Sacred Texts  African 


Phases of West India Witchcraft



[1932, Copyright lapsed by non-renewal]

This companion book to Psychic Phenomena of Jamaica goes into much greater depth as to the New World-African connection, and adds more material about Afro-Carribean religion in Haiti. The primary strength of this work is the careful documentation of the history and ethnography of Vodun. Williams includes numerous quotes from rare documents and books on the subject. The weakness is the lack of detailed information about the religious system of Vodun, which we now know to be as complicated (or more so) than any of the major religions. There is scarcely any mention of the loas, the pantheon of Vodun Gods and Goddesses, and he misses the importance of possession during the religious ceremonies. However, all things considered, this is required reading if you want to understand the background of Haitian and Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of imperialism, slavery and racism on its development.--jbh.

Title Page
Table of Contents
Chapter I: African Ophiolatry
Chapter II: Serpent Cult at Whydah
Chapter III: Voodoo in Haiti
Chapter IV: Origin of Obeah
Chapter V: Development of Obeah in Jamaica
Chapter VI: Conclusion