Voodoo The Haitian Religion Essay Research Paper — страница 3

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grudges and causing bad things to happen. Honored and cared for family dead are helpful and very nice. All three entities of Voodoo are shown great respect and treated with dignity, because it is dangerous to anger any of them. Loa spirits are everywhere, but no one is responsible for every single one of them. Only personal loa need to be honored and remembered. Other loa that are significant are the popular ones. These include the loa that a person marries, followed by Legba, who is the gatekeeper between the two worlds, the World of Earth and the world of the Invisibles. He is the origin of life, and the sun is one of his symbols, but he is also the source of regeneration and uses the symbol of the phallus. Kalfu is the next loa, whose name means crossroads and is the Petro

counterpart to Legba. He is the spirit of the night, the origin of darkness. The moon is his symbol. He can be placated, but is a dangerous loa. Papa Ghede is the loa of death and resurrection. He is an absolute clown, very erotic and comic. He is the lord of eroticism. Dumballah is the father figure. He is the good snake, the source of peace and tranquility. He is much loved and sought after. Agwe is the sovereign of the seas, she is especially honored, as one might well expect by people who live near the sea. Ogoun the warrior, is the voice and the force of politics, who is very violent. Erzulie is the earth mother. She is the spirit of the goddess of love, the muse of beauty, and is strongly identified with the Virgin Mary. Her appearance is one of cleansing, dressing,

delicate foods daintily eaten. She can read the future in dreams and is very honored and loved (Corbett Loa). Along with honoring spirits and loa, Voodoo practitioners, called serviteurs, also provide many services in their religion. The central and key aspect of Voodoo is healing people from illness. Such healing activities probably constitute sixty percent of all Voodoo activity. Healers heal with herbs, faith healing with the help of loa and other spirits, and today, even with western medicine. The priesthood of Voodoo contains both men and women. The male priests are called houngans, and the female priests are called mambo. Both have equal responsibilities and are equally important. The functions of mambos and houngans include healing, performing religious ceremonies to call

or calm the spirits, holding initiations for new priests (Kanzo) , telling the future, reading dreams, casting spells and creating protections, and creating potions for various purposes. These include love and death spells. For any of these services there are fees, depending on the mambo or houngans. Another central feature of Voodoo is the service, the religious rites of the religion. The service is usually held outside, under a rough roof around the potomitan, the center pole. A houngan or mambo almost always directs these. Drums are used extensively to provide music, and dancing is absolutely essential to the whole service. Services are fully participatory, which means that not only the houngans and mambo participate but nearly everyone present. The master of ceremonies called

La Place is often present, along with the hounganikon whom directs the music and motion. Hounsi, whom are the serving ladies, are usually dressed in white. All those in attendance are nearly all participants and most can be mounted. Nearly every voodoo service has animal sacrifice. By killing the animal, one releases life. The loa are exhausted by the taxing task of running the universe. Thus, they can receive this life sacrificed to them and are rejuvenated. This act makes them quite happy. This type of Voodoo is known as Rada Voodoo. This is family spirit Voodoo and the Voodoo of the relatively peaceful and happy loa. Another type of Voodoo is called Petro (Congo) Voodoo. This is black magic Voodoo and the Voodoo of angry, mean, and nasty loa. Dangerous things happen in Petro

including death curses, the making of zombi , and wild sex orgies. By virtually all scholarly estimates, it is found that Rada Voodoo accounts for more than 95% of all Voodoo. Thus the tales of black magic, while very real, are extremely limited. Petro is not the typical Voodoo but it does exist. According to Voodoo, humans have two spirits and a body. The ti-bon-ange (little good angel) is similar to the conscience in the Western understanding of people. There is also gros-bon-ange (big good angel) which is similar to the soul of a person in Western theories. Except the soul is so much more separate from the person than is a western soul. For example, when a person goes before God for judgment it is the gros-bon-ange which presents the person to God and makes the person s case