- vodou [vō do͞o′]n.
* * *or voodooNational folk religion of Haiti.It combines theological and magical elements of African religions and ritual elements of Roman Catholicism. Practitioners profess belief in a supreme God but give more attention to a large number of spirits called the loa, which can be identified as local or African gods, deified ancestors, or Catholic saints. The loa demand ritual service and attach themselves to individuals or families. In turn, they act as helpers, protectors, and guides. In ritual services, a priest or priestess leads devotees in ceremonies involving song, drumming, dance, prayer, food preparation, and animal sacrifice. The loa possess worshipers during services, dispensing advice, performing cures, or displaying special physical feats. A well-known aspect of Vodou is the zombie. See also Macumba; Santería.
* * *▪ Haitian religionan official religion of Haiti (together with Roman Catholicism). Vodou is a creolized religion forged by descendents of Dahomean, Kongo, Yoruba, and other African ethnic groups who had been enslaved and brought to colonial Saint-Domingue (as Haiti was known then) and Christianized by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries. The word Vodou means “spirit” or “deity” in the Fon language of the African kingdom of Dahomey (now Benin).Vodou, a traditional Afro-Haitian religion, is a worldview encompassing philosophy, medicine, justice, and religion. Its fundamental principle is that everything is spirit. Humans are spirits who inhabit the visible world. The unseen world is populated by lwa (spirits), mystè (mysteries), anvizib (the invisibles), zanj (angels), and the spirits of ancestors and the recently deceased. All these spirits are believed to live in a mythic land called Ginen, a cosmic “Africa.” The God of the Christian Bible is understood to be the creator of both the universe and the spirits; the spirits were made by God to help him govern humanity and the natural world.The primary goal and activity of Vodou is to sevi lwa (“serve the spirits”)—to offer prayers and perform various devotional rites directed at God and particular spirits in return for health, protection, and favour. Spirit possession plays an important role in Afro-Haitian religion, as it does in many other world religions. During religious rites, believers sometimes enter a trancelike state in which the devotee may eat and drink, perform stylized dances, give supernaturally inspired advice to people, or perform medical cures or special physical feats; these acts exhibit the incarnate presence of the lwa within the entranced devotee. Vodou ritual activity (e.g., prayer, song, dance, and gesture) is aimed at refining and restoring balance and energy in relationships between people and between people and the spirits of the unseen world.Vodou is an oral tradition practiced by extended families that inherit familial spirits, along with the necessary devotional practices, from their elders. In the cities, local hierarchies of priestesses or priests (manbo and oungan), “children of the spirits” (ounsi), and ritual drummers (ountògi) comprise more formal “societies” or “congregations” (sosyete). In these congregations, knowledge is passed on through a ritual of initiation (kanzo) in which the body becomes the site of spiritual transformation. There is some regional difference in ritual practice across Haiti, and branches of the religion include Rada, Daome, Ibo, Nago, Dereal, Manding, Petwo, and Kongo. There is no centralized hierarchy, no single leader, and no official spokesperson, but various groups sometimes attempt to create such official structures. There are also secret societies, called Bizango or Sanpwèl, that perform a religio-juridical function.A calendar of ritual feasts, syncretized with the Roman Catholic calendar, provides the yearly rhythm of religious practice. Important lwa are celebrated on saints' days (for example: Ogou on St. James's Day, July 25; Ezili Danto on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16; Danbala on St. Patrick's Day (Saint Patrick's Day), March 17; and the spirits of the ancestors on All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day, November 1 and November 2). Many other familial feasts (for the sacred children, for the poor, for particular ancestors) as well as initiations and funerary rituals occur throughout the year.Elizabeth A. McAlister
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VODOU — Religion africaine qui reste implantée notamment dans l’ancien Dahomey et au Togo, le vodou s’est, de la même façon que d’autres cultes qu’on retrouve aujourd’hui en Amérique, transporté, avec les migrations d’esclaves et au prix de certaines… … Encyclopédie Universelle
vodou — [vō do͞o′] n. var. of VOODOO (n. 1): also vodun [vodo͞on′] or vodoun [vodo͞on′] … English World dictionary
Vodou — Voodoo [ˈvuːduː] (auch Vodoo) (dt: Wodu) ist eine (kreolische) Religion, die hauptsächlich auf Haiti, in Afrika und Teilen Amerikas beheimatet ist. Die Religion ist in westlichen Ländern vor allem durch Opferdarbringungen und vermeintliche… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Vodou — Vaudou Le vaudou (ou vodou, ou vodoun) est une religion originaire de l ancien royaume du Dahomey (Afrique de l Ouest). Il est toujours largement répandu au Bénin et au Togo, comme dans le célèbre marché des féticheurs à Lomé. À partir du… … Wikipédia en Français
Vodou — Yon gwo seremoni lwa yon bòkò òganize e dirije pandan plizyè jou pou bay lwa yo glwa pou sa yo fè pou tout pitit fèy yo. Tout pitit fèy fèt pou patisipe nan seremoni sa a pou peye yon pati nan dèt yo. Gen plizyè ti seremoni nan yon vodou pou tout … Definisyon 2500 mo Kreyòl
Vodou — vodoo, vodun, or vodoun may refer to any of: *West African vodun, a west African religion *Haitian vodou, mostly derived from west African vodon *Louisiana Voodoo, derived from west African vodun *Candomble Jeje, in Brazil, derived from west… … Wikipedia
vodou — variant of voodoo … New Collegiate Dictionary
Vodou — Also Vodu, Vodun, Vudu, and similar. Various related forms of animist ancestor veneration and possession cult that originated in West and Central Africa and evolved by integrating elements derived from Christianity in the Caribbean and its… … Historical dictionary of shamanism
vodou — (VOO doo) [West Indies Creole, from West African] A folk religion of the West Indies, especially Haiti, that combines African beliefs and superstitions with elements of Roman Catholicism. Derived from Dahoman slaves, voodoo rituals include… … Dictionary of foreign words and phrases
Vodou Adjae — Infobox Album Name = Vodou Adjae Type = studio Artist = Boukman Eksperyans Released = 1991 Recorded = Genre = World Length = Label = Mango Producer = Reviews = Last album = This album = Next album = Vodou Adjae is the first album of the Haitian… … Wikipedia