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I cavalieri divini del vudù

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  451 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Includes photographs and drawings. Foreword by Joseph Campbell This is the classic, intimate study, movingly written with the special insight of direct encounter, which was first published in 1953 by the fledgling Thames & Hudson firm in a series edited by Joseph Campbell. Maya Deren's Divine Horsemen is recognized throughout the world as a primary source book on the c ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Il Saggiatore (first published 1953)
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Jun 10, 2010 aya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in sociology and/or religion, Haiti, Voudoun
Even if this were just a straightforward overview of Haitian Voudoun, it would be amazing. Maya Deren obviously did a vast amount of research to accompany her "fieldwork" in Haiti, which included becoming an accepted member of a Haitian village. She knows what she's talking about.
In addition to this are her incredibly intelligent observations of how Voudoun shapes each Haitian village, the differences between "primitive" and "modern" religions and how that changes its society and vice versa. De
Oct 04, 2012 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seems like a book to re-read several times before it's truly absorbed. Deren's astonishingly passionate openness to difference, in people and belief systems, coupled with no small measure of ego, produced this fascinating (1953) ethnographic account of her travels to Haiti, and her immersion in Voudoun spiritual practices. 60 years after its initial publication, this remains one of the best ethnographies of Haitian spiritual practices.

I'm an atheist with a deep fascination for the way peopl
Apr 06, 2007 Alexandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, sensitive ethnography of Haitian VouDoun gods and practices by Maya Deren, an experimental filmmaker of the 1940's and 1950's. Deren's fresh, intellectual yet non-academic treatment of VouDoun has kept me up past my bedtime all week reading about the loa, possession by gods, magic, zombies and the synthesis of African and West Indian religious beliefs and practices into modern day Hatian VouDoun. Excellent reading!!!
Oct 10, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than sixty years after its initial publication, Deren's study of Haitian Voudoun remains a justifiable classic of ethnographic methodology. With unwavering respect for the reality of the religion's assertions for its practitioners, she skillfully demystifies the rituals and meanings of Voudoun - a task which, sadly, remains as necessary today as it was in 1953. Her artistically inflected recollection of personal observation and participatory experience, informed by then-current anthropologi ...more
Jul 27, 2012 Palma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very well written. I enjoyed the documentary based on the book,too. I found it to be a bit too academic and a bit boring in some parts. I am struggling to finish the last few chapter as it started out good but not as good towards to the end. Don't know if I'll bother.
Derek Fenner
Apr 21, 2011 Derek Fenner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I now realize that Deren is in my lineage---possession poetics. Coupling this book with her films made for the the complete transformation between performance, ritual, and art. This book will have me focusing for some time on what it means to be in public space performing my work(s)/world(s).
Iso Cambia
Mar 07, 2011 Iso Cambia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ethnomusicologists
I've been researching cultural considerations one would take with a Haitian client in a music therapy setting, and this is a wonderful resource for Voudou concepts. Haven't read it all... but enough to get some learnin' started.
Aug 18, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: musicians, dancers, spiritualists
Recommended to Eric by: the holographic universe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matra Muschietti
This book truly is a gem; I've spent quite some time re-reading it as my thesis was largely based on "Divine Horsemen", the unfinished documentary Deren devolved half of her entire life to (her efforts only found some sort of public concretization with this book, mainly thanks to J. Campbell's interest and guidance). Anyway, this book gives a real insight to a previously little known world, and it does so from an extremely peculiar point of view, as Deren became initiated to Vodun mysteries in H ...more
Jan 20, 2009 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: haiti
Dense, thoughtful, and thoroughly-researched, Maya Deren's 1953 exploration of Vodou remains one of the definitive texts on the subject. The book describes the African and American roots of a religion that is often dismissed as sensationalist "magic." It attempts to explain the complex ways that Vodou affects the Haitian worldview, describes how Vodou emerged and coalesced, and explores the ways that Haitians practice Vodou in the mid-20th century.

A pioneer of American avant-garde cinema, Deren
S Suzanne
This amazing classic is probably one of the best and certainly most respectful writings about Haitian Voudoun ever written.

Maya Deren was a renaissance woman, the grandmother of independent film (look up her short works on YouTube - she is amazingly influential to this day)
she was also an intellectual and film theorist.

While she was in Haiti filming the dances, she became embroiled and converted. She is cerebral, but subjective in her writing, speaking to what moves her about this religion. Der
Jul 03, 2013 Eyre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For years I only knew of Maya Deren as a dancer-filmmaker so I was surprised when I came across this book in a Haitian-owned Voodoo/Yoruba store in Brooklyn. It was the only book they sold which had been authored by a Westerner, so I assume that Deren's initiation into Voodoun was at least partially authentic; her accounts are definitely thorough. Not a sensational text at all--in fact, the opposite, very technical. The intro by Joseph Campbell is a good read too. As an artist, it is interesting ...more
Jody Mena
Amazing, in depth look at the culture, belief and practice of Haitian Voudou, unique in that it comes from the perspective of an artist rather than a scientist; Maya Deren's words are not clinical as she describes what she witnessed and experienced, but designed as only an artist can to stimulate the emotions and imagination. What a beautiful book, it's one of my new favorites! I couldn't put it down!
Apr 23, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look at Haitian Vodou beliefs. This book not only details the major lwa (spirits) and the structure of worship, but also attempts to explain the roots of Vodou belief and how Vodou continues to inform/shape Haitian culture. Definitely worth a read if you enjoy learning about religions and/or Haiti.
Oct 06, 2011 Francesca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After seeing Jo Ann Kaplan's wonderful documentary 'Invocation: Maya Deren' at the BFI last night, I was reminded of this beautifully-written & fascinating book. I read about a third of it when writing a dissertation on Deren and had to stop myself in order to carry on with my other research - it was that gripping.
Jan 06, 2008 Cat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for an intro to voodoo.
Recommended to Cat by: no one.
Shelves: truecrime
Who knew voodoo could be so incredibly boring? Maybe it's Deren's writing style, which approximates that of an insecure graduate student- i found myself skipping entire pages of hemming and hawing. It is a good introduction to the subject.
Jan 09, 2011 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Part of my issue with this book is that it did not teach me about CNF, and we were all crabby about it in class. It reads like a dictionary of voodoo tradition, which is interesting but the style and tone of the book is DULL!
Dec 01, 2015 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Absolutely one of the first sources to which I would direct people if they wanted to know more about Vodou. Deren's book is an excellent and detailed ethnography, and is really a must-read for any Vodouisant.
Mary Landis
This is definitely more of an academically written book so it's pretty dry. There's lots of good information but also a little dated. Things in Haiti have changed dramatically since this was written, especially due to the earthquake.
Mar 30, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An entryway for those coming from Western belief structures to understand Haitian Voudoun. Full of drawings, pictures and charts that were helpful for me to gain access to Deren's philosophy-heavy writing.
Dec 31, 2012 Lynette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful anthropological insight into voodoo in Haiti. Fascinating material from a classic text. Well worth reading if you are interested.
Jan 21, 2009 Sam marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I've been meaning to read this for awhile. I'm curious about her writing, and on such a fascinating subject.
Travis Shores
Sep 22, 2012 Travis Shores rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most comprehensive look at Haitian Vodou currently available. A must have for anyone interested in Vodou.
Jun 06, 2011 Marie-Eve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histoire
One of the bases of my Master's degree memoir.

Incredible book, especially if you have also seen the movie Divine Horsemen by Maya Deren.
Christian Curry
Christian Curry rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2013
Alicia rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2013
Kim Wells
Kim Wells rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2009
Joe Costa
Joe Costa rated it really liked it
Jun 04, 2013
Kristianl rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2013
Reñay rated it liked it
Oct 18, 2012
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"Maya Deren (April 29, 1917, Kiev – October 13, 1961, New York City), born Eleanora Derenkowsky, was an American avant-garde filmmaker and film theorist of the 1940s and 1950s. Deren was also a choreographer, dancer, poet, writer and photographer."

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