There is a great little shop, hidden amongst the side streets in the French Quarter, called Voodoo Authentica. In this shop you will find the real deal when it comes to voodoo, not the cheap Hollywood-esk paraphernalia I saw elsewhere; my favourites were the Haitian handcrafts and Yamaya dolls. The people running the ship are genuinely nice and interested in who is coming into the store. On my last day in town I popped in and had a really long chat with the proprietor.
My first introduction to Voodoo Authentica came as a pre-planned dance and drum performance at the hotel. Upon arrival we were given a little voodoo doll and a drink. I sat in the front with a collective of people from all over the U.S.
Once everyone was seated, drink in hand, the drummers came out to warm up the crowd. The drummers were awesome and I recognized African beats right away. The African theme was further accentuated when the dancers arrived (two women) and took control of the room with their African dance moves. I haven’t done / seen enough African dance to know the stories these women were telling, but I know good dancing when I see it. When they turned to the audience for participation I was itching to join and show “my moves.”
After the arrival of a very large snake, a voodoo priest put rose water on my hands (and everyone else’s) and blessed everyone. As part of the participation we finally got to do a Congo line with the Canadians in the crowd being the loudest in the group, just ahead of Texans.