Azaka Medeh

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Zaka (also known by various names such as: Kouzin, Couzen, Azake, Mazaka, Azaka Medeh, Mede, Papa Zaka, Zaka, Papa Zaca, Cousin Zaca, etc.)[1] is the loa of the harvest in Haitian Vodou mythology.[2] Another way to reference this loa is through the name "Azaka Médé".[3]

The Cousin Zaka or Zaka is the loa of the harvest. This loa wears a red handkerchief.

He is said to have evolved after the Haitian Revolution when enslaved people were able to own land.[2] Depicted as a farmer who loves to eat, he is kind and gentle and he has no alternate sinister (petro) form. He is seen as a protector of peasants and defender of the poor, and is identified with Saint Isadore.[4] He is celebrated and affiliated with Labor Day in Haiti (May 1).[citation needed]

The name Zaka is said to have come from the language of the Indigenous Taino people, in which "zada" meant corn, and "maza" meant maize.[2]

Asaka is the loose female interpretation of him as mother of the earth in the Broadway musical Once on This Island. Asaka is the mother of the earth as she oversees plants and all growing things. This goddess is thought to be the reason for flourishing herbs, more plants to cover the earth, and the never-ending production of these plants. She is thought to have a hand in keeping trees green and productive, for all eternity.[5]


  1. ^ Malbrough, Ray T. (2003). Hoodoo Mysteries: Folk Magic, Mysticism & Rituals. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 978-0-7387-0350-3.
  2. ^ a b c Asante, Molefi; Mazama, Ama (2009), "Azaka, The Loa", Encyclopedia of African Religion, Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc., pp. 82–83, doi:10.4135/9781412964623, ISBN 9781412936361, retrieved 2023-01-25
  3. ^ Compton, Wayde (2003). "Culture at the crossroads: Voodoo aesthetics and the axis of blackness in literature of the black diaspora". Matatu. 6 (27/28): 481–513, 541. ProQuest 215057427 – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Pressley-Sanon, Toni (2014). "Haitian (Pre)Occupations: Ideological and Discursive Repetitions: 1915-1934 and 2004 to Present". Caribbean Studies. 42 (2): 115–153. ISSN 0008-6533. JSTOR 24706366.
  5. ^ Nies, Betsy (2014-09-29). "Transatlantic Mermaids: Literary and Cultural Fantasies from Copenhagen to Haiti and the United States". Amaltea. Revista de mitocrítica. 6. doi:10.5209/rev_amal.2014.v6.46527. ISSN 1989-1709.