Meals and drinks at the Voodoo practice are of such importance that without them, really, no cult.
Each Lwa is distinguished not only by their character traits and their performances, but also by their tastes and preferences: Ercilia is inextricably linked to the pair of white doves and fish fried in oil, sweet and to the fine, the merengue and the liquid. Ogun Almost all are related to excessive intake of alcohol and the luas hell, with the sacrifice of boars sure sign of bestial power.
The saints "eat" like men, are fed with blood and other parts offerings of animals and other food delivered to them in ceremonies known, most significantly, with the name of many-lua.
The offerings are the embodiment of the contractual relationship between divinity and his horse: this is the offer in payment for the services received, well-being achieved and, in short, the work done by the latter in a period.
Also, expecting good results as a result of future performance. Where Lwa do not get what was offered in return for his work, takes revenge on his "son" in various ways. So the balance in the relationship server / lua is achieved by complying with the "sacrifices" agreed between them.
The offering, in effect, is a clear indicator of this relationship. If a Lwa rejects a food, is an indication that something has been wrong and that divinity is upset. All should be available in a rigorous manner many of the adverse reactions will occur as targeted. When no Ercilia takes possession of your horse is because it expresses the rejection and then must repetírsele the ceremony, usually the following year.
There are many taboos in food animals of the saints, among them include duck, turkey and turtle, among others. The most frequent are the goat, pork and poultry as the rooster, the hen and pigeon.
Cigarettes only offered up to them Ercilia, while most luas tobacco smoke, especially family members of the Ogun. Finally, both water and coffee are usually placed on the altar in the number of two containers, usually gets in a bitter coffee and regular coffee in the other, and proceed in the same way with water.
The members of this family are characterized by their martial bearing because they choose as a place of residence the forest. There are seventeen Ogun and dress and eat all the same. In general, when they act of possession on a horse, "serene arrive, they are friendly and like to talk." Unless there are serious problems, not using violence free.
Along with the luas LBO, drink the blood directly from the wound of animal sacrifices to them. They like drinking and snuff. However, there are members of this group to break with the character traits provided. Let's see in detail the embodiment of the most relevant:
OGUN DEL MONTE
He wears a red shirt, though there were no grounds in black, and navy blue pants. His attributes are a machete and a bottle of rum, his favorite drink. Animals that are sacrificed to him the goat and chicken red. In his many Lwa cover all kinds of dishes. The symbolic colors are red and black, in Cuba, are purple and green and Beli Bells carrying a green dress trimmed in red.
This is the husband of Ercilia, dresses like she is, entirely in white, and not drink alcohol, rejected by the saint. This last feature is only Ogun Blanco, in Haiti. This holy voodoo involved in the poured-lua dedicated to Ercilia, where he eats the same food as her. It states that is none other than Ogun Guerrero and is represented with a sword in one hand and a plate cap.
He is represented by the popular chromolithograph of St. James or St. James the Major, with a red cap on his head and a sword in his hand. Said to be the real couple Ercilio, so it falls to be identified with St. James the Greater.
It is a holy water, as its name implies. The distinctive element is the fresh water. When your horse takes possession of the first thing required is a glass of liquid. Like Ogun Balendjó must throw it over a lot of water, no matter who is soaked. His introduction does not necessarily have to be a river, but it should be used as garments, stones of it are baptized in the name of the deity to make it recognize that you will not live in water, but will move to another place residence. These stones are placed on a plate that is immersed in the stream.
It differs from the rest of the Ogun for his qualities kleptomaniac. Steals to share what
removed with his brothers.
Mount is Ogun
He is considered the master of the forest and as such, should be asked permission to perform any action on it. As criminel and Togo, is part of the Luas to the class that we should give her many lua in "the center of Guinea", ie deep in the forest. It is distinguished by its sullen and morose: to eat "does not look at anyone." "It's wrong seven times," which places "like the two above-saints in the group of loas devils. Its resolving power is exceptional: it does not solve it, very few saints Io can be resolved. Closely related in Haiti to the therapeutic activity of witchcraft, as the preparation of the magic powder working with the hunganes, and cures. As makes its appearance "catch pole", ie you need to contact with vegetation, in particular with the branches of trees which hung to great effect: this is known as the "lord of the forks" . While moving, noisy. He is offering a buck or boar, which must enterrársele in a hole dug under the tree where it lives.
The symbolic color is red criminel: symbol also their taste for violence. Indeed, true to its name, has a predilection for the bloodshed. Has a reputation for relentless drinker, smokes a lot and often wields a machete, with which he makes spectacular games. Size of a man has decided and sharp and, in doing an act of possession, the pant legs up to the knees. He lives in the trees, which he feels a special attraction.
Its massive powers can take you to wallow in the heat of a fire or to introduce it to another person without the latter suffers injury. When angry, you can add brandy and hot (kimanga), spicy rub or assault in the face with it to third parties.
It is known as the "butcher" for his predilection and use of bladed weapons par excellence-knife and machete. The possession of a horse, does so with uncommon strength and loud noises. It is alleged that displays such force that would break a string, if you tie with it. It is requested at the time of animal sacrifice, by the great skill and precision displayed in the act. Extreme care must be taken when Togo is participating in the bloody executions, because very often plunges the weapon in his abdomen.
Its symbolic colors are red and black.
Despite that claim it is Cemiché son, who lives in the cemetery, for their traits and personal attributes is considered another member of the family of Ogun. Perhaps the name is a derivation of Ogun saint or saint Jean Michel Archangel, who is presented in a ceremony and is given an egg or a cup of water to calm. His many lua has no fixed date in the liturgical calendar as the other Luas. He put together a little table in the ground at the foot of the center post of the arbor or tonnelle. Is covered with leaves on them jobo and are placed on foods (candy, liquor, etc.) The first day took place the ceremony in which he sacrificed a pig Zombi and chicken the next, sacrificing himself a part of Sencha Zombi goats and the other in a kind of second part of the same party.
He wears a bright blue pants and red shirt with a piece of plywood with these two colors, like those of a general. He also wears blue and red epaulettes. It is distinguished by the glow that radiates her wardrobe. The possession of someone, "gets formal talks well, but seem a little sad, because he says that the best gifts were given to his companion of action: Yudon.
O YODÓN Yudon
It is a "holy [voodoo] of work" does not work, but its main function is to guide the other saints. When present, asked what work others are doing and gives indications luas. He is considered the leader of the saints of work or power. The "reach" a party can be consulted and can be offered gifts.
His many is a huge tortilla with 21 eggs, white rice, sweet liqueur, red wine or dry but sweet. He sacrificed also a pair of white doves alone. Lives in water, their clothes have to have them submerged in a jar with water. Between them stands a white collar.
It is a holy white. Some say that is the brother of Sencha: both eat the same dish and many participate in it, that is, share the aforementioned tortilla. The two are general. Yodón Sencha differs from that "comes" very cheerful.
Her dress is entirely white. Porta a service cap, with its "crown" above. Upon
step, much perfume spills.
Sign a "pass" before the party and used a pencil to make two-color (blue and red). Then wet your fingers in a cap and acts as if stamped with a stamp with them. Then make a cross and this paper is as evidence that he has passed to authorize the ceremony.
In that case you need to build a house (known in Haiti caye-Mystere (cai-Mist) intended exclusively for the Luas, separated from his dwelling house. For different materials used clothing. In rural areas the most common is that this church, usually small, have palm board walls or used palm fronds and thatched roof, that is, is a hut. In the existing voodoo cult centers in urban areas, these "houses of the mysteries" or luas are constructed with a greater variety of materials, ranging from tables and walls to ceiling masonry or concrete zinc.
It is commonly found in dwelling houses of Haitians and their descendants small altars built in an inconspicuous place in a bedroom, and in these immigrants, usually placed images of Catholic saints, bushes and other objects own voodoo. On the floor of that room when it comes from a pastor could be also seen on a carpet or burlap sack on the soil surface objects such as spools of thread, coins, etc.., And perhaps a table with other ritual objects.
Like most of the components of non-traditional religions African base, the structure of Voodoo worship centers may simply be a separate hut, cottage attached to the main dwelling house of Hung or room within it. However, this structure may be more complex. Let's see how space is distributed and which ends in the latter case:
1. A first independent space in the room where the altar is placed and is intended to serve as a pantry or store food, beverages, candles, etc.., Used in the ceremony.
2. Bedroom of the head of the pantry, in charge of managing and providing the basis
material on the occasion of the completion of many-lua.
3. Small room with access gate, usually closed, which serves as
threshold of the room where the altar is installed.
4. It follows the earlier a second piece with another access door, which officiates at the Hunger and which is set on altar. This consists of a wooden table on which are placed or foundation stones that holds the luas priest, some containers and attributes of the mysteries and other ritual objects. On one side of the first, there may be another smaller altar whose constituents complain or santeras spiritualist beliefs of their owners. The second altar is more widespread among people of Haitian descent, and belongs to them or their wives. The space in this room can support even a place where offerings are deposited and a place where the orchestra and chorus during the festive celebrations.
On the altars there is a plate with water or alcohol or where they stay submerged the rocks representing the Voodoo gods. The liquid in the container shall be renewed every so often. By the way, an officiant told us that his dad brought Voodoo Haiti a small stone swallowed while ate rum after a certain time to have her in the stomach, the "return" to the outside, or the vomiting. Now our informant keeps on her altar in a container filled with rum and this vessel ever noting that its content is volatilized. We should not leave the bottle on the altar with the known tifei.
To illustrate, describe key elements in a Voodoo altar visited in the course of a many-lua held in the Haitian-Cuban community of Cauto Pilon, located in the firm of the Sierra Maestra, and belongs to the municipality Palma Soriano.
The altar is at the heart of hunfó and appreciate it the following objects: flags on top of red, white and black, in descending order, hanging chains and several little squirt, or small glass vials containing perfume and think other substances, a giant bottle of Pepsi-Cola old family which is called by the ritual drink containing butei-Gasinan, several candles, machetes and knives arranged according to their ritual order and the earthen floor, a plate Chinese stone submerged in river water. Also on the land at the foot of the altar, various sources have placed fresh food (meat goat, cooked white and yellow yam, sweet variety of flour that are normally sold at public commercial establishments). Finally, we appreciate chromolithograph of various saints, like St. Barbara, the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre and St. Lazarus.
Stuck on the same wall, and near the altar Voodoo, there is a very small altar, with other bulk Image chromolithographs among which include the San Lazaro and Santa Barbara. One informant testified to us that the latter belonged to the wife altar "owner of the party", ie, the Hunger, which is Cuban.
When we entered the sacred enclosure, the priest was sitting on a stool located in one of the extreme front of the altar. On earth, right at the foot of it, had a iron pot whose contents could not see through the darkness also had a hole about thirty or forty centimeters in diameter. Facing the altar and in the corners that make the walls of the room, dug two large holes in their offerings receiving a devil Lwa (IBO-the-family) and another member of their group. As a sign of joy we were welcomed with the greeting ritual: first gave us the right hand and then left. This same mood is embodied in a toast with a beverage-the tifei ritual, "though they invited us to drink rum, if desired. Someone told us that sometimes there are offers of fragrant wood chips as a token of friendship
The dwelling house and the house of mysteries, the last independent or attached to the first, are constructed to be ample space through which to communicate organically integrate as if the same set. In this space stands a chance Housing in
the realization of many-lua compliments or ceremonies dedicated to the Luas. As
Of course, there are variations in the way of lifting or
available, but even in the Voodoo cult centers located in urban areas, this is the place where it develops the essence of public worship of voodoo: the touch and invocations designed to call the "saints", dances and most ritual slaughter.
Not necessarily the arbor or peristyle has to remain attached to hounfó or developed in it all the voodoo ceremonies. Yes it is very close, but generally more attached to the main dwelling house. It is a rectangular space roofed with coconut fronds or palm completely open on all sides. As we have been able to verify, no specific measures are used in it nor is there a fixed number of rows of poles to support the roof or the finest clubs that intersect to form it.
It is invariably in the center of the arbor to lift the center pole, "the path of the spirits", and as such, eminently sacred object. Around him, on earth, are drawn veves, drawings symbolizing the Luas and used to invoke them. According to the beliefs of Voodoo, it is through this stick down the luas to hold their horses in the course of worship that are invoked through song and drumbeats.
At its upper side the glass prepared in the rite of "tie of the four roads" and a little further down the flags with the symbolic colors of the deities whose presence is requested and, sometimes, they identify tissues . They also tend to lie to him the musical instruments of a certain battery-bay or Petra, the container with the materials used to trace the veves, burned pots or cups with pennies with other ingredients, all of these, objects used in worship. Above the drawing symbolic path around its base lay the animals are slaughtered in ceremonies, as part of the offerings for the loas, or spirits.
Twins (Marassa), living and dead, are invested with a supernatural power that makes them exceptional beings. In the voodoo pantheon, a special place reserved for them next to the great mysteries.
Some people claim that the Marassa are more powerful than the Luas. They are invoked and greeted the start of a ceremony, then in certain regions, notably in Léogane, the presidency.
In the service voodoo near Plaisance, it is found that in the sense that the same ceremony are invoked separately to the Luas, the dead, the Marassa and God. In it, after the preparations of many and the route of the Veve, the officials turn their attention to the Twins.
In the north of Haiti there is no separate worship "the dead" and for the Twins, whom at any ceremony they can be ignored. "Since both [types of dead] and aim to protect family members, in correspondence with the treatment they receive, is now essential that they be given in his honor made nightly parties, funeral rites, many touches, Catholic Mass and voodoo ceremonies. "
However, the Twins are highly revered in life.
For the purpose of notice to matching points and differences between Haitian voodoo and currently practiced in Cuba, we need to stop at the ceremony. In it, participants put on their clothes rituals, trace the veve and sing this song:
Make veve for me, please.
The family that takes blood,
Can not you see that they are innocent?
The priest is directed to prepare food for the Twins, it takes two or three baskets covered in white cloth and mixing raw corn, roasted peanuts, baked or fried bananas, yam, salt herring, bread, jam, eggplant, cereals, millet, coconut , beans, water cress, all types of liquor and coffee. When everything is ready, he begins to sing:
The family reunited!
Dossú, Dossa, Twins-Marassa
If you think you've already eaten
The misery down on you!
The priest invited the Twins to attend the ceremony and sang another song in his honor:
Twins, here is food and drink
Dossú, Dossa, Twins-Marassa
My life is in God's hands.
A third song to the Twins is provided before introducing the many:
Where you are eating.
As the drummers play a rhythm, the officiant of the food places dedicated to the Twins in a bowl of pumpkin. The offering is deposited in trees, water currents, the crossroads and in all places known to them.
After the official, begging them to withdraw and leave the family alone:
Go away, Twins
Twins of the forest, the forest again!
Go away, Twins
Twin water back into the water!
Go away, Twins
Twins home, stay home!
Go away, Twins
Twins of the crossroads,
Stay on the entries!
About seven o'clock, the houngan embodies the above-mentioned places, supernatural entities like to visit, do it with sprays of orange leaves dipped in holy water. Then it launches libations and corn in the wind. All this is happening to the beat of drums and recesses only to direct the priest to present a brief dirge of Protestantism. Now he rings the bell and immediately his assistants beat play other instruments and ceremonial flags, which is the greeting to the saints voodoo. Followed by songs, some Catholic obvious bias, and touches, until the ceremony gives way to the invocation of Legba, the god much revered by his age and character and should be the first to go there.
Another very different kind of celebration the previous one, is as follows: the family has twins, living or dead, should provide a many-Marassa once a year, Epiphany, Easter Saturday or Christmas. Sacrifice is the usual, with the only singularity of the peristyle below the number of dishes from the Twins can easily become fifty. Here are deposited the blood of the victims and offerings of food. They are slaughtered at the Mass Marassa or a goat hair and chicken brown paint. The distribution must be very delicious dinner, because if committed some slip on it, raise the anger of some members of the flock as susceptible. Some eat on a plate. Others prefer the food resting on a banana leaf or on a mat. "They can not bear the sight of knives, forks or spoons."
The Twins meal ends with the same ritual with which he sometimes closes the festival for the dead. The remains of the offerings are mixed in a large calabash or wooden pot. A hounsi gives three laps to the peristyle. The vessel that carries on his head and after having asked if they were happy, he leaves his gluttony. They are cast on this pittance as the crow flies, and dispute the content. Are told, however, break bones with his teeth.
If food is prepared to live twins, they are naturally the first to eat and only when they are satiated, the remains are offered to the guests cheering them and never cease to ask whether they are satisfied.
For the many-mass always begins with a ceremony of compliance for the dead, especially dedicated to the spirit of some deceased family. It follows the format of a spiritualist church, with the difference that the prayers are performed in Creole and are not always the same. But some foods do not mix.
Haitian twins hate each other, like those called Gemini in the zodiac, symbolized by-two pieces of wood tied together, "is figurative of the irreducible conflict of contradictory mental processes." They are also endowed with supernatural powers or exceptional: they provide numerous examples of his ability to perform spells and incantations. In Cuba, the Orishas of Yoruba origin known as the Ibeji, and more popularly as Jimaguas, illegal children of Oshun and Shango, are prized for its exceptional magical powers. This Cuban religious pantheon, the twin deities they are included among those who have become a relevant background "and are characterized as follows: transcultured in San Cosme y San Damián are twins; protect children, they are children themselves as children of Chango easily overcome. Their contentions are developed acute infantile and mischievous tricks. They are greedy, fond of sweets and of palm wine. They make mischief of all kinds. Obbatala the consents lot. They dress like his father Shango, red and white.
In the many-mass seen, they are offered special attention to children, which show the obvious analogies between them and those Orishas. These features strongly resemble those of the mass. Finally, we note that at the end of the ceremony to be described is released or remains of many offerings in some directions: forest, in order to eat it vodús saints, ancestral spirits and other supernatural beings .
The many dedicated to the Mass, as designated in Cuba the Twins, is one of the most attractive meals voodoo ceremonies, perhaps as high hierarchical place occupied by these saints and the estimate that they have. This ceremony has characteristics that should be highlighted.
The altar and the offering
On the morning of the "food" main altar is available in one of the bedrooms of the dwelling house of the family. At the entrance of the piece is placed on the floor and just in the right corner a bowl of water.
When you enter the room, there are components of the offering close to
tables, walls and other liturgical objects.
On the left, up banana leaves have been placed two eggs, cocoa, cassava and other foods, and then in the same direction, maí Mulé, uncooked rice, a plant whose name is unknown and rice pudding; to right, a jibe covered with a white cloth over which there are breads, coffee, milk, rice pudding and a container whose contents can not be distinguished, and then a variety of sweets such as nougat peanut rice pudding again and final few slices of bread. On the left side of the jibe have placed a small container of "holy water." As both sides of the makeshift altar rustic, there are two large aluminum pots with water, although one of them also contain sugar. At the top of the altar remains lit a candle.
It is ten o'clock in the morning. The son of Hung orders to be lifted and carried to the room to all children. The rest of the family is placed around the altar and the priest sits in his little seat in front of him. Children entering and leaving a large margin of spontaneity, the houngan sometimes gives them sweets basket.
The cry of Abobo! uttered by the son of the priest marks the beginning of the ceremony. The choir responds with another Abobo!. From now on, as usual, will be maintained in singing antiphonal structure: the lead singer put the first song.
The young man, as he sings, shakes the rattle ritual (or Assos), rhythmically. This would mean
it is he who will lead the ceremony.
Regarding the musical aspect, the only accompanying instrument is the hoe, percussive with a screw (triyán). One son of Hung who plays this instrument is who, precisely, "put a song" that started the slaughter.
In the midst of singing the officiant gives orders to "crêpe" birds. The eldest daughter of Hung starting going to each feather, and hurls it to the altar. Then feed them wobble back and animals around the altar. Meanwhile, the young man who leads the ceremony, cut the ends of the yuccas and makes them into a pile. The houngan dealt with sweets to all children around him.
Do not stop to record something very significant, the spell of the songs and touches, and in general the atmosphere created, the young priest has become the beast of a Lua: in criminel. This is who commands all stand. It is clear that Hungary too is owned by another Lwa, Lacu, and it is he who helps to feed the birds, the passes through the body and dance with them. Then he puts on his head and holds them there vertically.
The youngest celebrant makes an incision in the neck of a bird and the blood spilled in a jigüera, then he draws a cross on each of the participants with the blood taken from the animal's neck that hurt. Draw the same symbol on the gallows at the corner of altar, at the bottom. Finally, throw the slaughtered birds above the banana leaves and the young priest sprinkled over them sugar water and coffee. The mambo also poured water in the center and the sides of the altar, this leads to one of the parts of the ceremony that requires further explanation: the "sacrifice of money."
The young priest is singing a song in a sad tone that invokes the assistance from the Luas that have not been submitted; rips tears and then asked to meet the children. Point comes from another song:
Lafamí well PIESA
Lafamí well PIESA
lua c'est mass ...
Automatically each of the members of the guild is deposited a ticket with a weight value of the food and then the money is thrown into the altar. The young man stabbed officiating slaughter on the floor just in front of the altar, while the old houngan sings a mournful, lost in a dream and meditative. You hear a song:
Say it Jamu c'est Ye
Ye Say it c 'est Jammu
c'est demain u tata
dit je prend or pad.
Obviously, the old horse houngan serves the Mass, those who praise them
completion of service.
However, there is a significant detail: there is a part of drawing up food without salt and that is intended to "feed other saints on the stick", while part of which is salt deposited on the altar . Finally, repeat this a common operation in many other foods: some members of the brotherhood fragments released to the mountain of food with a clear intention to eat them all spirits.
IBO LOS SANTOS
In this Lwa you can not put the food together with other saints, but separately. Say, in a corner of the house, "say that saint is capricious; juntamiento do not like, what it is alone." He sacrificed a pair of birds, a rooster and a hen red. It is identified with St Barbara or Chango Orisha Cuban Santeria.
IBOs who lives on the mountain.
It is a kind of saint of the devil: get as offering a big old boar, which are sacrificed at the foot of a hole and then make offerings whose parts are buried in it. May be included in many a big old goat as well, always a cock and hen: all animals to be slaughtered must be black, which is his symbolic color. Your ceremony is held every twenty years.
With their clothing, their owned strive to evoke the image of a corpse, as described by one author, "the Guede form a very powerful group of gods to be the geniuses of death, stand, perhaps, like the gods pantheon strong [Voodoo] and also the most respected, especially the other deities who fear and want to avoid jacarandosa company. "
The Guede did not materialize during possession as described by the authors in Haiti: dressed in black with top hat, morning coat and tails. Quirky lens wearers, to which they sometimes lack a crystal. No nasalized voice as the zombie or say obscenities. Their behavior draws attention, because immediately poured on the ground and are situated around the campfire. Its members play a role in the practice Voodoo in Cuba: no houngan or mambo not "work" with each of them in their daily work of consultations and traditional medicines.
Here are the most important members of this family:
It is described as a saint tafi consuming spicy, drink a lot and is very strong. We must keep a strict respect when he makes a service: "If he has lunch, no one can touch or take anything from it."
O LACRUÁ LACU
Haitian informants testify that Baon Lacruá is the spirit of "the first person to be buried in a cemetery" and speaking of Guede, identify them with "dead." Thus Zombie and Lacu say are dead, like Sencha and Cemiché and place as his boss Baone, ie Lacu Baron.
In Cuba, this is a saint belonging to the family of Guede, who belong to Baron Samedi, Baron La Croix and Baron Cimetiere, "the guardian of the cemetery and one of the most important and powerful divinities of the Voodoo pantheon." Is symbolized by the cross and in the offering included a black cock.
This Lua-lua-dead This is very sensitive for detecting powers where there is malicious intent, harm or evil. However, it seems more like a Lwa "brain" or directing the actions of other saints to resolve the problems identified by him. Gran Bua is running the cures recommended Lacu consultations or appointments of divination.
His service to be done in the trunk of a tree, where it acts up his horse, because he lives in the mountains. Some consider him a saint who likes to live wild in every bush, never outdoors. Take vines to weave their clothes. It's a dead man was not to the sky and fell on the mountain.
When someone rides, goes "off" and is covered with bush back. Then bathe the horse with spirit and you fall off the bones. No one knows when it arrives nobody knows when it will. It is characterized by "everything breaks down and decides"
He is represented, anthropomorphic, like a very old man, wrinkled face changes its appearance when expressed in, or possession of a person. Possession is done quietly, wipes her face with his handkerchief from his horse. Should be asked and appease and give lots of liquor. When he finally "arrived", the first thing he does is lie on the floor and sits there. He immediately removed his shoes and a hat must be sought gravel that they tie a black strip and place it on the head. He rolled up his pants low.
As Ogun, much afraid to water and to "swim" shakes the leaves of the banana, but if your feet get wet, you have to light a fire to warm them. Also feel a great fear by the military. If either is present when someone takes possession of zombies, he hastily withdrew the place.
In his many-lua include roasted sweet potatoes and salt herring oil. You sacrifice a black goat and a chicken. Its symbolic colors are black and white, "but more black than white." When food becomes all the saints, he presents and eat. It is therefore necessary to place your food separately.
He is characterized as being strong and violent that is dedicated to work, many of their
"Jobs" no one can see, because it makes a hidden.
O CEMICHÉ CIMITIEL
The name of this seems to derive from cemetière Lwa (cemetery), or cemetery, place of residence of the saint in question. It is said that between Cemiché and Sencha there a family relationship: the first is the father of the second, but in a symbolic sense, the first, receives the dead in the cemetery and Sencha the "godfather." That is justified that the person really is dead and throws up the earth. "After this confirmation, it appears Lacu and puts the cross.
It is distinguished by the specific work carried out: give directions, priests and consultations. It has a distinctive costume. One of our informants described as weak to "get" like a "old man, but not sure if this is obvious because his figure or whether it was the long time that was laboring with the horse on which he took office.
LUAS OF ROADS AND TICKETS
"In Africa, Legba is a phallic god and young. In Haiti, a person is senile, white beard. Is he called upon to open the doors. Receives the first prayer in the ceremonies."
The significance of the offering received animal are feathers, head and guts are thrown into the fire of the stake, which is made known who gave everything he owned. That fire burns at the goal or main entrance giving access to the dwelling of the owner of the party.
Under the arbor remains lit a candle and she initially placed the orchestra. After the fire is sprayed with sugar water, also fanning the flames with brandy. Shortly after another candle is lit that is placed at the foot of the fire, lifted and placed on the road leading to the goal.
This is an indispensable ceremony for the joint development of rites to be conducted in compliance with other saints and supernatural forces. Its function is to call them, attract them and welcome them to come forward at the party who have been organized.
With the meat of the animals and grilled meats-more bits of chocolate-is preparing a kind of pudding in a jigüera to which is added spicy and divided among all those attending the ceremony.
Confirming their dominance, a priest, I testified that Legba is the "boss of all
saints have to make your meal first, before others. "
Lua of the highway. "Work", gives charity. In its many uses different meats, like pork to make a kind of melting pot that is added to all types of meats, minus the pumpkin. The latter can not depositársele either on its altar.
Calfú Lua is that of the four roads. "He prepares his food anywhere, but
the altar must always be placed in a corner against the wall. "
It is known that works only once a year. She lives in the doorway of access to
dwelling house, where he is a kind of "protection" to its inhabitants.
The name that corresponds to offer our figurative speech, from the information. They testify to us that the meaning most comes close is the "knot" or tie, situated to the entrance of a house.
Every July, thousands of Haitians are aimed at Saut d'Eau, a waterfall located 60 km north of Port au Prince, the most important pilgrimage Voodoo religion of this Caribbean country.
They come after many hours away on foot, on donkeys and "tap tap", the typical coloradísimos and buses in search of good luck and benefits.
In the poorest country of America, the cost of this trip can mean days or months of work, sacrifice will be rewarded by the blessings to the pilgrims come to bathe in the mystical waters of Saut d'Eau waterfall (jump water, in French) in Ville Bonheur, Department of the Centre.
According to popular legend, in 1847 Erzulie Dantor, voodoo goddess of beauty and love, appeared at the site on a tree and began to heal the sick and perform miracles. Catholic priests saw this as blasphemy, cut down the tree and built a church a few yards away, in honor of the Virgin.
For art work and syncretism, Erzulie is camouflaged in the Catholic Our Lady of Mount Caramel, or Our Lady of Miracles. Since then, Haitians consider the waters of Saut d'Eau, near the church, welfare and healing of all evil.
Climb to the falls from a height of 30 meters is not easy. This July 16, Annette is on the road to Erzulie give grace to conceive the child she craves. Many years ago I dreamed of coming to these waters, told IPS.
Like her, the pilgrims are directed at Saut d'Eau to attend the first of the three Catholic-voodoo celebrations that attract people from all parts of the country and all social classes.
Bodies, songs and music "weird", common in voodoo celebrations, mingle with the scents of herbs and potions prepared to ask favors from the spirits. Believers spend hours in the water, pray, extend their arms to heaven, they embrace.
Many throw their old clothes to the sky, a symbol of a past they want to leave behind, and come with medicinal herbs. Some queried the "hougan" (priests) or "Mambo" (priestesses) who would be possessed by some of the loas, deities of the voodoo.
In fact, hougan and mambo are responsible for the leadership of worship, top leaders of the altars dedicated to the saints and, in turn, "are interpreters of the will of the loas," says the author in his Fat Rafael García Item "elements of Haitian culture in Camaguey," written in 1982.
"I have a disabled child and I heal him and give him the use of his legs," implores a mambo Marie addressing that speaks with his eyes closed and taking her hands.
According to scholars, anyone can become a priest if you meet the requirements, and be started and know the liturgy, the attributes of the gods and their symbols.
"Often they are deities which the future priest appointed by the appearance, or a dream, or possession," the book "Voodoo in Cuba", published in 1998 by Joel James, Jose Millet and Alexis Alarcón, which contains a chapter on religion in Haiti.
"My grandfather and father were hougan, I inherited these powers from them. In principle hougan not want to be, would not come into contact with it," said Andre, 61, to which IPS in front of an altar with candles and offerings to the spirits.
But "I lost three children, and told me that I had sold my children to the loas. The Damballah loa (king of the holy warriors) as hougan called me and I accepted. So this God's vengeance against my poor children . hougan Now that I am, I have so much power and I know that nothing can happen, "explains while making a web of ropes, he says, represents the infinite power of Damballah.
When the sun sets, the atmosphere is calmer and the air is full of religiosity. A woman throws a tree perfume made from the leaves of "parole trois" (three words) for good luck, while praying with folded hands and turns around the trunk.
Near the falls, men and women sell candles, blue and white beads represent the loas and images of Our Lady of Miracles. The drums play syncopated rhythms, and some people go into a trance, talking loudly and moving frantically.
Beyond the stereotypes, which describe pure voodoo as black magic rituals with dolls, animal sacrifices and undead, this is basically a peaceful religion, which the rites are a mystical experience for the uninitiated.
There is also a voodoo Congo, distinguished by the use of curses, evil eyes and "dusts evil."
Over 60 million people practice voodoo worldwide. The features of this religion come from an animist culture of African people, the Yoruba, from Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.
Voodoo Today, in various forms, is practiced in Benin, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba, which is known as Santeria or Regla de Ocha. Similar cults, such as Umbanda, Macumba, Candomblé Quimbanda and are practiced in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean
The French expert on Islam, Olivier Roy argues, quite rightly, in his book "Globalized Islam" has replaced the cultural Marxism. In the background is the triumph of Weber, who said that religion determined the economic success of countries, Marx. As Roy writes, "this reminds me of some of my closest colleagues in Russia, who in 1990 told me: 'Marx was wrong, it's not the economy that determines the culture, the culture that determines the economy.' Perhaps be true, but we are following the same lines of holistic thinking, causal, and mechanical immanentist has been given by the culturalism. It is not surprising that many Marxist culturalist have become. "
Now, in the case of the disaster in Haiti, has organized a fierce online debate about why 'culture' of poverty in this country, which is the main cause of the earthquake may have cost up to 100,000 lives. Conservative columnist of The New York Times' David Brooks has cited in this article the reasons that in his opinion, contribute to extreme poverty in Haiti: "(...) the influence of the religion of voodoo, which disseminates message that life is capricious and planning is futile. (...) High levels of distrust in society. The responsibility is often not internalized. "
So the Voodoo could have part of the blame for what happened in Haiti.
It is an idea that reminds me that I had a conversation Sunday with an official of a multilateral agency. This person told me that a month ago, in a conversation with a senior Nepalese, he said: "Our country is cursed." When the officer asked him what he meant, the Nepalese explained, quite serious, the story of a legend according to which a jilted princess cursed Nepal thousands of years ago.
My friend's theory, then, was that rather than send officials from the World Bank, IMF and Asian Development Bank Nepal, the key would be to convene a grand assembly of sorcerers to perform an exorcism to Nepal. Personally I think, so disconnected from the reality of the theories, the arbitrariness of the rites, the arcane of the arguments, and the irrationality of the whole system, that assembly of wizards would not be very different from the annual meeting of the American Economics Association just held.
Returning to Haiti, the idea of Brooks is provocative. But some find racist. That is the view of Nadra Kadeem at About.com, a site also owned by The New York Times. Kadeem remember that this argument was also used to justify the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. Because, after all, among the black community in Louisiana also practice voodoo rituals, but to a much lesser extent than in Haiti.
The truth is that culturalism is used to explain everything. And that means nothing. It is like Marxism, or any account that purports to be universal. It is a suit in which everything goes, especially if we know little of what we speak. For example, the opposite of Brooks' argument is that of Barbara Ehrenreich, one of the best journalists in the United States, author of Nickel and dimmed formidable book, about poverty in America.
In his latest book, 'Smile or Die' ('Smile or Die'), Ehrenreich argues the opposite view to that of Brooks individual responsibility can be a barrier to exit poverty. According to Ehrenreich, attributing the responsibility for success or failure of staff to oneself, without taking into account the socioeconomic context, it is encouraging passivity of citizens in the public sphere. In other words: the personal failure is the fault of one, not a society in which education, which is the key to access a better life, is very expensive, basic services like health care are inaccessible for part of the population and there is even a social class (pardon the use of Marxist term) called the "working poor", which needs two to three jobs to live below the poverty level.
Thus, culture can be as guilty of poverty in Haiti as anything else.
Undead William B. Seabrook was born in 1886 in Maryland. Although he became a journalist, the adventure was his true vocation. In 1915 he enlisted as an orderly in the First World War and later, still on the payroll for the New York Times, he embarks on a series of trips whose chronic fictionalized him fame and huge profits. One of his stories was The Magic Island, where he has his experiences in Haiti, and the revelations that made him a witch called Mama Celie. Thus, the voodoo and undead were released in the U.S. and Europe.
Seabrook himself describes his first encounter with the living dead in these terms:
"And what then I saw, next to what I had heard (or perhaps in spite of it), I was a tremendous shock. The worst were the eyes. They were not imagining things. They were really like the eyes of a dead man: eyes were not blind, but they were fixed, unfocused, without vision. ... The whole face seemed not only expressionless, but incapable of taking even expression. "
The living dead belonged to a farmer named Constant Polynice, who had just recounting one of the many stories of the undead that dot the island. In particular, the case of Ti Joseph, the head of a village, a good day was made in the employment offices of the Company Haitian - American Sugar (HASCO), with a group of nine men ragged. Do not speak Creole or French, and did not appear to have many lights. According to his employer, came to a barbarous and remote region, and so were shy and shunned contact. Until you get used, it was desirable to keep them apart from the rest of the workers, but for others, were strong and capable men. Explanations of Ti Joseph convinced the employee HASCO, who hired them all.
But Polynice Seabrook told the group actually consisted of undead. So You kept calling Joseph to stay away from others. She feared that were recognized by relatives or friends.
Tradition says that if a zombie voodoo eat meat or salt, will break the spell that keeps him alive and will return immediately to the place it belongs. A grave. Thus, Ti Joseph fed his crew of undead with a millet porridge without salt, which gave them each evening.
But one morning, some issues remained busy throughout the day to you Joseph, and let his wife take care of zombies. This had the idea of taking them to a religious procession, perhaps carried by remorse, but none of the Living Dead was unimpressed by the spectacle. They did not speak, they were unable to show any emotion, his eyes were lost. The woman opted for comfort with a cake that contained peanuts. But he knew who had been seasoned with salt. When testing, the zombies woke from their slumber, and with loud cries fled back to their village. Were recognized by their horrified neighbors, who had buried months ago, but did not stop to talk. Broken the spell, his flesh began to deteriorate and only had time to reach their graves, before his death turned into a rotten mass.
The villagers decided to take revenge on Joseph Ti. He ambushed and cut off his head.
A Seabrook was not impressed too much history. He referred to cases undead in these terms: "not just poor people insane, idiots, forced to work in the fields."
However, voodoo beliefs are so entrenched in Haiti is very difficult to detach themselves from the fascination with her.
The term zombie variant appears in many African languages. In Congo means "fetish." According to tradition, voodoo, zombie is a person who called Bokor a witch has stolen the soul bon ange child or you, just in the moments before or subsequent to death. The zombie is still alive ... to some extent. Come and breathe, and his heart is still beating. But he remembers nothing of her past life and all his will and intelligence is subject to Bokor. Therefore, rather than describe them as "living dead" would be more correct to speak of human robots.
In Haiti, the belief in the power of Bokor is absolute. Few Haitians despise taking measures to prevent their dead relatives can become zombies. Do not hesitate to spend a fortune to cover the graves with heavy slabs, or dig the graves in areas where there is lots of people traffic, to prevent the wizard has completed the necessary privacy for their dark rituals. It is also usual to ensure the dead for several nights, to do its job decomposition and convert the body into a useless tool for Bokor. The most radical to the extreme of maul or partially destroy the bodies. Remedies also abound more naive, such as introducing large handfuls of seed in the coffin in the faith that counting the dead will be entertained if you receive the order to rise from the dead.
In fact, belief in voodoo is so great that even has been manipulated for political purposes. Already in 1791, when Haiti was a French colony, one Boukman alleged he used his powers to amedentrar soldiers of the metropolis and assembling a legion of followers. Boukman multitudinous organized rituals where pigs were sacrificed and the participants fell into a frenzied trance. From there, rushed to burn the plantations of the settlers, and in many cases, they came to murder. Magic or no magic, the French could not resist the pressure, and abandoned the island, which was organized as an independent republic.
But one need not look so far back in time to find the deep traces of voodoo in all areas of Haitian life. The dictator François Duvalier called himself Papa Doc, and presumed to be a powerful Bokor. The review could not with brute force of arms, he succeeded using the beliefs of his people.
Voodoo has also been an important source of income for people of all walks of life. Rituals are sold to tourists as morbid spectacle, or as genuine phenomena too credulous investigators. An anthropologist named Francis Huxley documented one of these deceptions. A suspected witch an elaborate ritual around a grave, and rescued from inside the dead resurrected and ready to fulfill your orders. It showed that there was an air tube installed in the coffin to allow breathing the accomplice of the false Bokor ...
However, the stories on undead have been a constant. All about people who are found wandering the streets or fields, stunned and almost unable to speak, that are recognized as relatives or friends buried for months or years ago.
One such case occurred in the fifties, and what I summarize here as an example. Talk about a girl who fell in love Bokor, and rejected all his proposals. The enraged sorcerer decided to use magic to get revenge, and the woman died soon affected by strange fevers. They were about to bury, they discovered the coffin was too small. So I chose to wring his neck to make room. The sufferings of the body did not end there. During the funeral, a burning candle fell on her left foot.
Months later, he began to say that the sorcerer refused had been seen with a girl who was too close to the dead. A few years passed without the family decided to verify the rumors. But then one of the men found her family doing housework for a warrior. And that woman had a twisted neck and a burn scar on his left foot.
Rational explanations for this phenomenon existed at the time of William Seabrook. A doctor named Antoine Villers, who had spent many years practicing in Haiti, told the journalist and adventurer who was unlikely that anyone would have risen. But it ruled that, indeed, some zombies Delos had been rescued from the grave.
The explanation, according to Villiers, is that sorcerers knew all sorts of substances, many of whom were able to instill a deep coma, easily confused with death. A sorcerer had only drugging his victim, leaving their beleaguered relatives buried him, and then wait for the opportune moment to get him out of the tomb and its lethargy.
The researchers suggest that many of these drugs were imported by slaves from the shores of his native Africa. In Ghana, for instance, practiced some cuts to aspiring magician, in which introducing a drug that plunged into a prolonged coma. After five days, they were given an antidote to restore consciousness.
It is significant that such practices were addressed in the Haitian Penal Code:
"It was also considered employment assassination attempt against any person of substances which, without causing actual death, produce a lethargic coma more or less prolonged. If, after the administration of these substances, the victim has been buried, the event will considered murder, regardless of its possible consequences. "The suggestion could also explain the phenomenon. The victims believe so deeply in the power of the sorcerer, to be submitted to him to avoid the alleged consequences of their spells. If for example someone discovers that the sorcerer tries you sick, you may fall into a deep hypochondria which effectively reinforces their faith in the power of black magic. This process of psychological collapse is very similar to that used by certain cults to brainwash its members.
Claude PLANSON is more than a theater director and actor French, "teatrólogo." It was the first secretary general of the famous Paris National Theatre (NPT) by Jean Vilar. After being director of the Theatre of Nations, President of the Company "The Dancers, Singers and Comedians of Paris," director of the Center for Advanced Theatre Studies (CHET), was a founder, with Louis Pauweis, association for the meeting of cultures (ARC). To try to find an answer to some questions about the theater (What is linked to the sacred? What is therapy? What they imply the Greeks when they talk about the visit of the gods on stage? ...) became interested in Haitian voodoo ritual practices. This raid took him to his own initiation and marriage to a voodoo priestess. In a book well received and reprinted (Le Voodoo, 1987, MA Ed . Paris, 188p.) described from the "inside" the Haitian popular religion often misunderstood to register it within a universal spiritual movement and demonstrate that it is not simply a waste archaic.
As abandons its Judeo-Christian western world think that strives desperately to rediscover (through electro-acoustic music, lighting effects, pseudo-ecstatic dances) a statement that was familiar to the ancients who called "Enthusiasm" and evoking Freud sensed ocean state. Separated from the Sacred, this search mechanics of an amendment to the states of consciousness could lead not only in failure and the emergence of hard drugs. However, possession cults, while allowing the release of our troubles and the possibility of contact with the world of the gods, never ceased to express themselves worldwide. But the word "possession" (derived from the vocabulary of the Inquisition) is frightening, seeing the Christians in it a manifestation of evil and agnostics psychiatric disorder type.
The example of Haiti is significant in this topic. There, as in all the Latin American region, two overlapping civilizations: the Indians and the descendants of settlers, the second considers the former as archaic and is treated as a more or less wild (although not hesitate to turn it if necessary). Circumstances of life for several years, I had the opportunity to live in permanent contact with parishioners groups belonging to Haitian voodoo temples and even managed (after much palaver) authorization to receive initiation Kanso, or go back full member a cult that frightens even the imbeciles.
The hounfor (voodoo temple) is not only a place where ceremonies take place but also a hospital where patients can live, a community restaurant, a school, a workshop, a dance hall. This is aimed at all levels and meets the man, as far as possible to all needs.
The hounssis kanzo (initiates of the temple) come every day to help houngan (priest) or mambo (priestess), who replaced the real parents and assume the leadership of those who have been initiated by them.
All hounssis, of course, are "possible" but would be a mistake to believe that they are the only ones in this situation. It is very common to see spectators "ridden" by the loa (spirits). In the course of experiments carried out in Paris, until we have seen that Westerners could learn the possession so that they provided the necessary stimulus.
About Haitian initiates
When questioned by us about fifteen "hounsi kanzo" replied the following:
Average age of initiation: 15 years, but some Haitians have been initiated much earlier (from seven years, sometimes less) or, conversely, later.
Catholicism: hounssi Of the fifteen, ten have been baptized and three have made their first communion. One only of the Protestant.
Call: Seven have felt "called" by the spirits, four have come to find a treatment, three "intentionally."
Wedding mystical hounssi Only four are "married" with a celebration, but seven others dream about this experience.
Food taboos: Fourteen of them known food taboos, including a freshwater fish considered by insiders as "sister."
Privacy: None of the interviewed young girls are married, but ten of them are "committed", ie more or less living with a man. Only two (14 and 16) are virgins. Two of them claim to be bisexual (with homosexual preferences.)
Presence at hounfor: Almost every day, are rare exceptions.
It is impossible in a short article to make known the riches of Voodoo culture. I shall simply point out some facts which may perhaps give pause: To my knowledge, Voodoo practitioners do not use any one drug. However it is not impossible that the red sects, secret brotherhoods located outside, or rather, beyond the voodoo and who claim they have the power to transform into animals and flying in the air, using certain plants, such as mahogany, but I is difficult to say with certainty. Furthermore, the initiation Voodoo is a special power that I can not detail here.
Crouched in a dark room while his shadow is cast on a blood-red wall in the dim candlelight, La Vie Bon, voodoo priest, performed a spell to attract the spirits of Haiti. Suddenly, evil-looking figure is silent, the candle goes out and the musty smell fills the atmosphere. The priest's body starts to shake and move spasmodically, described Reuters. Baron criminel voodoo spirit awoke. "You're not safe," announces the voice with a high tone and rough. Between paroxysms, the priest takes a swig from a bottle of rum, while a red silk robe, gold chains and sunglasses glow in the dark. Light a new candle. "You need something to protect it," he adds. Then the priest turns abruptly, grabs the devotee hard and starts to tremble. Snorts violently and spits something that looks like blood in his arms. Ceremonies with these characteristics are common in the impoverished country, still suffering the wounds of a bloody revolt in February that deposed President Jean Bertrand Aristide. Experts estimate that more than half of the eight million people practice voodoo rites, a mixture of West African religions that arrived in Haiti with the slaves and combined with indigenous tribal traditions. A combination of spirits, rituals, animal sacrifices and songs, Voodoo is a way of life in Haiti. Catholic saints are part of the iconography of voodoo temples, a legacy from the days of slavery when the images were painted in sacred places. Many have their parallel in the voodoo deities. Want to get rich quickly? "Ensure that a contract should be respected? "Take the road to a rival in love? A pantheon of 401 spirits "LWA" has an answer, in exchange for payment. The Voodoo is deeply rooted and was banned several times over the turbulent history of Haiti. A voodoo priest led the first major slave uprising against France, the colonial power in the late eighteenth century. Many believe that Aristide has voodoo powers that protected him from bullets, but fell from grace after being abandoned by the spirits. Even now, his supporters are confident that use invisible powers to return to their country of exile. The spirits often demand that chickens and other animals are slaughtered, and that their throats are open for outbreak and enforce blood and desires. The spirit world is revered throughout Haiti. Each spring, large crowds fill the streets to participate in the Rara Voodoo festival, which is danced voodoo music, a combination of sounds, such as metals used in jazz and percussion similar to samba. "I believe in voodoo. I believe in spirits. They protect me," said Jeannette Jeodone selling, while dancing in a procession winding in the light of the moon near Port au Prince, with his wares on his head. But many fear the dark side of this practice and stories abound of people turned into zombies by priests, which is considered the worst punishment. According to the voodoo tradition, the soul of a person living in a watery underworld with the Prince of Death before being reincarnated in a new body. In contrast, the zombie is trapped in the ether by a curse and can not move to a different body.
01-BP0884: Every July, thousands of Haitians are aimed at Saut d'Eau, a waterfall located 60 km north of Port au Prince, the most important pilgrimage voodoo religion of this Caribbean country. At first the Catholic Church tried to eradicate the pilgrimage considered blasphemous; now, syncretism, believers recognize the deity as Virgen de los Milagros.
02-BP1210: Some young people are purified with a bath at the foot of waterfall. According to popular legend, in 1847 Erzulie Dantor, voodoo goddess of beauty and love, appeared at the site, on a tree, and began to heal the sick, among other miracles. Catholic priests saw this as blasphemy, cut down the tree and built a church a few yards away, in honor of the virgin.
03-BP1049: A man collects water that falls from the waterfall to purify her. On this feast of Voodoo tradition are honored Iwa goddesses with Christian ceremonies such as the veneration of the Virgen de los Milagros (known here as the Virgen del Carmen), in a symbiosis that mixes Christianity with African roots that brought by the exclavos.En Creole the official language, the term official refers to the Vodou religion of Haiti. This word comes from the word voodoo fon (divine spirit), which is still used in Benin, the African cradle vuduismo. As the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, Benin gave the slaves needed to be needed at that time in Haiti, which continued to worship their ancestral religion. Practitioners tend to flee the Anglicized voodoo term (hence the Spanish term "voodoo" with its connotations morbid and unrealistic.
04-BP1525: Bodies, songs and music rarely common in voodoo celebrations are mixed with scents of herbs and potions ready to ask favors from the spirits. Believers spend hours in the water, pray, extend their arms to heaven, they embrace.
05-BP3283: Three friends are purified the soul in the water that flows from the waterfall of Saut d'Eau. For them, this bath can represent both the purification and the fact that some of your desires can become reality. The word Vodou comes from Benin, vodou fon means (divine spirit.) Several women bathe to purify themselves and ask favors from the spirits. Although from Africa, Voodoo is an animistic religion in which to worship the spirits, but devotees believe in one God, the Grand Met (Grand Master), when they worship. As in Grand Met is a far cry from the physical plane, to contact him in a ceremony it must be done through a call Iwa small entities that serve as interlocutors between God and men.
06-BP1038: Today, voodoo, in various forms, is practiced in Benin, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba, where it is known as Santeria or Regla de Ocha. Similar cults, such as Umbanda, Macumba, Candomble Quimbanda and are practiced in several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.
07-BP1728: Several women pray inside the Church of Our Lady of Mount Caramel. In the vicinity of this area thousands of pilgrims camped in tents, the open or as guests in the neighboring houses. They come after many hours away on foot, on donkeys and "tap tap", the typical coloradísimos and buses in search of good luck and benefits. In America's poorest country, the cost of this trip can mean days or months of work, sacrifice will be rewarded for their blessings to the pilgrims come to bathe in the mystical waters of Saut d'Eau waterfall (waterfall, in French) at Ville Bonheur, Department of the Centre.
08-BP1713: Interior of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Caramel. According to popular legend, in 1847 Erzulie Dantor, voodoo goddess of beauty and love, appeared at the site on a tree and began to heal the sick and perform miracles. Catholic priests saw this as blasphemy, cut down the tree and built a church a few yards away, in honor of the Virgin. For art work and syncretism, Erzulie is camouflaged in the Catholic Our Lady of Mount Caramel, or Our Lady of Miracles. Since then, Haitians consider the waters of Saut d'Eau, near the church, welfare and healing of all evil.
09-BP1726: Interior of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Caramel. On July 16 takes place voodoo pilgrimage in Saut d'Eau Ville-Bonheur near the capital, where believers bathe in a waterfall sacred. On the 25th of the month, devotees of the whole area in red and blue come to Plaine du Nord to celebrate the day of St. James, associated with the voodoo deity Ferraille Ogou. The next day, many participants come to Limonade, which celebrates the day of Santa Ana, associated with Erzulie.
10-BP1767: Several people turn to Saut d'Eau to attend the first of the three major Catholic-voodoo events that attract people from all parts of the country and all social classes. In 1847 a supposed vision of the Virgin Mary on a palm tree in Ville-Bonheur, began to attract pilgrims from all over convinced of its healing properties. A church was erected there, but local devotees quickly start to match the vision with the nearby waterfalls of Saut d'eau, Cantor sacred to Erzulie, the Iwa (spirit of voodoo), which usually represents the Virgin.
11-BP1782: Some consult with hougan (priests) or mambo (priestess) by the belief that they are possessed by some of the loas, deities of voodoo. the hougan and mambo are responsible for the direction of worship, top leaders of the altars dedicated to the saints, while "are interpreters of the will of the loas." There is an almost unlimited number of Iwas, each with distinct characteristics defined to include sacred numbers, colors, days, food and ritual objects.
12-BP1921: Once they arrive at the waterfall stream that way people are stripped of their old clothes. Bodies, songs and music "weird", common in voodoo celebrations, mingle with the scents of herbs and potions prepared to ask favors from the spirits. Believers spend hours in the water, pray, extend their arms to heaven, they embrace. Many throw their old clothes to the sky, a symbol of a past they want to leave behind, and come with medicinal herbs. Some queried the "hougan" (priests) or "Mambo" (priestesses) who would be possessed by some of the loas, deities of the voodoo.
13-BP1957: Women, men and children of all ages and walks of life gathered between Saturday and Monday last in the cascade of Saut d'Eau, where the ritual of the baths is aimed at purifying and cleansing the body. The voodoo priests, "Houganes, and priestesses," Mambo ", take up role during the three days of festivities and give the faithful the herbs with which they rub their bodies while the unstoppable torrent of water falls from the top of the mountain.
14-BP1997: Thousands of faithful, including children and pregnant women, huddle under a waterfall to get the bathroom of luck and invoked the figure of Ewa Ezili, one of the main characters of the voodoo pantheon. Under the waterspout is impossible to hear a word, the devotees dance, make ablution with bottles and bowls of pumpkin and delivered to communion with the saints, the 'praise'. These have names such as baroque and colonial Baron Samedi, Maman Brigitte, Papa Legba, Papa Damballa and Ogou.
15-BP1978: Catholics Voodoo devotees flock from the remotest corners of Haiti for spiritual purification. Both Catholics and Voodoo devotees, made the pilgrimage mainly mass to perform a spiritual cleansing. The faithful perform a Catholic mass at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Caramel, and from there made the procession with a statue of the Virgin Mary to the waterfall.
16-BP3134: Close to the waterfall, men and women sell candles, blue and white beads represent the praise and images of the Virgen de los Milagros. The drums play syncopated rhythms, and some people go into a trance, talking loudly and moving frantically. Beyond the stereotypes, which describe pure voodoo as black magic rituals with dolls, animal sacrifices and undead, this is basically a peaceful religion, which the rites are a mystical experience for the uninitiated. There is also a voodoo Congo, distinguished by the use of curses, evil eyes and "dusts evil." Over 60 million people practice voodoo worldwide. The features of this religion come from an animist culture of African people, the Yoruba, from Nigeria, Benin, and Togo.
17-BP2233: Two devotees share the bathroom of luck making it more bearable if fitted with a bottle of Ron Barbancourt, Haitian rum excellence. The bathroom is done in a series of shallow pools surrounded by vegetation, which they believe are sacred waters. The surrounding light candles and whispering prayers to the followers who have had the good fortune to be possessed by the very same Erzulie.
18-BP2122: Part indispensable ritual of purification is immersed in the waters of Saut d'Eau praying and rubbing with special herbs. The voodoo ritual demands that the person is immersed in the waters of Saut d'Eau naked or with as little clothing as possible. Most opt for swimwear, but some brave as this woman met with the rites to the letter.
19-BP2176: The parishioners and supporters start at an early age. In the photograph a mother holding her daughter while little is in a trance possessed by multiple spirits of voodoo. Women and men of all ages and social classes bathe and pray to purify and cleanse your body. To reach the waterfall the faithful must cross several limestone cliffs. Contact with water represents the climax, but before that happens, the waiting can see how some of his friends move imitating the movement of snakes: they have been possessed by the African goddess Damballah-Wedo. The water falls with great force, so that it is not uncommon to realize that some who are placed under the waterfall allow their clothing to be torn apart, literally.
20-BP2197: A devout young man was possessed by a Iwa, or spirit. Iwas there are many, such as Baron, who is also known as Baron Samedi. It is the spirit of the dead and guardian of cemeteries. Of his powers depend equally procreation of the living and the putrefaction of the dead and is represented as a skeleton playing with top hat, cane and purple cape. He is often offerings with black cocks, rum, cigars and coffee and its equivalent could be San Gerardo.
21-BP2296: The priests of voodoo, "Houganes, and priestesses," Mambo ", take up role during the three days of festivities and provided the faithful with the herbs that they rub their bodies as long as the rushing water unstoppable falls from the top of the mountain. "This festival blends the traditions of voodoo and honor to the Iwa goddesses with other Christian traditions, such as the veneration of the Virgin of Miracles."
22-BP2414: The waterfalls of Saut d'Eau say that the Virgin Mary appeared in 1847. From entoces, each July 16, thousands of pilgrims bathe in these waters convinced that a miracle will heal their ailments or that their wishes will come true. The worship of the Virgen del Carmen, known in Haiti as Virgen de los Milagros, is mixed in Saut d'Eau with voodoo rites in a further example of the symbiosis in the Caribbean nation between the Catholic religion and religion brought from Africa by slaves. Rara musicians, traditional pagan bands composed of drums and wind instruments were the soundtrack to the festivities in Saut d'Eau.
23-BP2368: A man possessed by a voodoo spirits of bathing in a shallow pond of the waterfall of Saut d'Eau. Before you can be invoked at any Iwa, Legba (the spirit of the road curcas) should open the doors the spirit world. Then he presents to the four cardinal points, welcoming the sunrise and sunset, and the birth and death. Among the Iwas, is Mr. Agwe sea. In addition to passage through water, it assists people when they are born and leave the water inside the mother, and at the time of death. Devotees offer rum cakes, sheep and its counterpart is St. Ulrich.
24-BP2420: Voodoo Festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 coincided with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph one of the assistants is abut possessed by the great Iwa. His eyes are completely gone and their movements are convulsive. A woman goes into a trance. The trance, at which time Iwa spirits enter the body of priests, is a standard pattern among participants in the festival and it is not surprising to observe that possessed people dropped by the torrent of water, eyes white and twitching. Though the epicenter is the water that gives the falls, all up around various places of worship where the faithful lit candles and pray in trees to pray for luck, money or love.
25-BP2517: The festival of Saut d'Eau voodoo is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 came a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph, an adept is possessed by the great Iwa. Cries and movements are convulsive. Once at the waterfall, believers can spend hours in the water, sometimes in a trance. With his arms raised to heaven, under the falling water or lying in water courses that run on large rocks, take "the bath of luck." According to tradition, the faithful left as offering a piece of clothing or personal items. The feast of the Virgin of "Mont-Carmel" also attracts thousands of young people looking for pleasure, which leads to the NGO to multiply the distribution of condoms in fighting AIDS.
26-BP2567: Thousands of pilgrims bathe and throw his clothes to the waterfalls of Saut D'Eau, where the faithful believe the Virgin Mary appeared, which is called Voodoo Erzulie, in the 1800s. Some devotees light candles and slaughter cows in the vicinity. Many travel for days on foot or horseback to reach the shrine, 65 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Port au Prince. Some even spend most of their savings to get there.
27-BP2532: Haitian Voodoo is a fusion of the traditions of African slaves and Catholic saints practices which allowed them to observe those beliefs under the noses of their French masters. Today, many alternate freely between the two faiths. There are varying degrees of participation in the ceremonies. For example, an adept uninitiated, they call vodouisant can go to the ceremonies, medical advice, and a houngan or a mambo, and participate in activities related to voodoo. Like other religions, to become the vodouisant in houngan or mambo must first undergo a series of rituals and initiation ceremonies.
28-BP2646: Voodoo Festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph one of the assistants is abut possessed by the great Iwa. Their movements are convulsive. There are many families (nanchons in Creole) of Iwa, which is invoked in different order according to the ritual. A woman goes into a trance. Although most of these houguanes are men, women can also be provided demonstrating its ability to perform that task. His name should be chosen will Manbo. But it is possible that the houngan use his powers to summon evil. In this particular case the priest is called Bokor. Hatiano Voodoo, which also has a link with cosmology, is a strong relation of Haitian popular culture, since much of the population believe in the ability of Bokor to raise the dead and make them work for their benefit . And indeed, in its capacity to cause death to their enemies.
29-BP2600: A woman takes a bath in one of the pools of Saut d'Eau to connect with Iwa. There are numerous diversifications (nanchons in Creole) from Iwas, which is invoked in a different order according to the ritual. The Iwa cited most frequently are those of the Rada rite, also known as sweet and good spirits. Almost all of the ceremonies consist of invocations to the Rada. At other times very specific to invoking the Petro rite, the Iwa hot, bitter or angry that you use to practice black magic. The Gede Iwa are associated with death and the passage to another world. There are also African Iwa as Ibo, Senegal and Kongo.
30-BP2577: The festival of Saut d'Eau voodoo is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph one of the assistants is abut possessed by the great Iwa. There are a number of Iwas, each with different characteristics sacred numbers covering, colors, days, ceremonial foods and ritual objects. A woman goes into a trance. While the 'Voodoo' is essentially a peaceful religion based on spirits and forces of nature, which are held in ceremonies in which participants reach the mystical ecstasy, is making bandages and sacrifice roosters, most Western voodoo associated with the minority, but practiced evil side o 'Petro' (also called 'Congo'). This is black magic used for evil through curses, evil eye, creating undead zombies resurrected by the 'Bokor' or evil sorcerers with evil intentions, and sexual orgies. If there is one word that comes to mind when is spoken in Haiti, this is "voodoo." Although the majority of the population is split between Catholics and Protestants, Haitians have no problems assimilating even combine these beliefs with voodoo, an exercise in syncretism. While worship a single god, Bondy, are also very powerful other beings, such as 'praise', Legba, Kalfu, Erzulie, Papa Gede or familiar spirits and forces of the universe and the 'dead'. Here, led by Baron Samedi, dressed as an undertaker, are divided into two groups: the beloved, benefactors, and the abandoned, dangerous for the living.
31-BP2689: Bodies, songs and music "rare", common in voodoo celebrations, mingle with the scents of herbs and potions prepared to ask favors from the spirits. Believers spend hours in the water, pray, extend their arms to heaven, they embrace. Many throw their old clothes to the sky, a symbol of a past they want to leave behind, and come with medicinal herbs. Some queried the "hougan" (priests) or "Mambo" (priestesses) who would be possessed by some of the loas, deities of the voodoo. In fact, hougan and mambo are responsible for the direction of worship, top leaders of the altars dedicated to the saints and, in turn, "are interpreters of the will of the loas."
32-BP2719: When the sun goes down, the atmosphere is calmer and the air is full of religiosity. A woman throws a tree perfume made from the leaves of "parole trois" (three words) for good luck, while praying with folded hands and turns around the trunk. Near the falls, men and women sell candles, blue and white beads represent the loas and images of Our Lady of Miracles. The drums play syncopated rhythms, and some people go into a trance, talking loudly and moving frantically. Beyond the stereotypes, which describe pure voodoo as black magic rituals with dolls, animal sacrifices and undead, this is basically a peaceful religion, which the rites are a mystical experience for the uninitiated.
33-BP2755: Every year, thousands of Haitians go to the basin of a sacred waterfall to relax and pray for a better future. Every July, thousands of Haitians are aimed at Saut d'Eau, a waterfall located 60 km north of Port au Prince, the most important pilgrimage voodoo religion of this Caribbean country, says the Mexican daily La Jornada. They come after many hours away on foot, on donkeys or tap-tap buses coloradísimos and typical-looking for good luck and benefits. In the poorest country of America, the cost of this trip can mean days or months of work, sacrifice will be rewarded by the blessings that come to the pilgrims to bathe in the mystical waters of Saut d'Eau waterfall (jump water, in French) at Ville Bonheur, Department of the Centre.
34-BP2759: A teenage girl goes into a trance possessed by a spirit by the stream of water coming down from the waterfall in the middle of the crowd. The Vodou is the Creole name of the official religion in Haiti. A woman goes into a trance. To contact the loas and thus achieve the ritual to achieve its objectives, it must pass through a stage of trance. During that period, the ti bon ange (little soul) leaves the body, and she takes the thoughts and emotions, so make room for the loa. A Bokor is able to enter trance by their own means, but a hounsi (started) or an uninitiated person need of powerful external stimuli (such as severe pain and prolonged sexual stimulation or strong) to achieve reach this state. Many people do not succeed the first few times, but when they persist they discover that it's really not that complicated. In voodoo Congo, there are different ceremonies to achieve many goals. These objectives include: to contact a spirit or god, for help of any kind; heal or heal someone, and acts of black magic (dolls, zombification, transplantation of bodies, etc.).. In all rituals Congo, the Nkisi requires something in return, a sacrifice by the petitioner to demonstrate their dedication, commitment and loyalty. The sacrifice may be material (food, money, gold ...), physical (sex, pain, blood ...) or mental / spiritual (initiation, commitment, priest ...). Congo Voodoo always work, but not everyone is willing to offer such sacrifices ...
35-BP2764: A woman is in a trance. It was in the sixteenth century came to America voodoo religion as policeman of the African slaves chained in Haiti and Santo Domingo (what used to be called Spanish Island). Like other cults, voodoo the instant before death somehow define the future of the soul. A believer that dying should receive the visit of the 'hougans' (priests men) or 'mambo' (women) responsible for freeing his soul from the spirits that will not let him leave at the intended destination, this, at the ceremony the 'dessounen'. That is why the Ra-Ra was wearing this year as strong an emotional charge, no one thought of the 'dessounen' when Haiti was falling apart and death, multiplied by thousands arrived in the midst of the vibrations of the earthquake of 12 January. It is believed, then, that there are souls that still roam the country without being able to rise towards reincarnation. The criticisms by way of explanation appeared everywhere: "The spirits knew, we were advised, but not understood," said André days after the earthquake Ismaite, a respected 'hougan'.
36-BP2772: A woman bathes in a trance of Saut d'eau pools to connect with Iwa. But if the dances and invocations have that emotional climax intrinsic to religion, is the sound of drums that actually dominates the landscape. This is where the state of trance-white eyes, involuntary movements, gestures-idem extends like a cloak psychotropic between 'ounsis'. There are few believers that go to Ville Bonheur just to look and end up dancing in muddy puddles to worship without being able to control neither his body nor his will, to the deities of the kingdom Dahomey (nor are few, indeed, those who understand nothing and assume this ceremony as pure theater.)
37-BP2867: A woman in trance is aided by the rest of voodoo devotees. Most of Voodoo rituals begin with Christian prayers recited in French, then switches to the Creole language, a combination mainly of French, Spanish, African and ' patois' - the latter word that the French applied with contempt to what they do not understand. Begin the ecstatic dances and drums to increasingly frantic pace. The activities of sorcery and spells, contain fetishism (word derived from the Portuguese feitiço 'dating from 1760) then follow pagan cults of sacrifice, trance handling and communication with their gods, whose names indicate their origin in Dahomey. Voodoo was persecuted in Haiti since 1685, when Catholic priests, managers of plantations and slaves, banned 'songs and the assemblies of blacks with or without drums. That contributed to its spread as these were clearly anti-slavery meetings.
38-BP2859: This girl takes several minutes into a trance and a family member or friend helps you return to normal status with the thumb pressing the front of his head. Followers of voodoo (vodouisants) believe in one God called Gran Met (Great Teacher) to which all show you devotion. The girl is full trance in one of the pools of Saut d'eau. Voodoo in Haiti arrived with African slaves in fifteenth and sixteenth century, and the reason of their origin is multiple and complex, because all the people who lived there contributing socio-cultural elements in their training. Sin. But before I start a religion. Usually seen as a response of the black African slave operation of the system of his time. Brutally torn from Africa, slaves experienced all kinds of moral and physical punishment. The black code that governs the colony makes the slave is reduced to a mere body, is one thing anyone who takes over Mr. colonizer. And with them, the owners often used abusive and dehumanizing methods including: forced labor, Gigot, imagination, humiliation, death penalty, interdiction of learning to read and write. So, A record of everything, voodoo is not going to be more than a cluster of defense mechanism, disclosed the slaves.
39-BP2809: Family and friends try to make this woman who has entered into a trance and is possessed by a Iwa back to reality. Africa holds the supreme place in Haitian voodoo, it is said that the African country in which most influenced Haitian voodoo was the Guinea and highlights elements of voodoo are, poten, Sevier poten, poten Pitita.
The poten word evokes the mystique of the African ancestors, also alludes to nostalgia for the land where God and man lived in perfect communion. Sevi poten expression means the service of African divinity, and honor are to give food to the gods. Poten Petit, refers to African history and culture.
40-BP2975: Every July, thousands of Haitians are aimed at Saut d'Eau, a waterfall located 60 km north of Port au Prince, the most important pilgrimage Voodoo religion of this Caribbean country. In the poorest country of America, the cost of this trip can mean days or months of work, sacrifice will be rewarded by the blessings to the pilgrims come to bathe in the mystical waters of Saut d'Eau waterfall (jump water, in French) in Ville Bonheur, Department of the Centre. According to popular legend, in 1847 Erzulie Dantor, voodoo goddess of beauty and love, appeared at the site on a tree and began to heal the sick and perform miracles. Catholic priests saw this as blasphemy, cut down the tree and built a church a few yards away, in honor of the Virgin. For art work and syncretism, Erzulie is camouflaged in the Catholic Our Lady of Mount Caramel, or Our Lady of Miracles. Since then, Haitians consider the waters of Saut d'Eau, near the church, welfare and healing of all evil.
41-BP2938: A husband helps to make it easier on the verge of his wife. Beyond the stereotypes, which describe pure voodoo as black magic rituals with dolls, animal sacrifices and undead, this is basically a peaceful religion, which the rites are a mystical experience for the uninitiated. Voodoo has played a major role in organizing the struggle for independence from the Haitian people. A voodoo ceremony officiated Bois Cayman in 1791, led by the priest slave Boukman, is considered crucial in the first Haitian rebellions that led to the country's independence. Some leaders like Toussaint Louverture and Jean Jacques Dessalines banned during his tenure as the potential fear they inflicted.
42-BP2942: A woman with her eyes is almost gone into a trance at the waterfalls of Saut d'eau en Ville-Bonheur. The Voodoo festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph, an adept is possessed by the great Iwa. Cries and movements are convulsive. In this religion, for a follower or become vodouisant priest or houngan need to first undergo a series of initiation ceremonies. During the pilgrimage that takes place in July on the village is filled with visitors invading all available resources. For the rest of year, no one comes close to this corner of Plaine du Cul de Sac but in those days people camping with ease as he can. Some come equipped with tents, others sleep at friends' houses and the wealthy and some journalists slept in the Hotel Villa Marie Robenson & Georges, a cubbyhole flophouse that makes parties pay for their beds to abusive price $ 100. It takes advantage of being practically the only hotel in town and many choose to visit the Wozo Plaza Hotel in the nearby town of Mirebalais as a much better reputation and service closer to his price.
43-BP2953: A family tries not to hurt this woman who has entered into a trance and is possessed by a Iwa. According to popular legend, in 1847 Erzulie Dantor, voodoo goddess of beauty and love, appeared at the site on a tree and began to heal the sick and perform miracles. Catholic priests saw this as blasphemy, cut down the tree and built a church a few yards away, in honor of the Virgin. The current president, Aristide, Voodoo formally established as a national religion like Christianity. Rituals are Finali vudistas please, feed and ultimately invoke the Iwa by possession of a human body. The order of the ceremonies performed by chants and drums that beat a series of 13 strokes to symbolize the call to the gates of Ginen (Africa ancestral) to the rhythm of clapping from the audience.
44-BP2962: A woman in trance bathing in one of the pools of Saut d'Eau to connect with Iwa. Exited many Iwas, like Damballah normally painted with a snake biting its tail. The Lord of heaven and great zombie represents chaos and order in the creation of the world. It has the dual power to be death and rebirth, sickness and health, and male and female. The equivalent you have in Christianity is San Pedro and the offerings are usually given white chickens, eggs, rice and milk.
45-BP2983: Every July, thousands of Haitians are aimed at Saut d'Eau, a waterfall located 60 km north of Port au Prince, the most important pilgrimage Voodoo religion of this Caribbean country. They come after many hours away on foot, on donkeys and "tap tap", the typical coloradísimos and buses in search of good luck and benefits. In the cascade bodies and songs are mixed with scents of tea ready to ask favors from the loas. Iwas was reincarnated in Maras such as representing the love, truth and justice. It is normal to pay respects at the beginning of the ceremony that is associated with procreation and children, who often entertained in the presentation of offerings. Their counterparts in Christianity are San Cosme y San Damian and usually offer lots of food.
46-BP3043: Close to the waterfall, men and women sell candles, blue and white beads represent the praise and images of the Virgen de los Milagros. The drums play syncopated rhythms, and some people go into a trance, talking loudly and moving frantically. Beyond the stereotypes, which describe pure voodoo as black magic rituals with dolls, animal sacrifices and undead, this is basically a peaceful religion, which the rites are a mystical experience for the uninitiated. Many people in Haiti believe in the existence of zombies, people returning from the grave after death to scare the living. They say this is possible thanks to Bokor, sorcerer, who say it serves the Iwa with both hands. The victims are given a kind of secret potion that causes them a lot like cataleptic state death and imprisons the individual. Then the Bokor exhumed corpse and revives the false back to the person throwing it into a trance in which she can do anything it pleases, usually hard work.
47-BP3066: Climbing to the waterfall of Saut d'eau, a height of 30 meters is not easy. Like her, the pilgrims are directed at Saut d'Eau to attend the first of the three Catholic-voodoo celebrations that attract people from all parts of the country and all social classes. During the remainder of Haitians practice ceremonies in temples called colonnades, which are a kind of sheds containing an altar decorated with paintings Iwa and images of Catholic saints with stones, bottles and tied Ron Barbancourt herbs. In the middle of the peristyle stands a mitan poto (central post), the axis between the heavenly and the earthly world and the point where the Iwa enter the enclosure. The colonnades are devoted to a particular branch of Iwa and decorated in keeping with paint on doors and walls and flags collage.
48-BP3070: One of the men attending the festival voodoo Saut d'eau which is held every July in Ville-Bonheur. The Voodoo festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16, coinciding with the day which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph one of the participants displayed with a Christian cross. Adherents to this type of religion vudista Catholics are also considered. Voodoo is present in one way or another by almost everyone in Haiti. To contact the Grand Met is required Iwa. The first group are the Rada Iwa, and their main ceremonial color is white. Voodoo is also associated with magic. Baron Samedi is a last resort against magic, because even if a person places a curse on the verge of death, may refuse to "dig the grave", which that person can not die.
49-BP3082: Close to the waterfall, men and women sell candles, blue and white beads represent the praise and images of the Virgen de los Milagros. The drums play syncopated rhythms, and some people go into a trance, talking loudly and moving frantically. At that time the Ron Barbancourt, the most typical of Haiti, takes action to keep the party is complete. Voodoo Festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph, several people pray facing the waterfall while others celebrate this magical day. Voodoo or Vodun is a religion that originated in the cultural area of West Africa in prehistoric times. This is a theistic variant animistic belief system, equipped with a strong magical. For his direct link with cosmology and the Neolithic belief systems, their study is of great interest in the field of Paleoanthropology. Voodoo is one of the oldest religions in the world, halfway between polytheism and monotheism. The slave trade to America was a strong phenomenon of syncretism between this archaic religion and the Christian beliefs of the slave as well as with the native religions of the places where slaves were transported. Hence arise Haitian voodoo and a large number of derivatives: the Regla de Ocha or Santeria in Cuba, Candomble, Umbanda and Kimbanda in Brazil and so on. Some of these derivatives have come to Europe in recent decades, especially in the hands of returning emigrants.
50-BP3206: One of the festival attendees Saut d'eau voodoo goes into a trance. Voodoo Festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph reads one of the assistants without clothes. Old clothes are often throwing the water and then, after purified, dressed in new clothes. The Vodun or Voodoo is a theist and magical form of animism that developed among the tribes of West Africa before the historic period in the territories of what was the Kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin). The cultural area of the villages Fon, Gun, Mina and Ewe share common metaphysical conceptions, centered around the idea of a dual cosmological principle of divine order. On the one hand we find God the Creator (whose name can vary, but they define as Mawu) and secondly a number of gods or spirits actors, sons of the Creator. Creator God would thus cosmogonic principle, isolated from worldly affairs and Voduns gods or spirits are the actors who rule over earthly matters.
51-BP3105: There are many pregnant women attending this festival to ask the voodoo spirits that everything goes well at the birth of his son. The maternity Iwa called Erzulie Freda and symbols are the heart and a knife. Is represented by a black Madonna and scarred mute who offer the Creole pigs and rum. The pantheon of Voduns is large and complex. There are seven children Mawu direct the cosmogonic principle, which are ethnic and are related to natural phenomena or historical and mythical figures, along with dozens of ethnic Voduns, advocates of a particular clan or tribe. Voduns there are the modern, mainly from Ghana. Various totalitarian regimes in West Africa tried to suppress Vodun with other forms of religiosity, but today flourish again. Over 30 million people practice voodoo African currently in many countries of the Gulf of Guinea. For anyone interested in the original Voodoo, history, comparative religion and anthropology, museums and markets Vodun of Ouidah and Cotonou, Benin, where it is now the official religion, "or of Lomé in Togo, is a fascinating experience. The voodoo religion involves belief in life after death, as well as the existence of various spiritual hierarchies of evil spirits, benign or amoral, called loas. These alleged influence in the underworld by the action of a hierophant.
52-BP2079: The priests of voodoo, "Houganes, and priestesses," Mambo ", take up role during the three days of festivities and give the faithful the herbs with which they rub their bodies as long as the rushing water unstoppable falls from the top of the mountain. This festival blends the traditions of voodoo and honor the goddesses Iwa with other Christian traditions, such as the veneration of the Virgen de los Milagros. These Iwas Erzulie eg Cantor is comparable to Venus, and as equivalent to the Virgin Mary in Christianity. Cantor Erzulie is the Iwa of love. She is represented also as La Sirene, a mermaid who enchants with its beauty and trumpet. Usually gifts are delivered in the form of perfume, wine, cakes and jewelry.
53-BP3154: Although the epicenter is the water that gives the waterfall, all formed around different places of worship where the faithful light candles and pray in trees to pray for luck, money or love. With frenetic rhythms and exciting music contribute to the collective ecstasy reached at certain times of celebration. Voodoo Festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph one of the assistants is abut possessed by the great Iwa. The Iwa cited most frequently are those of the Rada rite, which are also known as duces or good. The function of a houngan is, with the help of authorities who calls, get cures, information given, (as distinct from shamanic visions) and influencing nature. This benign purposes. The woman may also houngan if you have skills and is chosen for it, calling Manbo. You may have harmful intentions houngan or use its convening power for evil, then it is called Bokor. American Voodoo is a clear example of syncretic evolution between this theistic-animistic religion, Christian beliefs and religions of the slave local people like the Taino, which began when many African Gulf of Guinea were used as slaves in Haiti and other places in the Caribbean.
54-BP1115: Although the epicenter is the water that gives the waterfall, all around form different places of worship where the faithful light candles and pray in trees to pray for luck, money or love. At the beginning lacked a regular clergy and established rituals (the liturgy), because it was a religion pursued by slave owners who forced them to convert to Christianity. American Voodoo derive other religions such as Santeria, by nature even more mystified by Christian currents. Santeria, a syncretic expressions of the highest in the world - uses symbols and Christian saints, giving praise and image and represent previous rites, similar to voodoo.
55-BP3309: The trance, at which time Iwa spirits enter the body of priests, is a standard pattern among participants in the festival and it is not unusual to see people held are dropped by the torrent of water with eyes and jerky movements. Voodoo has been a strong reference for popular culture because of the ability of Bokor attributed to resurrect the dead and make them work for their benefit (zombies), as well as to cause death at will. Of equal interest have proved popular as other folk elements voodoo dolls. There is a wide literature and films about it, which tends to distort and demonize what today is the religion of more than 40 million people worldwide.
56-BP3342: A person in a trance, with eyes and by jerky movements, one is possessed by the spirits of Iwa. Voodoo adherents once a year perform the pilgrimage to coincide with the date that was seen in 1847 a vision of the Virgin Mary. In general, voodoo is considered that there is a supernatural entity last, call in various ways, the most common or Mawu Bondy (sometimes referred to a partner, Mawu and Lisa) and regent of the supernatural world, but this is remains inaccessible and alien to the human world, so that communication with the supernatural world is to be carried out through the numerous eulogies (Baron Samedi, the Maman Brigitte Damballa, etc), supernatural entities also act as intermediary deities and that to the fact the backbone of voodoo, each having a different personality and multiple modes to be praised (by songs, dances, ritual symbols, etc.). While there is no uniform religious structures, a voodoo priest serves to contact the loas invoked, the loa speaking through him, which is attributed to the priests a great power, and get the generic name houngan, or in the case of a woman, mambo. The term Bokor houngan is reserved for one who uses his power for evil, would be equivalent to the word wizard.
57-BP3383: A man in a trance in one of the pools of Saut d'eau. Voodoo Festival Saut d'Eau is celebrated every year on July 16 to coincide with the day on which in 1847 appeared a vision of the Virgin Mary. Thousands of devotees coming from all parts of Haiti are bathed in this water for purified or pra lose the Grand Master that their dreams become reality. Voodoo is the main religion of Haiti. The followers need to be possessed by a spirit Iwa to communicate with Grand Met, since this is abut far from the physical plane. In the photograph, an adept is possessed by the great Iwa. Cries and movements are convulsive. The trance, at which time Iwa spirits enter the body of the followers. From early morning, the faithful Haitians begin to go to cemeteries laden with coffee, "klerec (native of strong drink alcohol) and all types of food to offer to the spirits. Voodoo, although not a form always visible, is present in all areas of the country's life and even the blue and red colors of the flag represent Ogou, spirit of war, fire, and the cosmos. Before the ritual demands that these women consecrated to the voodoo religion purify their bodies and cleanse their sexual organs and the fluid removed from a bottle filled with herbs before receiving the spirit. Violent movements, dancing and alcohol consumption continues to characterize the times that voodoo priestesses lend their bodies to spirits of the dead. The crowd, which always remains about the priests, alive with singing and shouting to them in their contacts with the other world. Another essential feature of this religion of African origin is its deep fluency, partly because it has no liturgy or theology and partly written by the diverse influences that have had other religions.
58-BP3488: Each Lwa is distinguished not only for their traits of character and its actions, but also by their tastes and preferences: Ercilia is inextricably linked to the pair of white pigeons and fish fried in oil, as well as fine candies , the merengue and the liquid. Ogun Almost all are related to excessive intake of alcohol and the luas hell, with the sacrifice of boars sure sign of bestial power. The saints "eat" like men, are fed with blood and other parts offerings of animals and other food delivered to them in ceremonies known, most significantly, with the name of many-lua. The offerings are the embodiment of the contractual relationship between divinity and his horse: this is the offer in payment for the services received, well-being achieved and, in short, the work done by the latter in a period. Also, expecting good results as a result of future performance. Where Lwa do not get what was offered in return for his work, takes revenge on his "son" in various ways. So the balance in the relationship server / lua is achieved by complying with the "sacrifices" agreed between them. The offering, in effect, is a clear indicator of this relationship. If a Lwa rejects a food, is an indication that something has been wrong and that divinity is upset. All should be available in a rigorous manner many of the adverse reactions will occur as targeted. When no Ercilia takes possession of your horse is because it expresses the rejection and then must repetírsele the ceremony, usually the following year.
59-BP3522: A Voodoo practitioner may have come to acquire the experience and conditions for their work as independently. In that case you need to build a house (known in Haiti caye-Mystere (cai-Mist) intended exclusively for the Luas, separated from his dwelling house. For different materials used clothing. In rural areas the most common is that this church, usually small, have palm board walls or used palm fronds and thatched roof, that is, is a hut. In the existing voodoo cult centers in urban areas, these "houses of the mysteries" or luas are constructed with a greater variety of materials, ranging from tables, walls or masonry to the roof with zinc or concrete. are frequently found living in homes of Haitians and their descendants small altars built in an unlikely place visible one bedroom, and in these immigrants, usually placed images of Catholic saints, bushes and other objects own voodoo. On the floor of that room when it comes from a pastor could be also seen on a carpet bag jute or, on the surface of the soil, objects such as spools of thread, coins, etc.. and maybe a table with other ritual objects.
60-BP3576: A couple of Haitians by the waterfall of Saut d'eau. Haitian Voodoo officiants are simplicity in dress and attributes that attach to it as a clear religious reference. Not so among his descendants who hold similar hierarchies in those notes, however, an overload in the visible elements. So are multiple types of seed bead necklaces which are made with those sold in some public places. These insert other objects such as plates and key chains called "tears" of crystal chandeliers. In a note collar dozens of spools of sewing threads of different colors. It is clear that the cultural function added decorative elements. Not lacking in these attributes gold medals with pictures of St. Barbara or the Virgin of Caridad del Cobre.
Voodoo, far from demonic and creepy worship shown by much of the horror and suspense, is a religion in which they find cults of African slaves who were brought to Haiti during the period of Spanish colonization and Catholic dogma that they were forced to practice as part of evangelization. Those Blacks of different ethnicities and tribes, were taken to Haiti to work and exploit the lands of others, but took with them a set of gods and religious belief, precisely because of their ethnicity, was the slow combination of their worship. Mixture then complemented by that of the saints and Catholic rites, as to prevent the destruction of their beliefs by the Spanish priest, surreptitiously practiced voodoo, disguised under the mask of religion regulated.
It may seem inconceivable that two such different beliefs have been linked. But the slaves and with their freedom lost, could not allow a proper element of its character also was eliminated. Although it took the faith in one God with whom there is direct communication, which is merciful and paternal feeling attentive to all the faithful, but instead maintained the conviction that there is a god, who is called the main Mawu, who has left and away from your understanding. A being inaccessible and who does not need to worship him despite recognition. Because of this they are to turn to other gods, intermediaries. These are called loas. Numerous representatives of what element exists on Mother Earth and those who make the loas human destiny can only be called or invoked by a priest (houngan) or priestess (mambo), whose preparation is difficult, secret, whose functions range from spiritual guide to business and its corresponding evil sorcerer is a Bokor.
In 1791, the black slaves, tired of the regime and cruel reprisals and punishments to their surveys, they decide to finally rise up in the historical event known as the Haitian Revolution. Who would have the power to bring all the dissatisfied population and prepare for the revolt was Bouckman, a houngan. Behind him is the most wonderful feat of the legends of voodoo and Haitian freedom. Through a voodoo cult, said to have been demanded by the gods for his people breathe the air of dignity and sovereignty of their race, Bouckman invoke the loas being in the city of Boys "Cayman. Blacks played the drums, which are considered divine, and danced wildly, singing, intoxicated by the forces that gave them their deities, by the strong desire to be men and not objects of forced labor under the offering of a slain black pig by the sacrifice of blood, black revolt take place on 22 August that year.
But it was not until the February 4th, 1794 that France liberated from slavery to men of color, an event that could not attend Bouckman to have been beheaded shortly after the Revolution. Still left in the minds of the new freemen desire to see his people as a sovereign country. And he achieved, in the hands of Jean-Jacques Dessalines on January 1, 1804 in Gonaives, after bloody disputes and clear their land of the French with a machete and sticks, exacerbated their minds with rage.
As the first free country of America and despite being the first to be a black republic, which would come to Haiti would be precisely the example of freedom and equality than expected. On the contrary, it seemed that Ogun (the god of war) or Baron Samedi, god of cemeteries and the dead, had taken over the country and its leaders ever.
Just one year to Dessalines are inspired by their achievements and be declared Emperor Jacques I. However, his former collaborators: Alexandre Petion and Henri Christophe, shape the plot to end the life of the Emperor in 1806. That year Petion and Christophe, former slave and cook, declare war over the territory of Haiti that led to the division in the country: the north was by Christophe, while the south of Petion. The first would be named King Henry I, the second would help Simon Bolivar with arms in order to release all American blacks. Despite such lofty goals, Petion was assassinated in 1818, and Henri I would commit suicide in his palace, Sans Souci, plunged in solitude and the consciousness of knowing hated by his people.
Thus, in a series of murders, suicides, blood shed by injustice, dissatisfaction and a number of governments overthrown and people mired in poverty, illiteracy and a region devoid of wealth and even a glimmer of hope, Haiti clung each again their gods, the only ones who dreamed this nightmare in which they lived (and still ongoing) could hold on and trust. But at the same time, perhaps fearing that this whole world that had disastrous lot in life was dominated by a lampe noire (lamp black) and indecipherable deadly witchcraft handled only by the Bokor. The malignancy of these, as connoisseurs of harmful potions and charms, as zombificadores cunning as malicious magicians, ie by invoking the dead and especially as being stuck with evil in their souls is so awful and terrible that some Haitians would doubt that their misfortunes are the result of a powerful Bokor.
But even believing a free country, Haiti did not expect the United States in 1908 arrived as yet another evil loa. The American empire was based in the country on the grounds of improvements in the banana plantations and the construction of a railroad. However in 1915 the U.S. Marines brought their troops home and thus began the American military occupation, which left at least officially, a total of ten peasants killed by the sea during a march demanding better developed in the economy. Come 1934, under President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the withdrawal of troops. The result was not the beginning of an era of renewed government, but the continuation of rulers manipulated by the manipulators of power and even the dark forces of voodoo.
After the occupation of the United States, one of the detractors of this: Stenio Vincent, was named president by the National Assembly. During her government had to tackle one of the worst episodes of Haitian contemporary history, the so-called "Slaughter of parsley." Made by the President Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic as a threat to Haitian migrants to their country, the slaughter killed over 15 thousand people. The despotic murders were committed by the Dominican army, and the reason was that everyone should be completed that could not properly pronounce the palara parsley. Given these facts, the only thing he could do was try Vincent, by diplomatic means to maintain good relations with its neighbor and through protests and international pressure to force Trujillo to pay millions in compensation to Haiti.
After this brutal chapter, which would settle a fable without a moral. After a military government and a protest of people come to power in 1957 the most formidable character, bloodthirsty and evil that has ever been created in the real or fictional story of a god or a human. This is Francois Duvalier, known as Papa Doc Thanks to his humble origins, earned the distinction as a doctor for years given to the disadvantaged and its policy proposals on behalf of black people, the people saw in him a kind hero or savior. But that was not what he would for his country. Contrary to expectations, Duvalier established a covenant with Trujillo in which either affect or allow your neighbor any ideas contrary to their governments in their respective countries. "Inspired" by the atrocious armed forces of fascism, the military created Macoute to preserve their power through repression and bloody reprisals and tortuous. But his disgusting lust for power was not yet satisfied: the constitution was amended and re-elected for six years, and then declare himself president for life. All this with a number of macabre acts to silence the people and hold onto the coveted top social.
Although what makes the story of Papa Doc is inconceivable is a chapter made use of voodoo. He claimed to be a powerful houngan, but actually turned out to be an execrable Bokor. Then he declared with certainty incomprehensible that was the personification of Baron Samedi, god of cemeteries and death. What is certain is that Duvalier became Haiti, a country of the dead.
Thereafter, the history of Haiti is the continuation of a network of injustice and political corruption: Duvalier's son spent time in power, but had to leave the country by the pressures of the people, after Aristide's dictatorship , American and other occupation would then be under the control of UN peacekeepers, but the earthquake in Haiti in January, seems to be operated by the U.S..
This further aggravates the possibility that Haiti determine themselves as a people and lead the reconstruction itself in the country with international assistance that the United States, skillfully administered. With the country's voracious speaking north of Haiti policy, the results will be used by the ignorant racists who attributed every thing that Haiti has suffered, is the product of their worship "demonic" and its black and African nature, when in fact devastated the international indifference and lack of a government that is not linked to corruption and unchecked desire for power that quickly is allied with U.S. interests.
Also known as Haitian voodoo Voodoo, Hoodoun, Vudu, originated in Africa, Haiti carried by African slaves from Africa African slaves arriving in the new world, found themselves unable to continue the practice of ancestral rites, sometimes under death penalty. But quickly understand essential similarities between their beliefs and those of Catholics, Catholics pray to saints to intercede to God in the highest favor. Within a generation of arrival, these priests and temples were established and had turned his captivity and despite severe opposition from the French and Spanish churches. When Africans arrived in the stores of its captors, it was necessary to restore the religions so that they could be practiced with some degree of consistency and make it accessible. First of all, it is important to clearly state that Voudoun or Vudu and Hoodoun not like Umbanda and Santeria and Lukumi Kimbanda. Voudoun or Vudu Hoodoun developed in Haiti and is a religion of the worship of a system of religious worship as practiced in Louisiana. The Frenchman posted on the north of the island of Tortuga in Haiti in 1626 and after the progress of this key movement in French comenzó.Esto extension helps us to understand the connection of the slaves and Haitians who arrived in Louisiana, was at one time a French colony. Slaves arriving in Haiti and Louisiana later brought with them African cults called Majumbes or Araras that originated in Dahomey. Vudu or Voudou The word originates from the meaning in principle Principle of Life, Spirit. The practice in this tradition are based on the cult of Loa spirits or supernatural beings. The ancestral spirits are included in Tete pans, pots or bowls in those who confine the soul. The packages are wrapped with a cloth, a cloth collar or deceased personnel. The ceremonies are conducted in what is known as hounfort. A knock at the Mambo priestess and priest Hougan. Voudoun is divided into two main parts: the Rada and Petro. Rada is named for the dynasty of Dahomey and Arada Loa in this group. His character is comparatively calm, while Petro is known for its violent Loa, which are received with loud sounds. These are the two main branches of these traditions, but surely there are other names that exist. However, all varieties of Vudu are included within the first two groups mentioned. It has two main deities Damballah-Wedo represents the male principle of the male nature. Vudu early African faith based on worship of the serpent Damballah created all the waters of the earth. In the form of a serpent, the movement of its 7,000 ripples formed the hills and valleys on earth and brought forth stars and planets in the heavens. He forged metals from heat and blitz to form the sacred rocks and stones. When he shed his skin in the sun, releasing all water on earth, the sun shone on the water and created the rainbow. Damballah loved the beauty of a rainbow and made her his wife, Aida-Wedo. The revelations of the loa descended upon the first faithful in faith, a legendary city located in West Africa. Therefore, everything in life and all spiritual strength comes from fé.La homeland of all the devotees of Voodoo or Vodoun in death, the higher soul will return to reside with the loa and ancestors. also depicted as snake, the female principle-Wedo Damballah married. Vo-Du The term came from the Fons of Dahomey. Black Magic Voodoo Voodoo or born in Haiti Preto com, Don Pedro Petro traditional founder Vudoun, or Vudu his name is given as Jean-Philippe Pedro. nature. He is depicted as a snake that commands the respect of other forces and resides in the first place at the altar of Haiti. Ayida-Wedo. Vudu earlier African faith based on worship of the serpent Damballah created all the waters of the earth. In the form of a serpent, the movement of its 7,000 ripples formed the hills and valleys on earth and brought forth stars and planets in the heavens. He forged metals from heat and blitz to form the sacred rocks and stones. When he shed his skin in the sun, releasing all water on earth, the sun shone on the water and created the rainbow. Damballah loved the beauty of a rainbow and made her his wife, Aida-Wedo. The revelations of the loa descended upon the first faithful in faith, a legendary city located in West Africa. Therefore, everything in life and all spiritual power comes from faith. The homeland of all the devotees of Voodoo or Vodoun in death, the higher soul will return to reside with the loa and ancestors. also depicted as snake, the female principle-Wedo Damballah married. Vo-Du The term came from the Fons of Dahomey. Black Magic or Voodoo Voodoo was born in Haiti Preto com, Don Pedro Petro traditional founder Vudoun, or Vudu his name is given as Jean-Philippe Pedro.El rite at first known as "dance, to Peter." yor him the physical or spiritual son has become the Loa under the names of Jean-Philippe Petro Ti Jean Petro.Un new development in the world at Vudu, a distinguished group of rites practicality violent energy and land -level of your Loa, this is a black magic Voodoo and the Voodoo loa of angry when a cult of Pretos invokes a burning energy in the new world Vudu is Aradia, the Nago, Ibo, Congo on the square of slaves held many traditional African dances, including Bamboula, To the beat of primitive drums. They may even have made some Voodoo rituals as well, including Damballa worship the god of the serpent. Although some sources say that was not carried out any Vudu worship itself in Congo Square, it is clear that this area was a place reserved for the free expression of the culture and customs of the Africans, especially dancing music of the drums. And although the historical record is cloudy, it is possible that some aspects of Voodoo ceremonies were held there, the Senegalese, the Malinke, the Ethiopians, the Sudan and Madagascar. The Vudu believes in the existence a very abstract force, omnipotent with all the supreme power of God.
Like Osha, Palo Monte and other African religious expressions, the Voodoo is a religion that originated from the beliefs of peoples who were brought from the black continent as slaves to America, and the contact of these practices Christianity in Haiti.
It is said that the Voodoo is one of the oldest religions in the world, though its syncretism is linked to the same Regla de Ocha or Santeria in Cuba, Miami (U.S.) and Venezuela and other Caribbean countries, the naniguismo / Abakuá also in Cuba, Umbanda / Kimbanda the Jeje Candomblé and Macumba in Brazil, the Palo Monte in Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Shango in Trinidad and Tobago, the misunderstood and including Rastafarianism in Jamaica Obeah in Haiti itself and its variant, the Gaga in Dominican Republic, to mention only the most popular.
Given the characteristics of Voodoo, its practice is related in some way with Rule Osha and Palo Monte, which is why in this room presents a brief history of its birth, evolution and religious aspects more generally.
First of all I want to make the clarification that there is a strong anthropological controversy over the use of concepts such as Voodoo and Vodou, or Voodoo Vodun, not fall into the provocation of those who want to differentiate that voodoo is practiced in Haiti and also is exercised in Cuba, the West African Vodun and the Vodou, or Voodoo you work in the United States, particularly in New Orleans and Louisiana: I will refer to Haitian Voodoo as neo-pagan religion that we all know.
I also suggest, as rightly pointed out Lilith Dorsey, discarded the idea that Voodoo means "orgies, needles buried in puppets and zombies." Turn recommend to forget the maxim that advocates the theory that Rule Osha and all Afro-Caribbean religions have their origin directly and exclusively in Haitian Voodoo.
Origins: African Vodun.
The Vodun is a neopagan religion which originated in West Africa, specifically in what were known as the Kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin). The studied sufficiently and the slave trade to America by Englishmen, Dutchmen, Spanish, Portuguese, and French, produced a strong phenomenon of syncretism between this religion and the Christian beliefs of his slave, which subsequently led to Haitian Voodoo.
The arrival of the French violent than what was originally called the Spanish in 1697 (named by Christopher Columbus when he was dominated by the Spanish since 1492) faced the reality that their original residents (indigenous Taino and Arawak) had been almost entirely eradicated slavery, abuse, disease and exploitation (although some claim that their people had been killed in its entirety), so that the island is renamed Saint-Domingue and repopulated in entirely by black slaves brought from Africa, specifically Nigeria (Benin and its environs).
In 1791 a group of black slaves and Maroons led by a slave named Boukman initiated a plot was made through a blood covenant (ritual) of African origin born in Dahomey (located in the aforementioned Benin), with which sought to eliminate all the white residents of the island with the help of the Gods of Voodoo. After thirteen years of bloody wars against the French, supported by Britain and Spain in vain, Haitian blacks finally get their independence.
But where is the religious belief that allowed the people's freedom from their oppressors?
Legend has it that "the African Vodun appears on the River Congo, and is based on the cult of the serpent called Damballah, it gave rise to all waters of the earth. In the form of a serpent, the movement of 7.000 waves formed the hills and valleys on the surface of the earth and brought to the stars and planets in the heavens also forged metals and lightning used to form the rocks and sacred stones. "
When this snake skin scattered in the sun, releasing all water on earth, the sun king began to shine in the water and created the rainbow. Damballah loved the beauty of the rainbow and asked his wife, Aida-Wedo, union and led the men and women.
Another legend says that at first the world had a deity called Mawu-Lisa, double supreme deity whose union were born several different deities created that eventually became intermediaries between Mawu-Lisa and humans. The pair of gods Mawu-Lisa is divided into two celestial bodies: a female, the moon, called Mawu, representing fertility and night, and the male, the Sun, called Lisa, and represents a day and even mighty warrior. From the union of these deities were born were the tribes "Fon" in the region of Benin, and "Autchi" in the area of Togo and that together gave rise to religion Dahomeyiana.
Ideologically Vodun is a religion based on worship of all forces of nature on the planet, also believe in the spirits of ancestors and their integration with the environment surrounding the human being, believe in the existence of a Mawu called god and a pantheon of spirits (Loas).
Legend has more than "At first Mawu lived among men, and the sky was so low that they could touch it with your hand. One day, a woman was cooking polenta can be corn flour, chestnut or buckwheat, and so low that it was heaven, I had difficulty removing the bucket. Irritated finally threw up the polenta. Mawu became angry and said: "From now on, I will not be among men. And ascended, away with his heaven. "
Then the gods created to deal with humans and rule the world, representatives from Mawu way, the creator and inaccessible to man.
So, Vodun means for "Fon" Benin "hidden", "mysterious", "sacred," while for "Autchi" Togo is "messenger of the deep" in the Earth's interior, which are buried ancestors.
With the arrival of white European colonists to Nigeria in search of slaves to exploit the riches of the new world, the Fon "and" Autchi "were subjected, enslaved and sent to the island of what is today known as Haiti, prisoners between which included scholars, priests, sorcerers and senior military.
A long process of survival gave rise to this religion (supported by religious beliefs and culture of the Elders, Priests, and military wizards mentioned), eventually moved away considerably from their original tribal design, based on new beliefs, cults temples, behavioral norms, guilds and ceremonies: the syncretism. The Haitian of African descent did not hesitate to incorporate and assimilate to their own religious culture concepts of another religion, since I always believed in a creative principle, one God, source of all creation, which is in all things, divinity, spirits and people know them or not ... whether or not originating africanoide.
As you mention historians, almost voodoo as a religion is developed in tandem with the Haitian society, so that the triumph of the independence movement in turn gave rise to the institutionalization (and subsequent prohibition) of Voodoo as a religion, and his time as an element of coercion, manipulation and threat to the new rulers of local origin.
However, within the Haitian folklore and develop other concepts that can get away with minor variations and even contradict the concepts inherited by Africans, for example, for the practitioners of voodoo in Haiti, Damballa, Damballa Wedo or Damballa Hwedó, is considered the Snake created all and the binomial-Lisa Mawu which give rise to people.
Below Wedo, the supreme God, are the Haitian Loa, which are defined as "spirits" and represent the everyday needs of the human being man before the events of daily life. The Loa are responsible to act on the target, modifying the forces of nature, hence the practitioners of this religion to practice their adoration for their energy, their strength, their physical attributes, their intelligence and their ability to assume control benefit all factors involved in its existence.
These Loas, considered in its existence to 401, were assisting with animal sacrifices, offerings of various kinds, dancing, drinking, costumes and a touch of drums called "whips."
Loas There are two categories: the Radas (representing the bright aspects of human spirituality) and Petros (representing the most ancient and powerful of the human unconscious.)
The Loa most important are:
• Agbata and Aclobe. Loas are invoked to bring these diseases.
• Agau or Xeviosos. It is said that when there are storms, their anger. Loa of thunder, rain, lightning and storms.
• Agwe: Governs the sea, its flora and fauna, as well as those who live off their assets and their boats. Its symbol is the trident.
• Aida-Wedo: personifies the rainbow, rainfall, the depth of the sea and springs. She is the wife of Damballah-Wedo.
• Aizan - Ayizan: It is the Spirit that illuminates the search for the initiated who have not yet achieved a high level of wisdom. Guide the first steps towards the Truth. Leghba wife. It is an aspect of Erzulie own. He is credited with the power to ward off evil spirits.
• Alegda: loa is an evil and feared, the source of evil and of life.
• AzaC or Zaca: the Loa of agriculture, growth and prosperity of the land.
• Baron Samedi: wears black and is often represented as a disembodied head and smiling. Their colors are black, violet and white - bone.
• Baron Cimitiere: undertaker carries instruments; pick, shovel and spade. Its offerings are painted black and decorated with skulls.
• Bossu: it has a bone deformity of birth, it looks monstrous and from ancient times was associated with the turtle. From this circumstance the turtle is considered a "sacred animal."
• Danhome or Dan: lady of water, and dispense benevolent deity of wealth. Boa is sacred, and always prefer wet places.
• Erzulie: Aphrodite of Voodoo. Women and loa, goddess of fertility, love and passion is lust.
• It is said that when unleashed terrible storm rages and throws from the sky, its fearful ax, which triggers fire and destruction.
• Ho Ogou or gou: is the owner of the metals, protector of blacksmiths, also controls the objects they produce and weapons in particular, is therefore also the god of "War."
• Krabinay: Loa of the Petro rite. Your possessions are very violent. It is harsh and cynical, use red clothes and helps in the work Houngan more desperate and pitiful.
• Legba: Guardian of the doors and, especially, the entry of hounfor. It is the first invocation and the last to be fired. Interpreter of the gods. It is the one that opens the barrier that separates the mortal world of the transcendent world and thus is one that allows contact with other spirits.
• Loko: the owner of the trees and has a great influence on the healers who work with herbs.
• Marinette, loa that protects against disease and aid to nursing.
• Sakapta: He is the god of smallpox.
• Sobo: loa which gives good reputation.
• Terremille: Spirit of protection.
• Yansan: is the strength of the clouds and storms.
Special mention Bondy (aka Bon Dieu: Good God), the ruler of the supernatural, and whose 'concept' of deity is very similar to the god of Islam, Judaism or Christianity.
Unlike African mythology, the Haitian Voodoo is the belief that Damballa and Aida Wedo (turned into snakes), the African religion brought to America by sea and sky, were found on the island of Haiti and its merger (affair) did the voodoo. In turn, the Marassa, sacred twins called Mawu and Lisa (sun, moon, woman, man, ying-yang), human beings created after the merger during an eclipse.
Notables although specific differences with regard to the African conception of this myth derives all the Pantheon of the Loa and the religious task of the practitioners of voodoo.
The temple where religious ceremonies are performed is called Voodoo or Houmfort Humfó: a building with cellars, secret rooms, rooms with altars to worship at the Loas and tools and ritual objects to handle any situation in the time needed .
The elder is called Hung also called Dad or Dad-lois Loa and the women Mambo, Maman Maman-loa or Valois. Interestingly the role of priests is influenced by the Catholic priest and military discipline. To reach this level requires a lot of culture and education, intelligence extrasensory gifts, knowing all the details of religious and ceremonial practice, knowledge about art and traditions, and healing herbs, witchcraft (black magic, known as Zobops- and white - called Bocor "), a gift for making talismans, amulets and protections and good memory. However, there are other requirements to be met, such as receiving an inheritance lineage, being initiated by another Hung, have been born with a baby tooth, with a spot on the skin or being born feet.
There are ethical limitations in the priesthood and when some Hungans the transgresses, can be prosecuted, maimed and even sentenced to death, especially if found guilty of human sacrifices, create zombies or maliciously influence on people.
Initiation of the Priest is a long complicated and expensive ceremony, which is shut for 9-17 days in a sacred room in which 21 lives with higher spirits. You should also acting as applicant, preparing meals, doing cleaning and care of older priests. Then perform duties of assistant or master of ceremonies and follow all services provided. Also serve as acting head of warehouse and Humfó management. Finally execute functions soothsayer or clairvoyant.
During the initiation process will appreciate the presence of Catholic symbols such as the use of crosses and rosaries, bells, baptisms, images or pictures of saints, processions and pilgrimages, shrines, ceremonies and even holding some of those in Latin .
Houngan revenues shall consist of fees for their sick or bewitched, the foods sold to customers in the ceremonies, the animals were sacrificed (chickens, roosters, goats, sheep, oxen, etc..), Sales talismans, Wang, powders and healing potions, incense, candles, etc..
There are various types and forms of voodoo ritual, but the most important and widespread are four: Rada, Nago, Petro and Congo.
1. The Rada, the word comes from Arada is a city of Dahomey. It is the oldest and primeval. Prevails in the cultural element Ewé of Dahomey, Guinea and Nigeria.
2. The ritual Nago is predominantly Yoruba-Nago, similar to Santeria in Cuba.
3. The Petro is a modern ritual based on a voodoo dance, but with a more intense pace and accompanied by a drink or sugar cane liquor tafia and gunpowder.
4. The Congo is another predominantly ritual expressions of the former Congo, similar to the Kimbanda and Umbanda of Brazil.
In turn, the drums vary in shape, size and number according to the rite in question. This could be three drums can go in pairs, pairs or as an "orchestra." In the voodoo drums are considered to contain a force or vital principle called Hountó, is used to please the Loas and that is why it is danced with fervor in the form of greeting. During his playing one or more of the attendees may be possessed by a Loa or the dead ancestors or spirits (the Ghede). Above the sacrifice of animals. It is said that they usually generate trances touches that can reach to create a state of collective hypnosis among all attendees. The dances include certain movements that are sacred when repeated constantly.
In this context the most important tool or instrument within the Voodoo is "Ason" rattle a maraca or zucchini (considered sacred), covered with beads and bones and may occasionally include a small bell and vertebrae of v Ibor. It is used not only in a session drummer, but in general in any ritual to invoke the Loa.
The cult of the ancestors and the dead is very important in the Voodoo and it is based on the Hounfo: a small bottle of mud in which they can "rescue" the gros-bon-ange of the ancestors. Upon the death of one person, the gros-bon-ange-soul-goes to a place under water. A year and a day after his death, family members can call. It is expensive ritual that requires the sacrifice of an ox and it often takes a long time before it can be done, however can not be delayed, as the ancestor may be upset and cause problems or illness.
The main practitioners of this cult of the dead are a group Lwa called "The Barons Gede and" which are characterized by lewd and lascivious (some define as common) in excess. The main deities that they worship are called "spirits" and among them are: Baron Samedi, Mama Brigitte Baron Criminal Mischief and Gebo Uncle Nibo.
You can not put aside the concept of zombies in Voodoo religion. "The zombimificación we know belongs to the world of American cinema with beings of terror" as correctly stated by the researcher Fermin Castro, who "walk uuuhhhnnmmm stupidly saying" more like a definition we can say that zombies are people who have received, or they have been administered, powders derived from plants, fish and roots hallucinogenic, toxic and poisonous causing minimization of vital signs, which makes capacity, and consequently will be affected: Used for subjecting persons.
In addition to "manufacture" of zombies, Haiti is also famous for the use of voodoo doll through the proper ritual (the load) becomes a highly effective procedure to access the souls of a person from far away. They are also very popular Transplants bodies, exchange of heads and other practices of black magic performed by the Bokor.
But do not go into detail of these practices, it is to enter into controversy: just tell them that if there is such a procedure involving witchcraft and religious-spiritual delicate that has nothing to do with the image that Hollywood has sold us, in any way recommend to the curious read the aforementioned Fermin Castro or the world-famous botanist Wade Davis.
However, regardless of these works of black magic, that are paramount in the Voodoo, we must not forget that the central aspect of this as a religious practice is to cure illness and disease. It is said that they probably constitute 60% of the activity of its priests. These heal with herbs, faith (with the help of the Loas and other spirits) and even with conventional medical remedies.
The main functions of a Voodoo Priest are:
- Heal, heal, and help to offal.
- Perform ceremonies to call or pacify the spirits.
- Maintain the religious prestige of the temple.
- Begin to other priests.
- Perform records, divination and interpretation of premonitions and dreams.
- Make potions and potions for various purposes: from love, health, success and even death.
It is worth noting that, like Rule Osha and Palo Monte, the Voodoo is too closely related to those Afro-Caribbean religions, the more this closeness is not the obvious result of African origin, but by the worship of their deities, music and dancing, kissing the ground * to the deities, animal sacrifice or offerings, the use of signatures or photographs, the cult of the dead and even the presence of a Elegguá in Santeria, a Palo Lucero and Legba in the voodoo, with personality and similar virtues.
Of course there are other similarities that can become related directly to the cult of Palo Monte, as the use of the mirror as a tool of divination or the similarities of some strokes in the signatures, but also alienate Congas Rules for the use of fire as a key element in various ceremonies.
Finally an answer as to why the Voodoo has not spread to other parts of America, and Afro-Caribbean religion, like Rule Osha and Palo Monte: language. The official language spoken in Haiti (with French) is called Creole or Haitian Creole (which is divided into two dialects: the fable and the plateau), which is a characteristic mixture of French and African languages as the Yoruba, Wolof, Kikongo and Gbe: dialect of very limited use not only in America but worldwide.
Greetings and Nsambi the akutare ...
* The use and custom of kissing the ground in African religions has always been criticized and frowned upon by the Western world, however, many people forget the practice at the time the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II when he made his visits throughout the world, kiss the ground when descending from the plane. Some anthropologists have always defined this as a practice originated in the Voodoo (from the claim that religion is mankind's oldest) and indicated that it included Pope dark meanings.
When the earthquake of January 12 destroyed in Haiti, the recession, strict immigration laws and religious discrimination and had beaten Kenolaba Mercuis.Hace 11, Mercuis poverty forced to leave his family at Saint-Louis du Nord to work in North Miami. Could not send money to his wife and three children regularly, as you did before he lost his job last year.
Now there is something even more terrifying, and it is to see how the practitioners of voodoo are being marginalized. "Our families and friends who practice voodoo are suffering more in the provinces, where Christians control most of the aid,''said Mercuis, 40." They, now more than ever, they have to cling to secrecy'' .
Voodoo is part of the cultural and socio-political fiber of Haitians. However, this practice is very far from achieving the ability of Catholic and Protestant churches in Little Haiti to collect aid.
Discrimination in Haiti, some say in Miami, has forced some displaced false conversions to Christianity seems not to be at a disadvantage. "It's part of our history. To find solutions to their problems act as Christians in public and secretly practiced voodoo,''said Ronald St. Hilaire, 33.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), almost half the population practices voodoo in Haiti, about 80 percent identify themselves as Catholic and 16 percent Protestant. St. Hilaire believes that poverty and lack of education you are adding fuel to the fire of tension between religions in Haiti.
"There are pastors who continue to say that voodoo is evil and its practitioners go to hell,''said St. Hilaire. The pastor of the church Église Baptiste Haïtienne, Wadler Jules admits that at times Christians are discriminating against practitioners Voodoo even within their own families.
"I have had conversations with Christians who point to voodoo as the cause of the earthquake. That's pure ignorance,''said Jules." I have to explain that it was a natural act and it is the will of God.''
Jules also recognizes that discrimination may be affecting the distribution of aid in Haiti. "Those who are denying them help others are not acting like good Christians. God does not love nobody denied,''said Jules, who is also dedicated to travel to Haiti in evangelizing missions.
Jules said that before becoming a Baptist church, her parents practiced voodoo and Catholicism. "If I got sick I had to see to the healer, not a doctor, and this was done while I was enrolled in a Catholic school,''said Jules.
The know how to keep secrets is part of the nature of voodoo, where practitioners kill animals as sacrifices to spirits and sometimes drink blood in their rituals. Thus religion, made up of masses of African slaves, survived colonial domination of Spain and France. "Appearances are protected,''the voodoo priestess Marie C. Telemaque, 50." During the era of slavery, the West African magic rituals mixed with elements of Catholicism to protect secrets.''
In the Brave Guede Botanic Little Haiti, where he works Telemaque, there are two statues of Catholic saints stand as guards at the entrance. Dozens of colorful candles with images of Catholic saints are also available for sale, together with aromatic oils that promise success, romance and prosperity.
"No one speaks of the secret until it becomes an initiation,''said Caramel Jene voodoo priestess, owner of Isidor & Caramel Botanica." Spirits work, Voodoo is very powerful.''
One thing is clear, is that Voodoo practitioners are so concerned about the living, and of the countless dead.
After the earthquake, the rituals of voodoo in Little Haiti have been deprived. No public events were organized to collect donations, nor has advertised its leaders with plans to help rebuild their homeland. "You feel helpless seeing dead bodies have been treated like garbage,''said Edmond Nicolson, 23, a voodoo practitioner." We can not send much money as Christians, we believe that our rituals are helping souls thousands of people to get to the other side.''
On Tuesday in Cite Soleil, one of the most troubled neighborhoods of Port au Prince, an evangelical pastor ordered to attack a group of Voodoo practitioners during a ritual to honor their dead. Some Christians are throwing stones, while others urinated on symbols that were painted on the floor, the AP reported. The Haitian police told the international press that there were few injuries and no one was arrested.
Alosin Louisemarth, 44, is evangelical and believes that a true Christian should respect the beliefs of others and that the tragedy and shortcomings have not discriminated against anyone, "Since the earthquake, cries and prays a lot at my house ' 'said her daughter six years Chrisflore Eugne, walking hand in hand with her mother, next to a botanist in Little Haiti.
Lousemarth lost four family and says his family in Haiti has fallen into ruin and is starving. Fletzmene Emile, 51 and a practitioner of Voodoo, also suffers. Despempleado has been for eight months and the earthquake killed 14 family members, including two of his sisters. "I could not sleep well since I received the news, I have nightmares and sometimes I have to mourn,''said Fletzmene." It's frustrating and sad not being able to help your family.''
The Metropolitan Cathedral, eighty parishes, all of Port au Prince, and 320 chapels in the capital were destroyed by the earthquake. The Archdiocese of the capital is out of temples as people continue to pray for the streets. The Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, 65, died under the rubble of the cathedral. The seminar also collapsed. The very apostolic nuncio, Monsignor Auza Bernardito sleeps in a tent.
The Basilica of Sacre Coeur has become a center of pilgrimage after that, amid the ruins, appeared intact the image of the crucified Christ. The files kneel with arms outstretched asking for favors impossible.
With a blend of fervor and fatalism, Catholic, Protestant and voodoo cult practitioners gather in the street to pray and thank God for having survived the earthquake. When you run out of churches, but believers are praying together in the streets, where some, to explain the catastrophe which occurred a week ago, do not hesitate to talk about the Apocalypse.
Despite the catastrophe, is cheerful people. Sing, dance, give hugs and hold hands. Some cover their nose because it is not over disappearing the stench of a body buried under the rubble.
"The influx of faithful has grown, people seek refuge in religion. Faith is like a lifeline, the only hope at the loss of loved ones, home, work ...," La Vanguardia says the president of Caritas Haiti , Bishop Pierre André Dumas.
The few priests to officiate mass remained alive on the street. The outdoor liturgy, parishioners seem resigned, without blaming God or the saints of the tragedy. "All Haitians are responsible for these disasters to have abused both nature," said the trader Louis Perrier.
Marie Henry Landasse The priest who celebrates Mass in a side street to the cathedral, which was only the facade, said that the earthquake caused the death of 40 monks and nuns from different congregations. The worst hit was the order of the Daughters of Mary in Bel Air, which laments the death of 15 religious, including the provincial. Montfort-The Company of Mary have been ten victims. Died six nuns of the Congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom Mariani, two sisters of Santa Teresa, two Salesians, two brothers of Christian Instruction of Ploermel, Queen Mary's two sisters and one of Santa Ana Other clerics have not been located.
Apart from Catholic Masses and Protestant liturgical celebrations, in every neighborhood events are held in memory of the dead following the voodoo ritual. Beyond the stereotypes, which is described as black magic, voodoo is a religion from animistic culture of the Yoruba African people.
Voodoo Today, in various forms, is practiced in Benin, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba, which is known as Santeria. Similar cults, such as Umbanda, Macumba, Candomble Quimbanda and practiced in Brazil and Caribbean countries.
"In the absence of reliable statistics, it is believed that Haiti is 80% Catholic, 40% of Protestants and 90% of practitioners of voodoo, these figures are to be taken more seriously than it looks," he said half Catholic priest joke Dauroc Gilles. The priest explained that the Haitian manufacture their own religion, taking elements from various sources. And said: "For too long, the Catholic Church exercised a monopoly to be tied to French colonialism.
After the earthquake most voodoo ceremonies are held. The set of beliefs that govern life in Haiti is constructed from the syncretism of Catholicism with beliefs they brought to this island that the French slaves brought from West Africa. Connoisseurs of life stress that Haitian voodoo has been the focus of political and social control in Haiti. There was no leader, dictator or democrat emerging that will use it to govern. Cundo began to shake the past 12 days, Haitians fled their homes in haste. The only thing left was the rooster, the central protagonist in voodoo ceremonies, whose climactic moment the animal.
TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
Celebrating our African historical personalities,discoveries, achievements and eras as proud people with rich culture, traditions and enlightenment spanning many years.
HAITI, HOME OF VOODOO AND THEIR VODOUN FESTIVAL
In the American colonies, African Voodoo became what is known as Haitian Voodoo today. In 1492, Christopher Columbus landed on an island known to its indigenous Taino inhabitants as Ayiti, or "Land of the Mountains." Columbus re-named this island Hispaniola, or "Little Spain." Colonists arrived, building plantations that became rich sources of crops like sugar, coffee and indigo. To make these plantations profitable, colonists relied heavily on slave labor. Eventually, Hispaniola became the countries known as Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Many of the slaves brought to Hispaniola from northern and central Africa in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries practiced Voodoo. But the colony's slave code required all slaves to be baptized as Christians. This forced conversion had a big influence Voodoo. Since slaves could not observe their religion openly, they borrowed many elements from Catholicism to protect their own spiritual practice. This process, known as syncretization, strongly influenced voodoo in Haiti:
Haitian Vodou altar, incorporating symbols and elements from African religions, Christianity, and Vodou's own syncretic symbolism.
Voodoo, an oft-maligned and misunderstood faith.
The names of Catholic saints became the names of loa. In many cases, the loa's role reflected that of the corresponding saint. For example, Saint Peter holds the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and corresponds to the loa Papa Legba, who is the spirit world's gatekeeper.
Catholic religious holidays became Voodoo holidays for the corresponding loa. For instance, celebration for a family of spirits called the Gedes, who are personifications of dead ancestors, take place on All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day.
Christian crosses became symbols for the crossroads, which represents life-altering choices and steps in the spiritual path for followers of Voodoo.
Catholic hymns and prayers became part of Voodoo services.
Several other influences affected Voodoo as well, including the traditions of the local Taino tribes.
The resulting form of Voodoo is a creolized religion, made up of influences from many other religions. But in spite of these additions, Haitian Voodoo strongly resembles African Voodoo. Priestesses, known as mambos, and priests, known as houngans, conduct religious services and provide traditional folk remedies. People who wish to become mambos or houngans often enter an apprenticeship as initiates with other leaders rather than joining a large-scale worship center. Many ceremonies take place in a structure called ahonfour, which serves as a temple or sanctuary.
Voodoo woman possessed by spirit
As in Africa, possession is an important part of Voodoo in Haiti. The person being possessed is often called a horse who is ridden by the possessing loa. The possessed person may move unnaturally, speak in unknown languages or make clear, direct statements to the other followers. Sacrifice is also important, and many ceremonies involve sacrificing goats, chickens or other animals. In many cases, the combination of possession, animal sacrifice and the ritual dancing and music that accompany them can seem dramatic or even frightening to outside observers.
Goat being sacrificed for the gods
Haitian Voodoo also incorporates clothing, objects and decorations to invoke or show respect for the loa. Kongo packets, or medicine packets, hold healing or medicinal herbs and items. Worshippers carry flags called drapo through areas used for worship to show respect for the spirits. To call to and invoke the loa, people play a variety of drums, bells and rattles. Altars hold numerous ritual objects, such as decorated bottles, dolls and kwi, or calabashes full of food offerings. Worshippers use the dolls as mediums to contact specific loa or the spirit world in general, not to inflict pain or suffering on others. Today, many of the objects have become part of Haitian artwork and crafts. Some Haitian artists, for example, focus on creating depictions of different loa, elaborate drapo or ornately decorated ritual objects.
Haitian Voodoo Papa - High Priest Max Beavoir (left)
As in African Voodoo, mambosand houngans do not typically curse or harm other people. However, some followers believe that bokors, or sorcerers, have the ability to use magic to cause misfortune or injury.
Voodoo is an important part in the day-to-day lives of many Haitians. Estimates vary, but in general anthropologists believe that more than half of Haitians practice Voodoo. The religion has also played an important role in Haitian history. The French Revolution in 1789 sparked revolutions elsewhere in the world, including in several colonies in the Americas. In 1797, a Voodoo priest performed a ceremony at Bois Caiman in the Haitian mountains. This ceremony prefaced a slave revolt that lasted until 1804, and the people of Haiti fought armies from Spain, France and Britain. Eventually, Haiti became the first free, black colony in the Americas. This ceremony and its importance are somewhat controversial, but they have become part of the Haitian lore.
Voodoo is widely and openly practiced in Haiti. It also exists in various forms in New Orleans and the southeastern United States. In some cases, the Voodoo practiced in other parts of the Western hemisphere is mixed with other, similar traditions, pagan practices or other customs. However, in some regions, practices known as hoodoo have overtaken Voodoo in the public eye. Hoodoo practitioners are said to use evil magic, or bad juju, to harm other people. Love spells, curses and methods of revenge generally fall under the umbrella of hoodoo and are not Voodoo practices at all.
A woman walks with a bowl perched atop her head in Haiti.
A woman passes La Mission Emmanuel Par La Foi, a protestant church in Ville Bonheur, Haiti, on July 16, 2008. Protestantism is growing in the predominantly Catholic/voodoo worshiping country.
VOODOO AND UPRISINGS
Voodoo ceremonies may have played a part in other slave uprisings during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For example, a slave called Gullah Jack, considered to be a conjurer, helped plan a slave rebellion in South Carolina.
Haitian Vodou, called Sevis Gineh or "African Service", is the primary culture and religion of the approximately 7 million people of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. It has its primary roots among the Fon-Ewe peoples of West Africa, in the country now known as Benin, formerly the Kingdom of Dahomey. It also has strong elements from the Ibo and Kongo peoples of Central Africa and the Yoruba of Nigeria, though many different peoples or "nations" of Africa have representation in the liturgy of the Sevis Gineh, as do the Taino Indians, the original peoples of the island we now know as Hispaniola. Haitian Vodou exists in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, parts of Cuba, the United States, France, Montreal, and other places that Haitian immigrants have dispersed to over the years.
Other New World traditions it is closely related to or bears resemblance to include Jeje Vodun in Brazil, La Regla Arara in Cuba, and the Black Spiritualist Christian churches of New Orleans. Haitian Vodou also bears superficial resemblances in many ways with the Nigerian Yoruba-derived traditions of Orisha service, represented by La Regla de Ocha or Lukumi, aka "Santeria", in Cuba, the United States, and Puerto Rico as well as Candomble in Brazil. While popularly thought of as related to Haitian Vodou, what is commonly referred to as "voodoo" in New Orleans and the southern US is a variant of the word "hoodoo", also called "rootwork" or "root doctoring". This is a folk magical tradition from Central Africa in the Congo region in which roots, leaves, minerals, and the spirits of the dead are employed to improve the lot of the living, often including the reciting of Psalms and other Biblical prayers. Rootwork also incorporates Native American herb lore and European and Jewish magical traditions. As a folk magic tradition, New Orleans "voodoo" and southern "hoodoo" root work are distinct from the RELIGION of Haitian Vodou and its siblings and cousins.
Haitian Voodoo History
Vodou as we know it in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora today is the result of the pressures of many different cultures and ethnicities of people being uprooted from Africa and imported to Hispaniola during the transatlantic African slave trade. (1) Under slavery, African culture and religion was suppressed, lineages were fragmented, and people pooled their religious knowledge and out of this fragmentation became culturally unified. In addition to combining the spirits of many different African and Indian nations, pieces of Roman Catholic liturgy are incorporated to replace lost prayers or elements; in addition images of Catholic saints are used to represent various spirits or "misteh" ["mysteries"], and many saints themselves are honored in Haitian Vodou in their own right. This syncretism allows Haitian Vodou to encompass the African, the Indian, and the European ancestors in a whole and complete way. It is truly a "Kreyol" or Creole religion.
The most historically important Vodou ceremony in Haitian history was the Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman) ceremony of August 1791 near the city of Cap Haitien that began the Haitian Revolution, led by the Vodou priest named Boukman. During this ceremony the spirit Ezili Dantor came and received a black pig as an offering, and all those present pledged themselves to the fight for freedom. This ceremony ultimately resulted in the liberation of the Haitian people from their French masters in 1804, and the establishment of the first and only black people's republic in the Western Hemisphere, the first such republic in the history of the world. (2)
Haitian Vodou came to the US to a significant degree beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the waves of Haitian immigrants under the oppressive Duvalier regime, taking root in Miami, New York City, Chicago, and other cities mainly on the two coasts.
Core Beliefs of Haitian Vodou
Vodouisants believe, in accordance with widespread African tradition, that there is one God who is the creator of all, referred to as "Bondje", from the French words "Bon Dieu" or "Good God". Bondje is distant from his/her/its creation though, and so it is the spirits or the "mysteries", "saints", or "angels" that the Vodouisant turns to for help, as well as to the ancestors. The Vodouisant worships God, and serves the spirits, who are treated with honor and respect as elder members of a household might be. There are said to be twenty-one nations or "nanchons" of spirits, also sometimes called "lwa-yo". Some of the more important nations of lwa are the Rada (from Allada in Dahomey), the Nago (from Yorubaland), and the Kongo. The spirits also come in "families" that all share a surname, like Ogou, or Ezili, or Azaka or Gede. For instance, "Ezili" is a family, Ezili Danto and Ezili Freda are two individual spirits in that family.
In Vodou, spirits are divided according to their nature in roughly two categories, whether they are hot or cool. Cool spirits fall under the Rada category, and hot spirits fall under the Petwo category. Rada spirits are familial and mostly come from Africa, Petwo spirits are mostly native to Haiti and are more demanding and require more attention to detail than the Rada, but both can be dangerous if angry or upset. Neither is "good" or "evil" in relation to the other.
People swim in a sacred pool during a voodoo ceremony in Souvenance, Haiti, on Sunday. Hundreds of voodoo followers travel to Souvenance over Easter weekend to show their devotion to the spirits.
Everyone has spirits, and each person has a special relationship with one particular spirit who is said to "own their head", however each person may have many lwa, and the one that owns their head, or the "met tet", may or may not be the most active spirit in a person's life.
The lwa are all said to live in a city beneath the sea called Ile Ife or Vilokan. Except for Agwe and his escort, who live in a different city below the waters.
Pantheon in Haitian Vodou
All of the lwa of Haiti are initiated manbos and houngans. Many are also Masons. Some of the more important spirits are as follows.
RADA Pantheon in Haitian Vodou
Papa Legba Atibon - He is imaged as an old man, St. Lazarus is used to represent him in the hounfo or temple. He opens the gate to the spirits, and translates between human languages and the languages of the spirits.
Marasa Dosu Dosa - They are twin children, either in twos or threes. Imaged with Sts. Cosmas and Damien, or the Three Virtues.
Papa Loko Atisou and Manbo Ayizan Velekete - The prototypical priest and priestess of the tradition. They confer the office of priesthood in initiation.
Danbala Wedo and Ayida Wedo - The white snake and the rainbow, together they are the oldest living beings. Danbala brings people into the Vodou. St. Patrick and Moses are used for Danbala.
Ogou Feray - He is a fierce general who works hard for his children but can be moody and sullen at times as well.
Ogou Badagri - He is a diplomat, and is Ogou Feray's chief rival.
Ezili Freda - She is a mature light-skinned woman who enjoys the finest things, jewelry, expensive perfume, champagne etc. She is said to own all men (or she thinks she does) and can be very jealous. She gives romance and luxury. She is so pure she must never touch the bare ground. Her main rival is her sister Ezili Dantor.
Agwe Tawoyo - He rules the sea and those who have crossed the ocean, and is symbolized by his boat named "Imammou". St. Ulrich is his saint counterpart.
PETWO (Petro) Pantheon in Haitian Vodou
Gran Bwa Ile - His name means "Great Wood". He is a spirit of wilderness. He is fierce and unpredictable, and a section of the grounds of a Vodou temple is always left wild for him. St. Sebastian is used to represent Gran Bwa.
Ezili Dantor - a Petwo lwa, she is a strong black single mother. She does not speak, but makes a "kay kay kay" sound in possession. She is nurturing and protective but is dangerous when aroused, even to her own children. Her image is the Mater Salvatoris of Czestokowa. She often uses a dagger or bayonet, and her colors are often red and dark blue. A little known fact is that she is actually a hermaphrodite, and takes both men and women in marriage.
Ti Jan Petwo - the son and lover of Ezili Dantor.
Simbi - the Simbi lwa live in fresh water rivers and are knowledgeable in the areas of magic and sorcery.
The Bawons - they rule the cemetary and the grave. There are three - La Kwa, Samdi, and Simitye.
The Gedeh - The Gedeh spirits are all dead spirits who rule death and humor and fertility. They drink rum steeped with 21 habanero peppers and bathe their faces and genitals with this mixture also, to prove that they are who they say they are. They are sung for last at a party for the spirits. Chief of the Gedeh is Gedeh Nibo, with his wife Maman Brijit. St. Gerard represents the Gedeh.
Role of Clergy in Haitian Vodou
In serving the spirits, the Vodouisant seeks to achieve harmony with their own individual nature and the world around them, manifested as personal power and resourcefulness in dealing with life. Part of this harmony is membership in and maintaining relationships within the context of family and community. A Vodou house or society is organized on the metaphor of an extended family, and initiates are the "children" of their initiators, with the sense of hierarchy and mutual obligation that implies.
Most Vodouisants are not initiated, referred to as being "bosal"; it is not a requirement to be an initiate in order to serve one's spirits. There are clergy in Vodou whose responsibility it is to preserve the rituals and songs and maintain the relationship between the spirits and the community as a whole (though some of this is the responsibility of the whole community as well). They are entrusted with leading the service of all of the spirits of their lineage. Priests are referred to as "houngans" and priestesses as "manbos". Below the houngans and manbos are the hounsis, who are initiates who act as assistants during ceremonies and who are dedicated to their own personal mysteries. One doesn't serve just any lwa but only the ones they "have", which is a matter of one's individual nature and destiny, and sometimes a matter of which spirits one has met and who take a liking to oneself. Since the spirits are individuals, they respond best to those whom they know or have been personally introduced to. Which spirits a person has may be revealed at a ceremony, in a reading, or in dreams. However anyone may and should serve their own blood ancestors.
That said, there are a few spirits or groups of spirits that have a particular relationship with humankind such that, it is not unreasonable to say, anyone might approach them with some confidence if a few basic forms and preferences are known, among these being Papa Legba Atibon, the gatekeeper of the spirits, Danbala Wedo, who is said to own all heads and is the oldest ancestor of all life, and Papa Gedeh, who gives voice to the spirits of the dead, and everyone has Dead. I leave it to the reader to investigate the identities of these spirits further from other sources such as the Vodouspirit Yahoo! forum. Also the Catholic saints are all very approachable to anyone who asks for their help, such as St. Anthony or St. Michael.
Standards of Conduct in Haitian Vodou
The cultural values that Vodou embraces center around ideas of honor and respect - to God, to the spirits, to the family and sosyete, and to oneself. There is a plural idea of proper and improper, in the sense that what is appropriate to someone with a Danbala as their head may be different from someone with an Ogou as their head, for example -- one spirit is very cool and the other one is very hot. I would say that coolness overall is valued, and so is the ability and inclination to protect oneself and one's own if necessary. Love and support within the family of the Vodou sosyete seems to be the most important consideration. Generosity in giving to the community and to the poor is also an important value. Our blessings come to us through our community and we should be willing to give back to it in turn. Since Vodou has such a community orientation, there are no "solitaries" in Vodou, only people separated geographically from their elders and house. It is not a "do it yourself" religion - a person without a relationship of some kind with elders will not be practicing Vodou. You can't pick the fruit if you don't start with a root.
The Haitian Vodou religion is an ecstatic rather than a fertility-based tradition, and does not discriminate against gay people or other queer people in any way. Unlike in some Wiccan traditions, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression of a practitioner is of no concern in a ritual setting, it is just the way God made a person. The spirits help each person to simply be the person that they are.
Way of Worship in Haitian Vodou
After a day or two of preparation setting up altars, ritually preparing and cooking fowl and other foods, etc., a Haitian Vodou service begins with a series of Catholic prayers and songs in French, then a litany in Kreyol and African "langaj" that goes through all the European and African saints and lwa honored by the house, and then a series of verses for all the main spirits of the house. This is called the "Priye Gineh" or the African Prayer. After more introductory songs then the songs for all the individual spirits are sung. As the songs are sung spirits will come to visit those present by taking possession of individuals and speaking and acting through them. Each spirit is saluted and greeted by the initiates present and will give readings, advice and cures to those who approach them for help. Many hours later in the wee hours of the morning, the last song is sung, guests leave, and all the exhausted hounsis and houngans and manbos can go to sleep.
On the individual's household level, a Vodouisant or "sevite"/"serviteur" may have one or more tables set out for their ancestors and the spirit or spirits that they serve with pictures or statues of the spirits, perfumes, foods, and other things favored by their spirits. The most basic set up is just a white candle and a clear glass of water and perhaps flowers. On a particular spirit's day, one lights a candle and says an Our Father and Hail Mary, salutes Papa Legba and asks him to open the gate, and then one salutes and speaks to the particular spirit like an elder family member. Ancestors are approached directly, without the mediating of Papa Legba, since they are in one's blood.
If a person feels like they are being "called" or approached by the spirits of Haiti, the first thing a person should begin to do is to serve their ancestors, perhaps beginning with an ancestor novena (see the links below). Monday is the day of the ancestors in our house, but ideally one speaks to their ancestors daily. If you do not honor your ancestors first, they may get upset and stand between you and other spirits. The second thing is to seek out a competent and trustworthy manbo or houngan for a reading or consultation. It may take some time of prayer, patience and effort to find a suitable person. Travel may even be necessary. They can help determine what spirit(s) if any may be involved and what if anything might need be done. Expect to pay some sort of fee for their time - unlike many Neo-Pagan traditions, in Haitian Vodou "manbo e houngan travay pa pou youn gwan mesi" ("The manbo and the houngan don't work for a big thank you") . This is true of other African-based traditions as well.
Initiation in Haitian Vodou is a serious matter, and it is advised to not run off to Haiti with the first person you encounter, on the internet or elsewhere, sight unseen or otherwise, who says they will initiate you. Take the time to get to know your prospective Maman or Papa in the Vodou, and the members of their society. Attend ceremonies in person, ask questions, learn, check references. Serve your ancestors, cultivate patience, and wait. Pay attention to dreams or other messages from the spirits. For most people initiation is totally unnecessary. It may be advised to research (as you would anyone else!) and weigh carefully, but perhaps not necessarily discount out of hand, anyone actively promoting initiation into the Haitian Vodou priesthood with marketing slogans and New Age buzzwords. Haitian Vodou does not proselytize and it is not for sale although even valid initiations do cost some money, due to the time, people, materials and travel involved. If you think of the time and care it takes to make the best choice when you invest in a car or a home, or to hire a babysitter for the kids, how much more important are one's concerns of the Spirit? At the end of the day, reputations and rumors are less important than an honest answer to one question however: "Will I be happy and satisfied having this person/these people in my life? Is this a community where I can learn and grow in a positive way?" Only the seeker can answer that question for themselves, with God's help. And the help of the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame'
Also there are other options besides initiation in Haitian Vodou to become closer to the spirits. While the concept of initiation gets a lot of airplay among outsiders, far more common among the Haitian community is the "maryaj mistik", or the mystical marriage, in which the Vodouisant literally marries one or more lwa, in a ceremony complete with bridal dresses, rings, cakes, and a priest. In return they gain special protection and favor from the spiritual spouse. This is generally in exchange for one day of sexual abstinence per week in which the human spouse receives the spirit in their dreams, and any other terms spelled out in the marriage contract.
Initiation for its part creates a reciprocal bond between initiator and the new initiate with obligations every bit as serious as marriage, deeper even since it cannot be undone. Initiator and initiate become family with all the joys and burdens that may entail. It also entails certain promises, responsibilities and commitments with regard to the spirits. With persistence and patience, the spirits will lead a person to the house and elders that are right for them. Vodou is not a race, so every seeker can well afford to take their time. Personal relationships are the very foundation of Vodou and there is no substitute for the time it takes to cultivate them. I knew my houngan for three years prior to my own sevis lave tet ("washing of the head"). We were friends long before I had any interest in or notion of any connection to Haitian Vodou that I might have. Some of my god-brothers waited longer than that. This is how it should be. In Haiti these would all be people you grew up with and you would just know who is who or would know someone who knew someone. In the United States, those of us who are non-Haitian have a few more obstacles to overcome, but by the grace of God and the spirits they are not insurmountable.
Initiate or not, once you belong to a house and have chosen an elder, it is important to follow the guidance they provide as to the way things are done in their house, called the "Regleman Gineh". There is a diversity of practice in Vodou across the country of Haiti and the diaspora, for instance in the north of Haiti the sevis tet or kanzwe may be the only initiation (according to my elders from Haiti in three different houses) as it frequently is in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, whereas in Port Au Prince and the south they practice the kanzo rites with three grades of initiation -- senp, si pwen, and asogwe -- and the latter is the most familiar mode of practice outside of Haiti. Some lineages combine both, as Manbo Katherine Dunham reports from her personal experience in her book "Island Possessed." Kay Aboudja, my own house, is one of these lineages. Although the general structure of ritual and practice are the same across Haiti, small details of service and the spirits served will vary from house to house, and information in books or on the internet may be contradictory. When in doubt, etiquette dictates that one consult their own Maman or Papa in the Vodou, and practice as they direct according to the regleman of their lineage, since "every manbo and houngan is the head of their own house", as a common saying in Haiti taught to me by Houngan Aboudja states.
While the overall tendency in Haitian Vodou is very conservative in accord with its African roots, there is no singular, definitive, One
And Only True Right And Only Haitian Vodou (tm), only what is right in a particular house or lineage. In other words, if you read something on a web page or a book, and it contradicts what your manbo or houngan says to do, go with what they say. This may seem restrictive on the surface from a solitary Neo-Pagan perspective, but since you have done your homework and taken the time to build a positive relationship of trust with your elder(s) ahead of time, this will not be the case in practice. A good parallel is the way everyone practices the same way in a Wiccan coven context. Ultimately everything comes from the spirits and the ancestors however. It is not a matter of personal preferences as it often may be in popular Witchcraft or other pagan traditions, and this reality becomes clearer with experience in the Sevis Gineh.
Repentigny "culturally enriched" with voodoo "temple"
Spirits of a community
Many Haitians in Montreal, like those in Haiti, are unofficially voodooists, but officially Catholic.
By LORRAINE MALLINDER, Freelance February 19, 2011
Voodoo practitioner Nirva Cherasard in her temple in Repentigny: Many of the superstitious, she says, are "victims of themselves."
Photograph by: Pierre Obendrauf, Montreal Gazette
Everyone hugged the phallus.
Not a real specimen, but an alabaster post extending from floor to ceiling in the basement of a suburban house in Repentigny. It was January 2010, just a couple of weeks after the earthquake in Haiti, and Montreal's voodoo community had gathered to reflect.
One by one, they embraced the poto mitan, the phallic link between the voodoo worlds of the living and the dead. The room resounded to repeated incantations of "Ay bobo!", the voodoo amen. Shortly afterward, the white rum and white-bread sandwiches came out and the ceremony got started.
The subterranean location of the ounfò, or temple, seemed apt. Nirva Cherasard, the mambo (priestess) who had welcomed the faithful to her home, estimates that around 50 per cent of Montreal's Haitian community are voodooists, many practising the religion alongside Catholicism, "but some people will keep it a secret to the death." Voodoo may be part of everyday life for much of the Haitian diaspora, bringing people together and keeping them connected to their motherland, yet it remains an underground affair.
Mention voodoo and the first thing that comes to most people's minds is an image of someone sticking pins into a doll. These dolls do indeed exist, although they are said to be derived from the poppets of European folk magic, later adopted by Louisiana voodooists.
Mambo Cherasard notes that curses only work on the weak. "The weaker the person, the more they will be vulnerable to negative forces." Many of the superstitious, she says, are "victims of themselves."
So, how can she tell if a curse is real? "It's like going into a room and feeling bad vibes," she says. In cases where possession is involved, exorcism can be a long and painful process. "The person can go mad," she says. In extreme cases, the exorcist will transfer the spirit from the mind of the possessed to that of an animal, usually a goat or a chicken.
Originally brought to Haiti by West African slaves, the religion has one god – Gran Mèt – with whom followers connect through a host of spirits known as the loa.
Ever since the beginning of the 19th century, when runaway slaves secured Haiti's independence, the folk religion has been systematically stamped on by the elite mulatto ruling class and church and state officials, who feared its people power potential. Throw in a freaky doll stabbed with pins, some gory animal sacrifice and a head-spinning demonic trance, all imagery straight from Hollywood schlock horror of the 1930s-'60s, and you have all the makings of a pariah religion.
Haiti's recent woes have not improved matters. High-profile evangelist leader Pat Robertson blamed last year's earthquake on a voodoo pact with the devil. A year later, as a deadly outbreak of cholera marches through the country and with over a million people living in makeshift camps, voodoo is still under attack.
In Port-au-Prince, anthropologist and leading voodooist Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique speaks of "hyped-up small pastors delivering excited sermons that stir people up." Following the earthquake, there had been a lot of mixed-faith commemorations, bringing voodooists and Christians together, but the gains were soon wiped out. In December, Reuters reported that at least 45 male and female voodoo priests, scapegoated for the cholera epidemic, had been lynched or hacked to death with machetes.
Yet, the practice of voodoo had become more open in Haiti since the adoption of a constitution guaranteeing religious freedom in 1987. This was reinforced in 2003, when former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide declared voodoo an official religion and "an essential part of national identity." But, with no official structures, the religion has remained in the shadows. As in Montreal, many Haitians are unofficially voodooists, but officially Catholic. "People still say they are Catholic when registering children at schools, the same for funerals and baptisms, to avoid discrimination," says Beauvoir-Dominique.
Long-established Haitian immigrant communities in New York and Montreal tend to be particularly wary about sticking their colours to the mast, perhaps mindful not only of historical anti-superstition campaigns, but also of the horrors of the Duvalier era, when the religion was co-opted and corrupted by former dictator François (Papa Doc) Duvalier in a perverse strategy aimed at both rallying and brutalizing the population. The recent return of his son and successor, Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, has prompted a new rash of negative publicity for voodoo, with the terms "voodoo tyrant" and "voodoo politics" featuring in many a headline.
Former Montreal pastor Jean Fils-Aimé believes that Haitians at home and abroad are in the midst of an identity crisis that can be overcome only by embracing their voodooist roots. He believes that voodoo is so entrenched in the everyday lives of Haitians, not only as a religion, but also as a "culture and civilization," that "every Haitian is a voodooist."
"Voodoo was a refuge for slaves. It is a culture, a way of inhabiting this world," says Fils-Aimé, who was forced to resign as pastor to a local Haitian congregation because of his openness to voodoo.
Voodoo does play an important community role. In Haiti, Beauvoir-Dominique works with a voodoo foundation called Ayivan Velekete, which helps to preserve local traditions and create self-sustaining development projects. And, in Montreal, Cherasard says that big ceremonies are also attended by non-initiates, who come for the sense of togetherness, "to have a good time, to eat and drink, to be among their friends."
Local voodooist Raymond Romulus says he has nothing to hide. "Voodoo is about maintaining links with Haiti, about being together. It's social, moral and cultural. It's about knowing your own conscience, being aware of your actions toward others," he says. He adds that it's a religion "without slaves," a democratic faith allowing followers direct access to Gran Mèt through the phenomenon of spiritual possession.
OTHER SPIRITUAL PATHS
• OBEAH: AFRO-CARIBBEAN SHAMANISM
• The First National NCHR Conference - Developing a National Haitian-
American Agenda: Moving Forward Together
AUTHORS & BOOKS
• SeanAlonzo.com - SeanAlonzo.com is the official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition
• The house that kay built.com - (Reality Based Fiction) Prepare to read what the dead wrote. Forget what you ever thought you knew and step into the world of Kay. Jackie Barrett, author of, "The House That Kay Built", is also a well respected and renowned psychic reader who uses sacred bones and a ritual voodoo doll in her divination process. She is the psychic reader for Priestess Miriam of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple of New Orleans
• Venus Project – Voodoo Authentica of New Orleans Cultural Center & Collection's Japanese affiliate. If you're in Japan, this is THE source for all things Voodoo
Voodoo in Africa: Christian demonisation angers followers
Benin's priests try to dispel misconceptions about ancient religion practised by half the country's population
But for the gentle hissing of pythons, Dah Dangbénon's voodoo temple could have been mistaken for a new-age hippy gathering. Seated in a semicircle on fraying raffia mats, devotees listened rapturously as the high priest talked at length about oneness with the cosmos.
"There can be no equilibrium without respecting the universal laws of nature, and our ancient knowledge and traditions," said Dangbénon, a silver-haired man whose toenails were painted an improbable bright pink.
He rolled his eyes exasperatedly when explaining how a faith that expressly forbade killing another human being had been "fetishised" by outsiders. "Voodoo is not about using magic spells to curse your enemies," said Dangbénon, whose clan has for generations overseen this temple dedicated to pythons. "If you choose to manipulate nature to harm your neighbour, it's not voodoo that harms your neighbour, it is you."
Like its Nigerian cousin, juju, voodoo originated in Benin's ancient kingdom of Dahomey. Today the tradition based on nature is so interwoven with daily life that it borders on the banal in Benin. Temples are slotted in between buzzing restaurants and pharmacies, easily overlooked. Tiny carved talismans swing decoratively in doorways where chickens scratch and children dart noisily around. Elders gossiping at roadside bars spill the first sip of each beer to honour the spirits.
About half the country's 9 million people are followers of the mainstream benign form of voodoo, but it has produced extreme practices. In November, officials linked the digging up of 100 graves to an underground trade in human organs for black magic rituals. In the village of Zakpota, deep in the bush, villagers said that twice during especially tough harvest years a young child had "disappeared". "The family was shunned [by villagers]. It is not something people are proud of talking about because it pained us very much," said one villager, Sylvan, who refused to say any more.
But most visitors to Dangbénon's palm thatch temple, bearing bottles of fiery moonshine as a gift, want help to find a job. Healing after bereavement is also high on their list of priorities.
"Colonialists demonised voodoo to the point where even the word makes you think of backwardness, something derogatory. But it's as much a part of African heritage as Buddhism is to Asia, and much older [than Buddhism]. All the good in voodoo has been tainted," Dangbénon said.
In the 1990s, Benin's government overturned a decades-long ban and recognised voodoo as a great cultural tradition, even promoting a national voodoo day. For many, the endorsement was purely cosmetic: the old-time faith had long persisted alongside Islam and Christianity.
At Ouidah, the cradle of voodoo, Benin's first cathedral sits opposite the distinctly shabbier Python temple. According to local lore, the temple's priests helped struggling colonial priests fund the cathedral just over a century ago.
"If there's a voodoo celebration after mass I put on my pagne [traditional dress] and go to the ceremony across the street. Even the cathedral priests come and watch the ceremonies during the annual voodoo festival," said a local man, Hipolite Apovo. Not everyone approves. "Some people went to celebrate the pope's visit to the cathedral last year by heading straight to the temple afterwards. My opinion is either you practise Christianity, or you practise voodoo, or you practise nothing at all. It makes no sense to mix all of them, anyhow," said Nicephore Agontinhlo, pointedly avoiding the stalls of feathers, animal parts and beads at the town's charms market.
But what rankles most in unrecognisable depictions of voodoo by Hollywood and western culture is the erasing of a rich musical and artistic contribution. "My musical inspiration comes from the sato [a ceremonial rhythm] of voodoo. Voodoo instruments and music helped shape the music of Africa," said Vincent Ahehehinnou of the renowned group Orchestre Poly-Rythmo.
Recently, the country's most famous priest decided to take matters into his own hands. Dah Aligbonon Akpochihala, who is in his 60s, started a crash course that allows voodoo devotees to attain priesthood in four months rather than the usual three years. A member of Benin's aristocracy, Akpochihala also takes to the radio – "a medium young and old people understand" – to make sure the tradition is restored to its rightful place. "So long as there is Africa, there will be voodoo. As I've said before, we need to bring voodoo in from the dark," he said in his urban temple, wedged between a beauty parlour and hardware shop, and running a side business in photocopying.
Akpochihala's sermons, in French and local dialect, attract both a French-speaking elite and a less educated underclass. "He is someone who is respected by villagers and kings alike," said a listener, Sessi Tonokoui.
Local adaptations have continued to thrive from Haiti to New Orleans. In Brazil, the world's largest Catholic country, tens of thousands of devotees of the religion known as Candomblé launch tiny candlelit boats out to sea to celebrate the religious new year.
"Some of our incantations are spoken in Yoruba because Candomblé came directly from our African ancestors," said Nivaldo Antonio dos Santos, a priest from the north-eastern state of Bahia, the single biggest final destination of African slaves.
Priests from west Africa sometimes travelled to Brazil to relearn drumming rituals that had been lost to them, Dos Santos said.
Customs of zombification in Haiti
Voodoo can be defined as a set of beliefs, rituals and practices that have magical aspects that can change the lives of human beings. According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy is a "body of beliefs and practices that include fetish, worship the snakes, ritual sacrifices and trance employment as a means of communication with their gods."
It originated in the African continent. Since its inception, was recognized as a practice of magical powers. It began as a religious belief in which they sang and prayed to the gods to ask for love, life and home.
With the arrival of Africans to the Americas, these practices were settling in countries like Haiti and the United States, nations which was consolidated as a religion.
In Spanish the word is written as Voodoo, but in other languages ??written in different ways, for example: woodoo, voodoo and vaudou, among others. All these forms express the same thing: spirit, because according to the experts on this custom is from the spirit to achieve effects in the human body, whether positive or negative.
The white magic mixture Voodoo and black magic. The first, for requests considered positive, as home protection, for example. And second, in which you want to hurt an enemy. Those who practice voodoo black magic are called Bokos and Zobops. These are people who have great knowledge in preparation of poisons and spells.
In these cases, the person interested in doing a spell brings a doll to Bokos and this crosses it with a needle and prays while a spell that will produce the desired distance by the customer.
They make black or white magic, voodoo worshiping their gods or "Loa". The seven gods are: Shango (god of Fire and Lightning), Orula (God of Destiny), Ogun (of War), Elagua (of travelers), Obatala (the Good), Yemaya (Goddess of the Waters and Sea) and Eshu (of Vengeance).
In the different manifestations of Voodoo priests are slaughtering animals, making wax dolls with pins passing through to cause pain. The dances and songs are also an important part of the rituals, especially the ancient African songs.
The goal is always to make contact with a spirit or deity to achieve their favors in exchange for sacrifices and offerings of food, animals, and more.
What does a Voodoo ceremony?
The Spanish journalist Juan José Revenga visited Haiti to investigate Voodoo. In an Internet article tells how a ceremony in Abomey, a town located in the Republic of Benin in the African continent.
The text notes that there is a priest who leads the ceremony. At the time it up to where it performs the rite, the present begin to scream and beat their chests as they sing African songs. Then kill some animals and give their blood to the altar, where live the spirits that govern his world.
The next time is played by the ghosts of the dead, called Engun-gus, some dolls decorated with rhinestones (with a man hiding) dancing around the audience. The fear prevents them from touching followers to these figures, as they have the belief that if they do, they can lose their souls in the hands of ghosts.
In the same text, Revenga tells how they celebrate a ritual in Haitian lands. There also is a priest named houngan who leads a ceremony that takes place in the mountains. Are placed hundreds of candles and holy first.
They start beating the drums. In the dream, a magic circle is drawn with the name of the spirit you wish to invoke that night. Participants enter into a trance and the priest makes them change their clothes so that the spirit can recognize. They sound bells used to call the dead.
Voodoo traditions have been passed from generation to generation through oral tradition, ie, there are no books that are brought dogmas or precepts in which the religion is based. However, today, more than 60 million people in the world practice, both in the area of ??Africa, as in parts of the Caribbean and Latin
To understand the "Voodoo" first you have to understand the culture that created it:
The word voodoo (or vodun) comes from the Yoruba dialect which means "mystery". This religion comes from West Africa where she was taken to Haiti by slaves. Once on the island Christianity mixed with French and is created voodoo. This belief is based on the worship of "praise" or "spirits", many of which result in a mixture with the Christian saints.
Within this religion exist "Bokor" who are in communication with "praise". These Bokores are those who have the "power" to turn a person into a zombie.
Haiti is the poorest country of America, continually subjugated to tyranny, colonialism and strong political, cultural as well as its economic growth has been delayed since 1804, date in which the slave revolt ended French colonialism making Haiti the first country to abolish slavery. Legend has it that the slaves made a pact with the devil to gain independence and thus convirtión Haiti in the first country devoted to Diablo.
The creeencia in magic in that country is such that there are paragraphs in law speaking of penalties to be imposed on people who for example "zombifiquen" someone.
What is "zombify" someone?
The above-mentioned "Bokor" are evil hand of Haitian magic, they say has the power to create zombies, the process would be:
Through the ingestion of a certain powder usually mixed with drinking, the victim loses his vitals, death seems perfect for his trance state is absolute, in a country where medical facilities are inadequate not an unexplained death is a matter of medical examiners. This coupled with the fact that there are high temperatures in that country makes a rule a corpse be buried within 24 hours of death, this greatly increases the chances of burying someone "alive".
After 48 hours, the effect of drugs that the "deceased" swallowed lapse, so the zombified recover your vital signs, is at the time when the warlock "Bokor" he unearths, once unearthed the zombie is fed a paste of atropine and scopolamine, which are dissociative hallucinogens that impact on neurotransmitters and endorphins in the brain. This will ensure that your body is still alive but his mind never again absolute consciousness.
You could say that the body is raised but not his soul, brain injuries are so severe that the affected party will not willingly be limited to follow orders given by your Bokor. Its function from now will be to serve as a slave and his fate will almost certainly be a sugar cane plantation.
The zombie state is evident, say alleged witnesses, especially in the eyes: "The face was expressionless and staring. Eyelids were white, as if the acid had burned" (Hurston, 1939), "the thing most horrible was the look, or rather, the lack of vision. eyes were dead, the blind, devoid of expression "(Seabrook, 1971).
The Mystery of Zombie Powder.
While it is true that culture is necessary for successful voodoo zombie, it is equally true that in Haiti the anthropologist Roland Littlewood and Dr. Chavannes Douyon the Polyclinic in Port au Prince have concluded that many of the so-called zombies are individuals with psychiatric disorders or brain damage. Perhaps the next question might be: What somebody caused this damage? Was at birth perhaps? According to the research, this type of damage could be caused by epilepsy, lack of oxygen in the brain or disorders caused by alcohol during the fetal stage.
But another researcher named Wade Davis who traveled to Haiti and managed to get samples of the powder used by Bokores for zombification. This powder was later tested and found several types of neurotoxic as tetrodotoxin, Datura metel, Datura stramonium and ducuna pruriens.
The first of these, the Tetrodotoxin is found in the liver of certain species of puffer. This chemical is a potent blocker of nerve activity and administered in very small doses can cause a state of catalepsy: simulated death.
New group aims to eradicate modern-day slavery
Some 30 million people still live in slavery. A new foundation wants to see that number drop dramatically as quickly as possible. Its well-heeled supporters might be more effective than existing organizations.
Luisa was only 14 years old when she was brutally raped and beaten half-blind by her pimp. She finally escaped from him, only to find out that her family in Africa had been murdered - the pimp called to tell her that he had ordered the killings as revenge. It's the disturbing - but not atypical - fate of a modern-day slave.
She came to Germany believing she would be able to attend school - as she was promised by a man who visited her village. As an orphan struggling to survive, she agreed to leave for Germany. But when she arrived, there was no school. She was forced to work as a prostitute. "I made a voodoo oath not to go to the police," she told German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. And when she finally went to the police, she suffered a hemorrhage. "Can you imagine what it's like for a young girl to have blood for three years that doesn't stop?" she asked.
Luisa's suffering came to an end when she entered a witness protection program in southern Germany, but an estimated 30 million people around the world still fight against living conditions that can be described as slavery. They are robbed of their freedom, controlled and exploited. The newly founded Walk Free Foundation has collected data about their lives in its Global Slavery Index 2013.
Modern-day slaves live mainly in Africa and Asia, with India, China, Pakistan and Nigeria high on the list. Russia also placed among the 10 countries with the highest number of enslaved people. The study also emphasized that no country was free of slaves. Looking at the percentage of people enslaved in a country, Mauritania, Haiti, Pakistan and India topped the list of offending nations.
The forms of slavery and possible solutions vary from place to place, according to Kevin Bales, the study's main author. Sexual exploitation in Russia, human trafficking in Moldavia, exploitation of domestic employees in Brazil, lack of due process in parts of Congo, forced marriage in China, inter-generational bonded labor in India.
"It is not one-size-fits-all," Bales told DW. "You have to look and see what the situation is in the country."
For Germany, the study's authors estimated that about 10,500 people live in conditions comparable to slavery. Bales said, however, that it is very difficult to get solid numbers. "It is a completely hidden crime for the most part, and very difficult to measure," Bales said. Walk Free based its estimates on known cases of slavery, existing studies and reports from on the ground. Bales said the method has its weaknesses but that this should not delay action to end slavery.
Young women are forced into prostitution in Thailand - among other places
"If we waited for perfect numbers, people would be out there living and dying in slavery, and there would be nothing to help guide policy change," he added.
The Terre des Hommes children's aid agency in Germany said it welcomed the Walk Free study. Children's rights expert Barbara Küppers said she approved of the report's broad definition of slavery that included anything that put a person under constraint. The definition is also one of the reasons the study came to estimates of slavery that are higher than other reports, such as those from the International Labor Organization and the US State Department. Küppers added that the Free Walk calculations were plausible overall even if the figures for some countries could
Billionaires or the UN
Governments will now have a chance to provide more exact statistics and get involved in fighting slavery. "Many governments obviously do not know what is going on," Küppers said. That applies to industrialized countries like Germany as well. "I hope the index will raise pressure on governments," she added.
Abuse and exploitation amount to '21st century slavery' in Qatar
Küppers said existing groups, such as the ILO, have failed to put enough of a focus on ending slavery. "They don't even have enough money to start a pilot project against exploitation," she said. The Walk Free Foundation, on the other hand, receives financial support from well-known philanthropists. A spokeswoman said Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest helped found the group and Bill Gates and Richard Branson are among its supporters.
Küppers said she was interested in seeing what groups of individuals outside of the United Nations could set for goals. "It is a step in the right direction to make demands of governments but certain economic sectors also cannot be forgotten," she said.
Bales said his group's goal was to see the number of enslaved people around the world drop from about 30 million to a few thousand as quickly as possible.
"Slavery should become as rare as cannibalism," Bales said. "Something that is so rare that it is always a shock when a single case is found."