been at least a decade since the last read. Full of scientific facts, deep history, and beautiful mystical passages. Gives you a world view and draws you into Haiti's soul. I will definitely start looking for more of Mr. Davis's books. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Widsith - LibraryThing

Wade Davis's renowned investigation into Haitian zombies has the benefit of featuring a hero who is fearless, rugged and insightful. It has the drawback that the hero is also the author, and so his ... Read full review

Contents

A Note on Orthograflay
11
PART TWO Interlude at Harvard
107
O0Owu
131
In Summer the Pilgrims Walk
145
to The Serpent and the Rainbow
170
Dancing in the Li0ns Jaw 2 16
240
Epilogue
264
Annotated Bibliography
274
Acknowledgments
285
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Wade Davis is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and former Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. He is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of Columbia. Davis has written 22 books and is the winner of the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize. He holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University.

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