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Melisa Vicki Amy Adrienne Anthony

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1 Melisa Vicki Amy Adrienne Anthony
VOODOO Melisa Vicki Amy Adrienne Anthony

2 Vodun History Vodun (a.k.a. Voodoo, Voudou, Voodoo, Sevi Lwa) is commonly called Voodoo by the public It is traceable to be an African word meaning “spirit” The religion can be traced back to the West African Yoruba people who lived in the 18th and 19th century in Dahomey (Togo, Benin, and Nigeria on a present day map) The roots may go back to as long as 6000 years in Africa The religion was carried by slaves when they were forcibly shipped to Haiti and other islands in the West Indies Vodun actively was suppressed during Colonial times and the Marxist regime Vodun was formally recognized as Benin’s official religion in February of 1996 It is also followed by most of the adults in Haiti It can be found in many of the large cities in North America, particularly the American south

3 History Continued Today over 60 million people practice Vodun worldwide Religions similar to Vodun can be found in South America They are known as Umbanda, Quimbanda or Candomble.  Today there are two unrelated forms of the religion: the actual religion, Vodun practiced in Benin, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, Togo and various centers in the US - largely where Haitian refuges have settled. an evil, imaginary religion, which we will call Voodoo. It has been created for Hollywood movies, complete with "voodoo dolls", violence, bizarre rituals, etc. It does not exist in reality, except in the minds of most non-Voduns

4 History Continued When the slaves were taken from Africa to Haiti they were baptized into the Roman Catholic Church but since there was little Christian infrastructure present the slaves followed their native faith They even continued to follow their faith while attending mass regularly An inaccurate and sensational book (S. St. John, "Haiti or the Black Republic") was written in It described Vodun as a profoundly evil religion, and included lurid descriptions of human sacrifice, cannibalism, etc., some of which had been extracted from Vodun priests by torture. This book caught the imagination of people outside the West Indies, and was responsible for much of the misunderstanding and fear that is present today. Hollywood found this a rich source for Voodoo screen plays. Horror movies began in the 1930's and continue today to misrepresent Vodun. It is only since the late 1950's that accurate studies by anthropologists have been published. (Taken from

5 History Continued Each group follows a different spiritual path and worships a slightly different pantheon of spirits, called Loa. The word means "mystery" in the Yoruba language. Yoruba traditional belief included a chief God Olorun, who is remote and unknowable. He authorized a lesser God Obatala to create the earth and all life forms. A battle between the two Gods led to Obatala's temporary banishment. 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 (or Erzulie): female spirit of love Mawu Lisa: spirit of creation Ogou Balanjo: spirit of healing Ogun (or Ogu Bodagris): spirit of war Osun: spirit of healing streams Sango (or Shango): spirit of storms Yemanja: female spirit of waters Zaka (or Oko): spirit of agriculture

6 History Continued The purpose of rituals is to make contact with a spirit, to gain their favor by offering them animal sacrifices and gifts, to obtain help in the form of more abundant food, higher standard of living, and improved health. Vodun priests can be male (houngan or hungan), or female (mambo). A Vodun temple is called a hounfour (or humfort). At its center is a poteau-mitan a pole where the God and spirits communicate with the people. An altar will be elaborately decorated with candles, pictures of Christian saints, symbolic items related to the Loa, etc. Rituals are held to celebrate lucky events, to attempt to escape a run of bad fortune, to celebrate a seasonal day of celebration associated with a Loa, for healing, at birth, marriage and death Vodun rituals: a feast before the main ceremony creation of a veve, a pattern of flour or cornmeal on the floor which is unique to the Loa for whom the ritual is to be conducted shaking a rattle and beating drums which have been cleansed and purified chanting dancing by the houngan and/or mambo and the hounsis (students studying Vodun). The dancing will typically build in intensity until one of the dancers (usually a hounsis) becomes possessed by a Loa and falls. His or her ti bon ange has left their body and the spirit has taken control. The possessed dancer will behave as the Loa and is treated with respect and ceremony by the others present. animal sacrifice; this may be a goat, sheep, chicken, or dog. They are usually humanely killed by slitting their throat; blood is collected in a vessel. The possessed dancer may drink some of the blood. The hunger of the Loa is then believed to be satisfied. The animal is usually cooked and eaten. Animal sacrifice is a method of consecrating food for consumption by followers of Vodun, their gods and ancestors.

7 Voodoo People Basics Voodoo is an African Based religion that started out in the kingdoms of Fon and Kongo about 6000 years ago. There are people who lead the religion called Priests and Priestesses. Voodoo Priests The people who practiced this were known as Voodoo Priests. Voodoo Priestess’ are often called Mambo or Manbo which is a mix of the Fon word for Mother/Magical Charm and the Kongo word for Healer. People turn to the Priests and Priestesses not only for guidance, but for healing and advice.

8 People Continued Becoming a Spiritual Leader Dark Sorcerers
If one wants to become a Priest, then they must go into a religious center (much like a convent of monastery) where they proceed to ‘die’ or spend 3 days in complete seclusion before returning to the outside world. Dark Sorcerers There are some people that practice black magic that are called bokor. These people act like policemen of the religion because they curse bad people These are where the ideas of Zombies come from. It is said that when one becomes a Zombie, they lose their soul. This is the worst curse they can put on somebody.

9 People Continued Mambo Sallie Ann Marie LaVeau
She was an American Voodoo priestess during the 19th century. She was known for healing people. There was a Catholic church that would let her help people which would usually not be allowed. This convinced many people in Louisiana that Voodoo was real and powerful. Queen Bianca She was known throughout Louisiana for her skills, she was appointed a priestess by marriage through her aunt. Mambo Sallie Ann She was a High Priestess of Voodoo and one of the few white American women who got initiated through the traditional way. She was an American woman of Jewish-Ukrainian heritage which made it even more unusual.

10 Places and Time


12 Places West Africa, Benin, Haiti, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Candomble, Brazil, Santeria, Cuba, Congo, Angola, the Caribbean Islands, New Orleans, Louisiana

13 Ghana’s number one sports voodoo priest, known as Okwonfor.

14 Demographics Synchronized religion in Benin
60% practices Vodun 15% population are practicing Christians as well 2.5 million followers in Togo and Ghana 14 million followers in Nigeria International Vodun Conference held in Benin since 1991

15 Saut d’Eau Festival 1847: legend behind pilgrimage
Our Lady of Mont Carmel appeared, healed sick Catholics/Protestants felt threatened Religions merged

16 Saut d’eau Festival Cont.
Festival in July celebrated for the past 150 years Pilgrimage Bathing in water or mud Worshipers appear possessed Sacrifices

17 Spread the Voodoo Slave Trade: The U.S., Cuba, and Brazil Adaptation
Slaves created cults to continue worship Contributed to fear and misunderstanding Adaptation New Orleans.: French and Creole speaking quarters Spiritoculture market, Voodoo dolls, Americanized, glamorized

18 The Voodoo Factor Christian and Muslim dominions forced start of underground worship Voodoo played a major role in revolution against the French in Haiti Suppressed by Marxism but Benin’s official religion by 1989 The Slave Trade: New Orleans, Brazil, & Cuba Haiti or The Black Republic 1884 1950’s

19 Spells

20 The Four Forms Of Reading
Voodoo bone reading  Casting the bones and ask them to answer your questions or see into the future. Spirit reading The so called dead are around this moment. They know and can see things that you can’t see or know. Crystal ball reading Insight as to the special pictures, images and events that you see in the Crystal Ball about your life and questions. Voodoo tarot cards readings Reading the cards for you and tell you what you need to know.

21 Benefits Make your relationship stronger, closer, more secure. Enhance compatibility. Return a lost love. Awaken them to your irresistible charms that will make it impossible to stay away. Enrich your life with money, plentiful gifts, fabulous material possessions. Wreck vengeance on the person who has wronged you, allowing them little sleep, implanting fear of you in their mind, bringing peace and respect back into your life. Provide instant luck in love, companionship, career. Change other people's opinion of you. Knock out barriers, smoothing the path to your future.

22 The Doll The use of voodoo dolls is unheard of where the religion is practiced. (Haiti) The only recorded serious use of the dolls, among voodoo worshippers, was in the New Orleans area in the early 1900's. Hexes were cast to bring either good or bad luck to another person. The doll was used to symbolize that person. The sticking of pins into the doll was to reinforce and direct the spells that were cast.

23 Types Of Spells Lusting for one another
Prevent people blocking your way Controlling demons Dream appearances Intimacy (All need a symbol. money, candle, anything at your expense.)

24 Voodoo religious beliefs and practices

25 Three Types…. Louisiana Voodoo Haitian Voodoo West African Vodun

26 General Overview of Beliefs
Polytheistic Belief in one supreme god, Bondyé as well as other lesser gods, known as the Loa Because Bondyé is considered unreachable, prayers are focused on the loa Moral code concentrates on the vices of greed and dishonor While voodoo draws its roots from African religions, there is no right or wrong distinguished, only what is right for a household or church. When this belief came in contact with Catholics, Jesus became known as Bondye and the saints were Ioa Assortment of Voodoo paraphanalia

27 Morality Spirits are hot and cold. General goodwill is promonted
A tapestry of the symbol of a Loa Spirits are hot and cold. It is better be cool! General goodwill is promonted Take what you need from the community, but be willing to give back as well Good voduns will always have a mentor relationship with a religious elder

28 Everyday Voodoo Much time is needed to set up the altars and cooking food such as fowl for a Voodoo service, which begins in the evening and ends when the sun rises The services begin with an African prayer followed by songs, generally in Creole During the singing, it is believed that ancestors come, visit, and sometimes inhabit the people in the service and speak and act through them Such spirits will give advice, warnings, and cures to the congregation Some people fake spirits, some people are drunk! Voodoo ceremony in Haiti

29 LouisianaVoodoo A Mystical Blend!
The African-American Spiritualist Churches prominent in Louisiana and the deep south incorporate a mix of African Vodun as well as Catholic undertones and symbols, such as the Virgin Mary. The distinction between Louisiana Voodoo and the other types is the reverence and importance stressed on Black Hawk, a Native American spirit. Furthermore, the African-American Spiritualist Church is a blend of Spiritualism, Voodoo, Catholicism, and Pentecostalism. Priestess Miriam of the VST in Mississippi

30 West African Vodun Vodun = lesser spirits Streams, trees, rocks
Vodun is Gbe for “spirit Vodun = Divine Spirit Includes the sun and the moon Vodun = lesser spirits Streams, trees, rocks Heavy emphasis on ancestral spirits

31 Voodoo Dolls? Voodoo dolls was never a central focus on either the Haitian Voodoo or West African Vodun. Sources state that a theory of how they came about was half myth, half slaves trying to scare/intimidate their owners in the South. The sects of the Voodoo religion which do incorporate dolls continually fight the bad press though!

32 Uses for Voodoo Dolls Voodoo dolls are commonly used to enrich one’s life with good health, love, and prosperity. They are mainly used as focusing tools Often are placed in a home for this very purpose, usually not used directly to harm people.

33 Sources

34 sources

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