Karen McCarthy Brown has represented Mama Lola as a saint in that in her book she is represented as a woman of exceptional holiness. Mama Lola is a Mambo, a pioneered priestess of Vodou who leads an unpretentious life by helping her immigrant countrymen. She lives in Brooklyn and works as a traditional healer by carrying out Haitian Vodou rites. Mama Lola is conceivably the most prominent Vodou priestess working in the US after becoming famous following a description of her life by Karen Brown's ethnographic. She is represented as a complex and dynamic woman with immense achievement. McCarthy shows her expertise by depicting her as medical physician, a psychiatric therapist, a communal worker, and a priest. Mama Lola is seen as an active religious leader within the religious practice of Vodou. The life of Mama Lola and her family is influenced by the beliefs of Vodou as she is the priestess. In this book Vodou comes out as a religion alert on healing caused by healing broken relationships between the living, the deceased, and the Vodou spirits (Brown 36, 220).Vodou spirits are particularly significant in Mama Lola's life and her family. The whole family referred to as the faithful family depicts the religious influence Mama Lola has in her community. Mama Lola provides a feeling of the living realism of Vodou, as opposed to a methodical handling of the factual elements identifying the nature of being a priest, the rites and observances and the pantheon. Being a mambo, she is the priestess head of a little religious community and a diviner. As Brown observes Vodou is entirely connected to healing and this is conducted by Mama Lola. By this Brown state that her personal Vodou world entails entirely on healing and preventing ailments on the people she serves.
Brown asserts that in the community, Mama Lola holds the position of a healer, a priest and a religious leader who can mediate between the people and the spirits' mischief. In her early days, her faith in the religious practice is evident when she went back to Haiti to appease the spirits after a series of misfortunes. Mama Lola's explanation of Vodou religion is an encouragement to the poor whom she believes hardly gets true love. The spirits meant to assist a believer according to her are associated with the true love sought by many. She firmly believes that religion through healing is meant to lessen the suffering of people (166).
Mama Lola is an inspiration to many desperate Haiti women and her vision definitely changes and develops time. She has contributed to a large extent in creating awareness about the prejudice, discrimination and marginalization that has incessantly taken place in the practicing of Haitian Vodou. Her rise into a significant position of priesthood in a male dominated society changes the perception and develop time. As Brown observes, Haiti women are discriminated by their men folk. This applies to both women in Haiti and the immigrants in the United States. She observes that, like Mama Lola to become a mambo, a woman has to assume the lwa as a male substitute. The position reserved for women in Haiti is being submissive to their men and always satisfy men's desires. Women are frequently bodily abused, forced to exist in unsafe and tentative surroundings where they are hardly free.In assuming the position of priesthood, Mama Lola marries her main lwa and in this case, Ogoun a spirit offers the sustenance to Mama Lola. By this, she becomes a strong independent woman and leaves the hard life of relating to a man. The supporting spirit is basically unpredictable but in essence dependable, realistic, non-abusive and helpful. Her position as the Mambo offers a source of economical reliance in and this fundamentally liberates the aspect of being a priestess. Brown suggests that these spirits can act positively or negatively depending on how well they are served (Brown 156).
Related Book Review essays