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6830: Re: 6814: Re: Talking about Vodou (fwd)

From: Sarah Belfort <sbelfort@haitiworld.com>

> It would seem to me that the attitude in Vodou
> towards homosexuality would mirror society's
> attitiude -- particularly because Vodou becomes
> a repository for experience, history, and politics --

I can't and won't claim to be an expert on vodou but it does seem that vodou
allows more room for individual expression and acceptance and opportunity,
within its own space, than society at large does.  Religion has an
interesting relationship with culture, and each informs the other, but they
are not the same.  It is true that the way religion is practised can be
influenced by changes in society.  For example we see more women pastors in
the United States now than we did before the feminist movement.  However I
would argue that the underground nature of vodou, from its very origins in
Haiti to the present day, makes it a unique case.  Just look at the
existence of mambos and the respect accorded to them.  Now look at the
numbers of women leaders in business and politics.  See a difference?

I suspect that vodou has in a sense preserved some of the original
characteristics of African religion and culture, while the rest of society,
through more direct contact with European (and now American and Latin
American) cultures, has adopted many of their attributes [not necessarily by
choice].  I'd be interested in comments, especially from any anthropologists
out there.