The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic by Davis, Wade - 1985

The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic by Davis, Wade - 1985

45.00

The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist's Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic by Davis, Wade

1985 Hardcover

A scientific investigation and personal adventure story about zombies and the voudoun culture of Haiti by a Harvard scientist.
The book presents the case of Clairvius Narcisse, a man who had been a zombie for two years, as showing that the zombification process was more likely the result of a complex interaction of tetrodotoxin, a powerful hallucinogenic plant called Datura, and cultural forces and beliefs.

According to the book, the assortment of ingredients in Haitian zombie powder include puffer fish, matter from a corpse (specifically to Davis' adventure in Haiti, the bokor, a Haitian shaman, crushed the skull of a deceased infant that had been dead for a month or two, and added it to the poison), freshly killed blue lizards, a large dried toad (Bufo marinus) with a dried sea worm wrapped around it (prepared beforehand), "tcha-tcha" (Albizzia), and "itching pea" (pois grater, a species of Mucuna).

In April 1982, ethnobotanist Wade Davis arrived in Haiti to investigate two documented cases of zombies—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.

sold out
Add to Cart