Baron Samedi written Baron Samdi, Bawon Samedi, or Bawon Sanmdi, is one of the loa of Haitian Vodou. Samedi is a loa of the dead, along with Baron's numerous other incarnations Baron Cimetière, Baron La Croix, Baron Kriminel, he is syncretized with Saint Martin de Porres. He is the head of the Guédé family of loa, his wife is the loa Maman Brigitte. He is depicted with a top hat, black tail coat, dark glasses, cotton plugs in the nostrils, as if to resemble a corpse dressed and prepared for burial in the Haitian style, he is depicted as a skeleton, speaks in a nasal voice. The former President for Life of Haiti, François Duvalier, modeled his cult of personality on Baron Samedi, he is noted for disruption, obscenity and having a particular fondness for tobacco and rum. Additionally, he is the loa of resurrection, in the latter capacity he is called upon for healing by those near or approaching death, as it is only the Baron that can accept an individual into the realm of the dead. Baron Samedi spends most of his time in the invisible realm of vodou spirits.
He is notorious for his outrageous behavior, swearing continuously and making filthy jokes to the other spirits. He is married to another powerful spirit known as Maman Brigitte, but chases after mortal women, he loves smoking and drinking and is seen without a cigar in his mouth or a glass of rum in his bony fingers. Baron Samedi can be found at the crossroads between the worlds of the living and the dead; when someone dies, he digs their grave and greets their soul after they have been buried, leading them to the underworld. Baron Samedi is the leader of the Guédé, loa with particular links to magic, ancestor worship and death; these lesser spirits are dressed like the Baron and are as rude and crude but not nearly as charming as their master. They help carry the dead to the underworld; as well as being master of the dead, Baron Samedi is a giver of life. He can cure any mortal of any wound, if he thinks it is worthwhile, his powers are great when it comes to vodou curses and black magic. If somebody has been afflicted by a hex that brings them to the verge of death, they will not die if the Baron refuses to dig their grave.
So long as this mighty spirit keeps them out of the ground, they are safe. He ensures that all corpses rot in the ground to stop any soul from being brought back as a brainless zombie. What he demands in return depends on his mood. Sometimes he is content with his followers wearing black, white or purple clothes or using sacred objects, but sometimes the Baron requires a vodou ceremony to help him cross over into this world. Voodoo: Search for the Spirit, “Abrams Discoveries” series. Laennec Hurbon. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1995. "Ghede" A Dictionary of World Mythology. Arthur Cotterell. Oxford University Press, 1997. "Vodou". The Voodoo Gods. Maya Deren. Granada Publishing Limited 1975. Conner, Randy P.. Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth and Spirit. UK: Cassell. ISBN 0-304-70423-7. A Virtual Vodou Altar The Dead: Baron and Gede Baron Samedi 78
Akan religion comprises the traditional beliefs and religious practices of the Akan people of Ghana and eastern Ivory Coast. Akan religion is referred to as Akom. Although most Akan people have identified as Christians since the early 20th century, Akan religion remains practiced by some, is syncretized with Christianity; the Akan have many subgroups, so the religion varies by region and subgroup. Similar to other traditional religions of West and Central Africa such as West African Vodun, Yoruba religion, or Odinani, Akan cosmology consists of a senior god who does not interact with humans and many gods who assist humans. Anansi the Spider is a folk hero, prominent in Ashanti folktales, where he is depicted as a trickster. In other aspects of Akan spirituality, Anansi is sometimes considered both a trickster and a deity associated with wisdom, responsible for creating the first inanimate humans, according to the scholar Anthony Ephirim-Donkor.. This is similar to Legba, both a trickster and a deity in West African Vodun.
Followers of Akan religion believe in a supreme god. He does not interact with humans; the creator god takes on different names depending upon the region of worship, including Nyame, Brekyirihunuade, Odomankoma, Ɔbɔadeɛ and Anansi Kokuroku. It is said that the creator god is a part of a triune deity or triad, which consists of Nyame and Odomankoma; the Supreme Creator is an omnipotent sky father. His wife is Asase Yaa, considered second to God. Together they brought forth two children: Tano; the abosom, the lower deities or spirits, assist humans on earth. These are akin to orishas in Yoruba religion, the vodun in West African Vodun and its derivatives, the alusi in Odinani. Abosom receive their power from the creator god and are most connected to the world as it appears in its natural state. Priests serve individual act as mediators between the abosom and mankind. Many of those who believe in these traditions participate in daily prayer, which includes the pouring of libations as an offering to both the ancestors who are buried under the land and to the spirits who are everywhere.
The Nsamanfo are the ancestors. They are sometimes referred to as ghost. According to Long, Akan culture obliterated any other African customs and incoming non-Akan Africans had to submit to the culture of the majority Akan population in Jamaica, much like a foreigner learning migrating to a foreign country. Other than Ananse stories, Akan religion made a huge impact; the Akan pantheon of gods referred to. Enslaved Akan would praise Nyankopong. Bonsam was referred to as the god of evil. Kumfu was documented as Myal and only found in books, while the term Kumfu is still used by Jamaican Maroons; the priest of Kumfu was called a Kumfu-man. The Jamaican Maroon spirit-possession language, a creolized form of Akan, is used in religious ceremonies of some Jamaican Maroons. Kumfu evolved into a syncretic Christian sect. Kumfu followers gravitated to the American Revival of 1800 Seventh Day Adventist movement because it observed Saturday as god's day of rest; this was a shared aboriginal belief of the Akan people as this too was the day that the Akan god, Nyame rested after creating the earth.
Jamaicans that were aware of their Ashanti past while wanting to keep hidden, mixed their Kumfu spirituality with the American Adventists to create Jamaican Revival in 1860. Revival has two sects: 61 order. 60 order worships God and spirits of air or the heavens on a Saturday and considers itself to be the more'clean' sect. 61 order more deals with spirits of the earth. This division of Kumfu shows the dichotomy of Nyame and Asase Yaa's relationship, Nyame representing air and has his 60 order'; the Ashanti funerary/war colours: red and black have the same meaning in Revival of vengeance. Other Ashanti elements include the use of swords and rings as means to guard the spirit from spiritual attack; the Asantehene like the Mother Woman of Revival, has special two swords used to protect himself from witchcraft called an Akrafena or soul sword and a Bosomfena or spirit sword Winti is an Afro-Surinamese religion, derived from both Akom and Vodun with Vodun gods such as Loco, Ayizu and so on. Haitian Vodou is a syncretic religion that combines Vodun with several other African religions in addition to influences from Catholicism.
Here latent influences of Akan beliefs can be seen in the incorporation of Anansi as one of the Lwa worshiped in the Haitian religion. He is depicted as maintaining the connection between the living and their deceased ancestors. Olson, James Stuart; the peoples of Africa: an ethnohistorical dictionary. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press. P. 18. ISBN 978-0-313-27918-8. Retrieved 18 April 2010. Sykes, Egerton. Who's who in non-classical mythology. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26040-4. Retrieved 2010-05-24. Forde, Cyril Daryll, African Worlds: Studies in the Cosmological Ideas and Social Values of African Peoples
Haitian Vodou is a syncretic religion practiced chiefly in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Practitioners are called "vodouists" or "servants of the spirits". Vodouists believe in unknowable Supreme Creator, Bondye. According to Vodouists, Bondye does not intercede in human affairs, thus they direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondye, called loa; every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside. To navigate daily life, vodouists cultivate personal relationships with the loa through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, participation in elaborate ceremonies of music and spirit possession. Vodou originated in what is now Benin and developed in the French colonial empire in the 18th century among West African peoples who were enslaved, when African religious practice was suppressed, enslaved Africans were forced to convert to Christianity.
Religious practices of contemporary Vodou are descended from, related to, West African Vodun as practiced by the Fon and Ewe. Vodou incorporates elements and symbolism from other African peoples including the Yoruba and Kongo. In Haiti, some Catholics combine aspects of Catholicism with aspects of Vodou, a practice forbidden by the Church and denounced as diabolical by Haitian Protestants. Vodou is a Haitian Creole word that referred to only a small subset of Haitian rituals; the word derives from an Ayizo word referring to mysterious forces or powers that govern the world and the lives of those who reside within it, but a range of artistic forms that function in conjunction with these vodun energies. Two of the major speaking populations of Ayizo are the Ewe and the Fon—European slavers called both the Arada; these two peoples composed a sizable number of the early enslaved population in St. Dominique. In Haiti, practitioners use "Vodou" to refer to Haitian religion generically, but it is more common for practitioners to refer to themselves as those who "serve the spirits" by participating in ritual ceremonies called a "service to the loa" or an "African service".
These terms refer to the religion as a whole. Outside of Haiti, the term Vodou refers to the entirety of traditional Haitian religious practice. Written as vodun, it is first recorded in Doctrina Christiana, a 1658 document written by the King of Allada's ambassador to the court of Philip IV of Spain. In the following centuries, Vodou was taken up by non-Haitians as a generic descriptive term for traditional Haitian religion. There are many used orthographies for this word. Today, the spelling Vodou is the most accepted orthography in English. Other potential spellings include Vodoun and voodoo, with vau- or vou- prefix variants reflecting French orthography, a final -n reflecting the nasal vowel in West African or older, non-urbanized, Haitian Creole pronunciations; the spelling voodoo, once common, is now avoided by Haitian practitioners and scholars when referring to the Haitian religion. This is both to avoid confusion with Louisiana Voodoo, a related but distinct set of religious practices, as well as to separate Haitian Vodou from the negative connotations and misconceptions the term "voodoo" has acquired in popular culture.
Over the years and their supporters have called on various institutions including the Associated Press to redress this misrepresentation by adopting "Vodou" in reference to the Haitian religion. In October 2012, the Library of Congress decided to change their subject heading from "Voodooism" to Vodou in response to a petition by a group of scholars and practitioners in collaboration with KOSANBA, the scholarly association for the study of Haitian Vodou based at University of California Santa Barbara. Vodou is popularly described as not a religion, but rather an experience that ties body and soul together; the concept of tying that exists in Haitian religious culture is derived from the Congolese tradition of kanga, the practice of tying one's soul to something tangible. This "tying of soul" is evident in many Haitian Vodou practices. Vodouisants believe; when it came in contact with Roman Catholicism, the Supreme Creator was associated with the Christian God, the loa associated with the saints.
Since Bondye is considered unreachable, Vodouisants aim their prayers to lesser entities, the spirits known as loa, or mistè. The most notable lwa include Papa Legba, Erzulie Freda, Kouzin Zaka, The Marasa, divine twins considered to be the first children of Bondye; these lwa can be divided into 21 nations, which include the Petro, Rada and Nago. Each of the lwa is associated with a particular Roman Catholic saint. For example, Legba is associated with St. Anthony the Hermit, Damballa is associated with St. Patrick; the lwa fall into family groups who share a surname, such as Ogou, Azaka or Ghede. For instance, "Ezili" is a family, Ezili Danto and Ezili Freda are two individual spirits in that family; each family is associated with a specific aspect, for instance the
Afro-American religion are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas in various nations of Latin America, the Caribbean, the southern United States. They derive from traditional African religions with some influence from other religious traditions, notably Christianity. Afro-American religions involve veneration of the dead, include a creator deity along with a pantheon of divine spirits such as the Orisha, Loa and Alusi, among others. In addition to the religious syncretism of these various African traditions, many incorporate elements of Folk Catholicism, Native American religion, Spiritism and European folklore. Espiritismo Hoodoo Kélé Puerto Rican Vudú or Sanse Rastafarianism, Jamaica Santo Daime Tambor de Mina Quimbois. Xangô de Recife Xangô do Nordeste Black theology Roots and Rooted
Candomblé Ketu is the largest and most influential branch of Candomblé, a religion practiced in Brazil and Uruguay. The word Candomblé means “ritual dancing or gather in honor of gods” and Ketu is the name of the Ketu region of Benin, its liturgical language, known as Iorubá or Nagô, is a dialect of Yoruba. Candomblé Ketu developed in the early 19th century and gained great importance to Brazilian heritage in the 20th century. Queto is a system of beliefs that merges the Yoruba mythology with Christianity and Indigenous American traditions. Queto developed in the Portuguese Empire. Yoruba slaves carried with them various religious customs, including a trance and divination system for communicating with their ancestors and spirits, animal sacrifice, sacred drumming and dance, its origins are entwined with the religious and beneficent brotherhoods organized by the Roman Catholic Church among ethnic Yoruba slaves. The religion grew popular among slaves because it was a way for Yoruba slaves to maintain their culture and express independence.
Numerous terreiros of the Ketu branch of Candomblé have received historic status and government protection from the National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage. Ilê Axé Iyá Nassô Oká in Salvador was the first non-Roman Catholic and first Afro-Brazilian religious place of worship to receive protected heritage status in Brazil. Ilê Odó Ogé known as Terreiro Pilão de Prata, has protected heritage status from the state of Bahia; as the largest branch of the Candomblé religion, Ketu origins have a major influence on the religion as a whole. Although there are various branches of Candomblé, the foundational beliefs are the same, they differ based on names and rituals due to no written scripture. Each branch possesses a unique deity under the Supreme god Olódùmarè, seen as unequaled and beyond all existence. Ketu’s deity is named Orisha. Orishas controls the destiny of the acts as a guardian. Orishas represent different forces in nature, colors and days of the week. In Ketu, Candomblé storytelling and animal sacrifices are important.
Storytelling is expected to be done in a clear and precise way in order to be passed down to further generations. Animals such as pigs, cows and chicken are sacrificed. Animals are seen as sacred, so they are sacrificed as a way to transfer energy between nature and Orishas. There was a great deal of Catholic resistance due to the belief. Slaves incorporated Catholic Saints in order to keep their practices a secret. Catholics wanted to slaves to convert to their religion and feared retaliation if slaves became too independent. Olorum Exu Ogum Oxóssi Oxum Oxalufã Oxaguiã Orixá Okô Olissá Orunmilá Xangô Ayrá Iemanjá Ossãe Oyá Obaluaiê Omolu Jagun Nanã Buruku Oxumarê Obá Ewá Ibêji Logun Edé Iroko Olorokê Apaoká Iyami Oxorongá Egungun Santería Ifá Yvonne, Dancing Wisdom: Embodied Knowledge in Haitian Vodou, Cuban Yoruba, Bahian Candomblé, University of Illinois Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-25207-207-9.:: Everything you wanted to know about Santeria Candomblé Ketu Ilê Opó Afonjá, a major Ketu house in Salvador Ama, A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade Qualia Folk
Abakuá sometimes known as Nañigo, is an Afro-Cuban men's initiatory fraternity or secret society, which originated from fraternal associations in the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. Abakuá has been described as "an Afro-Cuban version of Freemasonry". Known as Ekpe, Ngbe, or Ugbe among the multi-lingual groups in the region, it was believed that Ñáñigos, as the members are known, could be transformed into leopards to stalk their enemies. In contemporary Haiti, where secret societies have remained strong, an elite branch of the army, set up to instill fear in the restless masses was named The Leopards. Among the less mystical Ñáñigo revenges was the ability to turn people over to slavers. In Africa they were notorious operators; the creolized Cuban term Abakuá is thought to refer to the Abakpa area in southeast Nigeria, where the society was active. The first such societies were established by Africans in the town of Regla, Havana, in 1836; this remains the main area of Abakuá implantation the district of Guanabacoa in eastern Havana, in Matanzas where Afro-Cuban culture is vibrant.
Cities with many Afro-Cuban immigrants in Florida such as Key West and Ybor City had a religion known by observers as "Nañigo", referred to as "Carabali Apapa Abacua" by practitioners. By the 1930s much of the religion seemed to have disappeared from visibility. For Abakuá lodges to be formed a structured initiation rite must be performed, something difficult to do for immigrant Abakuá members who are estranged from established lodges in Cuba. For this reason there is a debate as to whether the practices described as "Nañigo" where official Abakuá practices or imitations done by members estranged from official lodges; the term "Nañigo" itself was used to describe any Afro-Cuban traditions practiced in Florida, is thus not reliable to use to describe any set of traditions with accuracy. No Abakuá lodges had been formed in Miami until 1998 an Abakuá group declared its existence in Miami only for Cuban Abakuá members to denounce it since their lodge wasn't official consecrated with sacred materials only found in Cuba.
Members of this society came to be known as ñañigos, a word used to designate the street dancers of the society. The ñañigos, who were called diablitos, were well known by the general population in Cuba through their participation in the Carnival on the Day of the Three Kings, when they danced through the streets wearing their ceremonial outfit, a multicolored checkerboard dress with a conical headpiece topped with tassels; the oaths of loyalty to the Abakuá society’s sacred objects and secret knowledge taken by initiates are a lifelong pact which creates a sacred kinship among the members. The duties of an Abakuá member to his ritual brothers at times surpass the responsibilities of friendship, the phrase "Friendship is one thing, the Abakuá another" is heard. One of the oaths made during initiation is that one will not reveal the secrets of the Abakuá to non-members, why the Abakuá have remained hermetic for over 160 years. Besides acting as a mutual aid society, the Abakuá performs rituals and ceremonies, called plantes, full of theatricality and drama which consists of drumming and chanting in the secret Abakuá language.
Knowledge of the chants is restricted to Abakuá members, but Cuban scholars have long thought that the ceremonies express Abakuá cultural history. Other ceremonies such as initiations and funerals, are secret and occur in the sacred room of the Abakuá temple, called the famba; the rhythmic dance music of the Abakuá combined with Bantu traditions of the Congo contributed to the musical tradition of the rumba. Although hermetic and little known within Cuba, an analysis of Cuban popular music recorded from the 1920s until the present reveals Abakuá influence in nearly every genre of Cuban popular music. Cuban musicians who are members of the Abakuá have continually documented key aspects of their society’s history in commercial recordings in their secret Abakuá language; the Abakuá have commercially recorded actual chants of the society, believing that outsiders cannot interpret them. Because Abakuá represented a rebellious anti-colonial, aspect of Cuban culture, these secret recordings have been popular.
Ireme is the Cuban term for the masked Abakuá dancer known as Idem or Ndem in the Cross River region. The masquerade dancer is covered in a tight-fitting suit and hood, dances with a broom and a staff; the broom serves to cleanse faithful members, while the staff chastises Abakuá traitors. During initiation ceremonies, the staff is called the Erí nBan nDó, while during mournings and wakes it is called AlanManguín Besuá. Abakuá members derive their belief systems and traditional practices from the Igbo, Efik and Ibibio spirits that lived in the forest. Ekpe and synonymous terms were names of a leopard related secret society. Much of what the Abakua believe in terms of religion is conisdered a secret only known to members. Due to the secrecy of the society, little is known of the Abakuá language, it is assumed to be a creolized version of Efik or Ibibio, both related languages or dialects from the Cross River region of Nigeria, because this is the cultural region and ethnic groups where the society originated.
If it is indeed a creolized version of either Efik or Ibibio, it could be compared in purpose and in its formation and origins to other African languages, or specialized vocabularies derived from African languages, used in other Afro-American religions, such as: Lucumí: a Yoruba dialect used in the Cuban Santería religion Iorubá/Nagô: another Yoruba dialect used in the Brazilian Can