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Transcript of Voodoo
More about Lwas
Similar to Greek Gods, each Lwa has an area it controls. (Ex. war)
Connections with Lwas happen through dance, singing, and use of snakes.
Serpents represent healing knowledge, and a connection between Heaven and Earth.
Each Lwa is connected to a Catholic saint.
They believe there are 2 parts of the soul.
The Big Guardian Angel is with you from birth until death. It leaves while you sleep and while you are possessed. After death, it goes back to the pool of life forces.
The Little Guardian Angel is where an individual's personal qualities are held.
There is a large emphasis on ancestors.
Bondye and Lwas
Vodouists believe in one supreme God called Bondye who doesn't interfere with daily lives. He is the creator.
Lwas are spirits that interact with daily lives. They possess someone during rituals, so people can interact with them. People give them food in exchange for assistance.
Marie Lavaeu was a Creole of African, Indian, French and Spanish decent. She was born in 1796 in Saint Dominique (Haiti). In the 1830's she became the first commercial Voodoo Queen. She declared herself the pope of voodoo. She was a devout Catholic who attended mass every day and was allowed to hold voodoo rituals behind the st. Louis Cathedral placed in New Orleans French Quarter.
This period of history is the most prominent and fruitful period of voodoo in New Orleans. Ceremonies were held every Sunday afternoon (free day for slaves) in the Congo Square. Some were more ritualistic than others. Some were more to celebrate African heritage.
Many musicians, especially Dr. John (an African voodoo priest) made reference to gris-gris, voodoo priestesses and practices. Many stories from the Mississippi Delta are based on voodoo tradition (carry a black cat bone, sprinkle Goofer dust in the path of enemies).
The 2 parts of the Soul
Voodooists have no scripture or religious text.
Priestesses are called Manbo and Priests are called Houngan.
Voodooists often call themselves Roman Catholic
They practice witchcraft and idolatry.
What is the first thing you think of when you hear voodoo?
HOW DID IT START...?
Voodoo became noticed in the 1730's when West African slaves were brought to New Orleans.
The most popular practitioner was Marie Laveau (1796). She was a free-woman of color.
In the early 1800's voodoo was suppressed in Haiti by Henry Christophe.
From 1815-1850 there was a period of acceptance and voodoo emerged publicly, under Emperor Soulouque.
1860-1945 Roman Catholics suppressed the Voodoo religion in an all out war. The war ended in failure.
1975-present there was a re-emergence of the voodoo religion, most of which is connected to Iwa, Ogoun in the peasant movement toward progressive reform in Haiti
Most Vodouists follow the christian calendar while others have a separate calendar.
This is because most of the practices mix with the Catholic faith.
Most Voodoo Holidays are celebrated because of St. John the Baptist.
On St. John's Eve, they complete a head-washing ceremony similar to baptism. Participants wear all white and bring offerings.
All Soul's Day
On this day, they honor their family and the dead. You go and place flowers and candles on the grave of your family and sit out food for stray dogs and homeless to eat
List 1 similarity and 1 difference of Voodoo and a major religion we have discussed in class.
Rituals usually include wild dancing and music.
Dancers then become entranced and fall to the ground; they are thought to be possessed.
The possessed person is treated as a spirit (Lwa).
The sacrificial animal's throat is cut and the possessed drink the blood of the animal.
The animal is cooked and eaten for good luck.