Marie Laveau’s Tomb has stood the test of time. It has seen flood, violence, disrespect, haters, and now someone has painted it pink. Marie Laveau’s Tomb is a shrine to Voodoo practitioners around the globe, a mecca if you will, that is the second most visited grave in the United States. Marie Laveau is New Orleans Voodoo Queen. Immortalized in story and song, she was said to have possessed immense power which lives on through her spirit today.
The grave is a site for visitors to leave offerings and experience the majesty that still surrounds this Voodoo Queen over a century after her death. Unfortunately the pink paint is not the first time she has seen rough treatment. For years patrons have persisted in making 3 x marks on the tomb in a supposed petition for their requests. This is very damaging to the plaster which must be replaced periodically. During the filming of my documentary Bodies of Water:Voodoo Identity and Tranceformation I interviewed several practitioners from tour guides to store owners who vehemently tried to discourage this practice.
New Orleans is one of my spiritual homes. For over two decades I have been a member of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, only a stone’s throw from St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, where the grave in question is located. On many occasions I have sung, danced and worshipedthere. In New Orleans Voodoo we have a goddess known as Erzulie Freda Dahomey. She is also present in Hatitian Vodou, and as the name implies was historically revered among the Dahomey people in West Africa. Ironically her color is pink, and she cries the tears of the world because people simply don’t do the right thing. She wants people to be better: to be honest, respectful, and kind. Some people say that this Erzulie was one of the ruling Lwa, or guardians, of Marie Laveau. So if Erzulie is crying over this situation, as I am, if it was done without the family’s knowledge and consent, then Mme Marie Laveau is most likely raging. My favorite quote comes from my friend author Dorothy Morrision ( many thanks to Ms. Morrison and Denise Alvarado for filling in some of the blanks on this story for me) “If it had been painted a lovely rich-jewel tone : emerald green, sapphire blue, deep amethyst or even garnet- I think she’d be ok with that.” There isn’t much information on why this was done. Photos and reports have been reaching the Voodoo community slowly, but if anyone knows anything obviously we’d love to hear your information and reactions. Please check out my interview with Dorothy Morrison, and my post about The Real Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, Denise Alvarado’s The Art of Conjure, and the writing and videos by Patheos Pagan Bloggers about American Horror Story Coven and it’s portrayal of Marie Laveau. All I have to say about the potential pink vandals is Shame, Shame, Shame !