Foreign News: Grand Zombie

Alioune Mamadou Kane came to Paris from his native Senegal in the early '30s. A spear-tall (6 ft. 8 in.), mission-trained blackamoor, he made a living by driving a taxi and hawking West African gewgaws. Then, at the 1937 Paris International Exposition, he performed as a fakir. It became a habit.

He decked himself in flowing blue robes, green-&-gold skullcap, ram's-horn necklace and a resounding title: Batoula, the Great Marabout and Prince of Zombie. As prince of an African voodoo cult, he spoke flamboyantly of 2,000,000 followers. In 1939 he made a trip to New York. Harlem gave him a lavish reception,...