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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 3338 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 10:59:01 am »










Over the years Haitian Vodou had received a negative reputation by the ignorance of the Americans, Europeans and people throughout the world that were exposed to Haitians.

Missionaries had reported it, but it wasn't until the latter half of the 19th century that a book written in 1886 by Sir Spencer St. Johns, Hayti, or the Black Republic, accused Haitian Vodou practitioners of practicing cannibalism. Throughout the 20th century, Haitian Vodou was depicted by Hollywood as being an evil and menacing religion with spells by witch doctors and tales of zombies. However, by 1950, a film director named Maya Deren did a three-year research project from 1947 to 1950 in which she showed vodou as a religion of beauty and magnificence. She even wrote the book The Divine Horseman, which gives details about the religion.

Though Vodou had a bad reputation in the early half of the 20th century in America and Haiti, by the 1960s Haitians migrating to the United Stated began to grow in greater numbers. Though the practice was acceptable but did not constitute a religion, Haitians began to expose its practice in the larger Haitian communities in New York, Miami, Chicago, and Philadelphia and even in Montreal and Paris. Though Haitians practiced and showed their vodou pride throughout the country and even during Mardi Gras, Haiti did not recognize vodou as a religion until April 4, 2003.

Today Vodou is practiced not only by Haitians, but by Americans and people of many nationalities that are exposed to the Haitian culture. However, because of the demand some impose on vodou, high priests and priestesses began the abuse of exploiting their clients and asking high monetary funds for work that brings no result. It can be said that the culture of vodou is becoming a dying religion due to the greed of many who practice. It is known that the majority of Haitians involved in the practice have been initiated to become a Houngan or Mambo. In Haiti, a houngan or mambo is considered a person of possible high power and status who can make a significant amount of money. It's a growing occupation in Haiti that attracts many impoverished citizen to practice this field, not only to have power but to have money as well. Many vodou practitioners with a hunger to live a life of money and power go into this field to exploit foreigners and Haitians who are uneducated about vodou into their web of scams to collect many monetary funds with exchange of poor quality work.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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