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Vodun, oil on canvas / 118 x 90 cm – 46.6 x 35.4 in / 2004 – Sold

Voodoo is a traditional spirituality developed by the Fon of Benin.

Vodun is the original Yoruba name, which means « God ». In Fon, it is the name of being between man and God. Among the many legends about the origins of the Yoruba people, one of them says that the Yoruba people come from a line of seven princes, sons of God, since then the spirit of the descending peoples claim to have access to God through Vodun.

The Vodun ceremony or the preparation of initiates to spirituality takes place in the forest. During the ceremony, dances and songs are held so that the creator down on the peoples.

Each tribe has its own spiritual ancestor was one of the seven princes, they all have different clothes, in praise of the ancestor in question. During the ritual, they have preserved the bare shoulders that have to receive the Vodun (symbolic gesture to say that the spirit descend from Heaven). There is no age for initiation, those who have been there longer, teach the tradition to new members.

When European settlers were exposed to the practice, for the first time, they were impressed by the demonstrative scenes of men and women praying, shouting, crying and rolling to the ground after dropping as affected by a weapon fire. The European settlers designated this practice as black magic. The fear of this ritual by this negative image was ingrained in the mentality and even in Africa where it is associated with witchcraft. Despite the centuries and the distance, this spirituality has evolved and has been adapted in certain parts of the World, former colonies and all the Caribbean in general without forgetting Louisiana in the United States of America.

 


Photo : Danses d’Afrique de Michel HUET – Edition du Chêne

Vodun ceremonies
Dahomey (Benin)