The Word Zombie

2419 WordsDec 14, 201610 Pages
The meaning of the word zombie has shifted in public perception rather drastically a number of times over the last fifty years largely as a result of their rise in popularity in the zeitgeist. What we think of as zombies today are largely myth of course, but there is a grain of truth. It dates back to the 8th century, (possibly earlier according to some speculation in fact) the word 'zombie ' is said to have come from nzambi, which in Kongo means 'spirit of a dead person ', or zonbi, used in the Louisiana or Haitian Creole that represents a person who died and was then brought to life without speech or free will. For the purposes of this paper I’ll be tracing the Haitian route. (Zombies: A Living History) As it is told by Haitian folklore the Bokors, Voodoo (the actual pronunciation is closer to vodoun) priests that concentrated on the study and application of black magic, possessed the ability to resurrect the deceased and control them as they will. This of course was a special kind of nightmare for slaves in this country for it meant that not even death could release them from their enslavement, they were trapped. We can see this postulated here in Amy Wilentz’ article "Suicide was the slave 's only way to take control over his or her own body ... And yet, the fear of becoming a zombie might stop them from doing so ... This final rest — in green, leafy, heavenly Africa, with no sugarcane to cut and no master to appease or serve — is unavailable to the zombie. To

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