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Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00007593/00001
 Material Information
Title: Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English
Physical Description: Presentation Slides (PPT)
Language: English
Creator: Hebbelthwaite, Ben
Publisher: UF Libraries
Place of Publication: Gainesville, FL
Publication Date: 2011
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID: AA00007593:00001

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Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English Benjamin Hebblethwaite w ith the editorial assistance of Joanne Bartley, Chris Ballengee, Vanessa Brissault, Erica Felker Kantor, Andrew Tarter, Quinn Hansen and Kat Warwick Special thanks to: The UF students who worked with me on this book Oungan Marcenat, Oungan Alisma Oungan Beauvoir and many other Vodouists Jrme Soimaud, the artist who illustrated the book cover Center for Latin American Studies at UF for financial support The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at UF Temple University Press

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Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English: C hapter headings and corresponding vv

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Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English: Chapter headings and vv

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Vodou fundamentals Bondye Marasa Lwa, Dantan Hierarchical with a priesthood Hereditary and non hereditary religion Initiation as the entry way to Vodou and ascension to the priesthood. Special ceremonies. Vodou is non apostolic, non prescriptive P ersecuted and exploited historically and contemporaneously Domestic (shrines) and public Vodou (altars) Constructed and found altars

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Vodou fundamentals The sky, the earth and under the water are the resting places of the lwa Religion that is drummed danced and sung Possession & possession rituals Serving and feeding the lwa and the community with animal sacrifice and feasting. Maintaining balance. Xenophilia and heterodoxy not xenophobia and orthodoxy There is no central authority; each oungan or manbo determines what is right for his or her community

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What is Vodou? H istorical ethno linguistic origins of Vodou: West Africans + Central Africans + Creolization Slave trade: Dahomey (c. 1680 1750) + Kongo (1750 1791). Vodou is a synthesis of the Traditional African Religions in West and Central Africa and it is the creative unification of those religions through Creolization Map found at: http :// www.nationsonline.org/ oneworld/map/african language map.htm and http:// en.loadtr.com/Map_of_ Haiti 490851.htm

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Because of the slave trade and colonization, Vodou and related ATRs religions are found in Brazil, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad, U.S.A. and throughout the African Diaspora Map from: http ://www.slaverysite.com/Body/maps.htm

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A sketch of Vodou history Vodou and its antecedents are thousands of years old African religions Creolize in Saint Domingue, c. 1680 1791 Vodou priests and practitioners fight for independence, 1791 1804 Synthesis and maintenance in Haiti, 1804 2011 1804 1860 absence of the official Catholic c hurch in Haiti Persecutions: 1835, 1864, 1896, 1915 1934, 1941 42, 1986, 2010 Expansion into the U.S. with the Haitian Diaspora since 1960

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Lafanmi o on Racine album, Dant (1999) Lafanmi o an n rasanble (Ayibobo!) nan demanbre a n pral f seremoni an (Adje se la m pral f maji a mache!) Limen balenn nan o an n rele lwa yo. Sonnen ason an rele Papa Legba. Nan kafou a, o nou angaje. Papa Legba ouv bary pou lwa yo Oh my kith and kin assemble ( Ayibobo !) ceremony service Light the candle lwa Shake the rattle call Papa Legba At the crossroad trouble Papa Legba open the gate for the lwa. Afoutayi Yi! Bila bila Kongo L bounda fache kote l chita ? At

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What is Vodou? Basic elements of a Vodou ceremony: The Vodou priestess ( manbo ) shakes the sacred rattle ( ason ) and bells ( klocht ) to salute the main stations in the Vodou temple, direct the drummers, and call forth the lwa Photograph on left by Jrme Soimaud

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The altar ( pe ) on the left: for the lwa zili Dant. The altar displays the symbols of the lwa. zili heart shaped diagram ( vv ) has been traced in front of the altar to consecrate the space. Oungan altar on right. Urban altar (Miami, U.S.A.) Rural altar ( Belle Rivire Haiti) Photograph by Jrme Soimaud Photograph by Ben Hebblethwaite

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-The drummers ( ount ): in a ceremony they provide the rhythmic foundation for ritual, dancing, and possession. -Drumming insistently calls the lwa and it drives the lwa into the head of the Vodou drumming in Miami (photograph by Jrme Soimaud ) Vodun drumming in Benin ( Rouget 2001). Three drums ( Rada ); sacrificial blood is splashed on the drum because it has a sacred status in Vodun (a vodun dwells within it). Fon/Haitian Creole: gan = ogan; agida = agida

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Rada Kongo Petwo

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Foula : the oungan consecrates the drums ( potomitan worshipers, audience) with pulverized rum and creates an intense religious atmosphere

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The centerpost ( potomitan ): the symbolic tree around which all Vodou worship circles. The lwa rise and descend through this channel that links the three domains of the lwa: the sky, the earth, and the water (center photograph by Jrme Soimaud) Above: Vodouists at a found altar Souvnans near Gonaives

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A Vodou priest ( oungan ) traces a diagram ( vv ) to honor the lwa and consecrate the place of the ceremony (photographs by Jrme Soimaud)

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Salutation: the Vodou priestess ( manbo ) shakes the sacred rattle and bells as she salutes the main stations of the Vodou ceremony: the altar, the drums, the centerpost the vv the Vodouists present (photograph by Jrme Soimaud)

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Two Vodouists greet each other during a ceremony (photograph by Jrme Soimaud).

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All photographs by Jrme Soimaud Worship: the lwa dance in the heads of their servants. Revelation is living and open. The lwa reveal Bondye Revelation cannot be frozen in books.

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The lwa mount their servants. The Vodouist is a vessel. The individual is temporarily ridden by the lwa; the lwa manifests her or his characteristics. All photographs by Jrme Soimaud

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Composure and calm are expected of Vodouists Emotion is reserved for war and possession ( Blier 1995: 81 ). All photographs by Jrme Soimaud

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Animal sacrifice: feeding the lwa with blood and preparing a feast for the lwa and their servants Photograph on the right by Jrme Soimaud http:// www.life.com/gallery/62471/image/u gc1251681/inside haitian vodou#index/7

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A manbo officiates a Petwo ceremony involving the sacrifice of a pig

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Joanne Bartley 37. 37. Danbala Wdo se koulv dlo! Danbala Wdo is the water snake! Chche Danbala, ki b w a w li ? Look for Danbala, where will you see him? Papa Danbala se koulv dlo, Papa Danbala is the water snake, li plonje anba dlo! he dives under water! Orthographical corrections Grammatical reanalysis Punctuation Translation

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Joanne Bartley 22. 22. Simbi Andezo, sa yo di moun? Simbi Andezo, what do they say to people? Simbi Andezo, sa y a f mwen? Simbi Andezo, what will they do to me? Sa y a di m? What will they tell me? Mwen prale lan simity; mwen prale chache pwen mwen. Mwen prale chache pwen Makaya; charm; mwen prale chache pwen Simbi Andezo. Andezo charm. Mwen prale chache anba ng; mwen prale chache pwen.

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Appendix A: Dictionary of Vodou Terms (Hebblethwaite with contributions from Bartley, Tarter, Hansen and Warwick)

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Chris Ballengee 82. 82. Lafanmi o, an n rasanble nan demanbre a, at the home ritual, n pral f seremoni an. Limen balenn nan o an n rele lwa yo. Light the candle Sonnen ason an rele Papa Legba. Shake the rattle call Papa Legba Nan kafou a, o nou angaje. Papa Legba louvri bary pou lwa yo. Papa Legba open the gate for the lwa.

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Appendix A: Dictionary of Vodou Terms (Hebblethwaite with contributions from Bartley, Tarter, Hansen and Warwick)

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Manje Legba & Kay lwa m boule on Racine album, Dant (1999) Manje Legba sou dife l ap boukannen Svis la pral konmanse o. (Bilolo !) (x2) Devan bary a se la m trase vv m ane a pou m f svis lwa yo. Nan pwent bary a se la m trase vv m ane a pou m f svis lwa yo ( Ayayay !) Papa Legba, kouv a pare Atibon Legba, kouv a pare, zili Dant kouv a pare food Oh the service is going to begin. ( Bilolo !) In front of the gate is where I traced my vv t his year so I can do the service of the lwa. At the end of the gate is where I traced my vv t his year so I can do the service of the lwa. Papa Legba, the table is ready Atibon Legba, the table is ready zili Dant, the table is ready

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Kay lwa m boule Racine Figuier Kay lwa m boule, li tounen sann o. M ape mande sa ka ranmase lwa yo ? Mezanmi kay lwa m boule, demanbre a la woy An n ( F n) rasanble pou n ka ranmase lwa yo My temple of lwa burned down oh it turned into ashes. what can gather up the lwa ? Oh my, my temple of lwa burned down, Oh the ceremony is here. We must) get together in order to gather up the lwa

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Themes in Vodou songs Songs about Bondye (God), the lwa, the Marasa, and the ancestors ( mythologies and attributes) The importance of serving the lwa The history and the African origins of Vodou The culture and organization of Vodou P hilosophy and worldview Songs about nature & medicine: natural places where lwa dwell and medicinal or symbolic plants and trees

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Themes in Vodou songs Apologetics (defense of Vodou) Songs about Vodouists and Vodou objects and symbols Animal sacrifice and feeding the lwa Family, community, spiritual family Conflict and conflict resolution Vodou Catholic songs

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The Functions of Vodou Songs Invocation of the lwa ( rele lwa ) R esponse and prayer to the lwa L eave taking or farewell to the lwa Booms (cyclical songs reserved for special ceremonies held only once every seven years) R eproach or satire ( chante pwen ) The conveyance of themes

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Structure and features of songs Short and repeated. Chorus and verse. Call and response. Compressed and coded parables about the lwa and their servants (Carvalho 2008: 426; Mason 1992; Verger 1999 ) Cryptic tricksterism (Karen McCarthy Brown 1991) West African language retentions, blessings, warnings, signs, oracles, praises, cosmologies and relationships

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Vodou as a hereditary religion Racin Bwa Kay Iman f moun yo (can you hear the ogan ?) Since I was small, I have been singing for the lwa. my great lwa have claimed me. Bilolo! Oh heavens who showed me how to sing, man/God! (Beauvoir 2008b: 220) Afoutayi Yi! Bila bila Kongo L bounda fache kote l chita ? At Depi m piti m ap chante pou lwa yo Bilolo Se pa ti ng ki te montre m chante o. (x 2) Depi nan vant manman m, gwo lwa m yo reklame mwen. Bilolo (x 2) Se pa ti ng ki te montre m chante o Adje (ti ng ) ki te montre m chante msye /Bondje

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Appendix A: Dictionary of Vodou Terms (Hebblethwaite with contributions from Bartley, Tarter, Hansen and Warwick)

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Many entries in the Dictionary of Vodou Terms are encyclopedic :

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Konbit Zaka, Boukmann Eksperyans, 1995 Travay m ap travay o Kouzen Zaka, m ap travay av w, tande Kouzen Zaka Travay m ap travay o Zaka Mede, m ap travay av w, tande Zaka Kouto digo m nan men m My sickle in my hand Djakout mwen sou do m My straw bag on my back M ap sekle Kouto digo m nan men m My sickle in my hand Vye alf sou do m My old napsack on my back M ap skle Jou m g on fanm l ale kite m, The day I have a woman, she goes and leaves me Demen m ap jwenn youn lt o (x 2) Travay m ap travay o, m ap travay av w Zaka mete m travay (x 2) Zaka put me to work M pa t panse si m te ka f travay sa yo Zaka mete m travay la nan bitasyon mwen Zaka put me to work here on my farm Kouzen, m ap travay av w, tande Kouzen Kouzen, Kouzen, n ap travay av w, tande Kouzen Kouzen

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Feuilles o Simon & Garfunkel, 1970 Fy o sove lavi mwen nan miz mwen ye o. Pitit mwen malad mwen kouri kay gangan Simbi o. Pitit mwen malad mwen kouri kay gangan Si ou bon gangan sove lavi mwen nan miz mwen ye o. Oh leaves, save my life My child is ill, I run to the house of the gangan oh Simbi My child is ill, I run to the house of the gangan gangan oh save my life from

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Conclusion: The goals of Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English I nvestigate basic aspects of the Vodou religion and culture Collect the source texts in actual language Haitian Creole, and produce an English translation Bring linguistic methods to Vodou studies: sketch of Haitian Creole grammar; orthographical modernization of all texts in the standard spelling of Haitian Creole; lexicographical and etymological research in the Dictionary of Vodou Terms

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Conclusion: The goals of Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English Wed the illustration and defense of Vodou and Haitian Creole to interpretation and analysis B ilingual or trilingual books that use a side by side format provide the means for the accelerated study of the respective languages and cultures Establish a foundation for the growth of both secular and Vodouist scholarly exegesis and criticism dedicated to Vodou sources The Vodou Archive: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/vodou

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list: http:// www.temple.edu/tempress/index.html

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Extras: Historical themes: Vodou and survival in foreign countries. We come from Ginen, hand bound to hand, foot bound to foot! somewhere, all bathed and powdered with the Great Lwa, (Beauvoir 2008b: 335)

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Hereditary and protective properties of lwa I have something in my head,

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Ethics and philosophy They pay me money to do evil, If I do evil, God is going to turn against me. I thought I was poor, oh I was poor, when I looked, I saw there were worse off ; oh I mustered my courage. While I was napping, the one worse off stole my calabash bowl. that he takes care of all his business in this life. there are those who are even worse off

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Bondye 2. It is God who gave me the lwa to hold on to. What shall I tell the lwa, oh what shall I say! ( Marcelin 16) 3. I serve God, I serve the Pwen, Tchakou tchakou the great Lwa are with me. I serve God, I serve the Three plates of the Marasa. Tchakou tchakou men are not Gods in this country. ( Beauvoir 2008b: 279). 1. There is God; there are the lwa who are giving you all you need (J.L. 49) 4. Nanpwen anyen la pase Bondye There is nothing here except Bondye ( Marcelin 15) [ God is everything ]

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Vodou Catholic S ongs 83. 83. Mari ou sen, ou se manman Bondye; nou se pech o lapriy pou nou. we are sinners, oh pray for us. Avan n ap svi lwa yo, Before we are serving the lwa, n rele Bondye avan we call upon God first. Mari ou sen, ou se manman Bondye. Nou se pech o lapriy pou nou. We are sinners, oh pray for us. 86. Twa Pat, o twa Ave Mariya, nou kw nan Dye a ki ban nou lavi a, men gen Ginen. Nan Ginen, o genyen lwa, genyen lwa o nan Ginen lafanmi o, an nou met tt ansanm pou n ka sove peyi a. 86. Three Paters, oh three Hail Marys we believe in the God who gave us life, but there is Ginen. In Ginen, oh there are lwa, there are lwa oh, our heads together so we can save the country. Vodou Catholicism Parallel Stratified Overlapping at the peripheries Apologetics

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zili Dant zili Dant prete poul pou nou an la pou m f maji a mache / m pral f maji a mache Se ou k mache, se ou ki w ( at o) (bis) Adje m pral f maji a mache zili Dant prete poul pou nou an la pou m f maji a mache / m pral f maji a mache Se ou k mache, se ou ki w ( at o) (bis) A w a prete m poul pou nou an la pou m f maji a mache m pral f maji a mache

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Religion and its role in preparing us for death