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Category: Haitian vs. West African & Diasp
  1. Is Haitian Vodou and Dahomean Vodoun the same?
  2. Do you do group initiations like in Haiti?
  3. Are your initiations done just like they are in Haiti?
  4. I heard that one can only be initiated in Africa or Haiti because of the herbs and natural environment
  5. Are the Vodou called "Lwa" or "Loas" in West Africa? Is this due to the migration of the religion?
  6. when you say voodoo is ancestral religion. do you mean that a persons ancestors had to once worship the voodoo for a person to be an initiate? Or do you mean that the loa only want people to worship them whose ancestors also once worshipped them?
  7. If someone kills one with voodoo can voodoo bring back the person to life. If ones spirit is tied spiritually with voodoo,can they plead with the ancestors to set the person free,and bring them back to life if they are dead.



  1. Is Haitian Vodou and Dahomean Vodoun the same?

    Although the West still considers "Dahomean" Vodoun to be the "mother" of the Vodoun religion, this honor is not accurate. The Vodoun religion is more than 10,000+ years old. When it reached West Africa, the early Ewe, Gbe, Guin, Kabaye and other Vodoun groups were practicing Vodoun more than 500 years before the region that would later be known as "Dahomey" (now present day Benin) came into existence.

    The Fon are considered the heir of the Dahomean empire. However, it is the Ewe of Togo who are the major group and the Fon who settled in Benin are a subgroup of them along with the more than other 20 ethnic groups.

    Just as it is important to sort through the victor’s history when wanting an accurate chacterization of Native American history or Slavery, Africa should not be an exception. Many of the current rulers have written their own revisionist history to justify their rule and the kings of Dahomey and their claims to "divine legitimacy" and being the "home" of the Vodoun; as well as proclaiming their priests as the "popes" should also be critically examined. To learn more about why these claims are considered political and economic as oppose to historic please visit this new article we have published:


    The Origins of the Vodoun Religion: A Closer Look at Dahomey’s Claim

    http://mamiwata.com/dahom/dahomey.html

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  2. Do you do group initiations like in Haiti?

    No, not at the level of Hounon, Ahougan, Mamaissii etc., (the priesthood). But at the level of Vodunsi & sofo (asst. priest) it is done in Benin & Togo.

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  3. Are your initiations done just like they are in Haiti?

    No.
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  4. I heard that one can only be initiated in Africa or Haiti because of the herbs and natural environment

    This is completely false. It is the *priest/ess* and what she/he possess in power (ashe),ancestral lineages, ritual knowledge, professional competency and experience that is the most important. The herbs and environment can be adjusted accordingly, which is how the tradition was able to survive in the New World.

    Additionally, in West African Vodoun, during initiation the vodou is enshrined (installed) as it has been for thousands of years, and this must be done where the initiate resides.

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  5. Are the Vodou called "Lwa" or "Loas" in West Africa? Is this due to the migration of the religion?

    In the Fon orthography, the word "Vodou" is a noun which translate as "Spirit." It refers to all of the Vodou gods in the cosmological pantheon, and carries no esoteric meaning beyond their general description and specific attributes.

    In Ewe "vu" (vudu) is actually a metaphorical phrase originally used to describe the nature of the "vodou" Spirits. Its actual meaning "to draw water" is still applied to denote the entire process of the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth, and all that this encompasses in the life of an initiate (and by default "Human kind").

    The second Fon word used interchangeably with the noun "Vodou" to describe the nature of the Arada or Yeveh pantheon of the Vodou is "Loa", which literally translate as "Law"

    During European colonialism resulting in the transport of millions of Africans from across the West African continent to the New World, which included Haiti, a different language developed unique to the region. Popularly known as "Creole or Kryeol." The word "Loa" transformed to the word "Lwa" and is used in Haiti to categorize all the Vodou within their pantheon.

    However, in Africa the Vodou are not referred to as "Loa" or "Lwa", but merely "Spirit," or the Portuguese word "Fetische." Conversely, if one were to travel to Benin seeking the "Loa" the locals would not known who/what the person was referring to. The word "Spirit/s" is the most dominate word used to refer to the Vodou in West Africa (Benin, Togo, Ghana etc.,).

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  6. when you say voodoo is ancestral religion. do you mean that a persons ancestors had to once worship the voodoo for a person to be an initiate? Or do you mean that the loa only want people to worship them whose ancestors also once worshipped them?

    Yes. However, though most who wish to honor the vodou in the New World can do so. However, the lineage priesthoods of West African Vodou is ancestrally determined.

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  7. If someone kills one with voodoo can voodoo bring back the person to life. If ones spirit is tied spiritually with voodoo,can they plead with the ancestors to set the person free,and bring them back to life if they are dead.

    You cannot kill with Vodoun. You can kill with sorcery and African witchcraft, both which are not Vodoun. It is important to make this distinction.

    To say one was “killed with vodou” is the same exact equivalent as saying someone was "killed with Christianity by Jesus." Vodoun is a HEALING and ANCESTRAL spiritual and cultural tradition. It has been known for thousands of years, to bring the dead back to life among other miracles.

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