Bonsai

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Spotlight on Religion: Haitian Vodouism March 17, 2013

Hi, everyone! Bonsai will be coming out with several short posts (since it isn’t charity or anything like that) about different religions throughout the world. It will help educate people on other religions and hopefully make them more accepting. Now, they won’t necessarily be lartge religions like Catholicism (though they may be), but instead a lot of the time they will be out of the way religions you may have never even heard of before.

So, our first religion — Haitian Vodouism.

Religion: A form a Vodouism, but from Haiti and with a French version, originally transferred from Africa.

Where It is Practiced: Hmm…let’s look at the type of religion. Hmm…let’s guess. This is hard. Um…I’ve got it! Haiti! Yes. I am smart. And so are you.

Worshippers during a service (though not in the place, probably from older times).

Beliefs: In Haitian Vodouism, the believers have a deity called Bondyè. Bondyè is a god found in many religions from West African religions, though Haiti in’t from Western Africa. Still. Though they worship him/believe him to be the deity much like god, he is “unreachable” so they pray to lesser gods for their prayers to be heard. These are known as loas. Many of these have their own names and even family trees. Their moral code focuses on the badness of being greedy/dishonorable. There is no central authority like the pope in Vodouism, and that counts for Haitian Vodouism, as well.

Practices: A temple for this religion is known as a Hounfour. Much like in Christian masses, their are songs and prayers done here, though they are all in French. They also pray prayers derived in Africa, since that is where vodouism originates. There are normally drums, songs for individual spirits, and songs for different loa families. Practicers think that the spirits they are singing/praying about actually come into their bodies and, in a way, possess them, while they do this. Those who were possessed are benefited and if they lie, it is believed to take away their luck. Priests can be male or female, and are known as either Houngans (male) or Mambos (female) and are chosen by dead anscestors. There are also bokors who preform spells upon request. They’re kind of like the chapel magicians.

I hope you liked our first spotlight on religion!

 

Mary

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