The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum- page 2 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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The Voodoo Museum "is an entry point for people who are curious, who want to see what's behind this stuff," says anthropologist Martha Ward. (Tyrone Turner)

The New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum

Wooden masks, portraits and the occasional human skull mark the collections of this small museum near the French Quarter

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The eighth graders—visiting from a rural Louisiana parish—filed through the rooms, sometimes pausing to consider candles flickering on the altars or to stare into the vacant eye sockets of skulls.

The braver girls hoisted Jolie Vert over their shoulders for pictures. (“My mom’s going to flip!”) Others scuttled for the door.

“Can we go now?” one student asked in a small voice.

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A frequent contributor to Smithsonian, Abigail Tucker is writing a book about the house cat.

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