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For the Greek village, see Vevi. For the mountain, see Mount Veve. For the 2014 film, see Veve (film).

A Veve (spelled Vévé or Vevé) is a religious symbol commonly used in different branches of voudou throughout the diaspora[which?] such as Vodou and is different than the petipembas used in Palo or ponto riscados used in Quimbanda since they are all separate African religions. It acts as a "beacon" for the Loa, and will serve as a loa's representation during rituals.


The origin is unknown and conflicting, a few have thought that the veve was derived from the beliefs of the Indigenous Taíno people but it is commonly believed to have possibly originated from the cosmogram of the Kongo people; or originated as the Nsibidi system of writing for the Igboid and Ekoid languages from West and Central Africa.


According to Milo Rigaud "The veves represent figures of the astral forces... In the course of Vodou ceremonies, the reproduction of the astral forces represented by the veves obliges the loas... to descend to earth." [1]

Every Loa has his or her own unique veve, although regional differences have led to different veves for the same loa in some cases. Sacrifices and offerings are usually placed upon them, with food and drink being most commonly used.


In ritual and other formalities, veve is usually drawn on the floor by strewing a powder-like substance, commonly cornmeal, wheat flour, bark, red brick powder, or gunpowder, though the material depends entirely upon the ritual. In Haitian Vodou, a mixture of cornmeal and wood ash is used.

Veve can be made into screenprint, painting, patchwork etc., as wall hangings, artworks, and banners.



  1. ^ Milo Rigaud, Secrets of Voodoo, City Lights, NY, 1969

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