Loa: Agwe

AGWE

The god of the sea and of both plant and animal sea-life as well as the patron deity of sailors and fishermen.

Other names:

  • GoueAgoueh, or Agive.

Patronage:

  • Sea, river, fishermen, sailors, sea captains, pirates, Thursday, ships, boats, wind, waves, sea travellers

Family

  • He is married to Erzulie Freda and La Sirene

Offerings:

Small offerings to Agwe are poured or dropped overboard in deep ocean water. Large offerings to Agwe are left on constructed rafts (barques d’Agwe) which are floated or towed out to sea. If the raft sinks, it is accepted; if it returns to shore it is rejected. After the offering is left, the supplicants cannot look back at that place or it will anger Agwe. Chevals must be prevented from falling or leaping into the sea and drowning, as it would offend Agwe. Nothing toxic (lead pipes, cement bags, garbage) must be used to weigh down the raft; if it will hurt or pollute the sea, it will anger Agwe.

His offerings include:

  • Beverages: champagne, naval rum, or anisette. Coffee with sugar and cream.
  • Items: mirrors, a telescope, toy ships or scale ship models, oars or paddles, sea shells, turquoise beads or jewelry, fish-shaped sculptures or jewelry, fish hooks and nets, nautical uniforms or medals.
  • Food: Savoury exotic foods, melon, boiled cornmeal, rice cooked in coconut milk, rice cooked with lima beans, boiled or fried ripe bananas, white cake, cane syrup, almond oil, olive oil.
  • Sacrificial Animals: White roosters, male ducks, and white rams or goats whose wool has been dyed with indigo. They are afterwards prepared, cooked, and then placed in serving dishes or on plates as a sacrifice (as King of the Seas, he doesn’t get hot food at home).

He is rarely offered seafood. If it is offered (perhaps to celebrate a bountiful year, good fortune, or a joyous occasion) it must be prepared and then cooked in a pan or oven. Then (to be fit for the table of the King of the Sea) it must be served on a white china dish with blue patterns.

His colours are blue, white, and occasionally sea-green or brown.

His symbols are painted shells, painted oars, and sealife like the Seahorse and Starfish.

Veve:

Related image

 

Mythology:

Agwe taught humans how to fish and build boats.

Agwe lives in a sprawling plantation under the sea and is one of the husbands of the love goddess Erzulie.

Agwe is green-eyed and dresses like a naval officer. Agwe’s subordinate water deities include: Adjassou the goddess of spring-water; Labaleen the goddess of whales and Clermeil the river-god who was responsible for floods. Mamiwata was originally Agwe’s wife and a co-ruler of the sea but later she was conflated with Erzulie.

 


Source:

 

  1. THE TOP ELEVEN DEITIES IN VOODOO MYTHOLOGY
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agw%C3%A9
  3. Leah Gordon (1985), The Book of Vodou

 


Questions?

What is a Veve?

Veve (spelled Vèvè or Vevè) is a religious symbol commonly used in different branches of voodoo throughout the African diaspora such as Voodoo and is different than the petipembas used in Palo or ponto riscados used in Quimbanda since they are all separate African religions. It acts as a “beacon” for the Loa, and will serve as a loa’s representation during rituals.

 

What are Rada Lwa?

Rada Loa/Lwa, or spirits who come out of the rites of the old kingdom of Dahomey (present Nigeria, Benin and Togo), generally considered to be benevolent and sweet (dous).(4)