After Katrina went many of the practitioners of voodoo, a faith with its origins in the merging of West African belief systems and Catholicism. Locals claim that the voodoo community was 2,500 to 3,000 people strong before Katrina, but after that number was reduced to around 300.
Prior to the storm, celebrations and ceremonies were race segregated and those who adhered to Haitian- and New Orleans-style voodoo kept their distance. After the storm, with their numbers decimated, they could no longer sustain the in-groups and out-groups they once had. Voodoo practitioners forged bonds across prior divides.