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#3612: Does this sound like the lwa Baron to you? (fwd)
"Does this sound like the lwa Baron to you?"
I suppose what is meant is Bawon and my answer is yes. There are many
different Bawons in Vodou: Bawon Simityè, Bawon Samdi, Bawon Lakwa, Vyè
Bawon, Bawon Vulgè, Bawon Loran, Bawon Ravaj, Bawon set Kafou, Bawon Gran Bwa
also called Baron Kara and probably some more that I don't know or don't even
Some of them are grave and do not really speak, others are quite loquacious.
I do not comprehend how a few lines can allow anyone to judge the veracity of
a trance or possession. Likewise, what does the statement: "I note that Le
Peristyle Haitian Sanctuary does not have even one Haitian living in it"
means? As I understand the famous or unfamous Manbo Angela practices Haitian
Vodou and she should be free to call her temple as she likes. The Haitian
Sanctuary is a place where Haitian Lwas reside and are served; I don't know
of any sanctuary for human beings. Is it better or worst not to have any
Haitian in a temple in the United States or for a foreigner to claim
possession of a temple in Haiti, which in reality belongs to a Haitian?
Crusades to "unmask charlatans and frauds" have been launched in Haiti many
times in the past but they were usually instigated by Christians zealots. It
has been largely demonstrated that Vodou has the propensity to uproot its own
bad weeds by itself in due time.
Does the "interview with the lwa Gran Bwa" sounds more genuine to me?
The answer is no. I suppose the reference here is to Mèt Gran Bwa Ilé, the
Lwa who ordains.
Also known as Boumba Maza, Gangan Louvemba or Louvenkou Maza, Mèt Gran Bwa
Ilé is the most revered and sacred Lwa of Vodou. His ceremony which is not
really a ceremony but rather the time of culmination in the spiritual journey
of a candidate to priesthood is supposed to be most SECRET. Gran Bwa is
solemn, austere, dignified and undeniably not a joker. He does not give
interviews but asks questions, the answers of which determine whether the
candidate is qualified or not to become Guardian of the Ancestral Tradition.
It also establishes whether a candidate will or will not be given the secret
of the ason and the gift of the eyes.
Reading the description made of him can only leave one mystified because the
lwa described acts and looks more like a inconsequential Gédé. His language
and the allusion to the word "bwa" as a penis, which is ordinarily done in
vulgar creole, couldn't come from Mèt Gran Bwa Ilé who has nothing to do with
In the Dogon society of Mali, the Grand Masque is also called Grand Bois and
like in Haiti, he symbolizes the first mythical ancestor. In the prayers
addressed to him by the Dogons, they say that his words are the words of
Mouno. In Haiti, we too sing: "Gran Bwa, sé gran mouno" (Gran Bwa sé gwo
pawol - mouno being a "langaj" word with its own meaning).
To denounce bogus this or that is frivolous in my opinion. Vodou has survived
the transatlantic trade, all the persecutions during slavery by the Spaniards
and the French and has resurrected in the New World. The primordial Ginen can
be recreated anywhere around the World but it takes dedication, solidarity
and humility. Vodou has never engaged in any type of war open or covert. All
Vodouists see themselves as part of a large family. That is the reason why
all ceremonies start with the song: "La fanmi sanblé, di yo nou la é" (we all
gather as a family - the chorus answers like the e pluribus unum of the
United States - we are all here as one).
Bébé Pierre Louis