Haitian Voodoo , Vodun

Haitian Voodoo
is the voodoo practiced in Haiti. The name Voodoo or Vodou means sacred spirit from Dahomeyan society.  Voodoo is a montheistic religion, that tries to solve the ills of society. Priest, male(houngan) or female(mambo) are agents of the religion, and usually tries to cure diseases, infertility, counsel on unruly children etc. Voodoo gets most of its influence from Fon and Yoruba religious outlook. Influence from Congo and Angola regions are present.

Portrayal and Suppression


Haitian Voodoo has been affiliated with devil worship, voodoo dolls, zombies, sensational evil horror flick. Hollywood horror zombie movies of the 1920s and 30s further trivialized and misrepresented the religion. The latter has taken away from it religiousity. Voodoo has also been attacked by the Catholic Church, which drove it underground in previous centuries, and presently Protestant faiths.

Because of syncretism with Catholicism, it is hard to determine the number of practitioner. What might be a Catholic practice might be also a Voodoo practice. Variation in practice will exist, since no canon version of the religion exist.

Lwas


The lwas are spirits that represent traits, forces, laws of nature. They are most involve in human life. They are not gods and are not worshiped by participant or priest. Ghedes or ancestor spirits exist. Syncretism has been achieved with Catholicism. Some Saints have come to be associated with certain lwas. Papa Legba for examples corresponds to Saint Peters determiner to the entrance of heaven. Erzulie, earth mother affiliated with love, beauty corresponds with the Virgin Mary. During a Voodoo ceremony, lwas usually mount a priest or participant(chwal or medium) and listens to request and give wisdom. Two types of lwas exist the Petwo or Rada. The Petwo are fierry, aggressive, and according to Haitian folklore birthed during the Haitian Revolution in 1791. They are usually affiliated with negative magic such as curses and evil intent. The Rada are mild, gentle, and originate in Africa. Lwas are neither good or evil. They can be used for good or evil. In the Voodoo world view if one practice evil it comes back tenfold to the practitioner.

Priest


The facilitators and practitioners of Voodoo are the hougan(male priest) or mambo(female priest). They try to heal the sick, counsel individuals on social ills, fix infertility, etc. Rarily do they practice evil or curse individuals as in the movies or create zombies or nzambie. In Voodoo, bokors or sorcers exist who can practice evil, curse individual, bring misfortune. They can capture an individual's soul to create zombies or nzambie. To gain access to the lwa, a sanctified animal is sacrifice, which can be a chicken.

God and the ultimate


In Voodoo, the spirit world called vilokan exist usually represented by a submerge island, the dwelling place of spirits and lwas. Papa Legba or Saint Patrick controls entry to this world from the physical world. In Voodoo cosmology, Bondye or God is the creator of all things. He is the only one that can grant ultimate happiness. He is not a personal God. He can't be directly access and is beyond human and earthly concern. Bondye is access via the lwas or spirits.

Related Articles: Condomble , Fon Pantheon (Gods, Vodun), Yoruba Pantheon (Orisa, Gods), Santeria