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Monday 22 December  
Benin voodoo rituals
News Desk's picture
Allada, Benin
Allada, Benin

Benin voodoo to calm evil spirits in Haiti

Published on : 15 January 2010 - 2:20pm | By RNW News Desk
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The devastation of the earthquake in Haiti has left no one indifferent, least of all the people of Benin, an African nation with strong ties to the first black republic of the world.

By Razzack Saïzonou

"We are deeply affected and feel solidarity with our Haitian brothers,'' said an emotional Queen Djehami following Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti. Djehami is the wife of Kpodégbé Toyi Djigla, King of Allada, a town in central Benin and one of the largest kingdoms of the country.

"We are deeply affected, primarily because I am African, but mainly because I am from Allada. There is a sense of desolation at the palace."

During the 16th and 17th centuries, Benin played a key role in the slave trade. Thousands of men and women were uprooted and sold as slaves to work in plantations in Europe, the Caribbean and America. Many of them came from Allada, as did the family of Toussaint L'ouverture, who later founded the Republic of Haiti.

Toussaint L’ouverture (1743-1803), nicknamed the Black Napoleon, was born on a plantation in the French colony of Saint Domingue. He was named Breda after the plantation as was the custom for slaves.

His master, the relatively humane Mr Baillon de Libertat, encouraged Toussaint to learn to read and write, and appointed him as his coachman and then as his foreman. Later Toussaint led a revolution against slavery and Haiti became the first republic to be ruled by leaders with African ancestry.

Apart from the historical ties between Haiti and Benin, the two countries share the religion of their ancestors: voodoo. This religion is central to the worship and traditions of thousands of Haitians and Beninese.

Queen Djehami believes that this week’s earthquake has happened because Haiti’s ancestors failed to carry out sacrifices.

She explains that during his trip to Haiti six years ago, King Kpodégbé had warned the then President of Haiti of the need to organise sacrifices to appease angry spirits and ward off evil ones. His trip was part of bicentenary celebrations marking the death of Toussaint L’ouverture.

Although the Haitian authorities probably didn’t ignore the king’s warning, they did put off organising the rituals. "Haiti is profoundly African and these things should not be underestimated," exclaims Queen Djehami.

"His Majesty the King asked for a number of things to be done when we were there, but his wishes were not met. Was it negligence, was it that nobody believed in it?”

In an outburst of solidarity with the victims of the earthquake, the people of Benin and particularly those of Allada have organised traditional ceremonies to appease the spirits and seek the blessing of their ancestors for the Haitians.

"A purification ceremony is planned for Haiti and a trip to the devastated island is even possible. We will continue to pray that it never happens again," says the Queen of Allada.



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Voodoo 24 January 2012 - 11:59am

voodoo witchcraft upon its people, and should find this revolting. Those who think it's simply a "personal choice of religion" need to be thrown into the middle of this violent against God for even one night and see if they continue to think of voodoo as "just a personal choice.

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Anonymous 14 August 2010 - 6:41pm / Haiti

Check this link out... It'll might help to shed some lights about what Voodoo has caused to Haiti.

Anonymous 14 August 2010 - 6:42pm / Haiti

Check this link out... It'll might help to shed some lights about what Voodoo has caused to Haiti.

jessyca 8 April 2010 - 2:37am / Haiti

Voodoo is a terrorist movement because it involves killing and drinking human blood.

bondye 21 January 2010 - 3:20am

How closed minded and uneducated are you? You absolutely sound like a racist pig. Its the christian morality to push and force and convert souls to their religion. Need I educate you that, Catholicism is a national religion in Haiti because it was "forced" on them and they were "forced" to abandon their family history, what their elders taught them to know and how to worship God Almighty. Check your facts. How immoral are you to be so violent and obviously angry and offended in your comments about a culture you know nothing about. Vodous do worship God, stop watching so much media, check your facts because you sound like a bumbling idiot. Your message only shows you have some deep rooted personal issues that cause you to lash out maliciously on innocent people. I pray for your soul to be healed.

jt 19 January 2010 - 6:54am

How sad and how disgusting that the journalist can simply relate these absolutely pagan and godless thots / ideas / philosophies / RECOMMENDATIONS for God's sake!!!! with what would appear to be not even the blink of the eye under the supposed ?tolerant mindset of "just presenting the facts." Much more likely that their Satanic worship and ritual and rejection of everything that has to do with well as the fact that this "religion" is not only considered but boasted to be the NATIONAL religion!!...has brought down the wrath of God on this nation for the purpose of trying to cleanse this country of this horrendous and absolutely dehumanizing devil worship, or at least give them a wakeup call that this is nothing more than self-destruction at its worst.

And one may post some type of inane drivel in response about "tolerance" or "respecting native religions" or other such PC nonsense. Doesn't matter. Anyone with a remaining moral fiber should be absolutely appalled that a country would choose and basically thereby FORCE voodoo / satanism / devil worship / witchcraft upon its people, and should find this revolting. Those who think it's simply a "personal choice of religion" need to be thrown into the middle of this violent, perverse, abomination against God for even one night (better yet a week or a month), and THEN see if they continue to think of voodoo as "just a personal choice." It's the darkest of the darkest that human nature can descend to. If you haven't experienced it and seen what it does to a human life, then be silent at the least, pray God to deliver them at best.

voodoopaya37 27 March 2010 - 7:01am / u.s.a

an abomination is a religion that would coral human beings into such a disgusting and inhumane system of slavery as occured through the trans-atlantic slave trade in the first place. i dont think that you even have a clue about what you percieve as god or gods way or a knowledge of any religion for that matter. since the god that you refer to isnt yours in the first place but one imposed on your ancestors. worse you dont fully understand it, but pretend outrage in its name. witchcraft? satanism? devil worship? the only place i have seen such things is in the christian west, particularly in america where priest (and protestant ministers) routinely sacrifice children to moloch in the name of jesus. the 'gods' of my ancestors were powerful enough to inspire a successful revolution defeating the most powerful country in the world at the time. they were merciful enough to care for and heal white folks (when white christian doctors condemned them to death) in the u.s. inspite of the ill treatment and theft of the very humanity of the african people by these white monsters. one thing is sure your imagined god can neither help nor hurt. the lwa answers.

babalao 11 May 2010 - 2:45am

Yes! Correct, correct. Everyone commenting on this needs to actually learn something about vodou before handing out their ignorant opinions on the religion.

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