Topic: What is the significance of Voodoo From: Maiysha Johnson

Topic: What is the significance of Voodoo
Dr. Amos M.D.Sirleaf (Ph.D.)
Strayer University P.G. Campus
What is the meaning of Voodoo?
• The word Voodoo means “Spirit”.
• A person who practices Voodoo
communicates with spirits. This is also, BlackAfrican’s Scientific, Tradition, Cultural
Agwe: spirit of the sea
Aida Wedo: rainbow spirit
Ayza: protector
Baka: an evil spirit who takes the form of an
Baron Samedi: guardian of the grave
Dambala (or Damballah-wedo): serpent spirit
Erinle: spirit of the forest
Ezili (or Erulie): female spirit of love
Spirits continued…..
Mawu Lisa: spirit of creation
Ogou Balanjo: spirit of healing
Ogun (or Ogu Bodagris): spirit of war
Osun: spirit of healing streams
Sango (or Shango): spirit of storms
Yemanja: female spirit of water
Zaka: (or Oko): spirit of agriculture
Magic: spirit of spells
History of Voodoo
• Voodoo is a religion originated in West Africa.
• Voodoo was brought to Haiti by slaves.
• Most aspects of the religion are positive and it
affects all aspects of a person’s life, such as
mortality, economics, relationship and health
• Vodun is another word for Voodoo.
• Vodun means “spirit”.
History continued……
• Vodun can be traced back to the Yoruba people of
West Africa.
• Vodun was suppressed during colonial times. White
people destroyed the Black African believes systems,
and utilized it for themselves.
• Many priest were killed or imprisoned, and their
shrines destroyed, because of the threat they posed to
• Vodun has been freely practiced in Benin since a
democratic government was installed in 1989.
• Vodun is the official religion of Benin starting in Feb
What are the beliefs of Vodun?
• Vodun practioners worship the Loa (spirit).
• The word Loa means “mystery” in the Yoruba language.
• Yoruba’s believe in a chief god named Olorun, and a
lesser god names Obatala.
• Vodun believes in a higher power just as the Roman
• The Loa’s (spirits) resemble Christian Saints.
• Vodun believes in the afterlife.
• Gros bon ange meaning “big guardian angel”.
• Ti bon ange meaning “ little guardian angel.
Voodoo Rituals and Ceremonies
Purpose to make contact with spirits.
Escape bad fortune.
Celebrate healing, birth, marriage, and death.
Voodoo priest are both male and female.
Male ( hungan).
Female (mambo).
Voodoo temple (humfort).
Components of a Ritual or Ceremony
• A feast
• Creation of veve (pattern of cornmeal of flour to
represent the loa)
• Shaking of rattle, beating of drums.
• Chanting.
• Dancing by the houngan or mambo and hounsis.
• Animal sacrifices (goat, sheep, chicken, or dog).
• Individual possession.
Where is Voodoo practiced
Central North and South America
New Orleans
New York City
Demystifying the beliefs about Voodoo
• All Voodoos are not evil. Like the Bible, you can
use it to your benefits
• Voodoo dolls are evil ( not heard of in the original
Voodoo in Haiti).
• Human sacrifice (goes against Voodoo moral
• Voodoo is not sorcery, but a religion.
• Voodoo is only practiced for evil, no Voodoo is a
active energy.
• Black Magic ( depends on the person’s intent).
• In conclusion Voodoo is another form of
Spirituality, religion, Meditation, that holds a
significant purpose in today’s society. Whether
or not one chooses to believe it represents
good or evil is a personal decision one must
make for themselves. All things are relatively
evil or all things are relatively good. From a
personal perspective, Voodoo is a spiritually
necessary practice…
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