Voodoo in Haiti is a masterwork of observation and description by one of the most distinguished anthropologists of the twentieth century. Alfred Métraux has written a rich and lasting study of the lives and rituals of the Haitian mambos and adepts, and of the history and origins of their religion. It is an accurate and engaging account of one of the most fascinating and misunderstood cultures in the world."Métraux's book is a landmark in the serious study of Afro-Atlantic religion. The breadth and subtlety of its approach is such that it remains an essential classic of Afro-American ethnology."—Robert Farris Thompson, professor of art history, Yale University, author of Flash of the Spirit"This is a work deserving of wide readership, and assured of it by its understanding and appeal."—Library Journal"This book gives what is surely the most authoritative general account of that complex of belief and practice called vaudou available in the literature....No other observer of vaudou has contributed to its study the exquisite documentation of detail that marks the work of Alfred Métraux."—Sidney W. Mintz, professor of anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
Alfred Métraux (5 November 1902 - 11 April 1963) was a Swiss anthropologist, ethnologist and human rights leader, noted for his pioneering contributions to South American ethnohistory and the examination of African culture in Haiti. Métraux studied with several prominent European anthropologists. He was director of the ethnological institute at the University of Tucumán, Argentina (1928-34), and, following an expedition to Easter Island (1934-35), joined the Bishop Museum, Honolulu. From 1941-45 he was a member of the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and from 1946 to 1962 held posts with the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). For the latter he engaged in studies in the Amazon (1947-48) and Haiti (1949-50).