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#3572: A reply to Settle : Grey replies


<< Useless to say that I am the first one to tell them: "pa palé, mandé yo 
 ti tchotcho, ou konnen blan sé kokoyé" (Stop complaining, make them pay 
 they don't understand). >>

This is an incorrect translation of a racist statement.  Actually, I say 
again, admission is NEVER charged at a Vodou service.  If the Houngan or 
Mambo running the service wishes to extend hospitality to the visiting 
foreigners, that is their privilege.  And as I have said before, it is 
customary for well-to-do guests of whatever color or nationality or standing 
in the Vodou religion to bring gifts, for example candles or a bottle of rum, 
or a gallon of clairin, or whatever.

Even I, a Mambo asogwe of ten years standing, although I am frequently an 
invited guest at the peristyles of other Houngans and Mambos, bring gifts of 
rum or mouchoirs or decorated bottles of the sort used in Vodou services 
anyway.  I think that instead of declaring that "blan se kokoye" and 
demanding money, it would be more appropriate to *politely* explain to 
visitors that it is appropriate for them to make a gift to the house.  That 
way no one's feelings are hurt, and it is made clear that it is the *economic 
standing* of the guest and not their color or nationality which makes it 
appropriate for them to give something.

When I run a kanzo ceremony in Haiti, of course initiates pay.  Sometimes 
people want to come and observe but not participate.  They pay observer fees, 
because I have to feed, house, and generally care for them just like everyone 
else.  Media people, television crews and so on, likewise are asked to pay a 
fee.  Photographers with long careers in Haiti, most recently Chantal 
Regnault who attended a part of our last kanzo, are permitted and even 
encouraged to photograph what they wish, free of charge, because these 
individuals are making a valuable contribution in their own right.

Peace and love,

Bon Mambo Racine Sans Bout Sa Te La Daginen

"Se bon ki ra", 
     Good is rare - Haitian Proverb

The VODOU Page - <A HREF="http://members.aol.com/racine125/index.html">http://