Presentation on theme: "Sociology: Religion Vodun. Definition of Vodun/Voodoo."— Presentation transcript:
Sociology: Religion Vodun
Definition of Vodun/Voodoo
Voodoo can be defined as a religion that is derived from African polytheism and ancestor worship and is practiced chiefly in Haiti. (Merriam Webster)
Background of Vodun
Vodun is commonly called voodoo by the public. The name was derived from the god Vodun of the West African. The word Vodun means “divinity” or “Idol”. Yoruba people who lived in the 18 th and 19 th century Dahomey. Its roots may go back about 6,000 years in Africa. That country occupied parts of today’s Togo, Benin and Nigeria. Slaves brought their religion with them when they were forcibly shipped to Haiti and other islands in the West Indies. Vodun was actively suppressed during colonial times.
Many Vodun priests were either killed or imprisoned, and their shrines destroyed, because of the threat they posed to Euro-Christian/Muslim dominion. This forced some Dahomeans to form Voodoo Orders and to create underground societies, in order to continue the veneration of their ancestors; and the worship of their powerful gods. Vodun has been freely practiced in Benin since a democratic government was installed there in 1989; about 60% of the population follows this religion in 1996-FEB. It is also followed by most of the adults in Haiti who are also nominally Poman Catholic. It can be found in many of the large cities in North America. Toda over 60 million people practice Vodun worldwide.
Religions similar to Vodun can be found in South America where they are called Umbanda, Quimbanda or Candomble. Today, there are two virtually unrelated forms of the religion: 1.An actual religion, Vodun practiced in Benin, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, Togo and various centers in the US- largely where Haitian refugees have settled. 2.An evil, imaginary religion, which will we call Voodoo. It has been created for Hollywood movies, complete with violence, bizarre ritual, etc. It does not exist in reality.
History of Vodun in the Caribbean
Voodoo is widely regarded as a mysterious and sinister practice that’s taboo in many cultures. The mere word conjures images of the bloody animal sacrifices, evil zombies, dolls stuck with pins, and dancers gyrating through the hot night. However, Voodoo religion was not allowed to be practice by the slaves due to the rhythm of drums. The Caribbean nation encountered many foreign influences It is the religion of Haiti but is also practiced in Brazil, Trinidad, Cuba, and some southern states of USA especially Louisiana. It is a mixture of religious practices from Roman Catholicism.
Voodoo has played a key role in the culture and history of the Caribbean colonization of Hispaniola. The European colonist started slave trade and a large number of blacks were forcibly enslaved. This threat paved way for the development of Voodoo. Despite of the religion that kept them united. The African were so much unified and strengthened by their common religious beliefs that in turn made them to resist the cruelty of the French rulers. During the Haitian revolution, before the slaves began their attack, a voodoo ritual was in order to heighten the spirits of slaves, the ritual was known as the Bois Caïman ceremony, which was officiated by Boukman, a maroon leader and voodoo priest from Jamaica.
The Voodoo ritual sparked the beginning of the Haitian revolution in 1791, it was said the ritual had given the slaves unimaginable strength and willpower allowing them to kill their owners as well as set a blaze the many plantations present at the time St Domingue. (Haiti) Without this historical event, the time of slavery would have mostly likely still be prominent in society, it was because of this successful revolution, that other colonies and their European owners had ended slavery in 1838.
Beliefs of the Vodun Religion
Voodoo belief recognizes one Supreme Being who created the universe, but who is too far away for a personal relationship with its worshippers. Therefore, the cult followers serve the Loa or lesser deities to gain guidance for their lives. The Loa (meaning mystery in the Yoruba language) are the spirits of ancestors, animals, natural forces, and the spirits of good and evil. An interesting concept of voodoo belief is the ritual that takes place one year and one day after the decease of a relative. Voodoo belief states that there are two parts of the human soul. The two parts consists of ti-bon-ange (little good angel) and gros-bon-ange (great good angel).
There are hundreds of minor spirits. Those which originated from Dahomey are called Rada; those who were added later are often deceased leaders in the new world and are called Petro. Some of these are: Agwe- spirit of the sea Aida Wedo- rainbow spirit Ayza- protector Baka- an evil spirit who takes the form of an animal Baron Samedi- guardian of the grave Dambala (or Damballah- wedo)- serpent spirit Erinle- Spirit of the forests Ezili- femal spirit of love Mawu Lisa- spirit of creation Ogou Balanjo- spirit of healing Ogun- spirit of war Osun- spirit of healing Sango- spirit of storms Yemaja- female of spirits Zaka- spirit of agriculture
Voodoo Rituals and Spells
How to Get Rid of an Enemy Write the person’s name 9 times on Brown Paper. Roll the paper away from you into a tube shape and slide it inside a glass bottle. Then fill with some coffee until the bottle is full. Close the bottle and seal it with wax from a candle. Wrap the bottle in black cloth. Tie with Cotton Twine making 9 knots using all the anger and rage you have in your body towards this person. Take the bottle to a body of moving water like a river or ocean. this person. Toss into the water over your left shoulder and walk away without looking back. You will have no anger against this person.
Money Attraction Spell Trinka five, Trinka five Ancient Spirits come alive, Money grow and money thrive, Spirits of the trinka five. This is a Voodoo spell for attracting money. I think that the Trinka Five are five spirits that Voodoo worshipers call in need of money. To say the spell you must place a medium sized bowl in a place easy to find. Hold three coins in you dominant hand say the words above. Repeat these steps for at least nine days or until the bowl has the money you need.
Love Voodoo Spell Blessed Mother fair and true This Gift I offer unto You Bless this ring and make it shine Bring a lover to be mine Let it Be So! This spell is for attracting a lover. It must be said on a night of moon. You must first wrap a silver ring into a white cloth, place it in the soil of the earth and pour wine of milk on the area. You then will say the spell above. The next full moon the ring shall be removed from the ground and worn on your hand. If done right, the next person laid eyes on will fall madly in love with you.
A Spell to Protect Home and Possessions I invoke the Goddess of Protection, I invoke my ancestor’s spirits. Three times around, three times about The world within, the world without. In home and possessions, may good spirits abound Evil and problems will not stay around. This is a modern Voodoo spell that is used to protect your home and your possessions. The source says that you have to circle around the area three times with an incense burner saying this spell, making sure the burner covers every spot.
Voodoo dolls Voodoo dolls were used as a tool to cause pain or illness to an enemy. Pins and needles were very often used to poke the doll and cause the pain. Worshipers thought that wherever the pin or needed was inserted into the doll, the focused person or object will become very ill or feel pain. Originally, to use a Voodoo doll it was believed that you must call upon the spirits or the Loa. Now, if a Voodoo worshiper is using a Voodoo doll they do not always call the spirits, for most of the time people are evoking positive effects like love and blessings onto the doll. These days, more and more people are using Voodoo dolls that do not worship this religion.
Some rituals also consist of the components: A feast before the main ceremony Creation of a veve, a pattern flour or cornmeal on the floor Shaking a rattle and beating drums which have been cleansed and purified Chanting Animal sacrifice (goat, sheep, chcken, dog). They are usually killed by slitting their throat. The possessed dancer may drink some of the blood. The hunger of the Loa is then believed to be satisfied. Animal sacrifice is a method of consecrating food for consumption by followers of Vodun, their gods and ancestors.
REASONS FOR RITUALS AND SPELLS 1. To appease alienated ancestors and enlist their help and support in all your endeavors 2.To obtain new and promising work, obtain promotions and raises. 3. For protection against accidents and mayhem. 4. To increase your fortune through new opportunities and good luck.
Caribbean Countries That Practice Voodoo
Some Caribbean countries that still practice vodoo today are: Jamaica Haiti.
Similarities of Roman Catholic and Vodun/ Voodoo
1. Both believe in a supreme being 2. Both believe in an afterlife. 3. Both believe in the existence of invisible evil spirits or demons.
Differences between Voodoo and Roman Catholicism
1. Jesus Christ was the founder of Roman Catholicism but there is no founder of voodoo. 2.Roman Catholics believe in Jesus while Voodoo worshippers believe in spirits. 3. Roman Catholics believe that angels are God’s messengers while Voodoo believe in numerous deities, spirits, deities, etc.
Shannon Turlington, "Do you do Voodoo? The real religion behind zombies and voodoo dolls," Garnet Publ., (2000) Caribbean Voodoo Spellcaster Voodoo and Roman Catholicism lic.htm Christianity vs Voodoo lic.htm