Monday, April 30, 2012

When the Saints Go Marching In: Final NOLA Post

Cemeteries, cemeteries, glorious cemeteries. New Orleans is filled with them. They are old, creepy, and often decrepit and if you know me at all, you know those are the ones I love the best. Nikki lives across the street from one cemetery, another is just a block away. Of course we visited St. Louis I, as well. Here are some of my favorite photos.

Of course we had to pay our respects to Marie Laveau, the Voodo Queen of New Orleans. My offering was a small piece of my handmade paper with circles painted on it.

One of the places we visited on our final day in the city was the Sculpture Garden, located outside the New Orleans Museum of Art. The five acre garden is located in City Park and contains 57 sculptures! Here's just a few of the many pieces of art we saw.

And that sums up my wonderful, fabulous trip to New Orleans with my good friend Stephanie, visiting our good friend Nikki. Nikki showed us the ins and outs of the city, took us to places a tourist would never see, she graciously shared her secret haunts, and acted as the more extraordinary tour guide. I will eventually post the pages from my NOLA journal, which is still in process. Thanks for coming along.


Dandelion and Daisy said...

Looks like an amazing trip. It is always fascinating to me to see how different the cultures are in our own country!

back.roads said...

What a trip! Loved it!

Joanna said...

I loved all the details you photographed. How 'bout that miniature voodoo coffin? I noticed lots of "XXX" graffiti'd throughout the cemetery -- what does that mark mean?

Dayna Collins said...

I'm not sure what the x's mean, but our guide, Nikki, had us knock on the crypt of Marie Leaveau three times, mark three x's with a piece of brick, spin around three times and finally, place our little offering at the door. Must be a significance, but I'm not sure what it is! A good question.


Jami said...

Very interesting Dayna--I saw the triple x's too... and I had to find out what they meant- here's what I found:
Originally, it appears, it was a form of signature. People come to Marie Laveau's tomb to petition (knock at her tomb) her to do favors for them just the same as did (knocking) at her house on St. Ann Street when she was alive. In death, they believe her spirit is as powerful as she was in life. When she died in 1881 most everyday people did not know how to read or write and usually signed their name with an "X." The reason they signed the tomb was to be sure Marie Laveau understood who it was that was asking for the favor. In time, when most people now could sign their name, they shied away from doing so. First, because they did not want everyone else to know what they doing. And second, because the family of Marie Laveau does not like people marking on the tomb. As a result they began to stylize the triple "xxx" moniker that one sees today. (Incidentally, since 2005, it has been illegal to mark on Marie Laveau's, or any other, tomb in New Orleans.) Also, once a year, on All Saints Day, the Monette family, whose tomb is just across from Marie Laveau's, repaints the entire tomb white.)
A tradition among tour guides, which is mostly folklore and their own concoction, is that you should mark three x's, place your hand over the x's, and make three turns, or some other physical ritual, either for good luck, or to make your wish come true. This is just entertainment and superstition.