Sunday, January 08, 2006

Vodoungbe: Sunday

"The South Benin cultural area of the Fon, Gun, Mina and Ewe peoples is characterized by a similar conception of divinity: belief in the existence of God is general. This God, recognized as the Supreme Being, as Transcendent, is referred to by the term Mawu. According to the testimony of Fr. Paul Falcon "everyone professes the existence of a Supreme Being who created ‘the trees and the ropes’, a Fon idiomatic expression which means everything that exists…"

Interesting expression; did these peoples already have a dawning intuition of the 'superstring' theory, one wonders ;-))

"
Agbe [Agwe in the Voodoo Tarot]: This is the Vodun of the sea (Tovodun). He is also known as Hu. He is represented by a serpent, a symbol of everything that gives life. One of his powerful children is Dan Toxosu who manifests himself in the birth of monster babies.

Gu [Ogoun in the Voodoo Tarot]: This is the Vodun of iron and war. He gives man his different technologies. He is the Vodun who does not accept complicity with evil. Therefore he is capable of killing all accomplices in acts of infamy if he is appealed to. This is expressed by the Fon saying "da gu do"."

Interesting that the internet itself developed from a military application: this would also seem a work of the warrior Ogoun. And when Ogoun and Agwe get together, as in nuclear technology, you get the birth of 'monster babies', as in genetic mutations? ;-P

"Lêgba: This is Mawu’s youngest son. He received no endowments at all because all had already been shared out among his elders. He is jealous, and it is he who loosens the rigid structure of the pantheon. He is the Vodun of the unpredictable, of what cannot be assigned to any other and he is characterised by daily tragedies; all that is beyond good and evil."

Hehe... the trickster, with a nice Nietzschean twist ;-))

"It clearly follows to speak of polytheism in the context of Vodun is hardly correct. Rather, it appears to be polyhedral monotheism which highlights an active relationship with the cosmos, nature, phenomena and deceased human beings, in contrast with a direct relationship with God.

"Vodun is the traditional religion in Benin. The Vodoun is often mistaken for Voodoo, or pure witchcraft, but is in reality so much more: A culture, a norm system and a fundament for traditional practices. Vodoun can be evil, but is often not. While many still belive that the Vodoun tradition stems from the Caribbean and Brazil, its real cradle is Benin.

"A popular joke says that in Benin you will find that among the population there are 30% Christians, 20% Muslims and 100% Vodoun!

"Among the most important Gods we find Heviosso (Shango), the God of thunder and is responsible for the harvest, and he is also the symbol of justice who will strike you if you commit a crime. There is Mami Wata, the mermaid, the Goddess of beauty and wealth. There is Ogou, the God of metals, who is also the God of the warriors. Since the ancestors were warriors you will find a shrine for Ogou in most houses. The God Legba, the gatekeeper, has stunned many a tourist with his massive erect penis.

" The word "Vodoun" ( Ewe: Vu, Vodun, Vudu Vodou ) is Dahomean, of the Ewe/Fon language. The "n" is pronounced, and is the ancient and appropriate appellation of this word. However, V.O.D.O.U. (voh-doo) is the most common spelling with no emphasis on the "n". It is a proper "noun" (always capitalized), denoting the actual Tradition proper of "vodou," (small "v") which is the spelling used to denote the actual Spirits (divinities) that are worshiped. The French spelling of this word in Benin and Togo is "Vaudaux", or Vaudou-x," and similar spellings. Its actual meaning is 'to draw water', a task traditionally performed by women. Vo (circumflex on all "o") is the word used to describe the traditional 'Voodoo doll'.

"Vodun, like Christianity, is a religion of many traditions. Each group follows a different spiritual path and worships a slightly different pantheon of spirits, called Loa. The word means "mystery" in the Yoruba language."


2 Comments:

Blogger Sebastian Aristos said...

Very enlightening, Claire. Now I finally know what the word 'loa' means. Funny that up until now it was a 'mystery' to me.

3:43 pm  
Blogger asgif666 said...

= orisha, in Santeria ;-))

7:22 pm  

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