There are few people who have influenced the modern day perception of New Orleans Voodoo and related diasporic traditions as author and playwright Chief Luisah Teish. Ask any woman who has expressed an interest in New Orleans spirituality and they will likely say that the book Jambalaya: The Natural Womans Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals is among the first, if not the first book they ever read on the subject. Invariably, the words contained therein speak to the woman's spirit, perhaps in a way we had not seen until that book was published in 1988.
Luisah Teish was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a priestess of Oshun in the Yoruba Lucumi tradition, and teaches classes on African goddesses, shamanism, and the Tambala tradition. In these three videos, we hear her speak about the core aspects of these traditions, what it was like to grow up in New Orleans subject to the "whispers" and during a time of segregation and discrimination. She shares the effect her experiences has had on her spiritual development and on the woman she is today.