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The practice of Voodoo: Preserving a world heritage
Dah Jah &
Koffi Jacob Eric AHOUANSOU (aka Dah-Jah) is an artist and assistant Architect. He works and lives in Benin. Dah-Jah is initiated in the Cult Egou goun (cult of the dead) and of the Cult Oro (Cult of the protective mother). He is also a musician-singer.
Netiva Caftori, Fulbright scholar to Benin,
Voodoo is a religious tradition originating in West Africa, which became prominent in the New World due to the importation of African slaves.
(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
West African Vodun is the original form of the religion;
Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo are its descendants in the New World.
They thrived on the commerce of slavery till its abolition in 1807, then on palm oil.
England, Denmark, Portugal and France
Mamy Wata, the goddess of the Sea.
Colonization had initiated a creative process of appropriation, revision, and survival leading to the mutual transformation of two or more pre-existing cultures into a new one
Contemporary Caribbean cultures.
Preservation of the heritage
It is often believed that it is these aspects of the religion, similar in many ways to the Trinity and the intervention of saints and angels, which made Vodun so compatible with Christianity, especially Catholicism, in the New World, and produced such strongly syncretistic religions as Haitian Vodou.
southern and central Togo,
southern and central Benin,
and southwestern Nigeria.
The word vodún is the Gbe (Fon-Ewe) word for spirit.
The Republic of Benin is a small, culturally rich nation in West Africa with an ethnically diverse population and a varied landscape stretching from the coast of the Gulf of Guinea in the south, to the Niger River in the north.
Danhomé (in the entrails of the Snake) is at the origin of all Voodoo cults, known not only as the cradle of the traditional Voodoo but also to have played a great part in the fight against colonial establishment
Fongbé, Gengné or Mina, Yoruba,
Baatonu, Dendi, Bariba, Adja-gbe, Ayizo-gbe, Ditammari, Tem, Peul
6.2 M Beninese:
Vodun cosmology centers around the vodun, spirits and other elements of divine essence which govern the Earth.
Vodun is essentially monotheistic: Mawu (or Nana Buluku) ---> a dual cosmogenic principle:
Henotheism: “monotheism in principle; polytheism in fact”
Most people still practice Vodun which is not just a religion but a culture and a way of life.
Old secrets though are dying with an aging population of wise men. Women are mostly left out, though they do consult the féticheur.
It is better to travel alone than with a bad companion. - Senegal
Rituals in a particular convent. The oracle (Ague) is behind.
Knowledge is like a garden; if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested. - Guinea
You have 3 friends in this world: courage, sense, and wisdom. - Fon
Silence is also speech. - Fulfulde
At the temple of serpents
Masks used in ceremonies
What a child says, he has learned at home. - Nigeria
The young cannot teach tradition to the old. - Yoruba
On the roof of a tata somba
Before healing others, heal yourself. - Nigeria
Vodun national holiday, Jan. 10th
Hurrying and worrying are not the same as strength. - Hausa
When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion. - Ethiopia
No one tests the depth of a river with both feet. - Ashanti
The Yoruba Orisha religion is said to be animistic, or mysterious.
The highest deity, Olodumare, the Creator, is considered to be an unknowable, distant God. It is only his children that deal in the lives of humans. The Orishas, Orixas in Portuguese, are said to "mount", or possess the participant during the rituals.
When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him. - Ashanti
He who asks questions cannot avoid the answers. – Cameroon.
Being happy is better than being king. - Hausa
To try and to fail is not laziness. – Sierra Leone
By going and coming, a bird weaves its nest. - Ashanti
A child who is to be successful is not reared exclusively on a bed of down. -Akan
A single bracelet does not jingle. - Congo
The humble pay for the mistakes of their betters. - Baguirmi
He who boasts much can do little. - Niger
The eyes believe themselves; the ears believe others; the heart believes the truth. - Ibo
Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. -Bondei
Restless feet may walk into a snake pit. – West africa
For news of the heart, ask the face. - Guinea
You are beautiful; but learn to work, for you cannot eat your beauty. - Congo
In the Vodun culture everything from nature has a significance: A fallen dry leaf, a green leaf, the tree itself.
Hope is the pillar of the world. - Kanuri
We will water the thorn for the sake of the rose. - Kanem
Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse. - Nigeria
The moon moves slowly, but it crosses the town. - Ashanti
The Divine Will ( DJROLO MAHOUTON ) in the Fongbé language is most important.Any one respecting the "LAW "( GBèSOU ) in fongbé has divine protection: GBé = LifeSOU = LAW
to = father Gbèto = man (human) or father of life for the initiate (Hounssiyoyo).
Hevi = birdOsso = point, Ozo = fireHeviosso = bird of fire, phoenix
Voodoo cults in America derive from the animism imported by former slaves of African extraction. This animism crystallized around the polytheist religion probably the most evolved , at the time, in Africa. When one says “voodoo” one often thinks of black magic or with secret ceremonies. But the voodoo is before all a great African traditional worship. The voodoo comprises nearly 400 divinities, each one honored according to a particular worship.
Resulting from the culture yoruba, the worship vodoun, of the ex-Danxomè (Dahomey in French, or Benin of present day. danhomé: “in the entrails of the Snake”), is at the origin of all voodoo cults which appeared in the islands of the Antilles (Haiti for example) or the countries of Latin America (like Brazil). Benin, a West-African country known not only as the cradle of the traditional Voodoo but also to have played a great part in the fight against colonial establishment
traditional monotheistic organized religion of coastal West Africa, from Nigeria to Ghana. Benin and Nigeria: Vodun or Vudun (Fon language) Togo and Ghana: the Ewe language Vodon, Vodoun, Voudou, etc.
The religion was brought over during the Atlantic slave trade by African priests and adherents who were dedicated to the worship of the Yoruba Orishas. Those people were brought as slaves between 1549 and 1850. The slaves united themselves under the Nago name when they arrived. After the arrival of the Yoruba Orishas in Brazil, there was some association with the Catholic Saints and many of the Orixás are now referenced with their Catholic Saints. This religion, like many African religions, is an oral tradition and therefore has not been put into text throughout the years.
This is a counterbalance to the notion of acculturation, a one-way imposition of the dominant or conquering nation.
The ongoing and ever changing process of new forms born or developed from the interaction of people and forces due to ”adaptive pressures omnipresent and irresistible” in the Americas.
Dressed like a Beninese