Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Haitian Vodou Essay
Vodou, A Haitian piety profoundly rooted in colonialism stems from some(prenominal) Afri put up sources, which squander constructed and maintained a hybrid Africana and European diaspora in the Caribbean. In an military campaign to preserve African customs duty and spectral article of faith, strivers in Haiti prior to the Haitian transformation of 1791, established and developed the heterogeneous morality kn profess as Vodou. As Vodou became a much prominent reflexion of hard worker en faduration in Haiti the hybridization between tralatitious Africana devotion and European trust fashi aned a new scheme of belief.The fusion of Catholicism from Europe and African religions make up one of the around influential religions in Haiti at once, in item Vodou run fors an imperative single-valued function in Haitian life. In addition to having a enormous effect on Haitian religious praxiss, Vodou withal picnics a fundament aloney peachy percentage in driving Hait ian politics, economics, fellowship, and social relations. From a student and non-Haitian prospect I chafferk to procure cognition on how Vodou has and continues to play a nix role in every pure tone of Haitian life.Through analyzing and cross- interrogation of several school school texts it appears that without boundaries Vodou is most-valuable. send ons delving into how Vodou effects nearly every aspect of Haitian culture I would deal to first analyze the importance of experienceing the roots and origin of a belief and practise that has become such(prenominal) a prominent aspect of Haitian life. In the eighteenth century the slave mint in Haiti ushered in a rate of African slaves from several(a) groups. These groups of African plenty brought with them to Haiti their imposts, beliefs, and life styles.In Haitian Vodou of Creole Religions of the Caribbean, the actors demesne that the slave trade was in accompaniment the European way of destroying all pagan connections to the syndicatelands of the slaves (Fernandez-Olmos and Paravisini-Gerbert 101). European slave owners and slave traders survey it necessary to imbibe European ideals and beliefs onto their slaves, ridding and raze the beliefs and tradition of their native land. In this approve the slave trade played a significant role in the unveiling of Vodou, catalyzing Afro-European syncretism into a new belief body.Vodou began as a way for slaves to hold on to their cultural beliefs, and helped refute the fabrications of Catholic religion that the French attempted to employ, as they adage it necessary to condition African slaves to their lifestyle (102). In my opinion Afro-European syncretism is one of the more complex and intriguing religious developments as it pertains to Vodou. In enchant Africas concealed forefinger author Gert Chesi describes the fusion of African and European culture stating that slaves brought with them the gods of Africa to the Caribbean where t hey then amalgamate with the Saints and other Catholic and Christian symbols (Chesi 231).The imposition of Catholic and Christian beliefs by Europeans onto African slaves make it nearly impossible for African slaves to persist in entirely devoted to their home land beliefs and traditions. African slaves in Haiti follow Vodou as a means of maintaining their traditional beliefs, however, Christian and Catholic ideals were still important influential positionors in the establishment of Vodou. The booze practi cryy affiliated with Vodou known, as Lwa ar analogous to Saints in the Catholic Church.Slaves in Haiti dealt with the pressures of forcibly having to adapt to European religion by integrating their belief system with that of the European belief system. I think that Slaves in Haiti employ Vodou as a alter factor in Haitian culture. The rite and practice that developed by the consolidation of European tradition with African tradition ensures that African tradition ent rust remain considerably important regardless of the fact that Europeans once tried to dismantle African tradition and impose Western tradition on those slaves living in Haiti. Vodou serves as a mechanism for passing on tradition from contemporaries to propagation.In vodoun Truth and envisage the author sound outs that Vodou has emerged as a vibrant cultural force in twenty-first century Haiti (Hurbon 126). This program line supports the idea that Vodou has and continues to perk up a role in Haitian life and Haitian culture. Vodou has undoubtedly helped restore an almost confounded identity to African slaves in Haiti, and has allowed generation after generation to know and chthonianstand the beliefs of the homeland from which their ancestors originated. The foundation of m some(prenominal) Haitian affairs may non be solely rooted in Vodou, however, the religion holds weight in many policy-making spheres by dint ofout Haiti.Starting from the moment of its development, Vo dou has been semipolitically important to Haiti. In fact, its very foot resulted from various political, cultural, and religious struggles for freedom (33). afterward analyzing the roots of Vodou it has become quite unembellished that Vodou played an important role during Haitis revolutionary period. During and before the Haitain revolution Vodou was used as a means of protect and politicizing the interest of Haitian slaves. From that fourth dimension forward Haitian people harbor displace to use Vodou as a political tool to protect their interests and assets.Vodou has indeed been subjected to persecution at the pass arounds of twain Church and state leaving many non-believers and outsiders to attri only ife detrimental connotations to Vodou as a whole (117). In 1835 Vodou began to publically suffer from political ostracizing under president Jean-Pierre Boyer who passed a punishable figure that called for the imprisonment of six months to two old age for followers of Vod ou practicing superstitious act (118). It waits to me that the spring behind the ban on Vodou practices not only stemmed from political issues occurring at the time, but overly from past political experiences in Haiti.Hurbon does not call forth Boyers reasoning behind implementing a penal code, therefore allo acquireg one to speculate whether or not Boyer, although Haitian had ties to France. The reason I flirt this point to light is because for one, Jean-Pierre Boyer sounds comparatively French and secondly Boyer implemented a code that put restrictions on a religion that has roots deep at bottom African culture. In addition to dealing with the idea of possible imprisonment, if caught practicing Vodou, Haitians also set about the possibility of abandoning and giving up the African culture and belief that was associated with Vodou.In chemical reaction to government restrictions some Haitians created secret societies in devote to keep the bonds of Vodou rite and ties to chemical attraction in motion. In 1957 President Francois Duvalier also known as Papa atomic number 101 started a political rehabilitation for Vodou (118). Duvaliers involvement in Vodou was for the soul tendency of engaging the Lwa through ceremonies in order to gain the Lwas good will and also to spark enthusiasm in those who practice Vodou. Papa Docs establishment marked a period characterized by dark magic and sorcery.This period in Haitian history displays the negative aspects a lot associated with Vodou. In my opinion President Francois Duvaliers sagaciousness of Vodou curtails from misinterpretation and misuse. Duvalier did not perk upm to grasp the reasoning behind sealed Vodou rituals and ceremonies, using them only as a way to advance himself politically. During Duvaliers influence Haiti saw tremendous political neuter resulting from the misunderstanding or misuse of Vodou. On one hand Jean-Pierre Boyer refused to let any one in Haiti practice Vodou because of the negative connotations surrounding the religion.On the other hand Francois Duvalier used Vodou to bolster his political appeal, which demolished the meaning and reasoning behind the ceremonies and rituals performed by those who practiced and truly understood and comprehended the meaning that those Vodou acts carry. In Creole Religions of the Caribbean, the authors mention that within Vodou practices the chief communicators that draw konesans or connaissance/knowledge atomic number 18 the Oungand and the Manbo (Fernandez-Olmos and Paravisini-Gerbert 107). The Oungand and the Manbo are believed to apprehend knowledge passed down from the Lwa.The Oungand and the Manbo act as political leaders and have untaught political power within their own company because the ability to communicate with the Lwa is looked up to. In Michel Laguerres book Voodoo and Politics the author states that Francois Duvalier used the political power of the Oungand and the Manbo to establish legitimacy amo ng those who practiced Vodou (Laguerre 87). Today Vodou can be delineate in popular culture as dark, sadistic, and involving many acts of superstition, denying it a position aboriginal to Haitian culture.However, despite the misconceptions surrounding Vodou today many religious works are carried out by Haitian elites. This goes to try out yet another(prenominal) transformation in Haitian politics, and Vodous role in do a new system of life. From my examination of the texts that emphasized Vodous descent to Haitian politics I have reason that Vodou does in fact regard politics in Haitian communities and Haiti as a whole. The relationship between Vodou and Haitian economics is a pine-standing phenomenon that has existed prior to the Haitian revolution in 1791 and continues to exist today.The slave trades influence on the creation of Vodou associate the introduction of the religion and also the economics involved between masters and sellers of slaves. During this time the Haiti an scrimping was being touched by the slave trade. As the slaves grew weary, a number of rebellions occurred and Vodou greatly affected the orchard sparing that the Haitian people primarily were forced into. According to Omos and Gerbert, the providence in Haiti shifted from one of plantation to that of a cracker-barrel economy of subsistent farmers working their own lands (Fernandez-Olmos and Paravisini-Gerbert 103).Vodou practices and rituals play an important role in shaping and maintaing Haitian economics. The initiation and sacrificial rituals performed by many Vodou sects involve a great amount of pecuniary sacrifice (Fernandez-Olmos and Paravisini-Gerbert 117). From my examination of several texts, including that of Olmos and Gerbet I have concluded that proviso for the many Vodou festivals, initiations, and temple gatherings are intensive and call for many financial sacrifices from those who may already be financially unstable. Animal sacrifice plays an important ro le in the finances of Haitian people.In Voodoo Africas Secret Power the author, Gert Chesi, included various photographs of Haitian Vodou sacrifices and rituals. many an(prenominal) of the photographs throughout Chesis book showed the sacrificing of cattle, sheep, and chicken. The cross-examination of various texts did not leave me with much education on the Haitian economy as it related to Vodou, however, I was able to pretend that the economic sacrifices made by Haitian people were performed in order to obtain personal advancements or for the betterment of the residential area as a whole.Some sacrifices were performed to win the protection and trust of the Lwa spirit up, and some sacrifices were performed in hopes that the Lwa would shed some rain to uphold planation production. I think that the Haitian economy and the Vodou religion are dependent on each other. The dependency I see in the relationship stems from the fact that without an economy like the one in Haiti, Vodou would not be as prominent or even meaningful to the Haitian people. The economy as it is creates a buffer for Vodou as a religion.The economy allows for Haitians to use their beliefs and connections with the spirits to envoke hope, or optimism that the plantation life in Haiti will somehow flourish. This claim can be supported through the existence of rituals performed for protection, knowledge, and even rainfall. In Hurbons, Olmos and Geberts, Chesis, Laguerre and Michels and metalworkers comments of Vodou in Haitian culture one thing is for certain, Vodou has and continues to influence communities through and through. In Chesis pictorial work out of Vodou in Haiti one can see pictures of various ways that the religion is tie in to community.In one picture, Chesi captured a ritual being performed near a land where one individual was having a ritual performed on him (ritual not clear from picture) musical composition dozens of his Vodou community member looked on and supported him. What puzzles me the most is how instinctual and ritualized Vodou actually is. Chesis pictures show dozens and dozens of Haitian people flocking to support another Vodou practice, but for what reason? Why do these members feel so indebted to one another?From my observation the answer to this question comes from the round-eyed fact that Vodou needs a awareness of community mong its members to remain relevant. It was from the simple vehement to keep tradition relevant that Vodou stemmed, so it appears to me that the idea of community or family has been long standing, even deep within Vodous African roots. Hurbons choice of nomenclature within Voodoo Truth and Fantasy sheds lite on the communal aspect of Vodou a teeny differently. Like Chesi, Hurbon acknowledges the importance of community, even stating that Vodou bring families together in large gatherings, a festive way of ensuring that religious traditions will endure (Hurbon 14).In Hurbons text it appears that the family a nd passing of tradition from generation to generation is in fact important to the excerption of Vodou. In my examination of Hurbons text it seemed as though Hurbon was promoting a sense of balance of kinship and communal ties. Hurbon states that it is important to have family agreement in order to have a positive communal bond. virtuoso aspect of Hurbons text was that Vodou was often referred to as a cult utilise to spirits. Hurbon did not let the wording of her description interfere with the way information was conveyed, however, I found it quiet bias that she would call Vodou a cult.Personally I associate the word cult with negative connotations. It is indecipherable whether Hurbon planned on conveying Vodou in a negative light, but one thing is for certain a cult describes a group of people or the communal bond that Vodou encourages. In Michels and Smiths book, Voodou in Haitian Life and Culture Invisible Powers, The authors proceed to explain how the magical or superstitiou s aspect of Vodou conveys a sense of community among its supporters. The authors show that not only is Vodou practice a family effort, but a community effort as well.Smith and Michel both depict a type of Vodou were literally everyone in a community is involved. From modest children to the eldest members of a community, all play an important role in carrying on and performing the tradition of Vodou culture. The elaborate rituals and preparation described by the authors is only made possible through communal efforts. From my understanding of the community in Vodou culture, it appears that only through community and unity can tradition be kept alive.Despite any negative connotations Vodou may have, each author showed how important Vodou is in respects to several aspects of Haitian culture. Vodou is not only a religious matter, but also a political, economic, and social one as well. On May 14, 2013 guest lecturer Carnie Fabious stated, Vodou is a way of life. This statement alone sum s up what Vodou was, and what Vodou continues to be in regards to Haitian culture. Fabious voice communication show the importance that Vodou plays in all aspects of Haitian life, and demonstrates how relative the religion is to such a vast group of people.