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#2824: Polish presence in Haiti and Ezili Danto : Bellegarde-Smith replies

From: P D Bellegarde-Smith <pbs@csd.uwm.edu>

The Vergin of C., the patron of Poland is also black-skinned, just as one
find other black or brown-skinned Vergins in Cuba (Caridad del Cobre) and
Brazil (Aparecida) and Mexico (de Guadaloupe), all patron saints. The
Church made an effort to satisfy the "natives" they had conquered, by
giving in on issues of female divinity/deity and "recognized" that their
conquered subjects were not white. The Ezilis are water goddesses from the
Fon people in West Africa. The Polish vergin, furthermore, exhibits these
"elas," of identifying marks, the apanage of ethnic markings in that part
of Africa. The number is "three" on each cheek. Indeed, the Polish
mercenaries that requested permission to remain in Haiti after
independence may be the ones who introduced the lithograph to the country.
In Yoruba land, she is Yemoja (Cuba's Yemaya and Brazil's Iemanja). Most
importantly, Danto is represented in the dark blue band of the national
flag, the red is Ogou. These are the two deities that presided over the
wars of independence.
			P. Bellegarde-Smith PhD
			University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee