Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti by Maya Deren is one of my favorite books of all-time. Here’s why: First of all, Maya Deren was an artist, in the true sense of the word. She wasn’t an anthropologist, and her original intention when traveling to Haiti was to make a film centered around Haitian dance.
Her experiences and perspective as an artist translate beautifully into her writing, and this book is an extremely moving and visceral account of Haitian life and Voudon practices in the early 1950’s. Despite not being an anthropologist by trade, her fieldwork, research, and writing style put many professional anthropologists to shame.
Basically, I can’t recommend this book enough.