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Eyeing Tourism, Haiti Battles Its Violent Reputation - HISTORY


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Author Topic: Eyeing Tourism, Haiti Battles Its Violent Reputation - HISTORY  (Read 3744 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 10:54:34 am »









The majority of the Africans who were brought as slaves to Haiti were from Western and Central Africa. The Vodoun practitioners brought over and enslaved in the United States primarily descend from the Ewe, Anlo-Ewe, and other West African groups.

The survival of the belief systems in the New World is remarkable, although the traditions have changed with time and have even taken on some Catholic forms of worship. One of the largest differences, however, between African and Haitian Vodou is that the transplanted Africans of Haiti were obliged to disguise their loa (sometimes spelled lwa) or spirits as Roman Catholic saints, an element of a process called syncretism.

Roman Catholicism was mixed into the religion to hide their "pagan" religion from their masters, who had forbidden them to practice it. Any practitioners caught doing anything outside of the Catholic religion would be subject to execution.

To say that Haitian Vodou is simply a mix of West African religions with a veneer of Roman Catholicism would be correct. To this day, many uneducated Haitians practicing this religion will integrate Roman Catholic practices by including their prayers in the ceremony.

Throughout the history of the island from the day of independence of 1804 to the present, missionaries repeatedly came over to the island to convert the Haitians back to the Christian religion into which they were forced. This has set many Haitians to project vodou as an evil religion, from the influence of the missionaries to abusive practitioners who use vodou to persecute. Practitioners want to convince other religious groups in the Haitian Islands that their religion involves God as much as Christianity.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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