The Beliefs of Voodooists and Their Voduns

Voodooists believe in an unknowable Supreme Creator, called Bondye (derived from the French word Bon Dieu which means the “good god”) who does not intercede in human affairs.

Voodooists direct their worship towards spirits called Loa. To understand voodoo divinities one would have to start by understanding the Congolese word “Loa” which represents spirit.

These spirits have the power to modify the destiny of humans by modifying the forces of nature. They are often offered animal sacrifices, offerings, dances and music. They are the spirits of good and bad.

Mawu is the creator goddess and twin sister- wife of the male god Lisa.  Both are children of Nana Buluku, the female Supreme Being in the West Africa traditional religion. From Mawu and Lisa were born fourteen children with supernatural powers. These children are referred as the subordinate gods.

Examples of Voduns and their Representation

Sakpata also known as Sapona is the vodun of smallpox in the Yoruba religion. He is also the King of the Earth who provides grains to feed the people. He is feared because he has the power to inflict and cure skin diseases. He is the eldest son of Mawu and is symbolized with a scissors, chain, smallpox, red, black and white spots.

Agbe also known as Hu is referred to as the vodun of the sea. He is represented with a serpent. One of his powerful children is Dan Toxosu .

Ogun is the vodun of iron and war. He is the traditional deity of warriors, hunters, drivers, technologists, blacksmiths, etc. Drivers carry an amulet of ogun to prevent accident.  He is represented with iron, dog and palm frond.

Age is the vodun of agriculture and forests. He is the fifth son of Mawu who reigns over animals and birds. He is also the vodun of hunting.

Mamiwata is the goddess of the sea. She loves luxury and her followers are the most beautiful and best dressed. They wear only white.

Jo is the vodun of air. He is characterized by the invisible and gives the breath of life.

Legba is the vodun of the unpredictable. He barely received any gift as everything was shared among his elder siblings. He is considered the town protector but only if offerings are first made to him. He is often jealous and is responsible for accidents and tragedies.

Xeviosso is the vodun of the sky. He is Mawu’s second son who manifests in thunder and lightning. He is considered the vodun of justice who punishes criminals and evil people. Agbe, Badé and Sogbo are all the voices of Hévioso. He speaks through them.

Ayida Weddo is the vodun of rainbow, lightning, wind, water and fertility. She manifests herself as a Rainbow Snake and receives orders from Badé. Her colors are white and blue and just like her companion Damballah she expresses the beginning and infinite succession of worlds and creatures created by Mawu-Lisa.

Abiku is a god benefactor for the abnormal children. His favorite place is the forest. He automatically defends all children born after several miscarriages or deaths of their elder siblings by binding them to their deceased siblings.

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