Spirit World. Photographs and Journal.

Pattern in the Expressive Folk Culture of African-American New Orleans.

Photographs and text by Michael P. Smith.
Pelican, Gretna, LA, 1992. 120 pp., numerous color and black-and-white photographs,, 8½x11".

"In a world where people focus on finished products and projects, Smith has chosen to live for the people and communities he photographs. This book and exhibit are the paint, bricks and mortar in the promotion and protection of the living culture [of black New Orleans]." From wild Mardi Gras street dancing, to down home fish fries and gospel jam sessions, to healing services at a Spiritual Church, Smith's images become symbols for his subjects, for the black communities of New Orleans and "the depth, diversity and beauty of their cultural traditions. . . . By giving glimpses into and out from the Spirit World of black New Orleans, Michael Smith, as photographer and ethnographer, gives us all hope for seeing a future [for the folk] traditions all around us."--Nicholas Spitzer, Louisiana Folklife Program.

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