Voodoo, A Religion, A Way of Life
Danny P. Comardelle
Introduction To Cultural Anthropology (GSF0924H)
Jonathan K. Sharp
June 29, 2009
Voodoo, a Religion, a Way of Life
Having been brought up in a Christian family my understanding of voodoo has always conjured up images of witch craft, zombies, spells and most anything having to do with satin. Without proper knowledge and understanding of all the practices, superstitions and beliefs associated with voodoo, it is easy to understand why its’ been difficult for many to accept voodoo as a religion or even a civilized way of life. To be fair, one has to wonder what it must sound like to someone with no knowledge of Christianity, which believes that God came and lived among man and died for his sins and then was buried but rose from the dead so that his sole would never have to die if he believes in him. I believe it safe to say that they would have some reservations. I hope through my research that we will have a better understanding of voodoo, in the lives of the Haitian culture as to its origin, history, rituals and beliefs as it pertains to religion and a way of life and is it a myth or a reality.
Although, we will focus our attention of voodoo in the life of the people of Haiti, we must first understand that contrary to popular belief, voodoo did not originate in Haiti. For thousands of years, voodoo, also known as vodoun, was the practiced religion in South Africa. Vohou, meaning “spirit of god, is the world’s oldest Ancestral, nature honoring tradition known to humans” (Amengansie). The African people settled in several parts of Africa and branched into several clans, with one being of major significance, known as “Allada.” Many years later, parts of the clan returned to northern Africa, thus the kingdom of Abomey was settled. “Legend” has it that the king’s daughter was strolling through the woods when she was mesmerized by a “lizard” and became fertile and bore a son, “Agasu” which began a...