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7203: Re: 7187: SCHOLARS AND VODOUN, BEBE QUESTIONS. (fwd)
To Kosanba Members and others,
I was quite impressed (should I say honored?) by the list of scholars that
constitute this academic association for the study of Haitian Vodun/Vodou.
Knowing that I can be very repetitive, well I guess because I don't feel I
ever got an answer… I shall address my questions to those scholars who belong
to the list.
I do appreciate those who study Vodoun but the first question coming to my
mind is why?
- Is it purely for ones own intellectual satisfaction?
- Is it purely for ones own professional activity?
In any case, everyone has to refer to the sources. Everyone benefits from the
tradition that his or her Haitian brothers and sisters have preserved for
What do those receive in return? Tou le jou kuiye al kay ganmel, ki le gamel
pral kay kuiye? Everyday the sun rises, hundred of anthropologists,
ethnologists, priests, pastors and simply curious individuals roam around the
country, visit our hounfo, ask hundreds of questions to pick up valuable
knowledge and to bring it back to their respective institutions. When will
they understand that Vodoun also needs help, needs their help to form a more
No one can say that the hounfo they have visited are abundant in material
wealth. Some of those, particularly in the North, who were built before or at
the beginning of our Independence are falling apart, no one seems to care but
those, descendants of the original owner. They cling to their extraordinary
past with total dedication, often in subhuman conditions.
I, personally, think that those who have the chance to live in the "land of
milk and honey" cannot stay indifferent to the conditions of Vodoun and
Vodouists in Haiti. Intellectuals are badly needed to search for methods that
could improve all conditions of Vodouists, to restore respect and see that
new laws are passed in their favor.
We are all responsible for the birth of a new era of peace and harmony in
Haiti for the benefits of all of us.
Bebe Pierre Louis
Note: I am not indifferent to the work of Patti Harris from the University of
Oklahoma, among very very few others, who, in her case, is going back to
Dereal, ancient hounfo that has been totally restored by the enormous efforts
of ONE of the lakou inheritors.