Haitian Voodoo Essay

1112 Words5 Pages
Since the 1500’s, Africans have been crossing the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and bringing their culture, beliefs, and way of life to the Americas. This includes what would become Haiti’s national religion- Voodoo (“Origins of”). As the views on these Voodoo practices have changed over the years, certain aspects of this religion have been misconceived, especially because of western efforts and European views on these beliefs. There are two primary types of Voodoo: Rada Voodoo and Petro Voodoo (“Introduction too”). Rada Voodoo accounts for ninety-five percent of all Voodoo practices in Haiti, while Petro accounts for only the mere remaining five percent. Rada Voodoo is family spirit Voodoo and it is the Voodoo of the peaceful and happy loa, or spirits, while Petro Voodoo is the Black Magic Voodoo and the Voodoo of the mean and angry loa. This Petro or Congo Voodoo is the type of Voodoo that coincides with common thoughts related to dangerous, bad things such as death curses, the making of zombies, and wild sexual orgies (“Introduction to”). Within both types of Voodoo, however, exists a kind of pantheon of loas, or spirits (“Origins of”). While there is only one God- Bondye, most ceremonies and rituals are performed to please the loas (“Introduction to”). This is so because the loas are believed to control nature, health, wealth, and the happiness of mortals through either cause and effect or by “mounting” the bodies of the humans. If the possessed human is deserving or for other such reasons, the human will temporarily become the loa and may relay advice, warnings, or desires. This pantheon is headed by well-known loas such as Erzulie and Dumballah, who commonly correspond with ideas of Catholic Saints. Dead family members may also become loas, and must be respected in order to maintain their happiness. The ideas, though, that surround all of Voodoo
Open Document