Haitian mythology

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Haitian Vodou is a syncretic mixture of Roman Catholic rituals introduced during the French colonial period, African beliefs, with roots in the Yoruba, Kongo and Dahomey mythology, and folkloric influence from the indigenous Taino Amerindians that once populated the island. The lwa/loa, or spirits with whom Vodouisants work and practice, are not gods but servants of Bon Dye (pronounced Bon Dieu), an omnipotent and divine being far beyond the scope of human understanding. In keeping with the French-Catholic influence of the faith, Vodouisants are for the most part monotheists, believing that the loa are great and powerful forces in the world with whom humans interact and vice versa, resulting in a symbiotic relationship intended to bring both us and the loa back to Bon Dye. "[Vodou] is a religious practice, a faith that points toward an intimate knowledge of God, and offers its practitioners a means to come into communion with the Divine, through an ever evolving paradigm of dance, song and prayers."[1]


Related notions[edit]

  • Asagwe - Haitian vodou dancing used to honor the gods.
  • Avalou - ("supplication") Haitian vodou dance.
  • Coco macaque - Haitian vodou implement. It is a stick, which is supposed to be able to walk on its own. The owner of a coco macaque can send it on errands. If it is used to hit an enemy, the enemy will die before the dawn.
  • Gangan, Houngan - Haitian priests. They lead the peoples in dancing, drumming and singing to invoke the loa.
  • Ghede - family of spirits related to death and fertility
  • Guinee - Haitian afterlife. It is also where life began and the home of their gods.
  • Loa - Haitian god or goddess.
  • Mambo - Haitian priestess who, together with the Houngan, leads the vodou rituals and invokes the loa.
  • Paket kongo - charms made of organic matter wrapped in cloth, intended to rouse the loa.
  • Petro - aggressive and warlike family of spirits
  • Rada - old, benefic family of spirits
  • Ton-Ton Macoute, a Haitian mythological phrase meaning "bogey man" (literally: "Uncle Bagman")
  • Ville au Camp - ("House in the Fields") The underwater capital of the loa


  1. ^ Vye Zo Komande LaMenfo, Mambo (2011). Serving the Spirits: The Religion of Vodou. United States: Mambo Vye Zo Komande LaMenfo. p. 12. ISBN 978-0615535241. 

External links[edit]

Grand Bois (Gran Bwa) - spirit of wilderness, forests and healing

source: Patrick A. Polk, Haitian Vodou Flags. University of Mississippi Press, 1998.