Las 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
Myths and Legends/ Mitos y Leyendas
Folclore de la República Dominicana/ Folklore of the Dominican Republic
Chupacabra/ Goat Sucker or Evil thing
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
Haitian and Dominican Loa and Deities
Adjasou-Linguetor (f): Goddess of spring water. Characterized by protruding eyes and a bad humor, lives under the mombin tree near a spring and is very fond of liquor.
Agassu, Agasou (m): God of Water. Agassu is Dahomean in origin, and belongs to the Fon and Yoruba tribes. He is associated with water deities and sometimes takes the form of a crab. He is one of the mythical creatures who once gave assistance to the Ancestor. He is considered one of the Loa masons.
Agau, Agaou (m): God of Wind and Storms. Agau is a very violent god. Earth tremors and the frightening sounds associated with storms are because of an angry Agau. “It is I who am the gunner of god; when I roar the earth trembles.” One has to be very strong to harbor this spirit. Agau is the inseparable companion of Sogbo. When Sogbo and Bade (the loa of lighting and wind) act together and call upon Agau, a thunder storm is produced. Bade and Agau share the same functions, loa of the winds. Continue reading