[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

7827: Re: 7709: Racine's version of Vodou-Dorce comments (fwd)

From: LAKAT47@aol.com

Racine says:
"My husband says, my husband says...."  We have heard over and over what a 
wonderful, charming, amazingly talented, sexy, spiritually pure paragon of a 
person your husband is, but is your husband a Houngan?  Is he even kanzo?
Though I never mentioned animal magnetism, it seems you have endowed my 
husband with same.  He will be pleased to hear that.  Perhaps you have met 
him?  He is NOT an Oungan nor is he kanzo.  I thought I made myself clear 
that he represents a large segment of the Haitian population who practice 
Vodou without the intercession of an Oungan, Manbo or peristyle.  It seems 
you give no respect to these Vodouisants who have no need of your services 
(sad for you.....no money) but instead honor and serve the lwa as their 
parents, grandparents and so on, have done for many, many years, privately 
and powerfully and in a constant, daily fashion.  This is a religion that is 
with them all the time, not just in a Sunday-go-to-meeting kind of way.  You 
seem to be saying that he has no credibility unless he has bought his way to 
a title in the so called hierarchy of Vodou.  He comes by his knowledge, 
which I would put up against anyone's, by way of inheritance.  If anyone's 
claim to the truth about what Vodou is is suspect, I would say it would be 
the person who came to the culture late in life, after having known other 
ways, and spends money to hold a position in the so called hierarchy.  I do 
not know or care if you and those like you have received a calling from the 
lwa to serve.  If you have, and are happy, then it is good.  However, for you 
to hold yourself as a paragon of knowledge and the teller of the truth about 
Vodou, is not good at all.  With all due respect, you would do better for 
yourself and everyone you wish to reach, to speak of Vodou in terms of your 
own experience and not as an expert in the field. 

It is standard operating procedure in Vodou, sorry to inform you.  I didn't 
make up this religion, I found it that way.  Attempts to impose the 
value system on Vodou are culturally arrogant.
I will resist the temptation to correct you on exactly what is culturally 
arrogant in this exchange, I am content others know as well.  You need to 
accept that your knowledge comes from a limited source and they have a 
motivation to teach you in a certain way.  One person, or two or even a dozen 
people, Oungans or otherwise, cannot tell anyone what Vodou is and how you do 
it.  They can say how they were taught and how THEY practice it, but it is 
not uniform throughout the country, although it is surprising for a religion 
with little or no dogma to be as consistent as it is!  
Vodou is DIFFERENT from Christianity - why should it not be?  When the 
Africans of the late 1700's sent their neighbors into slavery in Haiti, they 
felt justified in doing so, and when the Africans in Haiti in the late 1700's 
invoked the lwa against the French, they also felt justified in doing so.  
Vodou is about power, not about morality in the Christian sense.
God has been the driving force in many wars and exterminations in World 
history; the Crusaders felt justified in killing those who did not believe in 
Christ, so I fail to see your point here.  One of the main purposes of 
religion is to regulate the behavior of society.  This promotes order and 
peace.  So there is right and wrong behavior in all religions, even though 
these values differ.  There is reward for doing the right thing and 
punishment for doing wrong.    

Vodou is a living religion and as such has evolved since being brought to 
Haiti by way of Africa.  The French Catholics first influenced the way Vodou 
is practiced to make it Haiti's uniquely.  Possibly American missionaries 
have inadvertently influenced Vodou as well through the years.  Haitians are 
clever, and adaptable to the foreign cultures they are sometimes forced to 
endure.  It's fluidity is another reason it is impossible for you or anyone 
to say with a certainty that there is one way in Vodou and that is through 
the Oungan or Manbo.  

I wish to say one more thing.  I do not care how anyone worships or if they 
worship at all.  But I feel compelled to respond to Racine's posts when she 
sets herself up as an authority on Vodou.  Many people on this list and on 
others that I post to about Haiti are fully capable of figuring out what is 
valid and what is not about what Racine says is the truth.  However, there 
are many more, including Haitians, who despite being born in Haiti and 
growing up there, have no idea what Vodou really is other than something to 
be ashamed of as it may identify one as primitive and not sophisticated and 
worldly (I am smiling here...).  For those people and interested foreigners, 
I would say, if ANYONE tells you they know the truth or the one way about 
Vodou, look at them with jaundiced eye.  If you ask a Haitian Vodouisant, 
chances are, they will tell you what they think you want to hear.  The artist 
doesn't even tell me everything he knows.  


Kathy Dorce~