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Haitian Voodoo

In: Religion Topics

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Myths and Rituals

Haitian Voodoo is a complex religion from African descent. This olden religion is weighed by much negative stereotyping, which often link this practice to evil doings and malevolent behaviors. Voodoo embraces the belief of spirits and a direct line of communication through possession and rituals. This religion believes in spiritual intervention on their behalf. Voodoo embodies various religions and its influences to untimely bring together voodoo It combines bits of culture from other African religions, thus making it complex, religions such as Christianity, specifically Christian Catholicism. It can be considered holistic based on the intertwining connection of supernatural and physical heeling. Voodoo believes in many spiritual forces, it consists of one major creator Bondye who does not intervene in any aspect of a person physical of spiritual life. Main worship then passes on to Loas; they differ from saints and angels in which they are not prayed too they are served. Loas are believed to be responsible for different aspects of human such as fertility, youth and beauty. Voodoo has many rituals in order to promote spiritual intrusion, communication and worship. Rituals may include singing and dancing, it involves but is not limited to animal sacrifices, zombification, etc. In this religion there are priests who are as supposedly chosen by dead ancestors.
In Haitian Voodoo the practice of zombification is known to be far from folktale to practitioners, the fear of undergoing this painful process is used for population control. Zombification in Haitian society is defines as the dead being reason for evil purposed usually by a sorcerer. The process begins with the targeted person retracting a rapidly contracted illness with seemingly no cure. After a few hours or even days the target is proposed dead with symptoms such as lack of pulse, is no longer breathing and alarmingly low body temperatures. Once buried they are then miraculously revived by a powerful voodoo priest/sorcerer. Believers explain this phenomenon through magic and supernatural powers, but it has been discovered that a poison drawn from series of puffer fish. This poison added to other ingredients form a metabolism slowing “potion” that causes the body to act and react dead.
Now the question is why? Why would a person undergo this process and untimely be subjected to slavery and possibly brain damage or even death. These people are selected based on behavior; a person must deserve to be “zombified” centered on past wrong doings. This ritual is used to punish you for all evil committed and hopefully cleanse your soul. In the article “The Secrets of Haiti’s Living Dead; A Harvard botanist investigates mystic potions, voodoo rites, and the making of zombies” it gives a reasoning o why people undergo this process it states: “The vodounists believe that when a person dies, his spirit splits into several different parts. If a priest is powerful enough, the spiritual aspect that controls a person’s character and individuality, known as ti bon ange, the “good little an- gel,” can be captured and the corporeal aspect, deprived of its will, held as a slave.”
Secret societies are directly related to zombies in Haitian Voodoo. Zombification is used as a policing system among these practicing communities. Located mainly in rural areas this form of punishment is vastly feared and considered too be more painful than death itself. The reasoning behind this is because it strips the targeted person of all his rights, earthly possessions, contact with family, and free will.
Voodoo is very much present in Haitian culture and even history. According to history during the late 18th century Haiti’s black population revolted against French colonists in one of the few successful revolutions of the time. Forming secret societies played a large role in defeating Napolitano’s army sent to contain the revolt. Voodoo embraces its African roots and in Haiti it is quit visible its influence from food to attire and customs. It plays a role in population control from a behavioral and religious aspect.

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