Voodoo is a faith practiced by people of African descent in Haiti, and by people who've emigrated from Haiti. Haiti is a rustic that occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola within the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic occupies the opposite two-thirds.
The title comes from vodun. This phrase means spirit in a language spoken within the nation of Benin, West Africa. Outsiders coined the title. They have additionally unfold many rumors concerning the faith. The origin of the title does, nevertheless, point out one thing vital. Voodoo preserves and adapts many African spiritual beliefs and practices. Those who follow the faith say they're “serving the spirits.”
Haiti was a French colony (established in 1697) that produced sugar. It was house to numerous slaves initially from West Africa. Inspired by the French Revolution (1789), the slaves revolted. In 1804 they established their very own nation, the ﬁ rst republic ever established by Africans. Records from this time are scarce. Nevertheless, plainly Voodoo performed an element within the slave revolt. The faith combines African spirit worship with points of ROMAN CATHOLICISM, the ofﬁ cial faith of Haiti.
Those who follow Voodoo consider in a supreme GOD. They name that God Bondye, from the French phrase for “good God.” But Voodoo practitioners think about Bondye distant and inaccessible. Their spiritual life facilities as a substitute on varied spirits. These spirits are above human beings, however not so excessive as Bondye. Some spirits are ancestors; others are related to pure phenomena. They are organized into “nations.” One frequent system speaks of two nations of spirits: candy spirits, that are kindly, and scorching ones, that are highly effective and energetic. People serve spirits that their moms and dads served. They additionally serve the spirits of the areas the place they reside.
At its easiest, one serves spirits by lighting candles, saying PRAYERS, and giving choices. But Voodoo is aware of bigger observances, too. The RITUALS at main festivals embrace the sacriﬁ ce of an animal (typically a hen), feasts, drumming, dancing, and singing. The aim of the drumming, dancing, and singing is to result in spirit-possession. A spirit takes management of a human physique, makes use of it as its “horse,” and in that means communicates with human beings. Major spirits have their counterparts among the many Catholic SAINTS, and Voodoo festivals typically happen along with Catholic festivals. At instances the Catholic Church has tried to suppress Voodoo, as a result of it discovered the mingling of African spirits and Christian saints offensive.
Although it is attainable to serve the spirits on one’s personal, Voodoo additionally has its personal spiritual specialists. A male priest is referred to as a houngan; a feminine priest is referred to as a mambo. They oversee festivals, follow divination, bless, and heal. Voodoo additionally has its anti-social aspect. Those who follow Voodoo name that aspect the “work of the left hand.” It entails serving spirits that one has purchased and utilizing the our bodies of the just lately deceased for slave labor (zombies).
Toward the tip of the 20th century financial deprivation and political instability pressured many people to ﬂ ee Haiti for North America. As a consequence, Voodoo unfold to Miami, New York City, and different locations within the United States.