Haitian Vodou (//, French: [vodu], also written as Voodoo //; Vodun, or Vodoun //, etc.) is a syncretic religion practiced chiefly in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Practitioners are called "vodouists" (French: vodouisants [voduisɑ̃]) or "servants of the spirits" (Haitian Creole: sèvitè).
Vodouists believe in a distant and unknowable creator god, Bondye. As Bondye does not intercede in human affairs, vodouists direct their worship toward spirits subservient to Bondye, called loa. Every loa is responsible for a particular aspect of life, with the dynamic and changing personalities of each loa reflecting the many possibilities inherent to the aspects of life over which they preside. In order to navigate daily life, vodouists cultivate personal relationships with the loa through the presentation of offerings, the creation of personal altars and devotional objects, and participation in elaborate ceremonies of music, dance, and spirit possession.
Homosexuality in Haitian Vodou is religiously acceptable and homosexuals are allowed to participate in all religious activities.]citation needed[ However, in countries with large Vodou populations (such as Benin, Togo or Haiti), some Christian influence may have given homosexuality a social stigma (see homosexuality and Christianity), at least on some levels of society.]citation needed[ Haitian Vodou itself has remained open to people of all sexual orientations.]citation needed[
Vodou is an ancestral religion, and viewed by some Western anthropologists as an ecstatic religion. It is not a fertility-based religion]citation needed[ (see Fertility rites). This means that the majority of its members are not required by any religious law to reproduce, and homosexuals are not pressured to do so.]citation needed[ Haitian Vodou views sexual orientation as a part of the way God makes a person; homosexuals are free to pursue members of the same sex just as heterosexuals are free to pursue members of the opposite sex.
In Haiti, Vodou ceremonies and drumming are inextricably linked. While drumming does exist in other contexts in the country, by far the richest traditions come from this distinctly Haitian religion. As such, before one can come to play, appreciate, and understand this music one should view it in its religious context. Haitian Vodou (sometimes referred to as Vodon) is a henotheistic religion, although viewed by many Haitians as a cultural practice, widely practiced in the country of Haiti. Vodou as practiced in urban centres in Haiti and some cities in North America (especially New Orleans) is a ritualistic faith system that involves ceremonies that consist of singing, drumming and dancing. While certain aspects of this religion may share the same roots, it is completely contrary to the stereotype of black magic, witch doctors, pins in dolls, and zombies portrayed by New Orleans style Voodoo (a bastardization of the name).
The many thousands of African slaves who were transported to Haiti in the 17th and 18th century were forbidden to practice their animistic religions and were forced to accept the Catholic Church. Over time, they disguised their belief in many gods or spirits by assigning Catholic saint names to each one of them, so they could tell their oppressors that they were worshipping saints. A similar process occurred with the slaves of Cuba who created the religion of Santeria. In fact, Candomble in Brazil, Obeayisne in Jamaica, and Shango in Trinidad were all examples of this religious transformation. Even though Haiti became independent during a slave uprising in 1804, (the only successful slave revolt in modern history), Vodou continued to be practiced in different ways by different communities around the country. It remains the most prominent religion in the country to this day.
The National Confederation of Haitian Vodou (Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodou Ayisyen) is a Haitian civil organization which seeks to defend the practice of Haitian Vodou from defamation and persecution. It is headed by Max Beauvoir, who serves as "chef Supreme" or "Ati Nasyonal" of the organization.
In 2005, Beauvoir, a houngan and biochemist, launched the Federasyon Nasyonal Vodou Ayisyen, which he later renamed in 2008 as Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodou Ayisyen.
In Haitian Vodou or Vodou, Erzulie (sometimes spelled Erzili or Ezili) is a family of lwa, or spirits.
Erzulie Fréda Dahomey, the Rada aspect of Erzulie, is the spirit of love, beauty, jewelry, dancing, luxury, and flowers. She wears three wedding rings, one for each husband - Damballa, Agwe and Ogoun. Her symbol is a heart, her colours are pink, blue, white and gold, and her favourite sacrifices include jewellery, perfume, sweet cakes and liqueurs. Coquettish and very fond of beauty and finery, Erzulie Freda is femininity and compassion embodied, yet she also has a darker side; she is seen as jealous and spoiled and within some vodoun circles is considered to be lazy. When she mounts a serviteur she flirts with all the men, and treats all the women as rivals.
Haitian Vodoun Culture Language is a specialized vocabulary used in Haiti for religion, song, and dance purposes. It is also known as Langay and Langaj (meaning literally "language"). It appears to not be an actual language, but rather an assortment of words, songs, and incantations – some secret – from various languages once used in Vodoun ceremonies.
In Haitian Vodou, Papa Legba is loa who is the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages.
Vodun or Vudun (spirit in the Fon and Ewe languages, pronounced [vodṹ] with a nasal high-tone u; also spelled Vodon, Vodoun, Voudou, Voodoo etc.) is an indigenous organized religion of coastal West Africa from Ghana to Nigeria. Vodun is practised by the Ewe people of eastern and southern Ghana, and southern and central Togo, the Kabye people, Mina people and Fon people of southern and central Togo, southern and central Benin and (under a different name) the Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria.
It is distinct from the various traditional animistic religions in the interiors of these same countries and is the main origin for religions of similar name found among the African Diaspora in the New World such as Haitian Vodou, the Vudu of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Candomblé Jejé in Brazil (which uses the term Vodum), Winti in Surinam (which is also syncretized with native American aspects), Louisiana Voodoo and Santería in Cuba. All these are syncretized with Christianity and the traditional religions of the Kongo people of Congo and Angola.
The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Salem Village (now Danvers), Ipswich, Andover and Salem Town.
The most infamous trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. One contemporary writer summed the results of the trials thus:
The Crucible is a 1953 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller. It was initially called "The Chronicles of Sarah Good". It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists. Miller himself was questioned by the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of "contempt of Congress" for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended. It was first performed at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Miller felt that this production was too stylized and cold and the reviews for it were largely hostile (although The New York Times noted "a powerful play [in a] driving performance"). Nonetheless, the production won the 1953 "Best Play" Tony Award. A year later a new production succeeded and the play became a classic. It is a central work in the canon of American drama.
John William Cheever (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982) was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy, Massachusetts, where he was born, and Italy, especially Rome. He is "now recognized as one of the most important short fiction writers of the 20th century." While Cheever is perhaps best remembered for his short stories (including "The Enormous Radio," "Goodbye, My Brother," "The Five-Forty-Eight," "The Country Husband," and "The Swimmer"), he also wrote four novels, comprising The Wapshot Chronicle (National Book Award, 1958), The Wapshot Scandal (William Dean Howells Medal, 1965), Bullet Park (1969), Falconer (1977) and a novella Oh What a Paradise It Seems (1982).
His main themes include the duality of human nature: sometimes dramatized as the disparity between a character's decorous social persona and inner corruption, and sometimes as a conflict between two characters (often brothers) who embody the salient aspects of both – light and dark, flesh and spirit. Many of his works also express a nostalgia for a vanishing way of life (as evoked by the mythical St. Botolphs in the Wapshot novels), characterized by abiding cultural traditions and a profound sense of community, as opposed to the alienating nomadism of modern suburbia.