“The next night Mama Gentille let me join the big kids when they dance with her ‘round the fire.
She call it religion, say she call down spirits that make you feel so good, like you been lifted up to heaven. The kids say Mama a priestess. That how she keep us safe from hunters and trouble from the tribes. I don’t know what it all means, but if it mean I can get away from the gentleman and his needles, I do it (Smith pg. 97).”
In this passage Fen describes Mama Gentille and what the children think of her. From the passage it seems that the younger children believe that she is some kind of religious leader, who uses her powers to protect them from the evils of the outside world, however the reality is much more sinister. From Fen’s story you can see that Mama is effectively the Madam of a brothel that allows for the forceful taking of blood and features children as an additional “attraction”.
According to the children, the group is not bothered by blood hunters or tribesmen. They attribute this to Mama’s spiritual powers, but in reality it is more likely that those who would bother them are simply willing to become customers rather than actually raid Mama’s establishment. For anyone who actually wanted to take blood Mama offers “fresh” victims that have not had blood taken yet, a specific blood type, and she will even provide a space for her customers to do with as they please. So it would seem that a customer would get a better “experience” than a thief.
Mama Gentille is a rather interesting character in that her brothel is not just a brothel, but also a cult. The members of her group that we see speak about her reverently, almost like one might speak of a prophet. They say she takes care of them and protects them and in return they do the same for her. This coupled with the belief that she has spiritual abilities makes for an image that closely mirrors that of a fanatical religious cult. Except in the case of Mama Gentille she isn’t after the money of the member of her “congregation” but their blood and bodies which she is perfectly willing to sell and exploit for her own gain.