The most famous of the Voodou Queens, Marie Catherine Laveau was born on September 10, 1801 in New Orleans. A creole woman + a free person of color, her social standing allowed her to move with ease around social circles in the city. She worked as a hair dresser + a liquor importer while amassing a network of associates + gaining quite the reputation for her true calling as an advisor + a femme traiteur, or faith healer.
Many of New Orleans high society sought her intercession + advice: captains who would not sail their ships without her blessing, lawyers + businessmen who would not make deals without her approval. Those jealous of her influence claimed her success could only be attributed to Voodou. She encouraged this point of view as a safeguard against those who may have meant her harm. The threat of ominous power kept them at bay.
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