Voodoo, The journey of an African pantheon

Gaël Turine

In the fon language spoken in Benin, Vodou is a mysterious, formidable, invisible force which affects human society. Old beliefs and traditions, rituals and ceremonies dedicated to the spirits, nourish and preserve the essential contact between the world of the living, the ancestors and the spirits.
The transatlantic slave industry carried out by the European colonial nations from the 16th century onwards led to the establishment of ancient African beliefs in the Americas and especially in Haiti where the Vodou was born.
Today the Vodou cult is ubiquitous in Haitian society, impregnating all the nation’s cultures and traditions.
Wherever Haitians meet, a “life space” is declared for the Voodoo religion. This is the case even outside Haiti, particularly in Florida in the United States, where the Haitian diaspora counts hundreds of thousands. According to them, their dual background which constitutes Africa and Haiti can only be assumed through the practise of Vodou, considered the unavoidable link with their origins.

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