Talk:Haitian Vodou/Archive 1

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Archive 1

Someone needs to fix what Mwhs broke

...because they seem to think they're the only legitimate authority on African/"diaspora" religions and they've been pushing their POV on every article remotely relating thereto. Including this one. - (), 21:36, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Agreement of Terms

I'm doing some general cleanup. One of the problems is that a handful of alternative terms are used on a sort of rotation basis. That is not a good plan under the MOS. There are two choices here: either pick a single term to use for the faith system throughout the article OR create an establishing paragraph to explain why Voodoo is not Vodou is not Vodoun is not Vudu. I will be happy to do either (the latter if someone can tell me why each term is used in different circumstances).

The phrase, suppressed Vodun as well as other forms of the religion gives us another problem. Vodun are described as the God-Actors in this faith system. Either the colonialists and despots suppressed the God Actors themselves (which would have been quite a feat) or they suppressed Voodoo/Vodou/Vodoun (pick one please). 03:07, 10 February 2007 (UTC) Oops. Got logged out. Kevin/Last1in 03:08, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Removed Contributions

I removed my contributions from the page. The content is continuously bastardized by unknowledgeable contributors for political, commercial or whatever reason. It's not my job to discern folks' motivation. However, if you are making statements that are not supported by empirical evidence, your contributions are at best nothing more than mere speculation. If I wanted to co-write fiction, I would go to that part of the project. I do not want my name associated with the games that get played here. Look for my upcoming published dissertation for a more balanced approach to the subject. This is an excellent example of why Wikipedia is on 60 minutes for publishing fiction.

Dglossop 01:23, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Loco (MÄR)

Ummm, I'm just wandering if you can mention how Loco, a patron of healers in the Voodoo religion, is also the name of a charatcer in the anime and manga series MÄR, and the character herself is based largely off of the Voodoo religion. Artist Formerly Known As Whocares 21:38, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Voodoo Ecommerce

Excuse me for my lack of knowledge about Wikipdedia. Long time user, but have never edited or requested a change.

I would like to request a dis-ambiguation, as there is a company called Voodoo in the UK.

I am planning to add in a page for Voodoo E-Commerce to distance it from the practise of Voodoo. Is this the right way to go about these thigs? 16:34, 13 September 2007 (UTC)Gordon Tebbutt83.105.38.62 16:34, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


"It is very common for Dominicans to be very devout Christians but at the same time holding superstitions stemming from Voodoo practices [...]"

Now, this statement might be quite true, I don't know. But the wording makes it sound as if Christianity doesn't qualify for being superstition. Maybe someone could reword it to make it sound less like being written by a Christian who has to present his faith as the more rational one? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems that the segment about survival in the southern states repeats itself in the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. I never edited before but if someone with more experience with it could check it out that would be cool —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Merger proposal

I know this has been discussed before, but it's been years and still no real improvement.

I can understand wanting separate articles for syncretistic American Voodoo in Haiti etc. vs. ancestral Voudun in West Africa - it's a bit like having separate articles for syncretistic Christianity vs. ancestral Judaism. But what we have now is two articles which cover both. Let's either merge, or have them cover separate topics - maybe with a disambig. tag at the top, "This article covers the Vodun religion of West Africa. For the related Haitian Voodoo, see 'Voodoo'." But that requires the articles be rewritten so that Vodun is covered under "Vodun", and Voodoo is covered under "Voodoo". kwami 05:53, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

In light of thundering indifference, I'm moving Haitian stuff to Voodoo, and African stuff to Vodou. Needs to be cleaned up, of course, but I'd rather that be handled by someone who knows more about this than me. kwami 01:01, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
Cleaning up a little bit. It also seems there's been little coordination with Afro-American religion. kwami (talk) 09:18, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Oops, didn't notice this. See below. - (), 07:51, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


I propose we move Voodoo (disambiguation) to Voodoo over the redirect, instead of redirecting the latter to Afro-American religion like it does now, since there is a disambiguation page and "voodoo" has lots of other uses. See also Talk:Voodoo (disambiguation)#Move - (), 06:18, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, it might be a little touchy raising a disambig containing mainly trivia over a religion followed by millions, but then again this word really is screwy in English, and a lot of practitioners avoid it for just that reason. I suggest you go ahead and do whatever you think is best; it doesn't seem that anyone else is taking care of this stuff. kwami (talk) 09:09, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay. - (), 11:58, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Subsectioning instead of large prose pieces

A bold user deleted the subsections in this article leaving large unattractive prose pieces. I added the subsections to the article, so that it can be maintained better. People are often not interested to read the whole text. This will increase overview of and interest in the article. Caco —Preceding comment was added at 17:51, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Cleanup Summary

As is obvious, the page still needs more work, including the addition of information on Lwa/Loas, Veves, Petro/Petwo, a list of Lwas, etc.

I cleaned up some grammar/spelling issues, removed some factual errors and unreferenced assertions, removed npov violators, redundancies, and irrelevancies (descriptions of unrelated churches, etc.) I also rearranged and removed redundancies and inappropriate sites from the external links.

A lot more clean-up is necessary, particularly footnotes in the text. It's very hard for someone unfamiliar with the subject to separate fact from belief, and common belief from fringe belief. (talk) 22:22, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Vodou redirects here

The 'Vodou' page redirects here, but there's a disambiguation link to 'Vodou' at the top of this page. Is there a specific page for the topics covered by the 'Vodou' page?--Jcvamp (talk) 00:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Got it. Thanks. kwami (talk) 01:44, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I thought I fixed that. - (), 04:12, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
There was another one in the 1st paragraph. kwami (talk) 06:29, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I think there should be one Voodoo article, linking to smaller sublets(IE vodou, new orleans voodoo, and w. african vodun) this article pulls in too much from vodun and voodoo(NOrleans). The only thing i've been able to confirm is Davis' book(Ethnobiology of Zombie) that he thinks a combo of ground up blowfish(extractung deadly narctoics) and other dangerous drugs are used in combo w/ hypnosis to create near dead zombies. No documented evidence just theories, but very grand (talk) 03:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

"Liturgy and Practice"-section

The "Liturgy and Practice"-section needs to be changed. First of all, it lacks any kind of source. It is written in an un-encyclopedial fashion, including grammatic errors. Some parts are not understandable, at least I don't get what the part "This is the greatest time these mambo or houngan can take your luck if they ask for champagne from you. Beware when that occurs." is about. I also think the article as a whole needs more sources, there's way too few of them. Note: I don't want to go because i and I lack sources. Please, someone work this article out! (talk) 17:18, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


Christian-Voodoo relations seems like just about Haiti and the history of Voodoo there. The "relations" aspect seems like a bunch of tossed together "here's how one is, here's how another is" and WP:SYNTH of the two and their actual relationship and interplay. Seems like that would be fairly duplicative of what should be in Haitian Vodou. DMacks (talk) 01:55, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

The content was previously in the article Christianity in Haiti, where I felt it was it was inappropriate because it talked too much about Voodoo instead of Christianity. Putting it in Haitian Voodoo would not be a bad idea, but again it is important to not make syncretism and talk of one subject instead of the other. ADM (talk) 11:25, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Have added one ref of interest although it primarily refers to Cuba it illustrates a debate that continues to play out in Rome regarding the issue of 'Popular Religiosity' and syncretic belief systems. Santeria and its growing popularity was of concern about a decade ago and official statistics were becoming of note to Vatican officials. Of more controversial note was that Fidel Castro was allegedly a practicant of Santeria. The relevance with respect to Haiti was that there was/is a similarity in the Saints venerated as African deities; for example Saint Barbara and Oshun? Chango, etc. These were originally Yoruba deities but slave traders were hardly interested in document control re: belief systems of slaves. Plantation owners however often were and there are letters, etc. that attest to a "good" slave praying earnestly to a Catholic Saint whereas in fact the Saint was representational of the original God from their homeland. Without belabouring the point...syncretic religion and 'popular religiosity' thrived in Haiti, Cuba, etc. as an underground cult (ironically as Christianity had been forced to under Roman occupation in Classical times). Therefore, are you sure that syncretism should not be integrated a little more - there is a wealth of official documentation available. Ernstblumberg (talk) 20:34, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Mars-Price, Deren, Hurston, Metraux, Herskovis,Thompson and more, ALL the classic descriptions missing

The bibliography manages to miss every single basic text on Vodou. Perhaps they are all bunk and we know better now, they still might be mentioned?--Radh (talk) 18:27, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Retitle of article to "Haitian Vodou"

Per WP:COMMONNAME: "Article titles are often proper nouns, such as the subject's name. Wikipedia does not necessarily use the subject's "official" name as an article title; it instead uses the name which is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources. This includes usage in the sources used as references for the article."

Nearly all scholarly and reliable references to Vodou, including all major publications on the subject, use the Kreyol spelling of Vodou to refer to the religion, and never Voodoo. As such, I am changing back the article's title, with citations, including an explanation of "voodoo" as an incorrect terminology, and not accepted by reliable sources.Chiwara (talk) 02:12, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

It's not incorrect, it's just English. "Voodoo" has negative connotations in English, which is why people prefer the Kreyol. But note also that the Kreyol pronunciation (or actually the Fon pronunciation) exists in English as well (vodu, vodun), but with a different meaning: a vodu(n) is a voodoo fetish. — kwami (talk) 13:40, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
That is the point I was making, in general. I've seen reference to Vodou as Vodu/Vodun/Vodoun when referring to the Haitian practice (as distinct from Fon vodun(s). I've never seen "Vodun" referring to an object though - at least in Fon religoin (Dahomey) it is a god/deity. Where did you see this? I'd be interested to see it. In the end, I think this matters little, as we all agree the title change is better? I did take care to add alternate spellings of the creole name, and references as to why "voodoo" is not typically accepted by serious scholars. Chiwara (talk) 14:50, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
At the same time, I am moving back "Voodoo" to labeled as an English orthography and incorrect, per the references I provided. Your move of the terms around in the first sentence does not coincide with the references and citations I inserted. Please, if you want to move the terms around, provide citations for them and take care to match the old terms with the references already used. If you have reliable academic sources that accept the use of the term "voodoo" please provide them, otherwise I am moving the first sentence back to how it was. Many thanks for adding the IPA prounciations, though - that is a big help! Chiwara (talk) 14:56, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
I've seen vodun for the deities as well. The point I was making was from the OED. However, the def only seems to match the earlier citations, with the later ones matching your understanding. I presume this reflects a greater understanding or at least less insular approach to the religion over time. The OED entry is:
Also vodu.
[ad. W. Afr. (Dahomey) vodu (see quot. 1890).]
A fetish, usu. one connected with the snake-worship and other rites practised first in Dahomey, then introduced by slaves esp. to Haiti and Louisiana. Also attrib. and Comb., esp. in vodunhwe, -kwe, fetish-house. Cf. VOODOO.
1874 J. A. Skertchy Dahomey as it Is iii. 54 The name is derived from Danh, a snake, and Hweh, a residence. It is sometimes called Vodun-hweh, i.e., the fetiche house.
Ibid. vii. 154 This shrine is the Vodun-no-Demen, or fetiche-house of Demen.
1890 A. B. Ellis Ewe-Speaking Peoples ii. 29 The term võdu‥is still used‥in the so⁓called Vaudoo, or Vaudoux worship of the negroes of Hayti‥where the old python culte of Whydah still survives.  
Ibid., Võdu appears to be derived from (to be afraid), or from (harmful).
1920 Encycl. Relig. & Ethics XI. 400/2 The Voodoo serpent-cult in Haiti and elsewhere reproduces these W. African cults, one of the names of Dañh-sio being Vodunhwe.  
1953 Caribbean Q. III. i. 39 The compound began with one house‥a chapel or vodunkwe (house of the gods), and a tent.
1956 M. Stearns Story of Jazz (1957) ii. 20 A photograph by Earl Leaf of a Haitian vodun altar.
1963 G. J. McCall in A. Dundes Mother Wit (1973) 420/1 ‘Hoodoo’‥corresponding to vodun (‘voodoo’) and obeah in Haiti.
1973 E. Bullins Theme is Blackness 9 Black‥vodun ritual-ceremony.
1985 Times Lit. Suppl. 11 Jan. 28/3 It is fashionable at present to argue that such African legacies as Santeria, Shango, Vodun or Camboulay provide a more promising basis for a Caribbean identity than imported European religions.
So, by the last one, it's a synonym with Vodou. — kwami (talk) 15:08, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, interesting. Good study on that - I'll save it for the future research bank. If you want to re-work the wording of the first sentence please go ahead, though as of now the citations I have show that "voodoo" is (and this is cited too) "obviously incorrect" (this statement from 1949, and picked up commonly by the 1980s and 1990s). I've noticed that in current scholarship, there is even a move beyond not even discussing or writing down the term "voodoo" at all, the "incorrect" connotations have become so powerful. Perhaps we should expand your whole section on this? And add a footnote explanation? That would be better in the long run. Chiwara (talk) 15:17, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
It's still called voodoo, though, in popular speech if not in academia. I'm sure most English speakers wouldn't recognize the word vodou at all, except maybe as a misspelling of voodoo. I had to look it up to even know how to pronounce it; in spoken English, I think I've only heard voodoo, so we really do need that up front. (I know/knew a little Fongbe, so I tend to use that instead, but then I generally mean the West African religion, not the Haitian.) As for it being "obviously incorrect", that is opinion, not fact. In the end, language is as people speak it, not as people want it to be. I agree with the move, though, as the current title sounds more professional. (Actually, I made the same move a couple years ago.) We used to have a more substantial section on naming in one of the articles; don't know where it went. It would certainly be worth while expanding on that section.
I assume from the OED citations that vodu(n) = fetish is from a time when any modern non-Judaic religion was said to worship idols/fetishes/ancestors rather than gods, so I suspect that such usage (and therefore the OED definition) is obsolete. Thus perhaps we're back to vodu(n) = a god/spirit vs. Vodu(n) = the religion. — kwami (talk) 19:10, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Quoting you: "It's still called voodoo, though, in popular speech if not in academia. I'm sure most English speakers wouldn't recognize the word vodou at all, except maybe as a misspelling of voodoo."
Unfortunately, the Wikipedia policy I stated earlier is quite clear on this. Just because a certain name is more common among non-practitioners or English speakers does not take precedence over a term used by Haitian practitioners themselves and, as I showed, all English-language reputable and academic sources. You say that you personally have only heard "voodoo," but this is personal research and not a verifiable claim (and this article has an add citations and eliminate original research tag. The citations I gave do not use the term "Voodoo" and actively discourage its usage since "Voodoo" a) is considered offensive, and more importantly, b) refers to a religious practice that is quantifiably different than Haitian Vodou. The citations from Leach, Courlander, and Cosentino (the final two being two the world's leading experts on this topic) state this explicitly. All this was discussed in the articles I cited.
In sum: other than your personal opinion of the frequency of the term in English, what evidence or reference do you have that "voodoo" is actually used to refer to Haitian Vodou by people who are either pracitioners or serious scholars? Not a simple google search - a serious reputable source, as is required per the WP:COMMONNAME policy. Until you provide this, I will continue to revert the edits you made. Chiwara (talk) 20:08, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
As an example, look at the beginning of the article for Habanero. Many English speakers misspell and mispronounce it as habañero, and though this pronunciation is very common in English, it is simply factually incorrect and not on par with the correct term. Every reference I have found and provided shows quite clearly that many terms can be use for Vodou (vodun/voudoun/vaudou, etc, since there is no standard Kreyol orthography), but they all agree that "voodoo" is simply not correct because it does not refer to Vodou. If you have a citation showing "voodoo" is correct (again, not a google search), please bring it forward. Until then, I am confused as to why you are so confident with reverting my good-faith and reputable edits to improve this article's factual accuracy.Chiwara (talk) 20:19, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
What you're saying is simply wrong. The basic English word is "voodoo". We may use the Haitian word in academia, and I agree that it's proper to move the article to that name and to use it in the text, but the fact remains that the English word "voodoo" is entrenched and we therefore need to include it in the first line without trying to be prescriptive. You can discuss how some authors deem it incorrect, but that is an opinion, not a fact. It does refer to Haitian vodun. If it's offensive, then you can discuss that too. (Though, given the Haitian authors who use "voodoo", it would seem it's not the word that's offensive, but the stereotypes associated with it.)
Look up "Haitian Voodoo" in Google Books and there are thousands of hits: God In The Haitian Voodoo Religion (Jean Joseph Jean, 2004), Voodoo Rituals: A User's Guide (Heike Owusu, 2002), Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (Zora Neale Hurston, 2009), etc. Try Google Scholar and there are a thousand more. Looking only at hits since 2000, the ratio is 2:3, which does suggest that vodou is slowly taking over (from 1940-1960 it was 20:1), but voodoo is still alive and well. (Actually, vodou has displaced vodu(n), not voodoo; voodoo:vodu/vodun/vodou was 1:1 in those decades.)
In GBooks, since 2000, the #hits for "Haitian X" are: Vodou 3590, Voodoo 2310, Vodun 540, Vodoun 184, Voudoun 119, Voudou 115, Vodu 84, Vaudou 43, Vaudoun 3, Vodon 2, Vodun 0, Vudun 0. These are all published, if not academic, sources. We use the academic term for the name of the page, but note the non-academic term too.
Or take Webster's:
vo·dun also vo·doun \vō-'düⁿ\ n [Haitian Creole] (1920): VOODOO 1
voo·doo ... 1 : a religion that is derived from African polytheism and ancestor worship and is practiced chiefly in Haiti.
The difference is that voodoo also refers to a necromancer, hex, or charm, whereas vodoun is specifically the religion. Again, that more precise term is better for the article, but the more common word needs to be included too. — kwami (talk) 12:57, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
I am not saying English is wrong, I am saying "voodoo" is wrong. That said, clearly, we need to come up with a compromise on this, because we both seem to have good sources to back up our individual claims. As such, we should work together to come up with a better opening sentence that covers all of this, rather than just going back and forth with edit revisions. However, PLEASE when you edit, be sure you keep my citations straight, because your revert CONTINUES to mis-link the citations I inserted with the appropriate terms. I will try to work more on this, and fix the citations in the opening sentence at the moment. If you have citations for "voodoo", then go ahead and add them. Regardless of your opinion, you need to add citations to back up your use of the term.Chiwara (talk) 18:48, 16 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, so take a look at my proposed compromise. I added the controversy citations I inserted to the "naming" section further down, and am requesting that whatever gets added to the article needs a citation. When you edited before, it made it seem like the citations endorsed the use of "voodoo" which they didn't - please add citations for the use of the term if you wish to continue it. If since 2000 Vodou has become the most popular (and within the last five years even moreso) then I think it is best to keep Vodou as the principle term, and use the other names elsewhere in the sentence. At this point, it is tough to endorse that "Vodou" and "Voodoo" are on equal standing. So take a look at my edits and let's discuss.Chiwara (talk) 19:07, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Protected due to Edit War

This page has seen a high volume of edit warring recently, so I have protected it, until an agreed upon compromise has been reached on the talk page. I would advise the involved editors to read the Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia:Edit warring and also to be mindful of the 3 revert rule which states you cannot revert content more than 3 times in 24 hours. - AKeen (talk) 19:16, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

Wow, admin only. That's disruptive. Surely violations of the 3-revert rule merit actions on individuals and not the article. At any rate, could whoever put the protection on please take a moment to add the {{Religion topics}} template? Thanks. JFHJr () 07:44, 2 April 2011 (UTC)


Large blocks of text are plagarised from this article that was posted in 2003. (See especially the subsections on morality and liturgy & practice.) Neither the article nor the author is mentioned in the notes or the reference list. (talk) 02:49, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Potential Bias

Whoever wrote parts of this is obiviously very opinionated as to what constitutes true voodoo. For example in the second paragraph of the Voodoo and Spiritualism Section: "Practitioners who claim that they do not feel fatigue after every possession, or who are possessed by more than one spirit without feeling tired, are charlatans." This isn't the only example of such stances throughout the article.

I agree, i've been trying to use this article to try and get an overview of Vodou in Haiti, but it's scatterbrained at best. Someone needs to elimenate a lot of the lexicon and voodoo jargona and just have 10-15 terms throughout, there are a lot of redundancies. (talk) 03:32, 3 June 2008 (UTC) It is very biased article was trying to make it seem false. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Voudou Deities

In the subcategory about Voudou deities, it said that they considered themselves monotheists. I disagree with that description, as Voudou has numerous deities. I would label the religion as polytheistic, rather than monotheistic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:41, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Well, within the faith it is understood that the Deity is singular, unique, all-powerful, creator of heaven & earth, &c. and called in Kreyole "Bon Dye", cognate to the French expression, "le Bon Dieu". Only God is God. The lwa receive reverence and veneration, and are the spirits thought to be close enough to actually intercede. It gets into a game of semantics whether to call these beings "gods". Haitian Vodou does indeed acknowledge a single supreme being. Vodoun is often practiced hand in hand with sincere Christain belief, and without the practioner finding this at all unreasonable. The faith is monotheistic, howver many intermediate powers it venerates. (talk) 15:37, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Interesting. Thanks.--Splashen (talk) 17:52, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

In that case, there should probably be a mention of these lesser beings, much in the same sense that Christianity can't be discussed without some mention of angels and prophets. Teach267 (talk) 17:40, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

There is: they are the loa or lwa already mentioned above (and extensively in the article). Lwa are identified with gods or spirits from "Guinea" / "the Old Country" (Africa), with Christian saints (whose catholic iconography is often utilised for them), or with deceased hungan and mambo (priests and priestesses) or other real or mythical figures from Haitian history, whose posthumous eminence has elevated their spirits to lwa status. There are also many lesser lwa who may linger near the dwellings of their descendants or be attracted to the rites performed at humfo (sanctuaries) and who may need to be fed or otherwise appeased, but otherwise are not actively appealed to. (The foregoing is distilled from Alfred Métraux's classic anthropological study Voodoo in Haiti (orig. Le Vaudou Haitien) which I'm currently reading, and which I was surprised to find hasn't been used as a reference for this article. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 09:58, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

References List fixing project

I am going through the references list and doing an extensive clean-up, it may take a few days. I am streamlining the list of footnotes, and making sure footnotes correspond to references. Any books that were in the references list before, but were not cited, have been moved to a new section called "Further Reading." Thanks for the indulgence as I try to get the "lacking citations" tag off the article in the coming months! Chiwara (talk) 03:40, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Once again, on the article title

We continue to not have an agreement as to the title of this article, as it was again changed to "voodoo". I will quote Wikipedia article naming policy on this: "Ambiguous or inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined by reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources. Neutrality is also considered; our policy on neutral titles, and what neutrality in titles is, follows in the next section. When there are several names for a subject, all of them fairly common, and the most common has problems, it is perfectly reasonable to choose one of the others." All the reliable sources cited concerning the naming of this religion explicitly endorse the spelling "vodou" instead of "voodoo", both to avoid confusion between the Haitian religion and that in New Orleans (actually called "voodoo"), as well as the pejorative connotations of the term "voodoo" in reference to Haiti. In addition, "vodou" is now, and for the past ten years has been, the most common name in English-language reliable sources on the subject. As such, I will be changing the name of the article back to Haitian Vodou. Chiwara (talk) 02:23, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

This spelling is never used in English. Great for a French article, perhaps. But no one would recognize this spelling. It should revert to the most common spelling and should not be reverted without discussion. Student7 (talk) 22:29, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Not only is the spelling of Haitian vodou frequently used in English, it is the most commonly-used spelling. It is not a French word, but rather the most common English spelling for a word in Haitian Creole (a written language with no standard orthography). In this article, a quick check of even the sources used in this article backs up. See the article West African Vodun for example, on the various ways this word is spelled when referring to different geographic regions in English. For the use of the spelling "vodou" in the context of English-language sources referring to Haiti, a quick google check shows "Haitian voodoo" with 172,000 results, and "Haitian vodou" with 236,000 results. In that search, I did not search for "voodoo" and "vodou" as singular, since "voodoo" will include all results for New Orleans voodoo (a totally separate religion than Haiti), and anything else named voodoo, like "voodoo donuts", which I think we both agree is not a source for this article! In addition, all the references I inserted in the first sentence of the article back up this claim, and show the almost singular-use of "vodou" among reliable sources, principally scholars. Also, in a previous discussion on this same topic from January of last year, it was noted that "vodou" is now more common in English-language sources by a margin of 3:2 over "voodoo", and that "vodou" is the most common term overall in English-language sources. In the 1940s-1960s, "voodoo" was a more common term by a margin of 20-1, but that is not the case any longer.
In this light, I think there are two responses to your statement of "It should revert to the most common spelling and should not be reverted without discussion." First, "vodou" is the most common spelling in English, as I noted - your own unfamiliarity with this more common spelling does not have standing here. But secondly, the article had been titled "Haitian Vodou" for the past five years, with a small back-and-forth discussion in January of last year. It was you who reverted the edit without discussion on February 19, so if you wish to support your move to re-title the article as "Haitian Voodoo" you should provide sources and points that counteract what I have relayed above, and then we can resolve the issue through a discussion here.Chiwara (talk) 01:32, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
The first place I went to, Wiktionary, unsurprisingly names "voudou" as the French spelling of the English word "Voodoo." Student7 (talk) 00:07, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
"Voudou" is French orthography, but the current discussion is to have the title of the article be "Vodou." Vodou is the proper term widely used in English, especially since the spelling "Voodoo" is considered offensive to many. Wikipedia policy also dictates that the name should be "as you would find it in reliable sources (for example other encyclopedias and reference works, scholarly journals and major news sources)." [[1]] It seems that among REPUTABLE English-language sources Vodou is much more common though among all sources Voodoo is also popular (especially among non-reputable sources). Given the disproportionate amount of scholarly sources using "Vodou," I don't understand how this cannot be the correct title. - AKeen (talk) 05:06, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Lwa vs Loa

Why does this article use lwa when that article is at Loa? Any reason not to change this? Jpatokal (talk) 13:09, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

I actually put in a comment over at the loa article asking if the name of that article should be changed to "lwa", since "lwa" is the more common spelling in English now, and it follows the 1979 standardized Haitian Creole orthography. I haven't gotten a response yet - what do you think? Chiwara (talk) 17:00, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Voodoo Doll

I'm wondering if Voodoo Doll merits an article in its own right- with more of the pop-culture aspects which aren't covered in the article (Monkey Island to name one). Darien Shields 09:51, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

It may. I think that the only role the term should have on this page is perhaps in reference to misconceptions regarding Vodou, as "voodoo dolls" are a noteable, concrete example of misapprehensions held regarding Vodou. (talk) 15:44, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
I think that the Myths and misconceptions section is not very good at all, it doesn't tell us anything about Voodoo dolls or what the supposed belief on them is, the section mentions them being associated with voodoo, but doesn't say anything about where the myth came from, or what relation it really has to voodoo beliefs. I think if the Myths and misconceptions section was reorganised to address Zombies and Voodoo dolls separately as they are two things that feature a lot in pop culture and fiction and so really should have some explanation. (talk) 15:28, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Broken Introduction

There seems to be something missing in the introduction. The second paragraph starts with "These dolls are known...", despite no dolls having been mentioned so far. Unfortunately I have hardly any knowledge on the topic and cannot really fix this myself.Elanguescence (talk) 08:55, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Vodou in movies

IcksPigeon (talk) 23:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page without content in them (see the help page). One of my favorites is an early one with Bob Hope called "The Ghost Breakers", later remade with Martin and Lewis as "Scared Stiff". Also, in 1932, " White Zombie", just thought I would mention those, probably one if not the earlyist.IcksPigeon (talk) 23:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)JIcksPigeon (talk) 23:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)Jʔɡɪ23:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)23:56, 14 August 2013 (UTC)~~

New Orleans Voodoo?

The practice of Voodoo is heavily overstated in New Orleans; its practice is almost non-existent, and is barely worth mentioning. For the most part it is a tourist attraction and the practitioners are not genuine. As far as the history goes, from what I know it was brought to New Orleans after Toussaint Louverture's revolution in Haiti - which caused many Santo Domingan slave owners to flee to New Orleans in 1806 - bringing their voodoo practicing slaves with them. I don't believe it had any presence before then. --Kelt65 (talk) 19:26, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

VooDoo is one thing I will not because I think it's scary to little kids and I .! Butler102801 (talk) 00:21, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

That's So Raven

That's So Raven was one of the best TV shows and now it's over. That's So Raven is my favorite show of time. That was on my mind. Butler102801 (talk) 00:28, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Death and the Afterlife

I inserted a section about death and the afterlife because it is sorely needed to give important information about a large part of Vodou rituals. Palmer827 (talk) 19:46, 4 October 2013 (UTC)palmer827

Keeping common spelling in article

It is one thing to have the article named vodou but someone keeps trying to remove the fact that it is also spelled voodoo historically and is still widely accepted. There is nothing wrong with keeping that in the article and per our common name policy, it should be there. In fact there is enough argument based on this Ngram comparison to rename the article.
 — Berean Hunter (talk) 23:46, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree and before the next editor reverts, please use the talk page so we can figure out what is best for the article.--Inayity (talk) 23:54, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Hello everyone.

"PSD was petitioned by a group of scholars and practitioners of vodou to change the spelling of the heading "Voodooism." They successfully argued that vodou is the more accurate spelling, and that the spelling "voodoo" has become pejorative. The base heading was revised to Vodou on this list, and all other uses of the word "voodoo" in references and scope notes have also been revised."[1]

The word "voodoo" has been used mainly throughout the American society, while taking a look at its own practices in New Orleans which separates itself from Haitian vodou and the west African religion even though it ties its origins within them. "Voodoo" has never been a spelling for the Haitians, but it has for the people of New Orleans. Therefore, a section for an alternative spelling is irrelevant here if that list includes the word "voodoo." The word is viewed as a negative connotation to describe the Haitian religion and is no longer accepted as such and has been tried. Judging by the ruling, its spelling has been successfully revised to its true spelling, much distancing itself from the practices held in Louisiana even though its origins are in fact very similar. (In fact this article already mentions this information of its revision and the transition from voodoo to vodou; so in addition to this would make it repetitive weakening the article for readers while instilling propaganda). As a result, you cannot spell Haitian vodou as voodoo anymore and it cannot be an alternative spelling. As for West African vodou, its founder, it is more note worthy to mention the fact of its derivative spellings because of the fact it is found around the world. Example: In Cuba, santeria is their version of vodou. To coin santeria as "voodoo" might be considered insulting even if its roots are the very same. However, it can be noted on the West African vodou article the fact that one of its derivatives is santeria and the fact that they are historically related because of the influence of both Haitians and West Africans.

My objective in certain cases, is quantity over quality. I believe this category falls into that as well. Thank you for creating this talk page. I am open to hear your views. Savvyjack23 (talk) 02:58, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

The Library of Congress is making determinations about its internal system but hold no authority over the English language. The change has yet to gain wide acceptance and has been rejected by others. "Indeed, the battle continues because while the LC took this significant step, the mainstream US media outlets also petitioned remained committed to the outmoded and stigmatized term, arguing that shifting to Vodou would cause confusion among readers."[1] For neutrality, we should leave both spellings and not take one side or the other. Readers should find the familiar term in the lead section and the semantics explained within the article.

 — Berean Hunter (talk) 15:19, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I suppose you have a point. I overlooked the article again, it is acceptable. Thanks for taking the time to chat. Savvyjack23 (talk) 06:38, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

some danger of bias

While the article contains much useful information and is good in many ways, it is far from a comprehensive description, and it appears that, in the efforts to dispel misconceptions, a certain amount of redaction has crept in. Some of it is based on studies that are of U.S. origin seemingly without first-hand knowledge. By way of clarification, see for instance, Voodoo Truth and Fantasy (Gallimard 1993, trans. Lory Frankel) by Laënnec Hurbon, Director of Research at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Professor at the Quisqueya University Haiti. Only scant attention has been given to one of the most authoritative works on the subject, that of Maya Deren, respected North American academic who spent three years as an accepted member of the Haitian community. Her book, and her film footage that was eventually pieced together into a documentary film of the same name (The Divine Horsemen) also presents a slightly different picture, and she notes differences between her first-hand experience of Vodou/Voodoo and that of more standard (further removed) anthropological approaches that did not concern themselves with certain ways of studying the subject (Deren's work is both experiential and multidisciplinary).

One should also remember that the first major exposure to Haitian Vodou outside of its own country was in the non-fiction work by journalist and explorer, William Seabrook, who spent considerable time in Haiti witnessimg Vodou practices (Harrap & Co 1929, The Magic Island). Seabrook's work has sometimes reviled today as 'yellow journalism', yet dismissing him out of hand fits almost too conveniently with the current Western approach of reducing controversial practices to 'myth' and 'superstition', or trying to suggest that a persecuted religion is really in essence similar to modern Christianity in many of its beliefs (a misreading that is all too readily 'accepted' within the syncretism of Vodou). Seabrook might be credited with bringing the idea of 'Haitian zombieism' to the West, and subsequently the fantasy films that are pure fiction.

While Seabrook's tone created impact, a forerunner had appeared in the form of a book by Sir Spencer St. John, England's Resident and Consul-General in Haiti for more than two decades (Smith Elder 1884, Hayti or the Black Republic). The distateful and negative tone of the book cannot be ignored; but neither can the detailed, apparently corroborated accounts of vodou practices that, even if not practiced today, are part of the Vodou history as well as folklore.

Not withstanding the sensationalist style of writings such as those of Seabrook, some academic analysis has to a great extent verified many of his alleged witnessed accounts by presenting corresponding evidence from other observers (See, for instance: Voodoo in Haiti, in: Williams J, "Voodoos and Obeahs: Phases of West India Witchcraft", Dial Press 1932. Or for more recent scholarly analysis, also with copious citations: Bishop K, Dead man still walking: A critical investigation into the rise and fall...and rise of Zombie cinema, ProQuest 2009.) In her specific and unemotional examination of Seabrook's claims, Gyllian Phillips also draws attention to he fact that, after painting stories of 'zombies' in the most attention-grabbing way, he admitted that he is not attributing certain events to anything supernatural, but as brought on by psychological weaponry and/or pharmaceuticals. Phillips is non-committal on whether to accept Seabrook, but other's have pointed to the not unrelated pharmaceutical possibility of triggering Cotard's Delusion. (Phillips G, White Zombie and the Creole: William Seabrook's The Magic Island and American Imperialism in Haiti, in: Boluk S, Lenz W (eds), "Generation Zombie: Essays on the Living Dead in Modern Culture", Macfarland & Co 2011.)

There are maybe two quite important challenges here I feel. Firstly there is a need for sensitivity towards a persecuted religion that probably bears scant relation to the more egregious practices associated with it some hundred years ago. Secondly there is possibly a clear call for an encyclopaedia article to include accounts of practices now deemed less savoury, whether of 'zombie rituals' or (more strongly historical) accounts of cannibalism in times passed. While there is no great need to go into gratuitous detail about past abuses, some balance to avoid a purely sanitised account would seem desirable. Some supporters (or modern day parctitioners) of Vodou might welcome almost quaint 'folk superstion' image of their religion that is perhaps now seen as politically correct, the long-term disadvantage could be that powerful psychological experiences and techniques of trance and possession, including the positive or holistically therapeutic ones, become lost.

See also: (psychology):

Vodou, Possession and the Revolutionary Unconscious

Neurophysiological and Psychological Approaches to Spirit Possession in Haiti

Voodoo Death I Parzivalamfortas (talk) 05:38, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

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Quotation marks

In section one, Names and Etymology, second sentence, a quotation is ooened, but there is no closing Quotation mark. Hard to tell how much is being quoted. I will try to research the history, but I may just delete. rags (talk) 12:39, 28 May 2017 (UTC)