Charlotte, Mademoiselle

Mademoiselle Charlotte : In Haitian voodoo, a loa (deified spirit of the dead) who manifests all the traits of a white European when she mounts or takes possession of a person during voodoo ritual. Thus, when she mounts a black Haitian girl, the girl will then speak eloquent European French. The goddess loves to be shown all the respect due her office and will work only for someone she takes a liking to. Another loa of European background in Haitian voodoo is Dinclinsin, who is believed to have come to Haiti with Mademoiselle Charlotte. Dinclinsin, however, is greatly feared because of his extreme severity.

Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow – Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante

Charlotte, Mademoiselle

Also known as: Mamzelle Charlotte; Maitresse Charlotte

Origin: Haiti

Classification: Lwa

Mademoiselle Charlotte is a lwa of European origin. She speaks only French, not Kreyol. Those whom she ritually possesses may discover themselves suddenly fluent in the most stylish French even if normally they can’t speak a word. (Please see the Glossary entry on Possession for further information.)

To some extent, Mademoiselle Charlotte epitomizes a stereotypical rich, upscale white woman—and not her best traits, either. She’s fussy; impatient; a stickler for etiquette and what she considers appropriate behavior. She adores fine manners and Paris style and visibly turns up her nose at what she considers uncouth.

Mademoiselle Charlotte rarely manifests during ceremonials, perhaps because she’s a snob; perhaps because she’s aware she’s not loved nor entirely welcome. She’s a capricious lwa; somewhat lazy; not overly hardworking even on behalf of those she favors. Mademoiselle Charlotte’s assistance must be coaxed out of her. If and when she gives it, she can be very effective and helpful, but Mademoiselle Charlotte will only help those who appeal to her and only for as long as they appeal to her. Did we mention that her attention span is limited?

She is served in similar fashion to Ezili Freda Dahomey. If you are very chic or stylish, she may desire you as a pet, the equivalent of a human poodle. If you are persuasive and persistent, she may even do some large favors for you.

Colors: Pink, cream

Offerings: French cosmetics; French perfume; elegant and expensive French scarves; delicate, refined, expensive foods, preferably French; sweet soft drinks; pink champagne; aperitifs; rum liqueurs; cream-colored beverages; cream-filled pastries; French or luxury cigarettes; serve all beverages, whatever they are, in a champagne flute; offer food on fine china.

See also:

From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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