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    Karen McCarthy Brown's "Mama Lola" challenges stereotypes of Vodou by offering an intimate portrait of African-based religion in everyday life. She explores the importance of women's religious practices along with related themes of family and of social change. Weaving several of her own voices - analytic, descriptive and personal - with the voices of her subjects in alternate chapters of traditional ethnography and ethnographic fiction, Brown presents herself as a character in Mama Lola's world and allows the reader to evaluate her interactions there.

    Brown's work is an experiment in ethnography as a social art form rooted in human relationships. A new preface, epilogue, bibliography and a collection of family photographs tell the story of the effect of the book's publication on Mama Lola's life.