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Carga, NOLA Voodoo

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.religion.voodoo,alt.religion.orisha
From: dreadcomber 
Subject: Carga, NOLA Voodoo (was Island of Salvation Botanica ...)
Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 20:45:40 GMT

50011220 VI 

I'm very curious about the rudiments of "New Orleans Voodoo" and how 
this may differ substantially from Haitian and Beninois/Dahomeyan Vodou, 
so please bear with me. I have a feeling that if I get to the bottom of
what is *wrong* (inauthentic, unrelated to Haitian et al, founded on
misconceptions, novel, eclectic), then I'll better understand what is
traditional. :> (Sean Williams):
>> there is no "Proper" way to care for "carga-less" Elegua.
>> You may as well put a canteloupe behind your door and care for 
>> it, the results would be the same!!!!

is carga a kind of plant, or a food mixture, or something else?

> [SGlassman] went further to say that [an Ellegua head on his altar]
> needed [to be] washed every Monday and if I forgot it could do 
> "bad things" to me.

what kinds of things did she say might happen if you forgot? I'd like
to get an idea what negative consequences she may believe are possible
with the lwa, so if she didn't say more what kinds of things have you
heard from New Orleans sources or others about these scary results?

> Okay, I have no problem with New Orleans Voodoo. I have argued in 
> the past that there is no precedent for mixing Lwa with Orisha on 
> altars or in service beyond the 1970's in New Orleans. 

I've been told that New Orleans Voodoo is "eclectic", so mixing of
Lwa, Orisha, and other spirits and gods on an altar is part of this?

> Some Voodoo practitioners have stated or inferred that there is 
> some long standing tradition of doing so which goes back to 1804. 
> This is ridiculous nonsense and I will continue to refute it.

do you know what they are saying their source is for such a claim?

> But! Don't tell someone to put an empty Ellegua head on there 
> Vodou altar. Selling empty Ellegua heads is pushing it as it is.

are the head's contents ever changed in some way? are there different
contents for different aspects of Ellegua or is it always the same?


Newsgroups: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.religion.voodoo,alt.religion.orisha
Subject: Bokor, Makaya, and Djab
From: dreadcomber 
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Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2001 23:50:11 GMT
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50011220 VI

thank you, Mambo Racine, for answering so many of my basic questions
about Vodou. as you suggested, I read through your Vodou Page web site, 
and some items are of interest to me that might not really draw the 
attention of others. I'd like to quote a bit from your site with proper 
attribution and retaining copyright, and follow up with questions:

#	A Makaya priest is called a Bokor, and a priestess is sometimes 
#	referred to as Mambo, sometimes as a sorciere, sorceress. 
#	(The terms bokor and sorciere are considered pejorative in the 
# 	orthodox Vodou, and bokor can also refer to an uninitiated 
#	specialist in malevolent magic, also called malfacteur. Such 
#	individuals are not clergy in any denomination.) The Makaya
#	liturgy is less uniform from peristyle to peristyle than the 
#	orthodox Vodou, and there is a stronger emphasis on magic as 
#	opposed to religion. This rite is present in Port-au-Prince, 
#	and strongly represented in the Artibonite Valley in central 
#	Haiti.)
#		Makaya priest are not forbidden to perform 
#		aggressive magic. 
#		 (c) "Roots Without End", 1991.

is there some reason that Makaya priests are given liberty to perform 
aggressive magic? does the Makaya Rite somehow tie in with revolutoinary
or aggressive political activities which require less uniformity and focus
more on getting to the desires of the worshippers?

when you say that these terms are pejorative, what do they imply about the 
bokor or sorciere which is not very pleasant? 

#	Part 3 - Lwa who are not lwa, who are called 'dajb' instead
#	The Haitian Creole word djab is derived from the French word 
#	diable, meaning devil, but the term in the context of Haitian 
#	Vodou carries a different connotation.
#	Certain lwa are individualistic and unique, served by only one 
#	individual, sometimes a Houngan or Mambo, and considered to be
#	almost that individual's personal property. These lwa do not fit 
#	easily into the orthodox Vodou liturgy, neither in the Rada nor 
#	in the Petro grouping. Such lwa, and even lwa more commonly 
#	served, such as Makaya lwa, are commonly referred to as djab, 
#	but here the translation would perhaps be more accurately
#	given as "wild spirit".
#	The function of these djab is magical as opposed to religious. 
#	A djab is most frequently invoked by a Houngan, Mambo, or
#	Bokor, on behalf of a client, to take aggressive action against 
#	a client's enemy or business competitor. A djab requires payment
#	from the client for it's services, usually in the form of animal 
#	sacrifice on a regularly scheduled basis....
#		 (c) "Roots Without End", 1991.

what circumstances would include a Rada initiate dealing with djab?
would this generally be a Makaya priest? and do these djab have names,
or stories of origin? are they related to 'the wilderness' or to the 
dead or to some aspect of Creation?

#	Certain particularly amoral djabs can be invoked to drain the life
#	energy of a person and effect their demise. When a djab is held 
#	responsible for a person's death, the Creole phrase is not "the
#	djab killed the person", but instead, djab la manje moun nan,
#	"the djab ate the person". This does not mean that the flesh of
#	the person is eaten cannibalistically by the Houngan, Mambo, or 
#	Bokor who undergoes possession by the djab, merely that the djab 
#	has subsumed the person's life force.
#	An orthodox Houngan or Mambo is under oath never to do harm, 
#	therefore invocations of djabs are more frequently attempted 
#	by Bokors. However an orthodox Vodou clergyperson may invoke a 
#	djab and even direct it to kill a person, if the person is a 
#	murderer, a repeat thief, a repeat rapist, and so forth.
#	...a female Petro lwa frequently referred to as a djab, Erzulie 
#	Dantor....
#		 (c) "Roots Without End", 1991.

do lwa ever assist people to die in the same way, when they WANT to go?
that is, rather than amoral murders, what kinds of things can a djab
do that regular lwa cannot, or vice versa? are they different KINDS of 
spirits or is it their wildness and danger that distinguishes the djab 
from other lwa?

#	Erzulie Dantor is a black woman who is represented pictorially 
#	with lithographs of the Roman Catholic "Saint Barbara Africana". 
#	Her tribal scars are evident on her cheek. She is heterosexual 
#	in the sense that she has a child, but she is also the patron 
#	lwa of lesbian women. In addition she is considered to be the 
#	wife of two lwa, Ti-Jean Petro and the very important magical 
#	lwa Simbi Makaya. When she appears at a ceremony through the 
#	mechanism of possession, she speaks a stammering monosyllable, 
#	"ke-ke-ke-ke-ke!" She likes knives, is much feared, and is 
#	considered the protector of both newly consecrated Houngans 
#	and Mambos, and of women who are experiencing domestic violence.
#		 (c) "Roots Without End", 1991.

you mention above that Erzulie Dantor is sometimes considered to be a
djab. are other lwa who are fearsome considered likewise? on the same
"Dark Goddess in Vodou" page quoted above you mention Maman Brigette.
would *she* also be considered a djab by some Vodouisants? where does
one draw the line?

thank you.


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