Voodoo Essay, Research Paper
Voodoo is a religious tradition which originated in Haiti during the period of Gallic colonial bondage. Early in the colonial history of Hispaniola, the island that is now shared by Haiti an the Dominican Republic, the original Taino and Carib peoples of Haiti were exterminated by the Spanish. Africans of many cultural line of descents were transported by force to Haiti, chiefly to function as agricultural slaves. There was some contact of class between at large Africans and lasting Tainos, but small is documented outside of the endurances found in Voodoo rite. Later, France ruled over Haiti and imported Africans chiefly from those parts of Africa colonized by France. During this period, Europeans from France and other states settled in Haiti.
There are denominations in Voodoo. The first, and most widely known, is the Orthodox Voodoo. In this denomination, the Dahomean rite is given a place of laterality, and inductions are based chiefly on the Dahomean theoretical account. A priest or priestess recieves the asson, a ceremonial rattling, as an emblem of priesthood. In this rite, a priest is known as a Houngan or sometimes Gangan, a priestess is known as a Mambo. In the Orthodox Voodoo, other “states” or lines than the Dahomean are represented as sub-headings in the ceremonial order.
The 2nd denomination is called Makaya. In this rite, inductions are less luxuriant and the priest or priestess does non recieve the asson. A Makaya priest is called a Bokor, and a priestess is sometimes referred to as Mambo, or sorceress. The Makaya pattern is less unvarying from parish to parish, and there is a stronger accent on thaumaturgy instead than faith.
A 3rd denomination is the Kongo rite. It is about entirely represented in the Kongo tradition. A priest or priestess of this line is called a serviteur. This rite is concentrated near Gonaives in cardinal Haiti, and at major one-year Kongo festival that is held every twelvemonth near Gonaives.
All of these traditions have several points in common: There is merely one God, called Gran Met or Great Master. There are lesser entities are called lwa, and though they vary from rite to rite, they are all considered accessible through spirit ownership. Possession is considered normal, natural, and extremely desirable. However, there is a certain “etiquette” to possession. All rites employ supplication, vocal, drumming, costume, and dancing during ceremonials. Anyone may take part in Voodoo and there is no gender, racial, age, sexual orientation, or national beginning demands. Besides, cipher is asked to abdicate a preexistent spiritual association. In Haiti, the huge bulk of Voodooists are besides Roman Catholics.
There are assorted degrees of engagement, merely as there are in most other faiths. A Voodoo ceremonial is public, and anyone may come in the temple, and observe. Singing and dancing are encouraged because there is no centralised order paying wages to the Houngans and Mambos. Because the temple is private belongings, it is considered normal for naive participants to do a little hard currency gift. This money is used to defray the cost of the drummers, nutrient, and the general care of the temple and Houngan or Mambo in charge. For some people this is difficult to understand, because in the Judeo-christian tradition priests, curates, and rabbis are salaried professionals.
There has been rather a spot of contention in the United States over the cultural association and engagement in African-derived faiths. Some corrupt Houngans, or Mambos, in Haiti have taken advantage of the deficiency of cognition of a alien, execute fake ceremonials, and charge pathetic rates. Others have an mute apprehension that they will non uncover the “secret” cognition of Voodoo, intending right information and induction, to a non-black non-Haitian. However, other Houngans and Mambos hold the position that people are chosen by a sacred spirit called an lwa, and non the other manner around. A Houngan or Mambo who refuses preparation and induction to a alien sent by the lwa will endure for it. Initiation requires a important period of survey, and the committedness shown by the alien is normally adequate to get the better of any reserves on the portion of the Houngan or Mambo.
There are a series of degrees of induction in Orthodox Voodoo, that are achieved as an single grows in cognition and standing in the Voodoo community. Persons who are at the initiatory class may take part in private ceremonials refering to other persons of their ain class or lower. A individual with a lower class may non take part in a ceremonial confabulating a higher class of induction, because the cognition imparted is secret and because they are non experienced plenty to make so. Even a Houngan or Mambo asogwe must postpone to the Houngan or Mambo who initiated him or her, to those in the same peristyle who were initiated at the same class prior to him or her, to the individual who initiated their inaugural Houngan or Mambo and to that single’s initiates, and so on. These relationships can turn instead complicated, and there is a point in an Orthodox Voodoo ceremonial where all Houngans and Mambos, sur point and asogwe, take part in a series of ritual gestures and embracings which serve to clear up and command these relationships. An naive individual who attends ceremonials, receives advocate and medical intervention from a Houngan or Mambo, and takes portion in Voodoo related activities is called a Vodouisant. An naive individual who is associated with a peculiar peristyle, attends ceremonials on a regular basis, and appears to be fixing for induction is sometimes referred to as a hounsi bossale.
The first class of induction confers the rubric hounsi kanzo. At a Voodoo ceremonial, the hounsis kanzo wear white vesture, organize the choir, and are likely campaigners for ownership by an lwa.
The 2nd class of induction is referred to as si pwen. The individual is so considered to be a Houngan or Mambo, and is permitted to utilize the asson. Persons who are si pwen might be likened to curates of Christian denomination. At a ceremonial, they lead supplications and vocals, behavior rites, and are about ever campaigners for ownership.
The 3rd, and concluding, class of induction is referred to as asogwe. A Houngan or Mambo asogwe might be likened to a bishop in a Christian denomination. Persons who are asogwe may originate other persons as kanzo senp, Si pwen, or asogwe. At a ceremonial they are the concluding authorization on process, unless an lwa is present and manifest through the method of ownership. They are besides the last resort when the presence of a peculiar lwa is required. A Houngan or Mambo asogwe is said to “have the asson, the ceremonial rattle symbolic of priesthood, intending that they, and they entirely, can confabulate the asson on another person.
In the countryside of Haiti, each household compound includes a household cemetery. The grave of household members are every bit luxuriant as the household can afford. Some resemble little houses built above land, with the crypt below. The constructions built for affluent households may even consist a little posing room, complete with a image of the asleep and good quality chairs. When a fledgling enters the household compound for an drawn-out visit, courtesy requires that her or she make a little libation of H2O at the grave, so that the ascendants will welcome the individual. Family members and invitees may besides, at any clip, do an “light. Candles or beeswax tapers are illuminated, placed on the grave, and a short supplication is said.
In the metropolis, the jurisprudence requires burial in the metropolis cemetery. Again, structures may be rather luxuriant, and big padlocks and other security devices are used to forestall sedate robbers from doing off with the metal casket findings, castanetss, or other articles of the dead individual.
A Vodouisant is buried with Roman Catholic ceremonial, and a aftermath is held for nine darks after the decease. The 9th dark is called the denye priye, the last supplication. After the last supplication, the Catholic portion of the decease rite is closed. At some point, either before or after the Roman Catholic ceremonial, the Voodoo ceremonial of desounin is held. In this ceremonial, the individual’s psyche and life force, and the primary lwa in the caput of the individual, are ritualistically separated and consigned to their right finishs.
One twelvemonth and one twenty-four hours after the decease of the person, the ceremonial retire minute nan dlo, take the dead out of the H2O, may be performed. The spirit of the dead individual is called up through a vas of H2O, under a white sheet, and ceremonially installed in a clean clay pot called a govi. The voice of the dead person may talk from the govi, or through the oral cavity of another individual briefly possessed for the intent. The govi is reverentially placed in the djevo, or interior room of the temple.
The caput of the household of hereditary lwa is Baron. He is Master of the Cemetery and defender of hereditary cognition. He has many facets, including Baron Samedi, Baron Cemetiere, Baron la Croix, and Baron Criminel. In all of his facets, he is a masculine lwa with a rhinal voice who carries a walking stick or wand, uses profanity liberally, and dresses in black or violet. He is considered the last resort against deceases caused by thaumaturgy, because even if a charming enchantment should convey a individual to the point of decease, if Baron refuses to “dig the grave, the individual will non decease.
Baron, with his married woman Maman Brigitte, is besides responsible for repossessing the psyche of the dead and transforming them into lwa Ghede. Baron may be invoked for instances of sterility, and he is the Godhead justice to which people may convey their entreaties. Baron may be invoked at any clip, and he can look without being called, so powerful is he. He drinks rum in which 21 hot Piper nigrums have been steeped, and which no mere person could get down! His ceremonial nutrients are black java, grilled peanuts, and staff of life. He dances the unusually improvisational banda with great accomplishment, and sometimes set his walking stick between his legs to stand for a Phallus. Baron is a really masculine lwa.
Maman Brigitte is considered to be the married woman of Baron, Master of the Cemetery and head of all the bygone ascendants, known as lwa Ghede. The grave of the first adult female buried in any graveyard in Haiti is consecrated to Maman Brigitte, and it is at that place that her ceremonial cross is erected. She, every bit good as Baron, is invoked to “raise the dead, intending to bring around and salvage those who are on the point of decease from unwellness caused by thaumaturgy.
Maman Brigitte, like the remainder of the Baron/Ghede configuration, is a tough-talking lwa who uses a batch of lewdnesss. She drinks rum laced with hot Piper nigrum, so hot that a individual non possessed by a lwa could ne’er imbibe it. She besides is known to go through hot Haitian Piper nigrums on the tegument of her genitalias, and this is the trial to which adult females are subjected when they are suspected of “forging” ownership. She dances the sexually implicative and unusually artistic banda, and the virtuosity of her dance is legendary.
Maman Brigitte and Baron are the female parent and male parent who reclaim the psyche of the dead and transform them into lwa Ghede, taking them from the mysterious Waterss where they were without awareness of their ain individuality and calling them.
The lwa Ghede are an tremendous household of lwa, as many and varied as were the psyches from which they originated. Since they are all members of the same household, religious kids of Baron and Maman Brigitte, they all have the same last name – La Croix, the cross. No affair what other name they bear, their signature is ever La Croix.
Ghedes dress much like their male parent Baron – black or violet apparels, luxuriant chapeaus, dark spectacless, sometimes losing a lens, a walking stick or wand. They besides dance the banda, but they retain more of the single personality of the individual from whom they originated.
The Ghede household, including their male parent and female parent, Baron and Maman Brigitte, are perfectly ill-famed for their usage of profanity and sexual footings. The Ghede are beyond all penalty. Nothing farther can be done to them, so the usage of profanity among the usually somewha
T formal Haitians is a manner of stating, “I don’t attention! However, this profanity is ne’er used in a barbarous or opprobrious manner, to “curse person out. It is ever humourous, even when there is a pointed message involved.
November 2, All Soul’s Day, normally called Fet Gede, is a national vacation in Haiti. Catholics attend mass in the forenoon and so travel to the graveyard, where they pray at household grave sites and do fixs to household graves. The bulk of Haitian Catholics are besides Vodouisants, and frailty versa, so on the manner to the graveyard many people change apparels from the white they wore to church, to the purple and black of the lwa Gede, the liquors of the bygone ascendants.
The lwa are lesser entities, but more readily accessible. Aside from a generalized love for the kids of Africa, the lwa necessitate a common relationship with the believer. The lwa serve those who serve them. lwa have good defined features, including sacred Numberss, colourss, yearss, ceremonial nutrients, address idiosyncrasies, and ritual objects. A lwa, hence, can be served by have oning apparels of the jurisprudence s colourss, doing offerings of preferable nutrients, and detecting sexual continency on yearss sacred to the lwa.
Voodoo lwa manifest their will through dreams, unusual incidents, and through the mechanism of enchantment ownership. Possession is considered normal, natural, and desirable in the context of a Voodoo ceremonial and under certain other fortunes. It is comparable to the New Age phenomenon of “imparting.
The Rada lwa are chiefly, but non entirely Dahomean in beginning. Their general ceremonial colour is white, with the making that single lwa within this group may hold their ain colourss. They are considered beneficent, and in some instances so ancient as to be detached and decelerate to move. The beat of the Rada lwa are beaten on membranophones with wooden nogs keeping the stretched fell over the drum caput. The tegument of the largest membranophone, the maman, is cow fell, the other of goatskin. The membranophones are beaten with sticks.
The Rada lwa, in ceremonial order, are as follows:
Legba, Marassa, Loco, Aizan, Damballah and Aida Wedo, Sobo, Badessy, Agassou, Silibo, Agwe and La Sirene, Erzulie, Bossu, Agarou, Azaka, the Ogoun group ( Ogoun St. Jacques, Ossange, Ogoun Badagri, Ogoun Feraille, Ogoun Fer, Ogoun Shango, Ogoun Balindjo, Ogoun Balizage, OgounYemsen ) .
There is no peculiar order to the visual aspect of these lwa within their ain group. Their ceremonial colourss are purple and black. The Gede group is off-color and obscene, and they provide amusing alleviation following the intense and disciplined effort of the Rada subdivision. The Barons and Brigittes are most mystical, and can be counted upon to vaticinate in the thick of the most lewd dance stairss. The Gedes are ever willing to state gags and give advice.
After the Rada and Ghede groups remains the part of the ceremonial dedicated to the Petro lwa. These lwa are predominately of Kongo and Western Hemisphere origin. Their ceremonial colour is red. They are considered ferocious, protective, charming, and aggressive toward antagonists. The beat of the Petro lwa are beaten on tanbou fey, membranophones with cord and a hoop keeping the stretched fell over the drum caput. The membranophone caputs are made of goatskin, and are beaten with the thenars of the custodies. This portion of the ceremonial is hot, fast-paced, and exciting.
The Petro lwa, in ceremonial order, are as follows:
Legba Petro, Marassa Petro, Wawangol, Ibo, Senegal, Kongo, Kaplaou, Kanga, Takya, Zoklimo, Simbi Dlo, Gran Simba, Carrefour, Cimitiere, Gran Bwa, Kongo Savanne, Erzulie Dantor ( besides known as Erzulie Zye-Wouj ) , Marinette, Don Petro, Ti-Jean Petro, Gros Point, Simbi Andezo, Simbi Makaya.
When the concluding three repeats of the concluding vocal for Simbi Makaya are finished, the ceremonial is over.
The Haitian Creole word djab is derived from the Gallic word diable, intending Satan, but the term in the context of Haitian Vodou carries a different intension. The fold of a Houngan or Mambo who serves a djab is normally protected from possible Acts of the Apostless of random aggression by the djab.
Djabs can besides be specific to a peculiar topographic point. In the limestone caves of Bode near Trouin in the South of Haiti, a djab named Met Set Joune, Master of the Seven Days, is believed to shack. Even if a Mambo, Houngan, or Bokor was to function this djab in a peristyle located someplace else, the limestone caves would stay the place of the djab.
Certain peculiarly dishonourable djabs can be invoked to run out the life energy of a individual and consequence their death. When a djab is held responsible for a individual’s decease, the Creole phrase is non “the djab killed the individual, but alternatively, “the djab ate the individual. This does non intend that the flesh of the individual is eaten cannibalistically by the Houngan, Mambo, or Bokor who undergoes ownership by the djab, and the djab has subsumed the individual’s life force.
An Orthodox Houngan or Mambo is under curse ne’er to make injury, therefore supplications of djabs are more often attempted by Bokors. However, an Orthodox Vodou clergyperson may raise a djab and even direct it to kill a individual, if the individual is a liquidator, a repetition stealer, a repetition raper, and so forth.
Peoples of many different religions concept communion tables. Even people who do non belong to any peculiar religion may put aside a corner of a room where they sit and think, meditate and pray, do yoga or play an African membranophone. Many times they create unplanned communion tables which include many of the same objects; flowers, rocks and crystals, sacred symbols, exposure or images of ascendants, or of members of the drawn-out human household, musical instruments, tapers, incense, books on religious topics.
Since most people populating in the United States can non get down their pattern in this faith by go toing Vodou ceremonials, one of the first things we can make is to construct an communion table. The communion tables of Vodou are every bit varied as the persons who pattern the faith. In a sense, a peristyle itself is an communion table, big plenty for the believers to dance around the centerpost, drama membranophones, perform forfeit, undergo ownership. Within the peristyle there are sometimes countries dedicated to a peculiar lwa. Attached to the peristyle are smaller suites called djevo or bagi, in which the ceremonial objects of a Vodou society are kept. However, these objects, which include sacred rattlings, and clay pots called govi, are of no peculiar usage to those who have non undergone induction.
Suggestions for constructing a basic communion table:
Get a white fabric, and rinse it in H2O with some of your first piss of the forenoon. For urine, you can substitue acetum. Let the fabric dry out-of-doorss in the Sun if possible. Cover your communion tables tabular array with it, and so scatter it lightly with your favourite aroma or Florida Water.
Next, acquire four little rocks from near your house, clean them by scouring with salt and rinsing good, so put one at each corner of your communion table. Clean a wineglass, cut glass bowl, or other vas and make full it with H2O. Do non utilize metal or earthenware – glass or crystal merely. Put it at the centre of your communion table, and add three splashes of anisette or white rum as you bless the H2O.
Into a glass candleholder, topographic point some Earth from near your house and a few grains of salt. Take a white taper, and with a pure vegetable oil rub the taper from the center up to the top and so from the in-between down to the base. As you oil the taper, direct your energy into your custodies and pray for religious consciousness. Put the taper steadfastly into the candleholder and topographic point it in forepart of the glass of H2O.
Around the communion table you will put other objects harmonizing to the Godhead principles you wish to function. An ascendant shrine will hold images of asleep ancesters, Ogoun’s communion table will hold a matchet and a ruddy kerchief, Erzulie Freda’s shrine will hold flowers and jewellery, and so on.
First measure in Vodou pattern ;
However you have built your communion table, it is a door between the universe of human existences and the universe of the ascendants and the lwa. Let it acquire dust-covered, allow the H2O go cloudy and stale, utilize it as a convenient resting placee for housekeys and pencils. disregard it, and you will happen yourself tired, drained, luckless, and uninspired. Treat it with regard, maintain it immaculately clean, see it frequently, and you will be rewarded with energy, religious growing, personal triumphs, and singular happenstances.
Your ascendants love you. They will come and see you, accept your offerings, and point you on the manner. They will teach you, protect you, contend for you, and heal you. They will convey you messages through your intuition and your dreams.
Obtain a image of a asleep relation of yours whose love for you is beyond inquiry. If you have no deceased relations whom you can retrieve good, either by blood or by acceptance, you can take an image of a individual who represents to you hereditary wisdom and love, and give that individual a name. You may besides obtain images of ascendants of all subdivisions of the human race.
Topographic point these images behind the vas of H2O on you altar, either propped up on image stands or attached to the wall behind your communion table. This wall can besides be draped in white fabric and images pinned or tacked to it. Arrange the images until their grouping seems right to you. You may take to work with one image or many.
Sit in forepart of your communion table. Ringing a little bell or agitate a ceremonial rattling to signal the start of your speculation. Light the white taper on your communion table, and if possible visible radiation some coconut or vanilla incense. Tie your caput with a white fabric if you wish. Gaze into the H2O in the cardinal goblet. Relax and do any speculation exercises you are familiar with. Deep external respiration, numbering backwards from 10 to zero. Think about your chosen ascendant. If possible, recollect scenes from the yesteryear in which you appear with that ascendant. Feel the love between you which connects you. Name the name of your ascendant out loud, repeatedly. State the ascendant that you love him/her, and that you want to work together with him/her. It is a basic dogma of Vodou that the life and the dead work together to assist each other.
When you feel the ascendants’presence, tip a small H2O three times on the floor to welcome them. Make this speculation frequently, until it is a comfy modus operandi. Within a hebdomad or two, you should do an hereditary banquet to offer to your ascendants.
This banquet should include nutrients that were favored by your ascendants in life, with the exclusion that the nutrient should non be salted. Place each type of nutrient in a bowl, and topographic point a white taper in the center of the nutrient. Liquid offerings can be placed in spectacless and the taper should be put in a holder next to the glass. Touch each home base or bowl to your brow, bosom, and pubic country, and so take a breath on the nutrient. Talk to your ascendants, remind them that they were one time portion of the universe of the life, and that you will one twenty-four hours come to fall in them. Ask them to drive away all evil, such as poorness, unwellness, unemployment, weariness, strife, and unhappiness. Ask them to convey to you all that is good, including love, money, work, wellness, joy, friendly relationship, and laughter.
Light the tapers, put the nutrient on the communion table, and leave the room. When the tapers have finished combustion, and sooner the undermentioned forenoon, take the nutrient and throw it off at the pes of a big tree. If that is non possible, put it in a refuse bag and dispose of it individually from other refuse. Wash the home bases, bowls, and spectacless, scrub them with salt, and put them off. Do non utilize them for ordinary repasts. That is how an ordinary Voodoo ceremonial is performed.
I hope that by reading this study on Voodoo you gain a better apprehension as to the beginnings and spiritual facets of the faith. I think that Vodou is one of the most criticized and misunderstood faiths in our state today. It is non merely about harming people and jabing pins into a six inch reproduction doll of your worst enemy, but about retrieving your loved deceased ascendants and loved 1s.