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TOPIC: Discussing the religion of voodoo

Discussing the religion of voodoo 4 years 2 months ago #1260

  • Frenchy
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I would like to discuss voodoo – such an ambiguous religion, well-known mostly because of Hollywood movies and became something odious and horrible due to them, and, probably, the most famous religion of Africa.

It exists in coastal West Africa from Ghana to Nigeria and practices by different local groups of people. From Benin (former Dahomeya) voodoo expanded to Haiti with slaves. There, it became one of the official religions, however, not all are supporters, and protests against it happened too. Later, voodoo became one of the Haitian “brand”, however, those rituals were only kind of show for tourists, and were not related to the real voodoo magic.

It is known that supplying the slaves from Africa was a profitable “business”, in which African coastal tribes participated themselves. Some expert thinks that delivering the slaves through ocean without fear of rebellion was possible only with their preliminary sedation by special “powder”, which is also using for making zombies from people by voodoo magician called bokor. The ingredients of this powder were researched, and it contains very powerful poison similar to poison of puffer fish, causing paralysis such as coma, however, the person is still able to understand the reality. Stories of zombies, the living dead, beings deprived of memory and will submissive, by popularity may compete with stories about vampires.

As for me, I support the opinion, that magic of voodoo can work only for people lived with that from birth, and surrounded by this atmosphere. Somewhere I read - it is same, like the attempt to murder the Western anthropologist and aborigine by aboriginal “magician” in Australia through pointing on them by the “magic” stick made from bone of lizard – aborigine immediately falls on grownd and later dies from own horror. What about the Western anthropologist? He only sees “magician” - half-naked aboriginal man, waving by bone and muttering something. Moreover – if people don’t believe in any of black magic, I am sure, it will never work, even if it is something like “horrible” voodoo magic.
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Discussing the religion of voodoo 3 years 10 months ago #2420

  • Ruby
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To me voodoo is not really a religion but some tribal ceremonies, some king of pagan beliefs. Zombies, living dead and other things of voodoo are just creation of man’s mind not from God. And of course magic has nothing to do with real miracles that God works in people’s lives every day. However it is a source of income for those who exploit it to gain money from tourists, they will pay anything, because they are on holidays and have come to have fun! All the dolls, when people put needles to hurt a real person- would God approve such practices? It is hard to believe! And any black magic is against everything that God teaches. It only draws people away from God, unfortunately some people really don’t see it. And if they do, it happens when it is too late. I don’t think that people who perform rituals of voodoo are communicating with God, because God and magic are different things! Especially when harm to others is involved. Love your neighbour as yourself! An nobody wouldn’t like to be hurt himself or herself, why the is it necessary to do it to others? What goes around comes around! Remember it and think about your actions, don’t just follow your desires, life is a boomerang!
Love and be loved!
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Discussing the religion of voodoo 3 years 10 months ago #2455

  • TurtleIsland
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The first associations, which come in my head, when I hear the word Voodoo are scary dolls, sticky zombies and of course sounds of popular song “Voodoo people, magic people”. :silly: The last association is the most pleasant one B)
This is really interesting for me to know, what exactly it is: religion, pure evil or scary fairy tale.
Look, what I have found about it. Wiki says Voodoo is a religion, very popular in West Africa, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and USA state Louisiana. I do not think I would like to visit these places in the near future :) It has several major schools and is called also vodou, vudun, vodoun or vodun. It is believed to have started in Haiti in 1724 as a snake cult. Nowadays it is practised by more than 80 million people. The practises were intermingled with many Catholic rituals and saints. Voodoo rituals are complicated, steeped in secret languages and special diets eaten by the voodoo priests and priestesses.
Voodoo beliefs are very different. It depends on kind of school and its location.
Voodoo believers in West Africa trust in a supreme being called Bondye, their god is associated with the Christian god like in the Bible. Other schools of voodoo do not believe in a supreme being at all. The common thing for all Voodoo schools is interacting with little spirits. They usually call them “miste” and “loa”. There are a lot of different groups of these spirits and each of them has his own personal name as well. Each one of these spirits is responsible for a specific field: love, health, money, weather and so on. Sometime for helping human affairs these spirits can manifest themselves by possessing the bodies of their worshipers.
Followers of Voodoo religion believe in a universal energy and a soul that can leave the body during dreams and spirit possession. Possession by a little spirit is desired and expected event. It is considered a wonderful, first-hand spiritual experience and valuable connection with the spirit world.
Some practitioners of voodoo use religious amulets believed to ward off evil spirits, other have voodoo queens, female leaders priestesses, managing all religious activities in their community. In some voodoo communities priests and priestesses have a main role as intermediaries with spirits.
Voodoo dolls we usually see in scary movies came from an African folk magic. Actually its name is “Hoodoo”, not the “Voodoo”. Traditionally these horror dollies were created for representing some person, who had to get the curse during mysterious ceremony. Basic materials for these doll are: trees, old clothes, potatoes and corn shafts. Actually not every Voodoo schools use them.
Speaking about zombies, they are considered as victims, not the aggressors. Zombies are people brought back from the dead with help of Voodoo magic by priests called bokors. Zombification was done as punishment and for fearing disobedient community residents, showing that they could be abused even after death. Besides, zombies were used as slaves on the plantations. But of course, evidence of the zombie-filled farms was ever found.
The voodoo reputation is very influenced with movies and fiction stories. The real voodoo religion is not so bloody and scary as it is shown by Hollywood. Voodoo has become one of the basic attractions of the New Orleans tourism. It is built a whole industry with Voodoo tours, exhibits, museums and countless shops with a staff made in China. It is nothing personal, just business. B)
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