Tag Archives: Caribbean

More 21 Divisiones

Spirit World of Dominican VuduVODOUN – 21 NATIONS UNDER GOD SANCE TRADITION

From thebestlovespell, 2013 [Edited]

Contrary to popular belief the first Africans to set foot on Puerto Rico or the Americas for that matter where free men. Even as late as 150, a West African man who was the son of a Yoruba King and later baptized “Juan Garrido” was an African Conquistador who worked for Juan Ponce de Leon, “Puerto Rico’s first Governor” and was the first African man to set foot on Puerto Rican soil after the European ‘conquest’ and almost 100 years prior to the first Africans caught in the European slavery system to be taken to the United States “Jamestown 1607”.  Another African man, called Pedro Mejías, was married to the last Cacica Chief of Puerto Rico, Yuiza who like Pedro Mejias, was baptized a Catholic and renamed “Luisa” in order for both to be legally wed under Spanish law. Like the Dominican Anacaona in the Agua Dulce Division, Yuiza was the last female Cacica “Chief” to then become part of the Spirits venerated in Puerto Rican Sance.

Like the European enslavers, the African people came from different societies and tribes, each having their own dialect, language and culture. Haitian Vodou or Voudun consists of 21 Nations or Nasyons of Lwa – what Dominicans call los Loases or Misterios de La 21 Divisiones (also known as Budű or Vudű Dominicano.) Continue reading

Dominican Vudu – Las 21 Divisiones

LAS 21 DIVISIONES — DOMINICAN VODOU | VODOU RELIGIONLas 21 Divisiones and Los Misterios

“Voodoo” is still a taboo subject in the DR. Most Dominican will identify Hollywood style voodoo as some pagan religion practiced by Haitians where weird animal sacrifices take place under the cover of darkness and dolls are pushed with pins, placing spells on unsuspecting individuals. Though there are a large number of Dominicans who practice some form of a Dominican version of Vudu, Las 21 Divisiones, the “religion” is still highly controversial, misunderstood and feared. The main religion in the DR is Roman Catholicism and the Church still wields an immense amount of power over the Caribbean nation. Many of the ideas held by Dominicans come from the teachings of the Church and throughout history the Catholic Church has identified Vudu as a something to be feared.

Regardless Vudu is an influential Dominican subculture and religion. But due to historical, racial and cultural pressures Vudu morphed into Las 21 Divisiones and became more acceptable to the Dominicans who practice it. Even so, Las 21 Divisiones, is still looked upon with suspicion by some in the Dominican Continue reading

Dominican Myths

Myths and Legends/ Mitos y Leyendas

Folclore de la República Dominicana/ Folklore of the Dominican Republic

Chupacabra/ Goat Sucker or Evil thingcould this be the chupacabra of legends?
The chupacabra is (supposedly) alien in origin and was brought here by a UFO. It is a living creature that looks like a hunched alien with a line of sharp spikes down the middle of it’s back exactly where the spine is located. It has gray skin that is part fur and part feathers. It has short arms ending with long nasty claws. Its legs are like a kangaroos.
The chupacabra is said to be about 4 feet tall when standing erect. This gray being has huge red elongated glowing eyes, the better to see you with. They are said to be very powerful and people have reported seeing the chupacabra fly.

Creatures fitting this description were said to be spotted first in Puerto Rico in the mid-1990s. Then, a few years later, the chupacabra started showing up in Mexico, South Florida, Central America, and South America including Dominican Republic. Although few people have actually claimed to seeing a real chupacabra many claim to have seen the works of this blood sucking alien being. Continue reading

Grab Hold of N’kisi

Male Nkisi Figure with Strips of Hide, held at the  Brooklyn Museum, CC

Nkisi

Nkisi (plural minkisi, zinkisi or nkisi [n- concords with mi-] according to dialect). The term nkisi is the general name for a a spirit, or for any object that spirit inhabits. It is frequently applied to a variety of objects used throughout the Congo Basin in Central Africa thought to contain spiritual powers or spirits. The term and its concept have passed with the enslavement of Africans into the Americas, especially South America (in Palo Mayombe the spirits of nkisi are often called “[…]”).

Meaning
The current meaning of the term derives from the root, *-kitį- referring to a spiritual entity, or material objects in which it is manifested or inhabits in Proto-Njila, an ancient subdivision of the Bantu language family.

In its earliest attestations in Kikongo dialects in the early seventeenth century it was spelled “mokissie” (in Dutch), as the mu- prefix in this noun class were still pronounced, and was reported by Dutch visitors to Loango as referring both to a material item and the spiritual entity that inhabits it. In the sixteenth century, when the Kingdom of Kongo was converted to Christianity, ukisi (a substance having characteristics of nkisi) was used to translate “holy” in the Kikongo Catechism of 1624. Continue reading

The Holy Piby

The Holy PibyThe Holy Piby
by Robert Athlyi Roberts (1924)

Preface 

The Holy Piby, a book founded by the Holy Spirit to deliver the gospel commanded by the Almighty God for the full salvation of Ethiopia’s posterities.

In time the Piby shall contain all worthy prophecies and inspirations endowed by God upon the sons and daughters of Ethiopia, but no article shall be permitted to enter the Piby save that which is in accordance with the gospel of the twentieth century, preached by his Holiness, Shepherd Athlyi, apostle Marcus Garvey and colleague; the three apostles anointed and sent forth by the Almighty God to lay the Continue reading

Prayers to the Ori-Kra

PRAYERS TO THE ORISHAS
A LOOK AT SANTERÍA
By Diane Elizabeth Caudillo, 2007

Introduction

Who owns your head? This provocative question means a great deal to many people around the world who practice a religion known as Santería, or alternatively La Regla de Ocha. This tradition originates among the Yoruba people of West Africa, in the area of present-day Nigeria.

A great percentage of enslaved Africans who were taken to the New World were Yoruban— according to David Brown of Emory University, 500,000 Africans were taken into Cuba between 1800 and 1870, and one third were Yoruban or from Yoruban-influenced areas.1 According to Robert Farris Thompson, 40% of all Africans taken from Africa came from the Kongo and Angola regions.2 This fact helps explain some of the traditions observable today in the United States, in the form of yard shows, bottle trees, words like “banjo”- “mbanja” and “goober” (peanut) – “mgooba”. Many popular dance and musical styles – the Charleston, jug bands, jazz – owe their origin to African ways preserved by the descendants of the Africans who survived the Middle Passage. Continue reading

Day of the Dead

Gideon (Guede) – Loa spirits family, which is owned by the forces of death and fertility.

Fete Gede – Day of the Dead

Start: 1 November 2015
Venue: National Cemetery, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

This annual Vodou Festival represents Day of the Dead, which is carried out for the playful Haitian spirits. Rituals carried out within a month, but the majority of them at the beginning.

The faithful gather at the main cemetery in the capital of Haiti, to honor all Gede and their father, Baron Samedi (On Saturday). At the entrance to the cemetery on a pedestal with a cross, which symbolizes the entrance into the possession of Baron Samedi. Here, people are preparing a special drink, which sprinkle the cross.

People bring gifts: beeswax candles, flowers, bottles of rum with chilli. So they warm the bones of Gede. Continue reading

House of Gede

Gede
By B.C. Holmes, 2001

Other Names: Papa Gede, Baron Samedi
Spheres of Influence: Death, the Lord of all Gede
Colours: Black, purple and white
Symbols: Skull, black cross, shovel, mirrored sunglasses, hot peppers fused with kleren
Offerings: Black rooster, black goat
Catholic counterparts: St. Gerard

Quotations:

“If Legba was the sun, at first young, then growing old, Ghede is the master of that abyss into which the sun descends. If Legba was time, Ghede is that eternal figure in black, posted at the timeless cross-roads at which all men and even the sun one day arrive. The cross upon a tomb is his symbol. But the sun is each year reborn. If Carrefour is the night death which attends each day, then Ghede is the night sun, the life which is eternally present, even in darkness. The cosmic abyss is both tomb and womb. In a Continue reading

Saut Vodou

Fet Gédé, Haiti's Day of the DeadFet Gédé, Haiti’s Day of the Dead. Image by Paul Clammer

Understanding vodou in the Caribbean
By Paul Clammer, 2014

All too often, the Caribbean’s default tourist mode is its carefree picture of beaches and rum. Rinse and repeat: it’s a staggeringly successful formula. But it doesn’t leave much scope to get to grips with the region’s rich cultural history. The islands’ local religions – from vodou in Haiti to Jamaica’s Obeah and Cuba’s Santería – offer rich insights into Caribbean culture for the curious visitor.

These belief systems were forged from empire and slavery, and the collision of Europe and Africa in the Americas. They’re a unique blend of traditions brought over from Africa during [enslavement of Africans] Continue reading

Moving Zombis

ZOMBIES
From University of Michigan

Zombie History and Haitian Folklore

The origin of the concept of zombiism stems from Haitian Voodoo culture. The word zombie–in Haitian it is “zombi”–means “spirit of the dead.” Voodoo folklore contends that Bokors, Voodoo priests that were concerned with the study and application of black magic, possessed the ability to resurrect the deceased through the administration of coup padrecoup padre is a powder that is issued orally, the primary ingredient of which is tetrodoxin, the deadly substance of the notoriously poisonous fou-fou, or “porcupine fish.”

According to legend, “a zombi(e) is someone who has annoyed his or her family and community to the degree that they can no longer stand to live with this person. They respond by hiring a Bokor..to turn them into a zombi(e).” (Keegan, www .flmnh.ufl.edu)

Once they had been issued the coup padre, the subjects being prepared for their descent into zombidom would appear to die insofar as their heart rate would slow to a near stop, their breathing patterns would be greatly subdued and their body temperature would significantly decrease. The public, thinking that Continue reading

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