THE HISTORY OF Haitian Vodou

http://cafestrange.blogspot.comVodou, called Sevis Gineh or "African Service" is the main culture and religion of nearly 7 million people in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. It is primarily rooted in the Fon-Ewe peoples of West Africa, 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 operation of Sevis Gineh, as The Taino Indians, the original peoples of the island now known as Hispaniola. Haitian Vodou exists in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, parts of Cuba, the United States, France, Montreal and other places that Haitian immigrants are scattered in all these years.

Other New World traditions are closely linked to or bears resemblance to include Jeje Vaud in Brazil, La Regla Arara in Cuba, and the Black spiritualistic Christian churches in New Orleans. Haitian Vodou also bears superficial similarities in many ways the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria, from Orisha service, represented by La Regla de OCHA or Lukumi, aka «Santeria», in Cuba, the United States and Puerto Rico, and Candomblé in Brazil. Although widely regarded as related to Haitian Vodou, what is commonly referred to as "voodoo" in New Orleans and the southern U.S. is a variant of the word "Hoodoo", also called "rootwork" or "doctoring root". This is a folk magical tradition from Central Africa, the Congo region in which the roots, leaves, minerals, and the spirits of the dead used to improve the lot of life, often including the recitation of psalms and other Biblical prayers. Rootwork also incorporates Native American knowledge of herbs and European and Jewish magical traditions. A folk magic tradition, New Orleans "Voodoo" and southern "Hoodoo" rootwork are distinct from the religion of Haitian Vodou and its siblings and cousins.

History of Haitian Voodoo
Vodou as we know it in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora today is the result of pressures from many different cultures and nationalities of people 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 gathered religious knowledge and out of this fragmentation became culturally unified. Apart from combining the spirits of many different African and Indian nations, are pieces of functioning Catholic incorporated to replace lost prayers or elements; Furthermore, it is images of Catholic saints used to represent various spirits or "misteh" ["mysteries"], and many saints themselves are honored in Haitian Vodou themselves. This syncretism allows Haitian Vodou to encompass the African, Indian and European ancestors in a whole and integrated manner. It is truly a «Kreyol" or Creole religion.

The most historically important Vodou ceremony in Haitian history was the Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman) ceremony in August 1791 near the city of Cap Haitien that began the Haitian Revolution, led by Vodou priest named Boukman. During this ceremony the spirit Ezili Dantor came and took a black pig as an offering, and all attendees are committed to the struggle for freedom. This ceremony ultimately resulted in the liberation of the Haitian people from French masters in 1804 and the founding of the first and only black Democratic Republic of the western hemisphere, the first democracy in world history. (2)
Haitian Vodou came to the United States significantly since the late 1960's and early 1970's with the waves of Haitian immigrants under the oppressive Duvalier regime, taking root in Miami, New York, Chicago and other cities, especially on both coasts.


Central beliefs of Haitian Vodou
Vodouisants believe, in accordance with widespread African tradition, that there is a God who is creator of all, referred to as "Bondje», from the French words «Bon Dieu» or "Good God». Bondje remote from where the / her / its creation, and so are the spirits or the "mysteries", "saints", or "angels" who Vodouisant turns for help, and their ancestors. Vodouisant worships God and serves the spirits , treated with honor and respect as elder members of a household can be. There are said to be twenty Nations The "nanchons" spirits, called "LWA-yo". Some of the most important nations of the LWA is Rada (from Allada in Dahomey), the Nago (from Yorubaland), and Kongo. The spirits also come in "families" that all share a surname, like Ogou, or Ezili, or Azaka or Gede. For example, "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 hot or cool. Cool spirits fall under the category Rada, and hot spirits fall under the category Petwo. Rada spirits are familial and mostly come from Africa, Petwo spirits are mostly originating from 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" than the other.

Everyone has spirits, and each person has a special relationship with a particular spirit called the "head", but each person can have many LWA, and he held his head, or the "met Wed" may may or may not be the most active spirit in a person's life.

The LWA is all said to live in a city beneath the sea called Ile IFE or Vilokan. Besides Agwe and his escort, living in a different city beneath the waters.


Haitian Vodou Pantheon
All LWA Haitian moving manbos and houngans. Many are also Masons. Some of the most important spirits are as follows.

RADA Pantheon in Haitian Vodou
Papa Legba Atibon - is depicted as an old man, Saint Lazarus is used to represent him in hounfo or temple. He opens the door to the spirits, and translates between human languages ​​and the languages ​​of spirits.
Marasa Dosu DOSA - It's twins, or in twos or threes. Imaged with the STS. Cosmas and Damien, or the Three Virtues.

Papa Loko Atisou and Manbo Ayizan Velekete - The original priest and priestess of the tradition. It provides the priesthood at the start.

Danbala Wedo and Ayida Wedo - The white snake and the rainbow, and is the oldest living things. Danbala brings people in Vodou. St. Patrick and Moses used Danbala.

Ogou Feray - is a fierce general who works hard for his children, but can be moody and grim times well.

Ogou Badagri - is a diplomat, and is the main competitor of Ogou Feray.

Ezili Freda - is a mature light-skinned woman who enjoys the finest things, jewelry, expensive perfume, champagne, etc. It is said to be the owner of all men (or thinks he has) and can be very jealous. It gives romance and luxury. It is so clear that you should never touch the bare ground. Its main competitor is the sister of 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 a counterpart of the saint.
PETWO (Petro) Pantheon in Haitian Vodou
Gran Bwa Ile - His name means "Big Wood". It is the spirit of wilderness. They are wild and unpredictable, and a portion of the grounds for a Vodou temple is always left wild for him. San Sebastian is used to represent Gran Bwa.

Ezili Dantor - a Petwo LWA, this is a strong black single mother. She did not speak, but make a "kay kay kay" sound to the occupation. This is the nurturing and protective, but is dangerous when he woke up, even in children. The image is Salvatoris Mater's Czestokowa. Often uses a knife or bayonet, and color is often red and dark blue. A little known fact is that it 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 freshwater rivers and knowledge in the areas of magic and witchcraft.

The Bawons - which rule the graveyard 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, filled with 21 Habanero peppers and wash their faces and genitals with this mixture also demonstrate that they are who they say they are. It is sung for the last at a party for the spirits. Chief of the Gedeh is Gedeh Nibo, with his wife Maman Brijit. St. Gerard represents the Gedeh.


The role of clergy in Haitian Vodou
In serving the spirits, the Vodouisant seeks to achieve harmony with its own character 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 family and community. A Vodou house or society is organized for the transfer of a large family, and activates the "children" of their initiators, in the sense of hierarchy and mutual obligation that implies.

Most Vodouisants not yet begun, referred to as "Bosal"? There is a requirement that a move to serve the 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 (although some of it is the responsibility of the whole community as well). It is tasked with leading the service of all the spirits of their pedigree. Priests are referred to as "houngans" and priestesses as "manbos". Below houngans and manbos the hounsis, which starts acting as assistants during ceremonies and who are dedicated to their personal mysteries. One does not serve just any LWA, but only those who "have", which is a matter of individual character and destiny of each, and sometimes an issue which has been a spirits and getting a taste for himself. Since the spirits are individuals who respond best to those they know personally or have been introduced. What alcoholic drinks a person has, may be revealed during the ceremony, reading or dreaming. However, everyone can and should serve their own ancestors in their blood.

That being said, there are some spirits or spirits groups have a special relationship with mankind, as it is not unreasonable to say, anyone can approach them with some confidence, if known some basic styles and preferences, including those Papa Legba Atibon, the guardian of the spirits, Danbala Wedo, who said the owner of all heads and is the oldest ancestor of all life, and Papa Gedeh, giving voice to the spirits of the dead, and everyone is Dead. I leave the reader to explore the identity of these spirits further from other sources, such as forums Yahoo! Vodouspirit. Also, the Catholic saints are all extremely accessible to anyone who requests their help, such as St. Anthony and St. Michael.
Etiquette in Haitian Vodou
Cultural values ​​that Vodou embraces center around ideas of honor and respect - to God, to the spirits, the family and sosyete, and himself. There is a plural idea of ​​proper and improper in the sense that what is appropriate for someone with Danbala as their head may be different from someone with Ogou as leader, for example - a spirit is very cool and the other is very hot . I would argue that the dew is total value, and so is the ability and desire to protect himself and his own, if necessary. The love and support within the family of the Vodou sosyete seems to be the most important decision. The generosity in providing the community and 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 an orientation of the community, there are no "solitaries" in Vodou, only people separated geographically from elders and their house. There is a "do it yourself" religion - a person without a relationship with some sort of seniors will not perform Vodou. You can not pick the fruit, unless we begin with a root.

The Haitian Vodou religion is an ecstatic rather than fertility based tradition and does not discriminate against gay and other queer people in any way. Unlike some Wiccan traditions, sexual orientation or gender identity and expression of a seller has no concern in a ritual setting, it's just the way God made a face. The spirits help each person to simply be the person.


How to worship in Haitian Vodou
After a day or two of preparation setting up altars, ritually preparing and cooking birds 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» passing 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 "Priye Gineh" or the African Prayer. After more introductory songs then sung songs for all individual spirits. As songs are sung spirits will come to visit the attendees to the acquisition by individuals and speaking and acting through them. Each spirit is saluted and greeted by the initiates This will provide information, advice and treatments are directed at them for help. Several hours later the Wee hours of the morning, the last song sung, guests leave, and all exhausted and hounsis houngans and manbos can go on sleep.

At the household level of the individual, or a Vodouisant «sevite" / "serviteur" may have one or more tables set out for their ancestors and the spirit or spirits who serve with pictures or statues of the spirits, perfumes, food, and other things favored by their spirits. The most basic configuration is a single white candle and a clear glass of water and perhaps flowers. On the day a certain spirit, one lights a candle and says an Our Father and Hail Mary, welcomes Papa Legba and asks him to open the gate, and then one welcomes and speaks for the spirit like an elder family member. Ancestors are approached directly, without the mediation of Pope Legba, since they are in his blood.

If a person feels like they are "called" or accessed by the spirits of Haiti, the first thing a person should start doing is to serve their ancestors, perhaps beginning with an ancestor nine days (see links below). Monday is the day of the ancestors in our home, but ideally one speaks of their ancestors daily. If you do not keep your ancestors first, can get upset and stand between you and other alcoholic beverages. The second thing is to find a competent and reliable manbo or houngan for reading or consultation. It may take some time of prayer, patience and effort to find a suitable person. Travel may still be necessary. They can help you determine what effect (s), if any may be involved and what, if anything you might need to be done. Expect to pay a fee for their time - unlike many neo-pagan traditions in Haitian Vodou "manbo e houngan travay pa pou Youn gwan Mesi" ("The manbo and houngan not work for a big thank you ') (3 ). This is true for other African-based traditions as well.

Role of initiation in Haiti Vodou
Initiation in Haitian Vodou is a serious matter and you should not run in Haiti the first person you encounter, or elsewhere on the internet, sight unseen, or otherwise, who says he'll introduce you.
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