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Zombi: A New Anthropological Hypothesis Concerning the Greatest Mystery of Haitian Vodou Christopher Kovats-Bernat, Ph.D., J... Expedition Haiti, 5 Feb 2017. Experiment
This research will be conducted in and around several regions throughout the Haitian interior, focusing specifically on the areas of Soukri in the Artibonite and Leogane in the penninsular south. Using the soundest of ethnographic methods, including participant-observation and semi-structured, open-ended interviews with practitioners and bush priests involved in the zombi rites
All documentary and ethnographic data will afterward be translated, transcribed, and analyzed. Meaningful patterns, key events, and other significant information about the rites and beliefs surrounding zombificasyon will be drafted into a narrative case study, forming the basis of two planned research papers to be delivered at a professional academic conference to be determined, and an article to be published in the American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of anthropology in the US. Data collected will also provide the basis for at least one if not two lengthy chapters in my forthcoming second book concerning Vodou and black magic in Haiti.
Risks are limited. I have 23 years of field experience working in Haiti, and no physical human experimentation will be taking place. I will follow all customary protocols for the anonymity, confidentiality, security, and encryption of all field data.
The data collected as a result of this expedition will be used in conjunction with the 2015/2016 National Geographic Society Expeditions data to form a meta-analysis of all documentary, interview, and observational information. Photographic and written documentation of every aspect of the research will be transcribed and formed into a narrative summary report of the research findings, available to all contributors to the expedition.
This project has not yet shared any protocols.