This paper is a comparison of Zora Neale Hurston's coverage of Africana religions in Tell My Horse with the writings on African Jamaican folk religion by the American anthropologist and folklorist Martha Warren Beckwith. Like Hurston, Beckwith was a student of Franz Boas. She is also regarded as something of a pioneer in her Jamaican research. However, there were significant differences in the two women's approaches to their fieldwork. Comparing Hurston's and Beckwith's writings demonstrates the variety of interpretations of, and approaches to, African Caribbean folk religions by two Boasian anthropologists in the early twentieth century. As much of the information about African Jamaican folk religions in this period comes from anthropologists and folklorists, an examination of their works in its historical and methodological context is important in understanding how their writings framed and influenced subsequent interpretations of Africana faiths.

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