Six Most Feared Sacred Spirits By African Voodoo Believers In South America • illuminaija
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Six Most Feared Sacred Spirits By African Voodoo Believers In South America

   
   

Six Most Feared Sacred Spirits By African Voodoo Believers In South America

The notion of organized religion introduced to Africa is a hot debate. Before the introduction of Islam via traders along the African coast and Christianity through missionaries, Africans practised traditional religions. 

Some continue to practice indigenous religions in conjunction with Christianity and Islam.

One of the most popular religions still practised even today is voodoo. Countries like Benin, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria and the African diaspora including Haiti, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil and America consider voodoo as part of their spiritual existence.

In Haitian and Creole voodoo specifically, there is a unique set of practices and spirits that are followed in the religion.

The Loa or lwa are the spirits served in this religion.  They are also referred to as “mystères” or “the invisibles” and they act as intercessors between Bondye – the supreme creator and humanity.

The Loa which translates into les lois or laws are worshipped and served via food, advice and gifts.

Below is a list of six of the most revered spirits that are sacred to Haitian and African voodoo:

Dambala

The Dambala is a spirit celebrated in Haitian Voudoun and Folk Catholicism.

The Damballa, Damballah or Danbala is considered the initial creator of life and the Sky Father.

He rules over intellect, mind and planetary balance.

   
   

As the serpent spirit, he formulated the cosmos by using 7,000 coils to form the stars, planet, hills and valleys. When he shed his skin, he created all bodies of water on the earth.

Danballa is married to Ayida-Weddo, and Erzulie Freda is his concubine.

Ghede

The Ghede loa are spirits of the deceased that represent death and fertility. They are also called the Gede or Guédé.

They are controlled by La Croix, Samedi, Cimitière, Kriminel and Maman Brigitte.

The Ghede have eclectic personalities such as being sensual, fearless, and boisterous.

When they are combined with additional family members, they can be loud and bad-mannered.

Their customary colors are black and purple.  The Ghede are known to appear when summoned through outrageous acts such as eating glass and raw chillis and anointing their private areas with chilli rum.

Kongo

Six Most Feared Sacred Spirits By African Voodoo Believers In South America

The Kongo Loa is derived from the Congo region of Africa.

The Kongo Loa includes Simbi or Sim’bi which is a family of serpents in Haitian Voudoun. In Congo voodoo, they are mostly linked with water.

The Kongo spirits have unique associations in Haitian Voudoun. The Simbi Makaya is a sorcerer, Simbi Dlo and Simbi d’l’eau are spirits of water, Simbi Anpaka is a Loa of leaves, poisons and plants.

Simbi Andezo and Simbi Makaya are Simbi of two water.

Lastly, there is the Gran Simba.

The Marinette is a woman Loa and she represents power and violence.

Nago

The Nago Loa originates from Yorubaland which encompasses Benin, Nigeria and Togo.

Inhabitants of the aforementioned worship Ogun.

Ogun is an Orisha and embodies the spirit of a warrior, metalwork, rum and rum making.  He is otherwise known as the god of iron.   

Sacrifices of male animals can be made to Ogun and he is fed Acaçá; a ritual meal made of mashed corn steamed in banana leaves. 

Another option of a meal prepared for Ogun is a stew including beans, beef and pork.

In Haitian Voudoun, Ogun is called Ogou. One of his duties is to guard the sacred altar of the Vodoun temple.

Petro

Six Most Feared Sacred Spirits By African Voodoo Believers In South America

The Petro, Petwo or Pethro Loa emerged during slavery in Haitian Voudoun.

Petro spirits are used in black magic as they are thought to be demonic or angry.

During rites or rituals including Petro, ignited gunpowder, whistles and whip-cracking are incorporated.

The Danto is the mother figure of the Petro who is characterized as a strong figure.  Danto’s sister Freda is characterized as gentle and soft.

Petro rites are used in the Kanzo ceremony; an event in which priests (houngans) and priestesses (mambos) are initiated.

   
   

Rada

The Rada Loa are older guardian spirits of morals and principles. They are derived from the Dahomey or Benin Voodoo.

The Rada is synonyms with the Arará; a religion practised by a minority group in Cuba with Fon, Ewe, Popo and Mahi tribal backgrounds.

Some Rada Loa are Legba, Loco, Ayizan, Anaisa Pye, Damballa, Ayida-Weddo, Erzulie and Agwé.

   
   

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