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Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir, part 1, by Valerio Saint-Louis
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00013287/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir, part 1, by Valerio Saint-Louis
Physical Description: PDF file
Language: Haitian Creole
English
Creator: Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Joane Buteau, Megan Raitano and Tahiri Jean-Baptiste
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Florida
Publication Date: 12/10/2012
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean Area, Haitian Vodou, Haitian Creole, Ati Max Beauvoir   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Abstract: This PDF provides part 1 of a multipart interview that the journalist Valerio Saint-Louis did with Ati Max Beauvoir, one of Haiti's best known Vodou priests and leaders. The interview was posted to www.youtube.com on August 16, 2009 and can be retrieved at this web address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0OlyGzUQ10
General Note: The work of Haitian Creole transcription and English translation was funded by the Humanities Scholarship Enhancement Fund and the NEH Collaborative Grants. Ayibobo!
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Resource Identifier: Vodou
System ID: AA00013287:00001

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1 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir part 1 Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0OlyGzUQ10 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed by Joane Buteau and Ben jamin Hebblethwaite Translated by Megan Raitano Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Ben jamin Hebblethwaite Valery: Mesdames et messieurs un r ey l plaisir, un honneur mme un privilge davoir avec nous sur le plateau de Tele imag e le chef suprme du Vodou, Ati Max Beauvoir. Cest un plaisir cest avec anpil, mwen ta kapab di anpil reverans ke n ap salye gwo gason sa ki b kote nou la. Nous allons parler de ce qui nous intresse en tant quHatien, religion pa nou an ki se Vodou e nou pral konprann entipe plis sa pett nou menm k ap gade la, telespektat k ap gade kesyon ke nou ta genyen, mwen swete ak tan ke nou genyen ke mwen ka poze d kesyon ke nou menm nou ka poze ebyen a tout seigneur ak tout on, msye Max Beauvoir. Valery: Ladies and gentlemen, a real ple asure, even an honor, a privilege to have with us at the table of Teleimage the supreme leader of Vodou, Ati Max Beauvoir. Its a pleasu re, its with much, I can say with much respect that we greet this great man who is next to us here. We are going to spe ak about what interests us as Haitians, our religion which is Vodou and we will understand this a little bit more; perhaps those of us who are watching here, viewers who are watching questions that we will have, I hope with the time that we have that I can ask some questions that you yourselves c ould ask ; so with all due respect and honor, mister Max

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2 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir, bonswa. Max Beauvoir: Bonsoir Valery, bonsoir aussi tout odit, tout telespektat de Tele imaj yo ki nan Nou Yk. Mwen byen kontan pale av yo e msi anpil ke ou kite m pale avk yo Valery : Stnman. Se yon on, mwen di w deja ke se yon reyl plezi paske pou premye fwa nou jwenn ke relijyon peyi nou an ki ofisylman konni si nou sonje de dat lan, ki se le 4 avril 2003. Enben, finalman li gen yon chf siprm. E se ou menm. Mwen vle kmanse pou nou pale de gwo evnman sa, ki te ft 7 mas 2008. Max Beauvoir: 2003? Valery: Non 2008, m ap pale de ou menm an ta n ke chf siprm du Vodou. Ati se sa ? Max Beauvoir: Se Ati Valery: Dab anvan nou rantre nan detay kesyon sa, sete yon eleksyon, yon nominasyon ki f de ou menm chef siprm Vodou an. Max Beauvoir: Se te yon eleksyon. Pou nou menm Vodouwizan li te tr enptan antanke nou te montre pp ayisyen an ke nou pa toujou bezwen 7 milyon dola pou nou f yon eleksyon lakay nou. Se konsa ke vrman nou menm nou ganize nou, atrav Larepiblik nou montre yo sa yo rele d sosyete Vodou, de famiy Vodou e nou repati atrav Larepiblik. Teritwa a te an gwoup diferan nan sosyete Vodou repati depi nan Ench avk Plato Santral, nan N, nan Ndws, nan Nds, nan Latibonit la, wo Latibonit, ba Latibonit, desann nan Ptoprens, ale nan Grandans jiska J e r e mi e Okay. E se yo tout ki mete tt yo ansanm, ki deside yo vote antre yo ke vrman pa gen yon chf siprm. Paske Vodouwizan yo te bouke ke yo tout tan, ke tout Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir, good afternoon. Max Beauvoi r : Good afternoon Valery, good afternoon also to all listener s, all viewers of Teleimage who are in New York. I am glad to speak with you all and thank you very much for letting me speak with them. Valery: Certainly. It is an honor, I told you already that it is a real pleasure because for the first time we find that the religion of our country is officially recognized if we remember the date, that is April 4, 2003. So, finally it ha s a supreme leader. And it is you. I want to start with us talking about the bi g event that occured March 7, 2008. Max Beauvoir: 2003? Valery: No 2008, I am speaking you in terms of when you became supreme leader of Vodou. Is it Ati? Max Beauvoir: It is Ati? Valery: First, before we enter into the details of that question, it was an election, a nomination that made you supreme lead er of Vodou. Max Beauvo ir: It was an election. For us Vodouists, it was very important in so far as we showed the Haitian people that we dont always need 7 million dollars to conduct an election in our nation. It is really like this that we organized ourselves across the Republic we showed them what are call ed Vodou societies Vodou families and we are spread throughout t he R epublic The territory was divided into different group s in Vodou societies from Hinche and the Central Plateau, in the North, in the Northwest, in the Northeast in the Artibonite, upper Artibonite, lower Artibonite, down in P ort au Prince, going into Grand'Anse through J r mie and Les Cayes And it s all of them who put their heads together, who de cided to vote amon g themselves that really there wasnt a supreme leader. Because Vodouists were exasperated that all of the time, that all

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3 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants moun se menm pawl la ke se Ayisyen, ke se etranje, yo di wi, yo pa ka f anyen pou Vodou. Puiske nou pa jwenn pys moun pou pale av l. Valery: Pa gen strikti? Max Beauvoir: Wi, li pa gen strikti, nou deside ba li strikti, ba li jart. E fonde jisteman Konfederasyon Nas yonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen an e nou rele KNVA e gen yon sekretarya jeneral de 21 manm e se nou tout ansanm k ap travay ansanm pou nou soti Vodou an nan kote li ye pou nou mennen li la. Valery: Se sa. Max Beauvoir: Nou pa vle bouskile psonn, nou pa vle pran plas psonn, men nou reklame plas pa nou paske fk nou pa janm bliye ke se Vodou an ki f Ayiti, se Vodouwizan avk seremoni Bwa Kayiman ki te f revolisyon nasyonal sa ki te etone lemond, paske se sl revolisyon ke esklav janm f e ki reyisi e se Ayisyen ki te f l. Valery: Toutaf. Max Beauvoir: Sa sete yon gwo zaf. Valery: N ap gade imaj kote ke te gen yon bl seremoni ki te ft jou sa. Tout Vodouwizan ki st toupatou, a letranje, gen de represantan de Vodou ki pett yo menm ki te vle w evnman sa a. Max Beauvoir: Se sa, gen moun ki soti Kiba, ki soti Brezil, moun ki soti Etazini d Amerik, gen plizy ki te st Nou Yk, Chikago, gen lt ki soti Miami, gen moun Kanada tou te gen gwoup nan KNVA an Frans. Donk, tout moun ki ansanm te vin selebre avk nou. Jou sa se yon jou de renesans du Vodou Ayisyen, yon jou kote nou kapab afime nou pa slman lakay nou the people i t is the same speech whether Haitian, whether foreign they say yes, they cant do anything for Vodou. Because they cant find any one to speak to. Valery: There isnt a structure? Max Beauvoir: Yes, it doesnt have structure, [so] we decided to give it structure, give it support. And indeed we founded the Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen ( National Confederation of Haitian Vodou ) and we are call ed KNVA and w e have a secretary general of 21 members and it s all of us who are working together so that we can take Vodou from where it is and br ing it here. V alery: Thats right. Max Beauvoir: We dont want to push anyone back we dont want to take anyones place, but we are reclaiming our place because we must never forget that it is Vodou t hat made Haiti, it is Vodouists with the Bwa Kayiman ceremony that started the national revolution that shocked the world, because it is the only revolution that slaves ever did that succeeded and it was Haitians who did it. Valery: Absolutely. Max Beauvoir: That was a big deal Valery: We are looking at an image, of a beautiful ceremony held on that day. All Vodouists from all over from abroad they were representatives of Vodou who perhaps wanted to see this event. Max Beauvoir: Thats it, there were people from Cuba, f rom Brazil, people from the United States of America, there were several f rom New York, Chicago, there were others from Miami, there were Canadian people too, there were French groups in the KNVA. So, all the people who were together came to celebrate with us That day was a day of r ebirth for Haitian Vodou, a day where we could affirm ourselves not only at home but

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4 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants men nan lemond antye. Valery: Yon kesyon ki vin a lide ke pett anpil nan nou k ap gade imaj gen dwa gen menm kesyon yo tou. Li pran nou plis ke 200 zan pou finalman nou gen strikti sa nan nivo de Vodou an, poukisa ? Max Beauvoir: Se malere, fk nou konprann yon bagay, nou gen yon mo nou di nan Vodou ke konplo f pase wanga e pandan 200 zan te gen yon konplo, fk nou konprann ke vrman nou soti nan Bwa Kayiman e se Vodouwizan yo ki te mete tt yo ansanm. Tout Vodouwizan peyi a, klke swa kote l te soti, nou konnen ke tout esklav yo, se moun ki soti nan Senegal, se moun ki soti Mali, ki soti nan Danhomen, ki soti o Nijerya, se moun o Kongo, moun Kamewoun. Nou gen moun ba Kongo yo ki soti anba, nou te gen moun jiska Mozanbik, anfen, Madagaska. E se tout sa an Ayiti ki met tt yo ansanm. E mwen byen kontan l mwen te f liv ke mwen te ekri a ke nou rele li Lapriy Ginen avek Le grand recueil sacr. Ebyen liv sa yo pale, yo ba w chante de menm moun Mozanbik k ap chante Ayisyen. Donk se sa ki pral vrman fme sosyete Ayisyn nan. Avk tout melanj sa a, yon melanj ki pral amnize nan Bwa Kayiman an. Mwen kw ke nou te amnize, se la menm ke nou te fonde lang kreyl la tou anmenmtan. E nou te tou retni lang lan ni relijyon an pou toulede te svi nou, mwen ta di tankou de pwent sizo po yo te ka koupe chn esklavaj la. E si konsa nou te reyisi l, wi nou te reyisi l, li te mache tr byen, li te yon gran siks, men pa kont ; an 1806 yon gwo evnman rive e nou konnen yo te tiye Anpr a, e se la nou pral aprann ke tout esklav yo, yo pa t dezire, yo pa t swete lalibte. Genyen ki te renmen blan yo anpil, genyen ki menm l blan yo ap kouri, yo kouri ak blan yo tou. in the whole world. Valery: A question that comes to mind perhaps many or those who are watching the images will also have the same questions. It takes us more than 200 years to finally have some structure with respect to Vodou, why? Max Beauvoir: It is unfortuna te, we must understand one thing we have a phrase we say in Vodou that conspiracy is stronger than magic and for 200 years there was a conspiracy, we must really underst and that we came out of Bwa Kayiman and it was the Vodouists who worked together All of the countrys Vodouist s, whatever place they came from, we know that all the slaves, were people who came from Senegal, they were people who came from Mali, who were from Dahom e y [Benin], who were from Nigeria, they were Kongo people, people of Cameroon. We had people from the lo wer Congo, we had people all the way to Mozambique, and finally, Madagascar. And it was all of them in Haiti who worked togeth er. And I was very happy when I did the books I wrote called Lapriy Ginen [Prayer of Ginen] and Le Grand Recueil Sacr [The Gre at Sacred Collection ]. So, the se b ooks speak they give you the same songs the people from Mozambique were singing in Haitian [ Creole]. So its this that is going to really form Haitian society. With this whole blend, a mixture that is going to harmonize in the Bwa Kayim an [ceremony]. I believe we harmonized, its actually then in the same moment we founded the Creole language And we retained the language and t he religion so both could serve us I would say like two scissor tips cutting the skin, they could cut the chains of slavery. And that is how we achieved it, yes we achieved it it went very well, it was a great success, but not enough; in 1806 a big event occurred and we learned the y killed the E mperor, and it was then we learned that all the slaves, they didnt w a nt, they didnt wish for freedom. Some liked the whites a lot. There were even some who, when the whites fled, fl ed with them They fled to Cuba, they

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5 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Yo kouri al Kiba, yo kouri vin isit o Z etazini d Amerik. Yo vin menm osen nan Chicago, fondat de Chikago. Se tout esklav sa yo ki pa t renmen ras yo men ki te renmen blan yo, men pou yon rezon oubyen yon lt. Swa blan yo te trete yo byen, te ba yo rad Valery: Yo te fidl ak mt yo ? [6:34] Max Beauvoir: Fidelite eksetera. Nou te gen sa tou. E se yo menm ki pral reyganize yon lt mouvman ki pral kraze endepandans an 1806 avk lanm Anpr an. E anmenmtan yo kraze endepandans la, peyi d Ayiti potko menm rekont pa tout peyi mond lan. Sa pa f yo anyen, e yo monte govnman pa yo ke yo kenbe tr jalouzman nan men yo avk anpil fs jis jodi a. Donk ansanm nou panse ke gouvnman Preval la, se lamenmchoz. E se sou menm lin li ye a tou. E se pou sa nou pral w li pral f eleksyon avk 16 milyon blan, kounye a l ap mande blan voye kb pou li anmenmtan de lt kote li pral chwazi moun ki pral ganize yo pami P Katolik, Potestan, menm Anglikan, men setnman, Vodou pa t ladann. Valery: Vodou pat ladann, mwen songe sa Max Beauvoir: Eleksyon sa soti, li te yon gwo katastwf e tout moun te w li; men moun pa t al vote. Nan k kontan kanmenm, gen kk moun ki t al vote pou yo, nou di bravo bravo. Yo genyen eleksyon an kanmenm. Valery: Nan nivo sa a, ske nou te reyaji, ske nou te mande patisipasyon Vodouwizan nan konsy elektoral la? Max Beauvoir: Nou mande li san ss, nou mande li lakay nou an Ayiti, konsy elektoral. Nou mande Prezidan de la fled here, the United States of America. Th ey even arrived in Chicago, founder of Chicago. It was all those slave s who did not like their race but liked the whites, for one reason or another. Perhaps the whites treated them well, had given them clothes. Valery: They were loyal to their owners? Max Beauvoir: Loyalty excetera.We had that too. And it was really those who were going to reorganize another movement that was going to break independence in 1806 with the death of the Emperor. And at the same time they suppressed the independence the country of Haiti still wasnt recognized by all of the cou ntries in the world. That did not do anything to them and they erected their own government that they held greedily in their hands with a lot of force even to this day. So all said and done we think that the government of Preval, is the same thing And its on the same tangent too. And its because of th at we are going to see him have an election with 1 6 million whites, now hes asking whites to send money to him ; at the same time in other places he is going to choose people who are going to organize them among the Catholic priests, Protestants, even Anglican, but certainly, Vodou is not included. Valery: Vodou wasnt included, I remember that. Max Beau voir: The election occured it was a giant catastrophe and everyone saw it; but people did not go vote. Truly with sincerity, there were some people who went and voted for them we say bravo, bravo! They won the election regardless Valery: On that level, did we react, did we ask for Vodouist participation in the election council? Max Beauvoir: We asked for it continulously, we asked for it in our house in Haiti, the electoral council. We asked th e

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6 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Repiblik. Paske nou f l, li w vrman ke li pa t posib pou yon pp endepandan kon sa pou l santi li tlman depandan de relijyon etranj, paske se nou menm ki relijyon pp Ayisyen. Se Vodou an ki nanm pp Ayisyen. E l ou ekskli l, otomatikman se nmal pou pes nn pa pral vote. Valery: Se sa, sitou ke nou rekonni ke li ofisyl nan manman lwa peyi a le 4 avril 2003. Vodou kounye a li se relijyon peyi d Ayiti. Max Beauvoir: Se sten. Valery: Al pou mwen reveni a kesyon mwen te poze a, se sa ke pett tout pwoblm sa yo e sitou pa bliye tou epk rejete yo ki vin ban nou ke se slman an 2008 nou vin genyen ou menm Ati kon chf siprm du Vodou. Max Beauvoir: Se vre. Atrav letan, gen anpil mouvman e se chak mouvm an sa yo te yon mouvman de dechoukaj ki vin dy, se te 13 fwa nan listwa d Ayiti ke yo eseye dechouke Vodou. L nou di eseye dechouke, yo tiye kan menm de milye de Vodouwizan atrav Larepiblik; yo di pa egzanp nan Jeremi ebyen, se lanm ki pote k Vodouwizan yo tounen ke yo w ke se de santn de santn. Men sete atrav Larepiblik se te yon mouvman yo rel e Ekimenik, moun Potestan te ladan tou avk Katolik yo epi yo al abati batri, bagay. P aske yo panse yo ka preche lanmou, lanmou menm jan tout relijyon yo f l, nan mond y ap preche lanmou, y ap preche lahn, lahn du Vodouwizan e sitou lahn de so n frre et de sa sur. Ki f ke pp Ayisyen an pa janm ka reyini antanke pp, se pou sa nou pa janm ka travay ansanm pou konstwi peyi nou jan nou ta swete li. Valery: Toutaf. Jounen jodi a msye Max Beauvoir, ou se chf siprm du Vodou. An nou sne kesyon an, Vodou President of the Republic. Because we did it, he saw that it wasnt possible for an independent people like us to feel so dependant on a foreign religion, because we are the religion of the Haitian people. Vodou is the soul of the Haitian people. And whe n you exclude it, automatically it is expected that no one will vote. Valery: Thats it, especially when we recognized that it was official in the law of the country on April 4, 2003. Vodou is now the religion of the country of Haiti. Max Beauvoir: Certainly. Valery: Then for me to return to the question I asked, that is perhaps what all those problems are and also dont forget all those periods of persecution that produce the fact that it is only in 2008 that we came to have you Ati as supreme leader of Vodou. Max Beauvoir: Thats true. Through ti me, there is a lot of movement and each of those movements was an uprooting movement that came from behind, there were 13 times in the history of Hait i that they tried to uproot Vodou. Whe n we say try to uproot they nevertheless killed thousands of Vodouists across the Republic; they say for example in Jrmie, so its the sea tha t carried Vodouists bodies back, that they saw hundreds of hundreds But across the Republic, It was a move ment called Ecumenical, Pr otestant people were also in it with Catholics and they went around destryong drums, things B ecause they think they can preach love, love the same way all religions do it, in the world the y are preaching love, [but] they are pr eaching hatred, hatred of Vodouists and especially hatred of his brother and sister. Which causes the Haitian people to never be able to unite as a people, its because of this that we are never able to work together to construct our country how we would like it. Valery: Absolutely. Nowadays, M r. Max Beauvoir, you are the supreme leader of Vodou. Lets hone in on the question Vodou

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7 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants an tan ke relijyon. Sten moun f de parall, yo di ke relijyon se finalman yon gwoup de moun ki mete tt yo ansanm dy yon filozofi ki gen yon konspsyon de lavi, ke li menm gen yon pwoft, yon mesi, ki apa de sa gen yon li v de referans. Katolik lan gen Labib, nou jwenn Mizilman yo tou yo gen Koran, Boudis setnman yo gen pa yo. Vodou an li menm, l nou ap gade Vodou an; pou nou di se yon relijyon li ye, ske krit sa yo reyini pou nou di ke Vodou an se yon relijyon li ye? Gen moun k ap poze tt yo kesyon antanke obsvat, moun ki pett pa konnen; ou pett mye plase pou di nou. Vodou, ske vrman li se yon relijyon antanketl? Max Beauvoir: Se yon relijyon totalman, an st gen plizy fason moun yo defini yon relijyon. Men mwen konnen ke moun ki te ekri definisyon sa yo se te de moun de stn relijyon ki defini l pou l ka ranje tt yo. Pou di km si ke se yo menm slman ki relijyon e lt moun yo pa relijyon. Donk sa pa gen dwa tiye moun nan kareman... rele l bay tout st de non, yo di yo ke se de moun ki sovaj, se de moun ki asasen kriminl, nenpt ki bagay. Men yo f tout kalite istwa, yo vin jwenn de puisans ki vin kanpe dy mo sa yo. Mwen ka di Oliwoud, moun sinema yo, yo f anpil fim kont Vodou. Yo tlman viv byen, yo vann byen ke yo pa t menm bezwen ba yo non se Vodou 1, Vodou 2, Vodou X, nenpt ki nimewo e [...] se sou sa ke fs la pral chita. O pwen ou ka menm tande pa egzanp ke presidan de Larepiblik isi o Zetazini d Amerik, msye Rigann nan elkesyon l, li te pale de Vodou ekonomik pou f moun ri de Ayisyen, pou yo pase Ayisyen nan betiz, li pa rann li kont ke vrman pp Ayisyen an sete yon pp kouraje. Yon pp k ap viv nan de kondisyon difisil k ap f dezef kolosal pou li ka viv. E l ou prezidan de Larepiblik, ou pa ka ap pase yon pep anba betiz men se sa ke li f men li reyisi kanmenm. Yo kontinye yo f l pran yon gran prezidan as a religion. Certain people made the parallel, they say that religion is, in the end, a group of people that unite behind a philosophy that ha s a conception of life, that even ha s a prophet, a messiah, that in addition they have a book of reference. The Catholics have the Bible, we find Muslims have the Koran, Budhists certainly have their own [book] Vodou, when we ar e looking at V odou; for us to say it is a religi on, do these criteria convene for us to say that Vodou is a religion ? There are people who are aski ng themselves questions as observers people who perhaps dont know ; yo u may be better able to tell us Vodou, is it really a religion as such? Max Beauvoir: It absolutely is a reli gion, there are several ways in which people define a religion. But I know that the people that wrote that definition were of certain reli gions that defined it to ease their minds. To phrase it as though they were the only religion and the other s are not religions So, it doesnt have the right to just kill people call it all kinds of names, they tell them that they ar e savages, they are people who are assassins, criminals, all sorts of things But they make up a ll kinds of stories, they come to realize the power that comes to stand behind these words. I can say Hollywood, the people in the movies, they make a lot of films against Vodou. They live so wel l, they sell well, they dont even need to give them names Vodou 1, Vodou 2, Vodou X, any number and [] its on that basis that their force rests. To the extent that you can even hear for example, that the president of the Republic here in the United Sta tes of America, Mr. Reagan during the election, he spoke of Vodou economics to make people laugh at Haitians, to make fun of Haitians, he didnt give the true account that the Haitian people are a courageous people. A people who are living in difficult con ditions wh o are making colossal efforts in order to live. And when you are president of the Republic, you cant make fun of people but that is what he did and regardless, he succeeded. They continue d to take a famous American

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8 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Ameriken, donk se santiman sa yo ki te bay tout difikilte ki f ke antan ke pp, Ayisyen pa janm ka d emare nan lavi antanke sosyete politik, yon sosyete ki w, k ap rechch bezwen pp li, k ap rechch bon pp li. Nou kapab rech ch de kondisyon, de kondisyon ekonomik, e ke se swa de kondisyon teknolojik. Klke swa kondisyon yo, rechche yo anfen ke p p la kapab viv, pou li ka soti nan miz e pou li ka ale an avan. Valery: Men si nou retounen sou konsp relijyon an ske pou Vodou an menm ki liv de referans relijyon Vodou an? ske nou gen yon liv de referans, ske nou gen menm jan ak lt relijyon yo, ske nou gen yon referans klke par? Yon mezi yon moun ki vini e ki pa rap ak li menm relijyon an pran y on fm. Kisa nou ka di pou Vodou an li menm ? Max Beauvoir: Gen dez er fk nou pa f. Valery: Oke. Max Beauvoir: Youn nan er pou nou pa janm f se ke kw ke gen de obligasyon. Pa egzanp la tout pp gen konstitisyon, Ayisyen ft pou gen konstitisyon tou men nou bliye ke pp Ondoura pa janm gen konstitisyon. E pa gen konstitisyon ki di ke sa n egzist pa e fk nou w gen de eksepsyon ki egkzist kon sa. Nou menm l akay nou, nou fonksyone nan loral ite, nou kreye lang ke nou rele la lang ayisyn oubyen gen lang kreyl. Av l ou pale, ki gen rg li, ki gen yon pakt kantite bagay. Men de lt kote moun k ap f definisyon, yo pral defini l yon jan pou sa ekskli. Il se trouv ke Vodou a se yon relijyon paske li reliye moun nan avk Bondye. Donk se mey definisyon de relijyon. Se yon moun ki konnen ke gen yon fs ki siprm, ki sipery, ki egziste e ke tout moun akoz de puisans, tout puisans de lodela, e ke li kapab w toupatou. Li kapab tande tout bagay donk sa sa ou rele omnisyans. E se sa k pral ba li yon fs ki sipery president, so its those feelings that created all the difficulties that ensure that as a people, Haitians can never start life as a politic al society, a society that sees that searches for its peoples needs, that se eks the history of its people. We can research conditions, economic conditions, and if there are technological conditions. Whatever the conditions, re search them without end until the people can live, so they can leave misery and move forward. Valery: But if we return to the concept of religion for Vodou what is the Vodou religions book of reference? Do we have a book of reference, do we have the same type as the other re ligions, do we have a reference? A way for a person who comes and who does not have a rapport with it but can grasp it What can we say about Vodou? Max Beauvoir: Th ere are mistake s we must not make. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: One of the errors we should never make is to believe that we have an obligation. For example, all people have a constitution, Haitians are born with a constitu tion as well but we forget that Hondura n people dont have a constitution. And there are no cons titution s that say that does not exist and we must see there are exceptions that exist in that way Us, in our country we operate with orality we created a language that we call the Haitian language or the Creole language. You speak with it, it has rules, it has a various number of things. But in other places there are people who make defin itions they are going to define it in order to exclude You will find that Vodou is a rel i gion because it rel ates the person with God So its the best definition of religio n. Its a people that know s there is a supreme force that is superior that exists and that all people, because of power, all the power of the transcendent and he or she can see everywhere. He or she ca n hear everything, so you call h im or her omniscient. And that

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9 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants a pa moun nan ki f ke moun nan bese devan li. E yo ganize vi yo an konsekans. Valery: Yo konnen gen yon t siprm. Max Beauvoir: Se sa. Se sa relijyon an ye vrman. Pa gen lt definisyon de relijyon, se relasyon sa a avk lt siprm. E Vodouwizan an genyen l se sa yo genyen. Se sa nou rele Granmt la. Gen de moun ki pa ka nye li, yo tlman pa ka nye li ke gen lt relijyon yo, yo vin adopte menm mo a tou. Ou ka tande ke Katolik ak Potestan ap rele Bondye, Granmt. Menm nou menm Ayisyen se kon sa nou eksprime l, se Granmt, se lt siprm, se tout bagay. Al ou pa t fin konprann tr byen keksyon lwa a. Al sa te ba yo anpil pwoblm. Gen 401 lwa nan Vodou. Kman? Se fetich bagay sa yo. Valery: Wi wi wi Max Beauvoir: Maintenant ce sont des expressions diffrentes de Dieu. An st, nou di ou ke nan imilite Vodouwizan yo. Nou di w tt moun pa ka konprann Bondye paske Bondye tlman gran, tlman vas, li ranpli tout espas jan yo di w la e nan ka sa a yo pa ka konprann li. Donk Vodouwizan an ap ofri w yon 401 imaj diferan. Ki s on lezimaj yo tout fme Bondye ke ou rele yo zili Freda Danhomen, oubyen ke ou rele yo Bawon Samdi, ou byen ke ou rele yo Ogou Feray, tout se menm Bondye a se sou de fm diferan, de fm mwen ta di w didaktik a fen ke moun ka konprann yo, yo kapab g anize vi yo nan kondisyon sa a. Donk se sa ke li ye, epi lwen l w r eflechi sou li, ou di bon yo pa konprann 401 lwa yo. S e yon bagay ki dwl paske nan relijyon pa yo a, yo di w ke Bondye an 3 psonn. Nou konnen gen le P, le Fis, e le Sent Espri. Pou mwen, yo chak ladann yo se yon sl pesn men nou konnen se yon sl moun k ap dirije lemond antye, gives h im or her a force that is superior to other people in that it make s people bow before h im or her And they organize their lives as a result Valery: They know there is a supreme being. Max Beauvoir: Thats right. Thi s is how the religion really is. There isnt another definition of religion, its a relation ship with the supreme being And the Vodouist has that its what we have. Thats what we call Granmt ( the Lord) There are people who cant den y her they cant deny her to the point where they have their own religion but the y ve also come to adopt the same word. You can hear Catholics and Protestants calling Bondye Granmt. Even we Haitians express it this way its Granmt, its the supreme being its every thing. So you did not fully understand the concept of the lwa. So that gave them many issues There are 401 lwa in Vodou. How? [They said] i ts fetish es, stuff like that. Valery: Yes yes yes Max Beauvoir: Now, these are different expressions of God. In this way we tell you that in Vodouist humility We told you that people s minds couldnt comprehend Bondye because h e or she is so big, so vast; he or she fills all space s the way th ey tell you and in that sense they cant understand that. So a Vodouist offers you 401 different images. These are images of all form s of God who you call Ezili Freda Dahomey, or who you call Bawon Samdi, or who you call Ogou Feray, all are the same Bondye in different forms, of forms I would call didactic in order that people can understand them, they can organize their lives in that way So that is wh at it is, and long from now, when you reflect on it, youll say well they dont understand the 401 lwa. I ts odd because in their religion, they tell you that Bondye is 3 persons We know the res the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For me, they are each one person but we know a single being control s the whol e world, we dont know

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10 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants nou pa konn kiys ladann yo. Donk se yon mist, men nou pa vle konprann, men tout moun aksepte l. M en nou di ke gen yon kesyon de a kanj tou ladann li. E kesyon zanj lan kote yo ye kisa yo ye? Kote yo ye? ske yo se moun, yo pa t moun, yo se Bondye. Tout kesyon sa yo, m w yo gen prske 401 moun tou, l w mete tout anj ak akanj ansanm, eskstera. [15:06] Valery: Av k Sen yo. Max Beauvoir: Wi avk Sen yo ajoute sou li. Donk se pa sa ki f larelijyon. Tout relijyon gen fmil pa yo ke yo prezante bay yon piblik. E Vodouwizan an, Vodou an tou gen fmil pa l pou l prezante relijyon l bay yon piblik. Yon piblik ki admt a san pou san. Men an re yalite yo pale d Ayiti tankou y on peyi ki gen Potestan, Katolik g en tout kalite relijyon. Pou mwen, gen kk moun ki Vodouwizan paske la lib te se sa li ye alabaz, se sa ki bay tout moun dwa ala lib te se sa ki bay tout moun dwa a lon osi dwa ala diyite paske vrman prezans de Vodou a nan ou menm ba w tou dwa sa. O u konn diyite an se pa yon dwa w al achte, se yon dwa ou genyen alanesans menm e w ap kenbe l jiskas ke ou m ouri. Donk si yon moun pile diyite w, li f w mal anpil, si yon moun anpeche w santi w egal ak yon lt li nui w anpil paske nan prez ans divin nan yon moun, pmt tout moun jisteman pretann a sa ki pi gran nan mond, a sa ki pi extra w din E se konsa ke nou menm nou w relijyon pa nou an. E pandan n ap pale de liv, pwobableman moman an rive pou nou ka prezante liv la. Valery: Stenman. Poukwa pa. Finalman yon liv referans Max Beauvoir: Nou genyen youn ladann ke nou rele Lapriy Ginen e Lapriy Ginen an, ebyen, an reyalite sa li ye? Ebyen se yon bann de mo li ye kote se yon konvsasyon ke pp Ayisyen gen ak Bondye. Donk natirlman pa gen manti ladann, nou p ap bay which one of the three So it is a mystery, but we dont want to understand, and yet everyone ac cepts it. But we say that there is also a question of archangels. And questions of the angels where are they and what are they? Where are they? Are they people, they werent people, they are Bondye. With a ll of those questions I see they have about 401 fi gures too, when you put together the angels and archangels, etc. Valery: With the Saints. Max Beauvoir: Yes, with the Saints added onto it. So its no t t hat which makes a religion. All religions have their own formula s that they present to the public. And a Vodouist, Vodou also has its own formula s to present the reli gion to the public. A public that confesses the faith entirely But in reality, they speak of Haiti like its a country with Protestants, Catholics it has all kinds of religions. To me, there are some people who are Vodouists because it is liberty at its core, its what gives everyone the right to liberty, that gives everyone the right to honor also, the right to dignity because the very presence of Vodou in you give s you these rights. You know dignity is not a right that you buy, it is a right you have from birth and you will have it until you die. So if someone tramples on your dignity, it hurts you very much if someone stops you from feeling equal w ith another i ts very upset ing because the divine presen ce in people, allows everyone access to what is greatest in the world, to what is the most extraordinary. And that is how we ourselves see our religion. And while we are talking about books, the time has probably come to present the book. Valery: Certainly. Why not. Finally a reference book. Max Beauvoir: We have one one that we call Prayers of Ginen and Prayers of Ginen then, in reality wh at is it? So, it is a series of w ords in which the Haitian people have a conversation with B ond ye So nat urally there are no lies in it we wont tell Bondye lies,

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11 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Bondye manti, nan ansanm, tout chante, tout lapriy a la e nou reyini l ansanm, nou f yon liv av l. E nou rele l Lapriy Ginen Valery: Lapriy Ginen Max Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir: Sa se youn, men n ale pi lwen, nou di apa Lapriy nou gen tout chante Vodou yo, e l w gade chak ladan se pys de filozofi. Pys de vi, pys de souviv, kman nou la pou nou viv. E se pou sa nou mete yo ansanm. E nou f yon lt liv ki rele, Le Grand Recueil Sacr. Valery: Oke, Le Grand Recueil Sacr: ou Rpertoire des Chansons du Vodou Hatien. Max Beauvoir: E li gen 1763 chante ladann. Sa vle di se reyinyon de tout laprodiksyon entlektyl Ayisyn. E jisteman, l w gade li, ou twouve li ekstrawdin, tout se de pys filozofi Valery: Ok Max Beauvoir: Li vin ba w tout ar de viv Ayisyen. Ki f ke pp Ayisyen an, l li gen sa, il est un tre diffrent des autres peuples de la terre paske li gen filozofi pa l, li gen apwch pa l de lavi. Valery: Donk li enteresan, de liv sa yo moun k ap gade yo la, yo disponib ki kote? ske yo gen mwayen deja pou yo ka jwenn yo yo menm, a Nou Yk, o Zetazini atrav lemond menm ki gen yon sit entent yo kapab pwofite ba yo pou yo kapab gen aks a yo: de liv sa yo ki se Le Grand Recueil Sacr e Lapriy Ginen ? Max Beauvoir: Sa ki enptan nan liv sa yo, keseswa Le Grand Recueil Sacr a, keseswa Lapriy Ginen an ke ou w a, yo pibliye km patrimwn pp Ayisyen. Voila poukwa lapatrimwn se koleksyon spesyal, sa vle di ou klase l de and together, all so ng s all pray ers are here and we assembled them together, we made a book with it. And we call it Prayers of Ginen Valery: Prayers of Ginen Max Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir: This is one, but we are going further, we say apart from Prayers we have all the Vodou songs, and when we look, inside each is a philosophic al piece. A piece of life, a piece of survival how we are here to live. And that is why we put them together And we made another book called, The Great Sacred Collection. Valery: Okay, The Great Sacred Collection: or Repetoire of Haitian Vodou Songs. Max Beauvoir : And it has 1763 songs inside. That means it is a union of all Haitian intelectual production. And precisely when you look at it you find it extraordinary, all are pieces of philosophy. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: It give s you all the art of Haitian life That makes it so that the Haitian pe ople when they have that, they are different being s from other people on earth because they have their own philosophy they have their own approach to life. Valery: The refore it is interesting, of those books pe ople are seeing here, where are they available? Do they already have the means to find them themselves in New York, the United States, even around the world if there is a web site they can take advantage of to gain access to them: those two books are The Great Sacred Collection and Prayers of Ginen ? Max Beauvoir: What is important in these books, whether The Great Sacred Collection whether Prayers of Ginen that you see, they are published as the heritage of the Haitian people. This is why the heritage forms a special collection that means you classify it

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12 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants menm fason ke ou mete Lasitadl, Pal Nasyonal, eksetera. Li rantre nan mond patrimwn e se patrimwn pp Ayisyen an. E se nan sans sa ke vrman nou pibliye de liv sa yo. Me n nou panse ke se plis ke sa. Nou panse ke se yon kesyon de prezvasyon. Gran ap sa sitou se ke, l w gade istwa d Ayiti. Nou tout te al lekl an Ayiti, nou tout te etidye istwa. Nou konen ke te gen k k 8 milyon de n g esklav sou tan koloni an. Men nou pa gen yon sl fraz, okenn kote nan oken liv istwa ki rapte men sa misye te di yon jou, men sa nou sonje. [19:00] Valery: Ok e. Max Beauvoir: Donk li pa ekziste, donk ansanm se yon p p ke yo nye depi orijin nan. E sa se yon ramasaj ke li ye ki mete n ansanm, ke nou kapab f nou jwenn sa nou sonje. Pran de zevnman enptan, tankou Bwa Kayiman, pa gen yon grenn dokiman okenn kote sou Bwa Kayiman. Se vre ke nou w menm pwofes blan etranje k ap nye menm egzistans de Bwa Kayiman ki di ke li pa t ekziste. Als ke tout Vodouwizan, tout Ayisyen Vodouwizan, yo sonje tr byen Lapriy Dy, Lapriy Ginen. Men kisa Lapriy Dy a ye? Se jisteman ramasaj sa de tout lapriy yo te f, tout preparasyon spirityl ke zanst nou t e genyen, ke yo te f le 14 out 1791, an vu pou yo ka ale afwonte fs sa yo te konnen ki te sipery paske yo pa t janm iyore ke franse yo te yon fs sipery. Men sonje byen ke Franse yo pa t pou kont yo, fk nou jisteman pa bliye ke menm Etazini d Amerik te ede yo pou yo te lite kont esklav yo. Pa egzanp Espay ak Anglet te kouri sou teritwa la. Yo ale dan lit yo, yo angaje yo nan lit yo, k ak k kont Ayisyen yo pandan peryd batay Bwa Kayiman an. Donk nou w yo tout la. An st se yon lit Ayisyen mennen pa slman kont Lafrans men tout fs rekonni km eta pi f nan lemond anmenmtan, avk mwayen limite; in the same way you would the Cit adel, the Presidential Palace, etceter a. It enters world heritage and it is the property of the Haitian people. And its truly in that respect that we published these two books. But we think that it is more than that. We think that it is a question of preservation. That great contribution especially when we look at the history of Haiti. We a l l went to school in Haiti, we all studied history. We know there were some 8 milion slaves in the time of the colony. But we dont have a single phrase any where, in any history book that reports heres what mister said one day, heres what we remember. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: So it doesnt exist, so altogether they are a people who have been denied from the beginning. And that is the interpretation that put s us together, that can make us find what we remember Take two important events like Bwa Kayiman, there is not a single document anywhere about Bwa Kayiman. Its true w e see even foreign white professor s who deny the existence of Bwa Kayiman, who say that it d id not exist. So all Vodouists, all Haitian Vodouists, they remember well Lapriy Dy ( Dy Prayers), Lapriy Ginen (Ginen Prayers). But what is Lapriy Dy? Its just a gathering of all of the prayers they made all spiritual preparatio ns our ancestors had, that they made on August 14, 1791, in order that they could confront tha t force that they knew was superior because they never ignored that the French were a superior force. But remember well that the French were not alone, we must not forget that the United States of America helped them fight against the slaves. For example, Spain and England hurried to swallow the territory. They went into their battles, the y engaged them in battle, headlong against the Haitians during the period of the battle of Bwa Kayiman. So we see all of them here. In this way its a struggle Haitians led not only against France but also against all the forces recognized as the strongest states in the world at the same time

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13 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants nou te gen wch, nou te gen baton. Men lt yo te genyen gwo zam. Valery: Se te pi gwo puisans li te ye nan lepk la. Max Beauvoir: Menm boult kanon yo te tire a li pran chapo lt lan, li kraze li, li kase mancht ki te nan men l lan. Gwo boult kanon, li rantre nan mitan de janm li, l al tiye chwal la. Epi ng la kontinye kouri devan, l ap kriye an avan, an avan! Se nan sans sa se lwa ki te mennen nan mitan revolisyon sa, se lwa ki te f endepandans sa, se nan sans sa nou santi nou redevab anv de lwa yo; se pou sa ke nou panse ke yo ft pou yo okipe yon pozisyon ki tr ot nan yerarch i spirityl Ayisyn nan. Valery: Tr byen, an palan de lwa nou pral vin sou kesyon lwa a. Kisa ki yon lwa pou anpil k ap gade ; paske entevyou sa stenman n ap f l pou moun ki pwofann, ki pa konn anyen de Vodou. E gen moun ki tou, pandan n ap pale de koze Vodou an la, ki septik, ki menm p menm paske Vodou pou anpil moun se yon bagay ki f yo p. Epi gen yon lt ide de Vodou an ki pett w Vodou an antanke relijyon pp nou an ki pa w l konsa yo menm. E moun sa yo gen kesyon e n ap eseye plane sou tout kesyon sa yo, n ap esaye omwen eliside tout kesyon sa yo. Nou pral pran yon poz ; anmenmtan m ap raple nou ke nou avk mesye Max Beauvoir, Chf Siprm Vodou a. Ati Max Beauvoir, se yon plezi pou nou genye n ou yon lt fwa. N ap pale de Vodou, e pou Vodouwizan k ap gade yo se si et sten ke yo konprann sa k ap ft. Men pou moun ki gen yon lt konsepsyon de Vodou, moun ki pett yo menm panse ke sa k ap pale la a se bagay dyab. Apr poz lan mwen pral di w ank, nou pral eseye konprann vrman kesyon sa a, poukisa Vodou an gen asimilasyon ak satan ak djab. w ith limited means; we had rocks, we had sticks. B ut the others had big guns. Valery: It was the greatest power of that time. Max Beauvoir: Even the cannon balls they shot it took the lives of others it broke it, it destroyed the machete that was in his hand. Big cannon balls, it enter ed in the middle of his leg, it went and killed the horse. And the man continued to run forwa rd, he was shouting forward, forward In that sense, the lwa led at the heart of this revolution, the lwa achieved this independence, in that sense we f eel we are obligated to the lwa; that is why we think they are supposed to occupy a very high position in the Haitian spiritual hierarchy Valery: Very good, speaking of the lwa we are coming to the question of Lwa What is a lwa for the many watching ; because this interview, certainly we are making it for profane people, who dont know anything about Vodou. And there are also people who while we are speaking on Vodou here, who are skeptic al who are even frightened because V odou, for a lot of people, i s something that frightens them And there is another idea of Vodou that perhaps sees Vodou as the religion of our people who dont see it that way themselves And those people have questions and we are trying to respond to all of these questions we are going to try to at least elucidate all of these questions We are going to take a break ; at t he same time Im reminding you that we are with mister Max Beauvoir, the Supreme Leader of Vodou. Ati Max Beauvoir, again it is a pleas ur e for us to have you. W e are speaking about Vodou, and to Vodouists that are watching its clear and certain that they understand what is happening. But for people that have another conception of Vodou, people who perhaps think that we are speaking about devilish things After the break I am going to tell you again, we are going to try to really understand this issue, why is Vodou associated with Satan and the

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14 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir: Se sa Valery: Ret branche, n ap pran yon poz nan k k moman n ap tounen. Devil. Max Beauvoir: Thats right. Valery: Stay tuned, were taking a break, we will return in a few moments



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1 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir part 1 Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0OlyGzUQ10 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed by Joane Buteau and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Translated by Megan Raitano, Tahiri Jean-Baptiste and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Valery: Mesdames et messieurs un r ey l plaisir, un honneur mme un privilge nous sur le plateau de Tele imag e le chef suprme du Vodou, Ati Max mwen ta kapab di anpil reverans ke n ap salye gwo gason sa ki b kote nou la. Nous allons parler de ce qui nous intresse en tant nou pral konprann entipe plis sa pett nou menm k ap gade la, telespektat k ap gade kesyon ke nou ta genyen, mwen swete ak tan ke nou genyen ke mwen ka poze d kesyon ke nou menm nou ka poze ebyen a tout seigneur ak tout on, msye Max Beauvoir. Valery: Ladies and gentlemen, a real ple asure, even an honor, a privilege to have with us at the table of Teleimage the supreme pleasu respect that we greet this great man who is next to us here. We are going to spe ak about what interests us as Haitians, our religion which is Vodou and we will understand this a little bit more; perhaps those of us who are watching here, viewers who are watching questions that we will have, I hope with the time that we have that I ca n ask some questions that you yourselves c ould ask ; so with all due respect and honor, mister Max

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2 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir, bonswa. Max Beauvoir: Bonsoir Valery, bonsoir aussi tout o dit, tout telespektat de Tele imaj yo ki nan Nou Yk. Mwen byen kontan pale av yo e msi anpil ke ou kite m pale avk yo Valery : Stnman. Se yon on, mwen di w deja ke se yon reyl plezi paske pou premye fwa nou jwenn ke relijyon peyi nou an ki ofisylman konni si nou sonje de dat lan, ki se le 4 avril 2003. Enben, finalman li gen yon chf siprm. E se ou menm. Mwen vle kmanse pou nou pale de gwo evnman sa, ki te ft 7 mas 2008. Max Beauvoir: 2003? Valery: Non 2008, m ap pale de ou menm an ta n ke chf siprm du Vodou. Ati se sa ? Max Beauvoir: Se Ati Valery: Dab anvan nou rantre nan detay kesyon sa, sete yon eleksyon, yon nominasyon ki f de ou menm chef siprm Vodou an. Max Beauvoir: Se te yon eleksyon. Pou nou menm Vodouwizan li te tr enptan antanke nou te montre pp ayisyen an ke nou pa toujou bezwen 7 milyon dola pou nou f yon eleksyon lakay nou. Se konsa ke vrman nou menm nou ganize nou, atrav Larepiblik nou montre yo sa yo rele d sosyete Vodou, de famiy Vodou e nou repati atrav Larepiblik. Teritwa a te an gwoup diferan nan sosyete Vodou repati depi nan Ench avk Plato Santral, nan N, nan Ndws, nan Nds, nan Latibonit la, wo Latibonit, ba Latibonit, desann nan Ptoprens, ale nan Grandans jiska J e r e mi e Okay. E se yo tout ki mete tt yo ansanm, ki deside yo vote antre yo ke vrman pa gen yon chf siprm. Paske Vodouwizan yo te bouke ke yo tout tan, ke tout Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir, good afternoon. Max Beauvoi r : Good afternoon Valery, good afternoon also to all listener s, all viewers of Teleimage who are in New York. I am glad to speak with you all and thank you very much for letting me speak with them Valery: Certainly. It is an honor, I told you already that it is a real pleasure because for the first time we find that the religion of our country is officially recognized if we remember the date, that is April 4, 2003. So, finally it ha s a supreme leader. And it is you. I want to start with us talking about the bi g event that occured March 7, 2008. Max Beauvoir: 2003? Valery: No 2008, I am speaking you in terms of when you became supreme leader of Vodou. Is it Max Beauvoir: Valery: First, before we enter into the details of that question it was an election, a nomination that made you supreme lead er of Vodou. Max Beauvo ir: It was an election. For us Vodouists, it was very important in so far as we showed the Haitian people that we do always need 7 million dollars to conduct an election in our nation It is really like this that we organized ourselves across the Republic we showed them what are call ed Vodou societies Vodou families and we are spread throughout t he R epublic The territory was divided into different group s in Vodou societies from Hinche and the Central Plateau, in the North, in the Northwest, in the Northeast in the Artibonite, upper Artibonite, lower Artibonite, down in P ort au Prince, going into Grand'Anse through J r mie and Les Cayes s all of them who put their heads together, who de cided to vote amon g themselves that really there supreme leader. Because Vodouists were exasperated that all of the time, that all

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3 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants moun se menm pawl la ke se Ayisyen, ke se etranje, yo di wi, yo pa ka f anyen pou Vodou. Puiske nou pa jwenn pys moun pou pale av l. Valery: Pa gen strikti? Max Beauvoir: Wi, li pa gen strikti, nou deside ba li strikti, ba li jart. E fonde jisteman Konfederasyon Nas yonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen an e nou rele KNVA e gen yon sekretarya jeneral de 21 manm e se nou tout ansanm k ap travay ansanm pou nou soti Vodou an nan kote li ye pou nou mennen li la. Valery: Se sa. Max Beauvoir: Nou pa vle bouskile psonn, nou pa vle pran plas psonn, men nou reklame plas pa nou paske fk nou pa janm bliye ke se Vodou an ki f Ayiti, se Vodouwizan avk seremoni Bwa Kayiman ki te f revolisyon nasyonal sa ki te etone lemond, paske se sl revolisyon ke esklav janm f e ki reyisi e se Ayisyen ki te f l. Valery: Toutaf. Max Beauvoir: Sa sete yon gwo zaf. Valery: N ap gade imaj kote ke te gen yon bl seremoni ki te ft jou sa. Tout Vodouwizan ki st toupatou, a letranje, gen de re presantan de Vodou ki pett yo menm ki te vle w evnman sa a. Max Beauvoir: Se sa, gen moun ki soti Kiba, ki soti Brezil, moun ki soti Etazini d Amerik, gen plizy ki te st Nou Yk, Chikago, gen lt ki soti Miami, gen moun Kanada tou te gen gwoup nan KNVA an Frans. Donk, tout moun ki ansanm te vin selebre avk nou. Jou sa se yon jou de renesans du Vodou Ayisyen, yon jou kote nou kapab afime nou pa slman lakay nou the people i t is the same speech whether Haitian, whether foreign they say yes, they Vodou. Because they one to speak to Valery: structure? [so] we decided to give it structure, give it support. And indeed we founded the Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen ( National Confederation of Haitian Vodou ) and we are call ed KNVA and w e have a secretary general of 21 members and it s all of us who are working together so that we can take Vodou from where it is and br ing it here. V alery: Max Beauvoir: We anyone back place, but we are reclaiming our place because we must never forget that it is Vodou t hat made Haiti, it is Vodouists with the Bwa Kayiman ceremony that started the national revolution that shocked the world, because it is the only revolution that slaves ever did that succeeded and it was Haitians who did it. Valery: Absolutely. Max Beauvoir: That was a big deal Valery: We are looking at an image, of a beautiful ceremony held on that day. All Vodouists from all over from abroad they were representatives of Vodou who perhaps wanted to see this event. Max Beauvoir: there were people from Cuba, f rom Brazil, people from the United States of America, there were several f rom New York, Chicago, there were others from Miami, there were Canadian people too, there were French group s in the KNVA So, all the people who were together ca me to celebrate with us That day was a day of r ebirth for Haitian Vodou, a day where we could affirm ourselves not only at home but

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4 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants men nan lemond antye. Valery: Yon kesyon ki vin a lide ke pett anpil nan nou k ap gade imaj gen dwa gen menm kesyon yo tou. Li pran nou plis ke 200 zan pou finalman nou gen strikti sa nan nivo de Vodou an, poukisa ? Max Beauvoir: Se malere, fk nou konprann yon bagay, nou gen yon mo nou di nan Vodou ke konplo f pase wanga e pandan 200 zan te gen yon konplo, fk nou konprann ke vrman nou soti nan Bwa Kayiman e se Vodouwizan yo ki te mete tt yo ansanm. Tout Vodouwizan peyi a, klke swa kote l te soti, nou konnen ke tout esklav yo, se moun ki soti nan Senegal, se moun ki soti Mali, ki soti nan Danhomen, ki soti o Nijerya, se moun o Kongo, moun Kamewoun. Nou gen moun ba Kongo yo ki soti anba, nou te gen moun jiska Mozanbik, anfen, Madagaska. E se tout sa an Ayiti ki met tt yo ansanm. E mwen byen kontan l mwen te f liv ke mwen te ekri a ke nou rele li Lapriy Ginen avek Le grand recueil sacr Ebyen liv sa yo pale, yo ba w chante de menm moun Mozanbik k ap chante Ayisyen. Donk se sa ki pral vrman fme sosyete Ayisyn nan. Avk tout melanj sa a, yon melanj ki pral amnize nan Bwa Kayiman an. Mwen kw ke nou te amnize, se la menm ke nou te fonde lang kreyl la tou anmenmtan. E nou te tou retni lang lan ni relijyon an pou toulede te svi nou, mwen ta di tankou de pwent sizo po yo te ka koupe chn esklavaj la. E si konsa nou te reyisi l, wi nou te reyisi l, li te mache tr byen, li te yon gran siks, men pa kont ; an 1806 yon gwo evnman rive e nou konnen yo te tiye Anpr a, e se la nou pral aprann ke tout esklav yo, yo pa t dezire, yo pa t swete lalibte. Genyen ki te renmen blan yo anpil, genyen ki menm l blan yo ap kouri, yo kouri ak blan yo tou. in the whole world. Valery: A question that comes to mind perhaps many or those who are watching the images will also have the same question s. It takes us more than 200 years to finally have some structure with respect to Vodou, why? Max Beauvoir: It is unfortuna te, we must understand one thing we have a phrase we say in Vodou that conspiracy is stronger than magic and for 200 years there was a conspiracy, we must really underst and that we came out of Bwa Kayiman and it was the Vodouists who worked together All of the Vodouist s, whatever place they came from, we know that all the slaves, were people who came from Senegal, they were people who came from Mali, who were from Dahom e y [Benin], who were from Nigeria, they were Kongo people, people of Cameroon. We had people from the lo wer Congo, we had people all the way to Mozambique, and finally, Madagascar. And it was all of them in Haiti who worked togeth er. And I was v ery happy when I did the books I wrote called Lapriy Ginen [Prayer of Ginen] and Le Grand Recueil Sacr [The Gre at Sacred Collection ]. So, the se b ooks speak they give you the same songs the people from Mozambique were singing in Haitian [ Creole ]. So that is going to really form Haitian society. With this whole blend, a mixture that is going to harmonize in the Bwa Kayim an [ceremony]. I believe we harmonized, it actually then in the same moment we founded the Creole language And we retained the language and t he religion so both could serve us I would say like two scissor tips cutting the skin, they co uld cut the chains of slavery. And that is how we achieved it, yes we achieved it it went very well, it was a great success, but not enough ; in 18 06 a big event occurred and we learned the y killed the E mperor, and it was then we learned that all a for freedom. Some liked the whites a lot. There were even some who, when the whites fled, fl ed with them They fled to Cuba, they

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5 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Yo kouri al Kiba, yo kouri vin isit o Z etazini d Amerik. Yo vin menm o sen nan Chicago, fondat de Chikago. Se tout esklav sa yo ki pa t renmen ras yo men ki te renmen blan yo, men pou yon rezon oubyen yon lt. Swa blan yo te trete yo byen, te ba yo rad Valery: Yo te fidl ak mt yo ? [6:34] Max Beauvoir: Fidelite eksetera. Nou te gen sa tou. E se yo menm ki pral reyganize yon lt mouvman ki pral kraze endepandans an 1806 avk lanm Anpr an. E anmenmtan yo kraze endepandans la, peyi d Ayiti potko menm rekont pa tout peyi mond lan. Sa pa f yo anyen, e yo monte govnman pa yo ke yo kenbe tr jalouzman nan men yo avk anpil fs jis jodi a. Donk ansanm nou panse ke gouvnman Preval la, se lamenmchoz. E se sou menm lin li ye a tou. E se pou sa nou pral w li pral f eleksyon avk 16 milyon blan, kounye a l ap mande blan voye kb pou li anmenmtan de lt kote li pral chwazi moun ki pral ganize yo pami P Katolik, Potestan, menm Anglikan, men setnman, Vodou pa t ladann. Valery: Vodou pat ladann, mwen songe sa Max Beauvoir: Eleksyon sa soti, li te yon gwo katastwf e tout moun te w li; men moun pa t al vote. Nan k kontan kanmenm, gen kk moun ki t al vote pou yo, nou di bravo bravo. Yo genyen eleksyon an kanmenm. Valery: Nan nivo sa a, ske nou te reyaji, ske nou te mande patisipasyon Vodouwizan nan konsy elektoral la? Max Beauvoir: Nou mande li san ss, nou mande li lakay nou an Ayiti, konsy elektoral. Nou mande Prezidan de la fled here, the United States of America. Th ey even arrived in Chicago founder of Chicago. It was all those slave s who did not like their race but liked the whites, for one reason or another. Perhaps the whites treated them well, had given them clothes. Valery: They were loyal to their owners? Max Beauvoir: Loyalty excetera.We had that too. And it was really those who were going to reorganize another movement that was going to break independence in 1806 with the dea th of th e Emperor. And at the same time they suppressed the independence the country of Haiti still recognized by all of the cou ntries in the world. That did not do anything to them and they erected their own government that they held greedily in their hands with a lot of force even to this day. So all said and done we think that the government of Preval, is the same thing And the same tangent too. because of th at we are going to see him have an ele ction with 1 asking whites to send money to him ; at the same time in other places he is going to choose people who are going to organize them among the Catholic priests, Protestants, even Anglican, but certainly, Vodou is not included. that. Max Beau voir: The election occured it was a giant catastrophe and everyone saw it; but people did not go vote. Truly with sincerity, there were some people who went and voted for them we say bravo, bravo! They won the election regardless Valery: On that level, did we react, did we ask for Vodouist participation in the election council? Max Beauvoir: We asked for it continulously, we asked for it in our house in Haiti, the electoral council. We asked th e

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6 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Repiblik. Paske nou f l, li w vrman ke li pa t posib pou yon pp endepandan kon sa pou l santi li tlman depandan de relijyon etranj, paske se nou menm ki relijyon pp Ayisyen. Se Vodou an ki nanm pp Ayisyen. E l ou ekskli l, otomatikman se nmal pou pes nn pa pral vote. Valery: Se sa, sitou ke nou rekonni ke li ofisyl nan manman lwa peyi a le 4 avril 2003. Vodou kounye a li se relijyon peyi d Ayiti. Max Beauvoir: Se sten. Valery: Al pou mwen reveni a kesyon mwen te poze a, se sa ke pett tout pwoblm sa yo e sitou pa bliye tou epk rejete yo ki vin ban n ou ke se slman an 2008 nou vin genyen ou menm Ati kon chf siprm du Vodou. Max Beauvoir: Se vre. Atrav letan, gen anpil mouvman e se chak mouv m an sa yo te yon mouvman de dechoukaj ki vin dy, se te 13 fwa nan listwa d Ayiti ke yo eseye dechouke Vodou. L nou di eseye dechouke, yo tiye kan menm de milye de Vodouwizan atrav Larepiblik; yo di pa egzanp nan Jeremi ebyen, se lanm ki pote k Vodouwizan yo tounen ke yo w ke se de santn de santn. Men sete atrav Larepiblik se te yon mouvman yo rel e Ekimenik, moun Potestan te ladan tou avk Katolik yo epi yo al abati batri, bagay. P aske yo menm jan tout relijyon yo f l, nan mond y ap preche lanmou, y ap preche lahn de so Ki f ke pp Ayisyen an pa janm ka reyini antanke pp, se pou sa nou pa janm ka travay ansanm pou konstwi peyi nou jan nou ta swete li. Valery: Toutaf. Jounen jodi a msye Max Beauvoir, ou se chf siprm du Vodou. An nou sne kesyon an, Vodou President of the Republic. Because we did it, independent people like us to feel so dependant on a foreign religion, because we are the religion of the Haitian people. Vodou is the soul of the Haitian people. And whe n you exclude it, automatically it is expected that no one will vote. especially when we recognized that it was official in the law of the country on April 4, 2003. Vodou is now the religion of the country of Haiti. Max Beauvoir: Certainly. Valery: Then for me to return to the question I asked, that is perhaps what all those problems are and also periods of persecution that produce the fact that it is only in 2008 that we came to have you Ati as supreme leader of Vodou. Through ti me, there is a lot of movement and ea ch of those movements was an uprooting movement that came from behind, there were 13 times in the history of Hait i that they tried to uproot Vodou. Whe n we say try to uproot they nevertheless killed thousands of Vodouists across the Republic; they say for example in Jrmie so t carried Vodouists bodies back that they saw hundreds of hundreds But across the Republic, It was a move ment called Ecumenical, Pr otestant people were also in it with Catholics and they went around destryong drums, things B ecause they think they can love world the y are preaching love [but] they are pr especially hatred of his brother and sister. Which causes the Haitian people to never be able to unite that we are never able to work together to construct our country how we would like it. Valery: Absolutely. Nowadays, M r. Max Beauvoir, you are the supreme leader of Vodou

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7 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants an tan ke relijyon. Sten moun f de parall, yo di ke relijyon se finalman yon gwoup de moun ki mete tt yo ansanm dy yon filozofi ki gen yon konspsyon de lavi, ke li menm gen yon pwoft, yon mesi, ki apa de sa gen yon li v de referans. Katolik lan gen Labib, nou jwenn Mizilman yo tou yo gen Koran, Boudis setnman yo gen pa yo. Vodou an li menm, l nou ap gade Vodou an; pou nou di se yon relijyon li ye, ske krit sa yo reyini pou nou di ke Vodou an se yon relijyon li ye? Gen moun k ap poze tt yo kesyon antanke obsvat, moun ki pett pa konnen ; ou pett mye plase pou di nou. Vodou, ske vrman li se yon relijyon antanketl? Max Beauvoir: Se yon relijyon totalman, an st gen plizy fason moun yo defini yon relijyon. Men mwen konnen ke moun ki te ekri definisyon sa yo se te de moun de stn relijyon ki defini l pou l ka ranje tt yo. Pou di km si ke se yo menm slman ki relijyon e lt moun yo pa relijyon. Donk sa pa gen dwa tiye moun nan kareman... rele l bay tout st de non, yo di yo ke se de moun ki sovaj, se de moun ki asasen kriminl nenpt ki bagay. Men yo f tout kalite istwa, yo vin jwenn de puisans ki vin kanpe dy mo sa yo. Mwen ka di Oliwoud, moun sinema yo, yo f anpil fim kont Vodou. Yo tlman viv byen, yo vann byen ke yo pa t menm bezwen ba yo non se Vodou 1, Vodou 2, Vodou X, nenpt ki nimewo e [...] se sou sa ke fs la pral chita. O pwen ou ka menm tande pa egzanp ke presidan de Larepiblik isi o Zetazini d Amerik, msye Rigann nan elkesyon l, li te pale de Vodou ekonomik pou f moun ri de Ayisyen, pou yo pase Ayisyen nan betiz, li pa rann li kont ke vrman pp Ayisyen an sete yon pp kouraje. Yon pp k ap viv nan de kondisyon difisil k ap f dezef kolosal pou li ka viv. E l ou prezidan de Larepiblik, ou pa ka ap pase yon pep anba betiz men se sa ke li f men li reyisi kanmenm. Yo kontinye yo f l pran yon gran prezidan as a religion. Certain people made the para llel, they say that religion is, in the end, a group of people that unite behind a philosophy that ha s a conception of life, that even ha s a prophet, a messiah, that in addition they have a book of reference. The Catholics have the Bible, we find Muslims have the Koran, Budhists certainly have their own [book] Vodou, when we ar e looking at V odou; for us to say it is a religi on, do these criteria convene for us to say that Vodou is a religion ? There are people who are aski ng themselves questions as observers people who ; yo u may be better able to tell us Vodou, is it really a religion as such? Max Beauvoir: It absolutely is a reli gion, there are several ways in which people define a religion. But I know that the people that wrote that definition were of certain reli gions that defined it to ease their minds. To phrase it as though they were the only religion and the other s are not religions have the right to just call it all kinds of names, they tell them that they ar e savages, they are people who are assassins, criminals, all sorts of things But they make up a ll kinds of stories, they come to realize the power that comes to stand behind these words. I can say Hollywood, the people in the movies, they make a lot of films against Vodou. They live so wel l, they sell names Vodou 1, Vodou 2, Vodou X, any on that basis that their force rests. To the extent that you can even hear for example that the president of the Republic here in the United Sta tes of America, Mr. Reagan during the election, he spoke of Vodou economics to make people laugh at Haitians, to make fun of Haitians, he the true account that the Haitian people are a courageous people. A people who are living in difficult con ditions wh o are making colossal efforts in order to live. And when you are president of the Republic, he did and regardless, he succeeded. They continue d to take a famous American

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8 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Ameriken, donk se santiman sa yo ki te bay tout difikilte ki f ke antan ke pp, Ayisyen pa janm ka d emare nan lavi antanke sosyete politik, yon sosyete ki w, k ap rechch bezwen pp li, k ap rechch bon pp li. Nou kapab rech ch de kondisyon, de kondisyon ekonomik, e ke se swa de kondisyon teknolojik. Klke swa kondisyon yo, rechche yo anfen ke p p la kapab viv, pou li ka soti nan miz e pou li ka ale an avan. Valery: Men si nou retounen sou konsp relijyon an ske pou Vodou an menm ki liv de referans relijyon Vodou an? ske nou gen yon liv de referans, ske nou gen menm jan ak lt relijyon yo ske nou gen yon referans klke par? Yon mezi yon moun ki vini e ki pa rap ak li menm relijyon an pran y on f m. Kisa nou ka di pou Vodou an li menm ? Max Beauvoir: Gen dez er fk nou pa f. Valery: Oke. Max Beauvoir: Youn nan er pou nou pa janm f se ke kw ke gen de obligasyon. Pa egzanp la tout pp gen konstitisyon, Ayisyen ft pou gen konstitisyon tou men nou bliye ke pp Ondoura pa janm gen konstitisyon. E pa gen konstitisyon ki di ke sa n egzist pa e fk nou w gen de eksepsyon ki egkzist kon sa. Nou menm l akay nou, nou fonksyone nan loral ite, nou kreye lang ke nou rele la lang ayisyn oubyen gen lang kreyl. Av l ou pale, ki gen rg li, ki gen yon pakt kantite bagay. Men de lt kote moun k ap f definisyon, yo pral defini l yon jan pou sa ekskli. Il se trouv ke Vodou a se yon relijyon paske li reliye moun nan avk Bondye. Donk se mey definisyon de relijyon. Se yon moun ki konnen ke gen yon fs ki siprm, ki sipery, ki egziste e ke tout moun akoz de puisans, tout puisans de lodela, e ke li kapab w toupatou. Li kapab tande tout bagay donk sa sa ou rele omnisyans. E se sa k pral ba li yon fs ki sipery president, so all the difficulties that ensure that as a people, Haitians can never start life as a politic al society, a society that sees that searches for its eks the history of its people. We can research cond itions, economic conditions, and if there are technological conditions. Whatever the conditions, re search them without end until the people can live, so they can leave misery and move forward. Valery: But if we return to the concept of religion for Vodou what is the Vodou book of reference, do we have the same type as the other re ligions, do we have a reference? A way for a person who comes and who does no t have a rapport with it but can grasp it What can we say about Vodou? Max Beauvoir: Th ere are mistake s we must not make. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: One of the errors we should never make is to believe that we have an obligation. For example, all people have a constitution, Haitians are born with a constitu tion as well but we forget that Hondura n people a constitution. And there are no cons titution s that say that does not exist and we must see there are exceptions that exist in that way Us, in our country we operate with orality we create d a language that we call the Haitian language or the Creole language You speak with it, it has rules, it has a various number of things. But in other places there are people who make defin itions they are going to define it in order to exclude You will find that Vodou is a rel i gion because it rel ates the person with God the best definition of religio n. s there is a supreme force that is superior that exists and that all people, because of power, all the power of the transcendent and h e or she can see everywhere. He or she ca n hear everything, so you call h im or her omniscient. And that

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9 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants a pa moun nan ki f ke moun nan bese devan li. E yo ganize vi yo an konsekans. Valery: Yo konnen gen yon t siprm. Max Beauvoir: Se sa. Se sa relijyon an ye vrman. Pa gen lt definisyon de relijyon, se relasyon sa a avk lt siprm. E Vodouwizan an genyen l se sa yo genyen. Se sa nou rele Granmt la. Gen de moun ki pa ka nye li, yo tlman pa ka nye li ke gen lt relijyon yo, yo vin adopte menm mo a tou. Ou ka tande ke Katolik ak Potestan ap re le Bondye, Granmt. Menm nou menm Ayisyen se kon sa nou eksprime l, se Granmt, se lt siprm, se tout bagay. Al ou pa t fin konprann tr byen keksyon lwa a. Al sa te ba yo anpil pwoblm. Gen 401 lwa nan Vodou. Kman? Se fetich bagay sa yo. Valery: Wi wi wi Max Beauvoir: Maintenant ce sont des expressions diffrentes de Dieu. An st, nou di ou ke nan imil ite Vodouwizan yo Nou di w tt moun pa ka konprann Bondye paske Bondye tlman gran, tlman vas, li ranpli tout espas jan yo di w la e nan ka sa a yo pa ka konprann li. Donk Vodouwizan an ap ofri w yon 401 imaj diferan. Ki s on lezimaj yo tout fme Bondye ke ou rele yo zili Freda Danhomen, oubyen ke ou rele yo Bawon Samdi, ou byen ke ou rele yo Ogou Feray, tout se menm Bondye a se sou de fm diferan, de fm mwen ta di w didaktik a fen ke moun ka konprann yo, yo kapab g anize vi yo nan kondisyon sa a. Donk se sa ke li ye, epi lwen l w r eflechi sou li, ou di bon yo pa konprann 401 lwa yo. S e yon bagay ki dwl paske nan relijyon pa yo a, yo di w ke Bondye an 3 psonn. Nou konnen gen le P, le Fis, e le Sent Espri. Pou mwen, yo chak ladann yo se yon sl pesn men nou konnen se yon sl moun k ap dirije lemond antye, gives h im or her a force that is superior to other people in that it make s people bow before h im or her And they organize their lives as a result Valery: They know there is a supreme being. s is how the a relation ship with the supreme being And the Vodouist has that Granmt ( the Lord) There are people who y her deny her to the point where they have their own religion but the y also come to adopt the same word. You can hear Catholics and Protestants calling Bondye Granmt. Even we Haitians express it this way the supreme being thing. So you did not fully understand the concept of the lwa. So that gave them many issues There are 401 lwa in Vodou. How? [They said] i fetish es, stuff like that. Valery: Yes yes yes Max Beauvoir: Now, these are different expressions of God In this way we tell you that in Vodouist humility We told you that people because h e or she is so big, so vast; h e or she fills all space s the way th ey tell you and in that sense Vodouist offers you 401 different images. These are images of all form s of God who you call Ezili Freda Dahomey, or who you call Bawon Samdi, or who you call Ogou Feray, all are the same Bondye in different forms, of forms I would call didactic in order that people can understand them, they can organize their lives in that way So that is wh at it is, and long from now, when you reflect on it understand the 401 lwa. I because in their religion, they tell you that Bondye is 3 persons We know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For me, they are each one person but we know a single being control s the whol

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10 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants nou pa konn kiys ladann yo. Donk se yon mist, men nou pa vle konprann, men tout moun aksepte l. M en nou di ke gen yon kesyon de a kanj tou ladann li. E kesyon zanj lan kote yo ye kisa yo ye? Kote yo ye? ske yo se moun, yo pa t moun, yo se Bondye. Tout kesyon sa yo, m w yo gen prske 401 moun tou, l w mete tout anj ak akanj ansanm, eskstera. [15:06] Valery: Av k Sen yo Max Beauvoir: Wi av k Sen yo ajoute sou li. Donk se pa sa ki f larelijyon. Tout relijyon gen fmil pa yo ke yo prezante bay yon piblik. E Vodouwizan an, Vodou an tou gen fmil pa l pou l prezante relijyon l bay yon piblik. Yon piblik ki admt a san pou san Men an re yalite yo pale d Ayiti tankou y on peyi ki gen Potestan, Katolik g en tout kalite relijyon. Pou mwen gen kk moun ki Vodouwizan paske la lib te se sa li ye alabaz, se sa ki bay tout moun dwa ala lib te se sa ki bay tout moun dwa a lon osi dwa ala diyite paske vrman prezans de Vodou a nan ou menm ba w tou dwa sa. O u konn diyite an se pa yon dwa w al achte, se yon dwa ou genyen ala nesans me nm e w ap kenbe l jiskas ke ou m ouri. Donk si yon moun pile diyite w, li f w mal anpil, si yon moun anpeche w santi w egal ak yon lt li nui w anpil paske nan prez ans divin nan yon moun, pmt tout moun jisteman pretann a sa ki pi gran nan mond, a sa ki pi extra w din E se konsa ke nou menm nou w relijyon pa nou an. E pandan n ap pale de liv, pwobableman moman an rive pou nou ka prezante liv la. Valery: Stenman. Poukwa pa. Finalman yon liv referans Max Beauvoir: Nou genyen youn ladann ke nou rele Lapriy Ginen e Lapriy Ginen an, ebyen, an reyalite sa li ye? Ebyen se yon bann de mo li ye kote se yon konvsasyon ke pp Ayisyen gen ak Bondye. Donk natirlman pa gen manti ladann, nou p ap bay which one of the three So it is a mystery, but and yet everyone ac cepts it. But we say that there is also a question of archangels. And questions of the angels where are they and what are they? Where are they? Are they people, they people, they are Bondye. With a ll of those questions I see they have about 401 fi gures too, when you put together the angels and archangels, etc. Valery: With the Saints. Max Beauvoir: Yes, with the Saints added on to it. So its no t t hat which make s a religion. All religions have their own formula s that they present to the public. And a Vodouist, Vodou also has its own formula s to present the reli gion to the public. A public that confesses the faith entirely But in ry with Protestants, Catholics it has all kinds o f religions. To me, there are some people who are Vodouists because it is liberty at its core gives everyone the right to liberty, that gives everyone the right to honor also, the right to dignity because the very presence of Vodou in you give s you these rights. You know dignity is not a right that you buy, it is a right you have from birth and you will h ave it until you die. So if someone tramples on your dignity, it hurts you very much if someone stops you from feeling equal w ith another i very upset ing because the divine presen ce in people, allows everyone access to what is greatest in the world, to what is the most extraordinary. And that is how we ourselves see our religion. And while we are talking about books, the time has probably come to present the book. Valery: Certainly. Why not. Finally a reference book. Max Beauvoir: We have one one that we call Prayers of Ginen and Prayers of Ginen then, in reality wh at is it? So, it is a series of w ords in which the Haitian people have a conversation with B o n d ye So nat urally there are no lies in it we Bondye lies,

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11 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Bondye manti, nan ansanm, tout chante, tout lapriy a la e nou reyini l ansanm, nou f yon liv av l. E nou rele l Lapriy Ginen Valery: Lapriy Ginen Max Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir: Sa se youn, men n ale pi lwen, nou di apa Lapriy nou gen tout chante Vodou yo, e l w gade chak ladan se pys de filozofi. Pys de vi, pys de souviv kman nou la pou nou viv. E se pou sa nou mete yo ansanm. E nou f yon lt liv ki rele, Le Grand Recueil Sacr. Valery: Oke, Le Grand Recueil Sacr: ou Rpertoire des Chansons du Vodou Hatien Max Beauvoir: E li gen 1763 chante ladann. Sa vle di se reyinyon de tout laprodiksyon entlektyl Ayisyn. E jisteman, l w gade li, ou twouve li ekstrawdin, tout se de pys filozofi Valery: Ok Max Beauvoir: Li vin ba w tout ar de viv Ayisyen. Ki f ke pp Ayisyen an, l li gen sa, il est un tre diffrent des autres peuples de la terre paske li gen filozofi pa l, li gen apwch pa l de lavi. Valery: Donk li enteresan, de liv sa yo moun k ap gade yo la, yo disponib ki kote? ske yo gen mwayen deja pou yo ka jwenn yo yo menm, a Nou Yk, o Zetazini atrav lemond menm ki gen yon sit entent yo kapab pwofite ba yo pou yo kapab gen aks a yo: de liv sa yo ki se Le Grand Recueil Sacr e Lapriy Ginen ? Max Beauvoir: Sa ki enptan nan liv sa yo, keseswa Le Grand Recueil Sacr a, keseswa Lapriy Ginen an ke ou w a, yo pibliye km patrimwn pp Ayisyen. Voila poukwa lapatrimwn se koleksyon spesyal, sa vle di ou klase l de and together, all so ng s all pray ers are here and we assembled them together, we made a book with it. And we call it Prayers of Ginen Valery: Prayers of Ginen Max Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir: This is one, but we are going further, we say apart from Prayers we have all the Vodou songs, and when we look, inside each is a philosophic al piece. A piece of life, a piece of survival how we are here to live. And that is why we put them together And we made another book called, The Great Sacred Collection Valery: Okay, The Great Sacred Collection: or Repetoire of Haitian Vodou Songs. Max Beauvoir : And it has 1763 songs inside. That means it is a union of all Haitian intelectual production And precisely when you look at it you find it extraordinary, all are pieces of philosophy. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: It give s you all the art of Haitian life That makes it so that the Haitian pe ople when they have that, they are different being s from other people on earth because they have their own philosophy they have their own approach to life. Valery: The refore it is interesting, of those books pe ople are seeing here where are they available? Do they already have the means to find them themselves in New York, the United States, even around the world if there is a web site they can take advantage of to gain access to them: those two books are The Great Sacred Collection and Prayers of Ginen ? Max Beauvoir: What is important in these books, whether The Great Sacred Collection whether Prayers of Ginen that you see, they are published as the heritage of the Haitian people. This is why the heritage forms a special collection that means you classify it

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12 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants menm fason ke ou mete Lasitadl, Pal Nasyonal, eksetera. Li rantre nan mond patrimwn e se patrimwn pp Ayisyen an. E se nan sans sa ke vrman nou pibliye de liv sa yo. Me n nou panse ke se plis ke sa. Nou panse k e se yon kesyon de prezvasyon. Gran ap sa sitou se ke, l w gade istwa d Ayiti. Nou tout te al lekl an Ayiti nou tout te etidye istwa. Nou konen ke te gen k k 8 milyon de n g esklav sou tan koloni an. Men nou pa gen yon sl fraz, oken n kote nan oken liv istwa ki rap te men sa mi sye te di yon jou, men sa nou sonje. [19:00] Valery: Ok e. Max Beauvoir: Donk li pa ekziste, donk ansanm se yon p p ke yo nye depi orijin n an. E sa se yon ramasaj ke li ye ki mete n ansanm, ke nou kapab f nou jwenn sa nou sonje. Pran de zevnman enptan, tankou Bwa Kayiman, pa gen yon grenn dokiman okenn kote sou Bwa Kayiman. Se vre ke nou w menm pwofes blan etranje k ap nye menm egzistans de Bwa Kayiman ki di ke li pa t ekziste. Als ke tout Vodouwizan, tout Ayisyen Vodouwizan, yo sonje tr byen Lapriy Dy, Lapriy Ginen. Men kisa Lapriy Dy a ye? Se jisteman ramasaj sa de tout lapriy yo te f, tout preparasyon spirityl ke zanst nou t e genyen, ke yo te f le 14 out 1791 an vu pou yo ka ale afwonte fs sa yo te konnen ki te sipery paske yo pa t janm iyore ke franse yo te yon fs sipery. Men sonje byen ke Franse yo pa t pou kont yo, fk nou jisteman pa bliye ke menm Etazini d Amerik te ede yo pou yo te lite kont esklav yo. Pa egzanp Espay ak Anglet te kouri sou teritwa la. Yo ale dan lit yo, yo angaje yo nan lit yo, k ak k kont Ayisyen yo pandan peryd batay Bwa Kayiman an. Donk nou w yo tout la. An st se yon lit Ayisyen mennen pa slman kont Lafrans men tout fs rekonni km eta pi f nan lemon d anmenmtan, avk mwayen limite; in the same way you would the Cit adel, the Presidential Palace etceter a. It enters world heritage and it is the property of the Haitian people. And in that respect that we published these two books. But we think that it is more than that. We think that it is a question of preservation. That great contribution especially when we look at the history of Haiti. We a l l went to school in Haiti, we all studied history. We know there were some 8 milion slaves in the time of the phrase any where, in any history book that reports said one day, we remember. Valery: Okay. altogether they are a people who have been denied from the beginning. And that is the interpretation that put s us together, that can make us find what we remember Take two important events like Bwa Kayiman, there is not a single document anywhere about Bwa Kayiman. e see even foreign white professor s who deny the existence of Bwa Kayiman, who say that it d id not exist. So all Vodouists, all Haitian Vodouists, they remember well Lapriy Dy ( Dy Prayers), Lapriy Ginen (Ginen Prayers). But what is just a gathering of all of the prayers they made all spiritual preparatio ns our ancestors had, that they made on August 14, 1791 in order that they could confront tha t force that they knew was superior because they never ignored that the French were a superior force. But remember well that the French were not alone, we must not forget that the United States of America helped them fight against the slaves. For example, Spain and England hurried to swallow the territory. They went into their battles, the y engaged them in battle, headlong against the Haitians during the period of the battle of Bwa Kayiman. So we see all of them here In this way a struggle Haitians led not only against France but also against all the forces recognized as the strongest states in the world at the same time

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13 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants nou te gen wch, nou te gen baton. Men lt yo te genyen gwo zam. Valery: Se te pi gwo puisans li te ye nan lepk la. Max Beauvoir: Menm boult kanon yo te tire a li pran chapo lt lan, li kraze li, li kase mancht ki te nan men l lan. Gwo boult kanon, li rantre nan mitan de janm li, l al tiye chwal la. Epi ng la kontinye kouri devan, l ap kriye Se nan sans sa se lwa ki te mennen nan mitan revolisyon sa, se lwa ki te f endepandans sa, se nan sans sa nou santi nou redevab anv de lwa yo ; se pou sa ke nou panse ke yo ft pou yo okipe yon pozisyon ki tr ot nan yerarch i spirityl Ayisyn nan. Valery: Tr byen, an palan de lwa nou pral vin sou kesyon lwa a. Kisa ki yon lwa pou anpil k ap gade ; paske entevyou sa stenman n ap f l pou moun ki pwofann, ki pa konn anyen de Vodou. E gen moun ki tou, pandan n ap pale de koze Vodou an la, ki septik, ki menm p menm paske Vodou pou anpil moun se yon bagay ki f yo p. Epi gen yon lt ide de Vodou an ki pett w Vodou an antanke relijyon pp nou an ki pa w l konsa yo menm. E moun sa yo gen kesyon e n ap eseye plane sou tout kesyon sa yo, n ap esaye omwen eliside tout kesyon sa yo. Nou pral pran yon poz ; anmenmtan m ap raple nou ke nou avk mesye Max Beauvoir, Chf Siprm Vodou a. Ati Max Beauvoir, se yon plezi pou nou genye n ou yon lt fwa. N ap pale de Vodou, e pou Vodouwizan k ap gade yo se si et sten ke yo konprann sa k ap ft. Men pou moun ki gen yon lt konsepsyon de Vodou, moun ki pett yo menm panse ke sa k ap pale la a se bagay dyab. Apr poz lan mwen pral di w ank nou pral eseye konprann vrman kesyon sa a, poukisa Vodou an gen asimil asyon ak satan ak djab. w ith limited means; we had rocks, we had sticks. B ut the others had big guns. Valery: It was the greatest power of that time. Max Beauvoir: Even the cannon balls they shot it took the lives of others it broke it, it destroyed the machete that was in his hand. Big cannon balls, it enter ed in the middle of his leg, it went and kill ed the horse. And the man continu ed to run forwa rd, he was shouting forward, forward the lwa led at the heart of this revolution, the lwa achieved this independence, in th at sense we f eel we are obligated to the lwa ; that is why we think they are supposed to occupy a very high position in the Haitian spiritual hierarchy Valery: Very good, speaking of the lwa we are coming to the question of Lwa What is a lwa for the many watching ; because this interview, certainly we are making it for profane people, who about Vodou. And there are also people who while we are speaking on Vodou here who are skeptic al who are even frightened because V odou, for a lot of people, i s something that frightens them And there is another idea of Vodou that perhaps sees Vodou as the religion of our people who themselves And those people have questions and we are trying to respond to all of these questions we are going to try to at least elucidate all of these questions We are going to take a break ; at t he same time you that we are with mister Max Beauvoir, the Supreme Leader of Vodou. Ati Max Beauvoir, again it is a pleas ur e for us to have you W e are speaking about Vodou, and to Vodouists that are watching they understand what is happening. But for people that have another conception of Vodou, people who perhaps think that we are speaking about devilish things After the break I am going to tell you again, we are going to try to really understand this issue, why is Vodou associated with Satan and the

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14 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir: Se sa Valery: Ret branche, n ap pran yon poz nan k k moman n ap tounen Devil. we will return in a few moments



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1 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir part 1 Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0OlyGzUQ10 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed by Joane Buteau and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Translated by Megan Raitano, Tahiri Jean-Baptiste and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Valery: Mesdames et messieurs un r ey l plaisir, un honneur mme un privilge nous sur le plateau de Tele imag e le chef suprme du Vodou, Ati Max mwen ta kapab di anpil reverans ke n ap salye gwo gason sa ki b kote nou la. Nous allons parler de ce qui nous intresse en tant nou pral konprann entipe plis sa pett nou menm k ap gade la, telespektat k ap gade kesyon ke nou ta genyen, mwen swete ak tan ke nou genyen ke mwen ka poze d kesyon ke nou menm nou ka poze ebyen a tout seigneur ak tout on, msye Max Beauvoir. Valery: Ladies and gentlemen, a real ple asure, even an honor, a privilege to have with us at the table of Teleimage the supreme pleasu respect that we greet this great man who is next to us here. We are going to spe ak about what interests us as Haitians, our religion which is Vodou and we will understand this a little bit more; perhaps those of us who are watching here, viewers who are watching questions that we will have, I hope with the time that we have that I ca n ask some questions that you yourselves c ould ask ; so with all due respect and honor, mister Max

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2 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir, bonswa. Max Beauvoir: Bonsoir Valery, bonsoir aussi tout o dit, tout telespektat de Tele imaj yo ki nan Nou Yk. Mwen byen kontan pale av yo e msi anpil ke ou kite m pale avk yo Valery : Stnman. Se yon on, mwen di w deja ke se yon reyl plezi paske pou premye fwa nou jwenn ke relijyon peyi nou an ki ofisylman konni si nou sonje de dat lan, ki se le 4 avril 2003. Enben, finalman li gen yon chf siprm. E se ou menm. Mwen vle kmanse pou nou pale de gwo evnman sa, ki te ft 7 mas 2008. Max Beauvoir: 2003? Valery: Non 2008, m ap pale de ou menm an ta n ke chf siprm du Vodou. Ati se sa ? Max Beauvoir: Se Ati Valery: Dab anvan nou rantre nan detay kesyon sa, sete yon eleksyon, yon nominasyon ki f de ou menm chef siprm Vodou an. Max Beauvoir: Se te yon eleksyon. Pou nou menm Vodouwizan li te tr enptan antanke nou te montre pp ayisyen an ke nou pa toujou bezwen 7 milyon dola pou nou f yon eleksyon lakay nou. Se konsa ke vrman nou menm nou ganize nou, atrav Larepiblik nou montre yo sa yo rele d sosyete Vodou, de famiy Vodou e nou repati atrav Larepiblik. Teritwa a te an gwoup diferan nan sosyete Vodou repati depi nan Ench avk Plato Santral, nan N, nan Ndws, nan Nds, nan Latibonit la, wo Latibonit, ba Latibonit, desann nan Ptoprens, ale nan Grandans jiska J e r e mi e Okay. E se yo tout ki mete tt yo ansanm, ki deside yo vote antre yo ke vrman pa gen yon chf siprm. Paske Vodouwizan yo te bouke ke yo tout tan, ke tout Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir, good afternoon. Max Beauvoi r : Good afternoon Valery, good afternoon also to all listener s, all viewers of Teleimage who are in New York. I am glad to speak with you all and thank you very much for letting me speak with them Valery: Certainly. It is an honor, I told you already that it is a real pleasure because for the first time we find that the religion of our country is officially recognized if we remember the date, that is April 4, 2003. So, finally it ha s a supreme leader. And it is you. I want to start with us talking about the bi g event that occured March 7, 2008. Max Beauvoir: 2003? Valery: No 2008, I am speaking you in terms of when you became supreme leader of Vodou. Is it Max Beauvoir: Valery: First, before we enter into the details of that question it was an election, a nomination that made you supreme lead er of Vodou. Max Beauvo ir: It was an election. For us Vodouists, it was very important in so far as we showed the Haitian people that we do always need 7 million dollars to conduct an election in our nation It is really like this that we organized ourselves across the Republic we showed them what are call ed Vodou societies Vodou families and we are spread throughout t he R epublic The territory was divided into different group s in Vodou societies from Hinche and the Central Plateau, in the North, in the Northwest, in the Northeast in the Artibonite, upper Artibonite, lower Artibonite, down in P ort au Prince, going into Grand'Anse through J r mie and Les Cayes s all of them who put their heads together, who de cided to vote amon g themselves that really there supreme leader. Because Vodouists were exasperated that all of the time, that all

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3 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants moun se menm pawl la ke se Ayisyen, ke se etranje, yo di wi, yo pa ka f anyen pou Vodou. Puiske nou pa jwenn pys moun pou pale av l. Valery: Pa gen strikti? Max Beauvoir: Wi, li pa gen strikti, nou deside ba li strikti, ba li jart. E fonde jisteman Konfederasyon Nas yonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen an e nou rele KNVA e gen yon sekretarya jeneral de 21 manm e se nou tout ansanm k ap travay ansanm pou nou soti Vodou an nan kote li ye pou nou mennen li la. Valery: Se sa. Max Beauvoir: Nou pa vle bouskile psonn, nou pa vle pran plas psonn, men nou reklame plas pa nou paske fk nou pa janm bliye ke se Vodou an ki f Ayiti, se Vodouwizan avk seremoni Bwa Kayiman ki te f revolisyon nasyonal sa ki te etone lemond, paske se sl revolisyon ke esklav janm f e ki reyisi e se Ayisyen ki te f l. Valery: Toutaf. Max Beauvoir: Sa sete yon gwo zaf. Valery: N ap gade imaj kote ke te gen yon bl seremoni ki te ft jou sa. Tout Vodouwizan ki st toupatou, a letranje, gen de re presantan de Vodou ki pett yo menm ki te vle w evnman sa a. Max Beauvoir: Se sa, gen moun ki soti Kiba, ki soti Brezil, moun ki soti Etazini d Amerik, gen plizy ki te st Nou Yk, Chikago, gen lt ki soti Miami, gen moun Kanada tou te gen gwoup nan KNVA an Frans. Donk, tout moun ki ansanm te vin selebre avk nou. Jou sa se yon jou de renesans du Vodou Ayisyen, yon jou kote nou kapab afime nou pa slman lakay nou the people i t is the same speech whether Haitian, whether foreign they say yes, they Vodou. Because they one to speak to Valery: structure? [so] we decided to give it structure, give it support. And indeed we founded the Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen ( National Confederation of Haitian Vodou ) and we are call ed KNVA and w e have a secretary general of 21 members and it s all of us who are working together so that we can take Vodou from where it is and br ing it here. V alery: Max Beauvoir: We anyone back place, but we are reclaiming our place because we must never forget that it is Vodou t hat made Haiti, it is Vodouists with the Bwa Kayiman ceremony that started the national revolution that shocked the world, because it is the only revolution that slaves ever did that succeeded and it was Haitians who did it. Valery: Absolutely. Max Beauvoir: That was a big deal Valery: We are looking at an image, of a beautiful ceremony held on that day. All Vodouists from all over from abroad they were representatives of Vodou who perhaps wanted to see this event. Max Beauvoir: there were people from Cuba, f rom Brazil, people from the United States of America, there were several f rom New York, Chicago, there were others from Miami, there were Canadian people too, there were French group s in the KNVA So, all the people who were together ca me to celebrate with us That day was a day of r ebirth for Haitian Vodou, a day where we could affirm ourselves not only at home but

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4 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants men nan lemond antye. Valery: Yon kesyon ki vin a lide ke pett anpil nan nou k ap gade imaj gen dwa gen menm kesyon yo tou. Li pran nou plis ke 200 zan pou finalman nou gen strikti sa nan nivo de Vodou an, poukisa ? Max Beauvoir: Se malere, fk nou konprann yon bagay, nou gen yon mo nou di nan Vodou ke konplo f pase wanga e pandan 200 zan te gen yon konplo, fk nou konprann ke vrman nou soti nan Bwa Kayiman e se Vodouwizan yo ki te mete tt yo ansanm. Tout Vodouwizan peyi a, klke swa kote l te soti, nou konnen ke tout esklav yo, se moun ki soti nan Senegal, se moun ki soti Mali, ki soti nan Danhomen, ki soti o Nijerya, se moun o Kongo, moun Kamewoun. Nou gen moun ba Kongo yo ki soti anba, nou te gen moun jiska Mozanbik, anfen, Madagaska. E se tout sa an Ayiti ki met tt yo ansanm. E mwen byen kontan l mwen te f liv ke mwen te ekri a ke nou rele li Lapriy Ginen avek Le grand recueil sacr Ebyen liv sa yo pale, yo ba w chante de menm moun Mozanbik k ap chante Ayisyen. Donk se sa ki pral vrman fme sosyete Ayisyn nan. Avk tout melanj sa a, yon melanj ki pral amnize nan Bwa Kayiman an. Mwen kw ke nou te amnize, se la menm ke nou te fonde lang kreyl la tou anmenmtan. E nou te tou retni lang lan ni relijyon an pou toulede te svi nou, mwen ta di tankou de pwent sizo po yo te ka koupe chn esklavaj la. E si konsa nou te reyisi l, wi nou te reyisi l, li te mache tr byen, li te yon gran siks, men pa kont ; an 1806 yon gwo evnman rive e nou konnen yo te tiye Anpr a, e se la nou pral aprann ke tout esklav yo, yo pa t dezire, yo pa t swete lalibte. Genyen ki te renmen blan yo anpil, genyen ki menm l blan yo ap kouri, yo kouri ak blan yo tou. in the whole world. Valery: A question that comes to mind perhaps many or those who are watching the images will also have the same question s. It takes us more than 200 years to finally have some structure with respect to Vodou, why? Max Beauvoir: It is unfortuna te, we must understand one thing we have a phrase we say in Vodou that conspiracy is stronger than magic and for 200 years there was a conspiracy, we must really underst and that we came out of Bwa Kayiman and it was the Vodouists who worked together All of the Vodouist s, whatever place they came from, we know that all the slaves, were people who came from Senegal, they were people who came from Mali, who were from Dahom e y [Benin], who were from Nigeria, they were Kongo people, people of Cameroon. We had people from the lo wer Congo, we had people all the way to Mozambique, and finally, Madagascar. And it was all of them in Haiti who worked togeth er. And I was v ery happy when I did the books I wrote called Lapriy Ginen [Prayer of Ginen] and Le Grand Recueil Sacr [The Gre at Sacred Collection ]. So, the se b ooks speak they give you the same songs the people from Mozambique were singing in Haitian [ Creole ]. So that is going to really form Haitian society. With this whole blend, a mixture that is going to harmonize in the Bwa Kayim an [ceremony]. I believe we harmonized, it actually then in the same moment we founded the Creole language And we retained the language and t he religion so both could serve us I would say like two scissor tips cutting the skin, they co uld cut the chains of slavery. And that is how we achieved it, yes we achieved it it went very well, it was a great success, but not enough ; in 18 06 a big event occurred and we learned the y killed the E mperor, and it was then we learned that all a for freedom. Some liked the whites a lot. There were even some who, when the whites fled, fl ed with them They fled to Cuba, they

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5 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Yo kouri al Kiba, yo kouri vin isit o Z etazini d Amerik. Yo vin menm o sen nan Chicago, fondat de Chikago. Se tout esklav sa yo ki pa t renmen ras yo men ki te renmen blan yo, men pou yon rezon oubyen yon lt. Swa blan yo te trete yo byen, te ba yo rad Valery: Yo te fidl ak mt yo ? [6:34] Max Beauvoir: Fidelite eksetera. Nou te gen sa tou. E se yo menm ki pral reyganize yon lt mouvman ki pral kraze endepandans an 1806 avk lanm Anpr an. E anmenmtan yo kraze endepandans la, peyi d Ayiti potko menm rekont pa tout peyi mond lan. Sa pa f yo anyen, e yo monte govnman pa yo ke yo kenbe tr jalouzman nan men yo avk anpil fs jis jodi a. Donk ansanm nou panse ke gouvnman Preval la, se lamenmchoz. E se sou menm lin li ye a tou. E se pou sa nou pral w li pral f eleksyon avk 16 milyon blan, kounye a l ap mande blan voye kb pou li anmenmtan de lt kote li pral chwazi moun ki pral ganize yo pami P Katolik, Potestan, menm Anglikan, men setnman, Vodou pa t ladann. Valery: Vodou pat ladann, mwen songe sa Max Beauvoir: Eleksyon sa soti, li te yon gwo katastwf e tout moun te w li; men moun pa t al vote. Nan k kontan kanmenm, gen kk moun ki t al vote pou yo, nou di bravo bravo. Yo genyen eleksyon an kanmenm. Valery: Nan nivo sa a, ske nou te reyaji, ske nou te mande patisipasyon Vodouwizan nan konsy elektoral la? Max Beauvoir: Nou mande li san ss, nou mande li lakay nou an Ayiti, konsy elektoral. Nou mande Prezidan de la fled here, the United States of America. Th ey even arrived in Chicago founder of Chicago. It was all those slave s who did not like their race but liked the whites, for one reason or another. Perhaps the whites treated them well, had given them clothes. Valery: They were loyal to their owners? Max Beauvoir: Loyalty excetera.We had that too. And it was really those who were going to reorganize another movement that was going to break independence in 1806 with the dea th of th e Emperor. And at the same time they suppressed the independence the country of Haiti still recognized by all of the cou ntries in the world. That did not do anything to them and they erected their own government that they held greedily in their hands with a lot of force even to this day. So all said and done we think that the government of Preval, is the same thing And the same tangent too. because of th at we are going to see him have an ele ction with 1 asking whites to send money to him ; at the same time in other places he is going to choose people who are going to organize them among the Catholic priests, Protestants, even Anglican, but certainly, Vodou is not included. that. Max Beau voir: The election occured it was a giant catastrophe and everyone saw it; but people did not go vote. Truly with sincerity, there were some people who went and voted for them we say bravo, bravo! They won the election regardless Valery: On that level, did we react, did we ask for Vodouist participation in the election council? Max Beauvoir: We asked for it continulously, we asked for it in our house in Haiti, the electoral council. We asked th e

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6 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Repiblik. Paske nou f l, li w vrman ke li pa t posib pou yon pp endepandan kon sa pou l santi li tlman depandan de relijyon etranj, paske se nou menm ki relijyon pp Ayisyen. Se Vodou an ki nanm pp Ayisyen. E l ou ekskli l, otomatikman se nmal pou pes nn pa pral vote. Valery: Se sa, sitou ke nou rekonni ke li ofisyl nan manman lwa peyi a le 4 avril 2003. Vodou kounye a li se relijyon peyi d Ayiti. Max Beauvoir: Se sten. Valery: Al pou mwen reveni a kesyon mwen te poze a, se sa ke pett tout pwoblm sa yo e sitou pa bliye tou epk rejete yo ki vin ban n ou ke se slman an 2008 nou vin genyen ou menm Ati kon chf siprm du Vodou. Max Beauvoir: Se vre. Atrav letan, gen anpil mouvman e se chak mouv m an sa yo te yon mouvman de dechoukaj ki vin dy, se te 13 fwa nan listwa d Ayiti ke yo eseye dechouke Vodou. L nou di eseye dechouke, yo tiye kan menm de milye de Vodouwizan atrav Larepiblik; yo di pa egzanp nan Jeremi ebyen, se lanm ki pote k Vodouwizan yo tounen ke yo w ke se de santn de santn. Men sete atrav Larepiblik se te yon mouvman yo rel e Ekimenik, moun Potestan te ladan tou avk Katolik yo epi yo al abati batri, bagay. P aske yo menm jan tout relijyon yo f l, nan mond y ap preche lanmou, y ap preche lahn de so Ki f ke pp Ayisyen an pa janm ka reyini antanke pp, se pou sa nou pa janm ka travay ansanm pou konstwi peyi nou jan nou ta swete li. Valery: Toutaf. Jounen jodi a msye Max Beauvoir, ou se chf siprm du Vodou. An nou sne kesyon an, Vodou President of the Republic. Because we did it, independent people like us to feel so dependant on a foreign religion, because we are the religion of the Haitian people. Vodou is the soul of the Haitian people. And whe n you exclude it, automatically it is expected that no one will vote. especially when we recognized that it was official in the law of the country on April 4, 2003. Vodou is now the religion of the country of Haiti. Max Beauvoir: Certainly. Valery: Then for me to return to the question I asked, that is perhaps what all those problems are and also periods of persecution that produce the fact that it is only in 2008 that we came to have you Ati as supreme leader of Vodou. Through ti me, there is a lot of movement and ea ch of those movements was an uprooting movement that came from behind, there were 13 times in the history of Hait i that they tried to uproot Vodou. Whe n we say try to uproot they nevertheless killed thousands of Vodouists across the Republic; they say for example in Jrmie so t carried Vodouists bodies back that they saw hundreds of hundreds But across the Republic, It was a move ment called Ecumenical, Pr otestant people were also in it with Catholics and they went around destryong drums, things B ecause they think they can love world the y are preaching love [but] they are pr especially hatred of his brother and sister. Which causes the Haitian people to never be able to unite that we are never able to work together to construct our country how we would like it. Valery: Absolutely. Nowadays, M r. Max Beauvoir, you are the supreme leader of Vodou

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7 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants an tan ke relijyon. Sten moun f de parall, yo di ke relijyon se finalman yon gwoup de moun ki mete tt yo ansanm dy yon filozofi ki gen yon konspsyon de lavi, ke li menm gen yon pwoft, yon mesi, ki apa de sa gen yon li v de referans. Katolik lan gen Labib, nou jwenn Mizilman yo tou yo gen Koran, Boudis setnman yo gen pa yo. Vodou an li menm, l nou ap gade Vodou an; pou nou di se yon relijyon li ye, ske krit sa yo reyini pou nou di ke Vodou an se yon relijyon li ye? Gen moun k ap poze tt yo kesyon antanke obsvat, moun ki pett pa konnen ; ou pett mye plase pou di nou. Vodou, ske vrman li se yon relijyon antanketl? Max Beauvoir: Se yon relijyon totalman, an st gen plizy fason moun yo defini yon relijyon. Men mwen konnen ke moun ki te ekri definisyon sa yo se te de moun de stn relijyon ki defini l pou l ka ranje tt yo. Pou di km si ke se yo menm slman ki relijyon e lt moun yo pa relijyon. Donk sa pa gen dwa tiye moun nan kareman... rele l bay tout st de non, yo di yo ke se de moun ki sovaj, se de moun ki asasen kriminl nenpt ki bagay. Men yo f tout kalite istwa, yo vin jwenn de puisans ki vin kanpe dy mo sa yo. Mwen ka di Oliwoud, moun sinema yo, yo f anpil fim kont Vodou. Yo tlman viv byen, yo vann byen ke yo pa t menm bezwen ba yo non se Vodou 1, Vodou 2, Vodou X, nenpt ki nimewo e [...] se sou sa ke fs la pral chita. O pwen ou ka menm tande pa egzanp ke presidan de Larepiblik isi o Zetazini d Amerik, msye Rigann nan elkesyon l, li te pale de Vodou ekonomik pou f moun ri de Ayisyen, pou yo pase Ayisyen nan betiz, li pa rann li kont ke vrman pp Ayisyen an sete yon pp kouraje. Yon pp k ap viv nan de kondisyon difisil k ap f dezef kolosal pou li ka viv. E l ou prezidan de Larepiblik, ou pa ka ap pase yon pep anba betiz men se sa ke li f men li reyisi kanmenm. Yo kontinye yo f l pran yon gran prezidan as a religion. Certain people made the para llel, they say that religion is, in the end, a group of people that unite behind a philosophy that ha s a conception of life, that even ha s a prophet, a messiah, that in addition they have a book of reference. The Catholics have the Bible, we find Muslims have the Koran, Budhists certainly have their own [book] Vodou, when we ar e looking at V odou; for us to say it is a religi on, do these criteria convene for us to say that Vodou is a religion ? There are people who are aski ng themselves questions as observers people who ; yo u may be better able to tell us Vodou, is it really a religion as such? Max Beauvoir: It absolutely is a reli gion, there are several ways in which people define a religion. But I know that the people that wrote that definition were of certain reli gions that defined it to ease their minds. To phrase it as though they were the only religion and the other s are not religions have the right to just call it all kinds of names, they tell them that they ar e savages, they are people who are assassins, criminals, all sorts of things But they make up a ll kinds of stories, they come to realize the power that comes to stand behind these words. I can say Hollywood, the people in the movies, they make a lot of films against Vodou. They live so wel l, they sell names Vodou 1, Vodou 2, Vodou X, any on that basis that their force rests. To the extent that you can even hear for example that the president of the Republic here in the United Sta tes of America, Mr. Reagan during the election, he spoke of Vodou economics to make people laugh at Haitians, to make fun of Haitians, he the true account that the Haitian people are a courageous people. A people who are living in difficult con ditions wh o are making colossal efforts in order to live. And when you are president of the Republic, he did and regardless, he succeeded. They continue d to take a famous American

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8 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Ameriken, donk se santiman sa yo ki te bay tout difikilte ki f ke antan ke pp, Ayisyen pa janm ka d emare nan lavi antanke sosyete politik, yon sosyete ki w, k ap rechch bezwen pp li, k ap rechch bon pp li. Nou kapab rech ch de kondisyon, de kondisyon ekonomik, e ke se swa de kondisyon teknolojik. Klke swa kondisyon yo, rechche yo anfen ke p p la kapab viv, pou li ka soti nan miz e pou li ka ale an avan. Valery: Men si nou retounen sou konsp relijyon an ske pou Vodou an menm ki liv de referans relijyon Vodou an? ske nou gen yon liv de referans, ske nou gen menm jan ak lt relijyon yo ske nou gen yon referans klke par? Yon mezi yon moun ki vini e ki pa rap ak li menm relijyon an pran y on f m. Kisa nou ka di pou Vodou an li menm ? Max Beauvoir: Gen dez er fk nou pa f. Valery: Oke. Max Beauvoir: Youn nan er pou nou pa janm f se ke kw ke gen de obligasyon. Pa egzanp la tout pp gen konstitisyon, Ayisyen ft pou gen konstitisyon tou men nou bliye ke pp Ondoura pa janm gen konstitisyon. E pa gen konstitisyon ki di ke sa n egzist pa e fk nou w gen de eksepsyon ki egkzist kon sa. Nou menm l akay nou, nou fonksyone nan loral ite, nou kreye lang ke nou rele la lang ayisyn oubyen gen lang kreyl. Av l ou pale, ki gen rg li, ki gen yon pakt kantite bagay. Men de lt kote moun k ap f definisyon, yo pral defini l yon jan pou sa ekskli. Il se trouv ke Vodou a se yon relijyon paske li reliye moun nan avk Bondye. Donk se mey definisyon de relijyon. Se yon moun ki konnen ke gen yon fs ki siprm, ki sipery, ki egziste e ke tout moun akoz de puisans, tout puisans de lodela, e ke li kapab w toupatou. Li kapab tande tout bagay donk sa sa ou rele omnisyans. E se sa k pral ba li yon fs ki sipery president, so all the difficulties that ensure that as a people, Haitians can never start life as a politic al society, a society that sees that searches for its eks the history of its people. We can research cond itions, economic conditions, and if there are technological conditions. Whatever the conditions, re search them without end until the people can live, so they can leave misery and move forward. Valery: But if we return to the concept of religion for Vodou what is the Vodou book of reference, do we have the same type as the other re ligions, do we have a reference? A way for a person who comes and who does no t have a rapport with it but can grasp it What can we say about Vodou? Max Beauvoir: Th ere are mistake s we must not make. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: One of the errors we should never make is to believe that we have an obligation. For example, all people have a constitution, Haitians are born with a constitu tion as well but we forget that Hondura n people a constitution. And there are no cons titution s that say that does not exist and we must see there are exceptions that exist in that way Us, in our country we operate with orality we create d a language that we call the Haitian language or the Creole language You speak with it, it has rules, it has a various number of things. But in other places there are people who make defin itions they are going to define it in order to exclude You will find that Vodou is a rel i gion because it rel ates the person with God the best definition of religio n. s there is a supreme force that is superior that exists and that all people, because of power, all the power of the transcendent and h e or she can see everywhere. He or she ca n hear everything, so you call h im or her omniscient. And that

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9 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants a pa moun nan ki f ke moun nan bese devan li. E yo ganize vi yo an konsekans. Valery: Yo konnen gen yon t siprm. Max Beauvoir: Se sa. Se sa relijyon an ye vrman. Pa gen lt definisyon de relijyon, se relasyon sa a avk lt siprm. E Vodouwizan an genyen l se sa yo genyen. Se sa nou rele Granmt la. Gen de moun ki pa ka nye li, yo tlman pa ka nye li ke gen lt relijyon yo, yo vin adopte menm mo a tou. Ou ka tande ke Katolik ak Potestan ap re le Bondye, Granmt. Menm nou menm Ayisyen se kon sa nou eksprime l, se Granmt, se lt siprm, se tout bagay. Al ou pa t fin konprann tr byen keksyon lwa a. Al sa te ba yo anpil pwoblm. Gen 401 lwa nan Vodou. Kman? Se fetich bagay sa yo. Valery: Wi wi wi Max Beauvoir: Maintenant ce sont des expressions diffrentes de Dieu. An st, nou di ou ke nan imil ite Vodouwizan yo Nou di w tt moun pa ka konprann Bondye paske Bondye tlman gran, tlman vas, li ranpli tout espas jan yo di w la e nan ka sa a yo pa ka konprann li. Donk Vodouwizan an ap ofri w yon 401 imaj diferan. Ki s on lezimaj yo tout fme Bondye ke ou rele yo zili Freda Danhomen, oubyen ke ou rele yo Bawon Samdi, ou byen ke ou rele yo Ogou Feray, tout se menm Bondye a se sou de fm diferan, de fm mwen ta di w didaktik a fen ke moun ka konprann yo, yo kapab g anize vi yo nan kondisyon sa a. Donk se sa ke li ye, epi lwen l w r eflechi sou li, ou di bon yo pa konprann 401 lwa yo. S e yon bagay ki dwl paske nan relijyon pa yo a, yo di w ke Bondye an 3 psonn. Nou konnen gen le P, le Fis, e le Sent Espri. Pou mwen, yo chak ladann yo se yon sl pesn men nou konnen se yon sl moun k ap dirije lemond antye, gives h im or her a force that is superior to other people in that it make s people bow before h im or her And they organize their lives as a result Valery: They know there is a supreme being. s is how the a relation ship with the supreme being And the Vodouist has that Granmt ( the Lord) There are people who y her deny her to the point where they have their own religion but the y also come to adopt the same word. You can hear Catholics and Protestants calling Bondye Granmt. Even we Haitians express it this way the supreme being thing. So you did not fully understand the concept of the lwa. So that gave them many issues There are 401 lwa in Vodou. How? [They said] i fetish es, stuff like that. Valery: Yes yes yes Max Beauvoir: Now, these are different expressions of God In this way we tell you that in Vodouist humility We told you that people because h e or she is so big, so vast; h e or she fills all space s the way th ey tell you and in that sense Vodouist offers you 401 different images. These are images of all form s of God who you call Ezili Freda Dahomey, or who you call Bawon Samdi, or who you call Ogou Feray, all are the same Bondye in different forms, of forms I would call didactic in order that people can understand them, they can organize their lives in that way So that is wh at it is, and long from now, when you reflect on it understand the 401 lwa. I because in their religion, they tell you that Bondye is 3 persons We know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For me, they are each one person but we know a single being control s the whol

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10 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants nou pa konn kiys ladann yo. Donk se yon mist, men nou pa vle konprann, men tout moun aksepte l. M en nou di ke gen yon kesyon de a kanj tou ladann li. E kesyon zanj lan kote yo ye kisa yo ye? Kote yo ye? ske yo se moun, yo pa t moun, yo se Bondye. Tout kesyon sa yo, m w yo gen prske 401 moun tou, l w mete tout anj ak akanj ansanm, eskstera. [15:06] Valery: Av k Sen yo Max Beauvoir: Wi av k Sen yo ajoute sou li. Donk se pa sa ki f larelijyon. Tout relijyon gen fmil pa yo ke yo prezante bay yon piblik. E Vodouwizan an, Vodou an tou gen fmil pa l pou l prezante relijyon l bay yon piblik. Yon piblik ki admt a san pou san Men an re yalite yo pale d Ayiti tankou y on peyi ki gen Potestan, Katolik g en tout kalite relijyon. Pou mwen gen kk moun ki Vodouwizan paske la lib te se sa li ye alabaz, se sa ki bay tout moun dwa ala lib te se sa ki bay tout moun dwa a lon osi dwa ala diyite paske vrman prezans de Vodou a nan ou menm ba w tou dwa sa. O u konn diyite an se pa yon dwa w al achte, se yon dwa ou genyen ala nesans me nm e w ap kenbe l jiskas ke ou m ouri. Donk si yon moun pile diyite w, li f w mal anpil, si yon moun anpeche w santi w egal ak yon lt li nui w anpil paske nan prez ans divin nan yon moun, pmt tout moun jisteman pretann a sa ki pi gran nan mond, a sa ki pi extra w din E se konsa ke nou menm nou w relijyon pa nou an. E pandan n ap pale de liv, pwobableman moman an rive pou nou ka prezante liv la. Valery: Stenman. Poukwa pa. Finalman yon liv referans Max Beauvoir: Nou genyen youn ladann ke nou rele Lapriy Ginen e Lapriy Ginen an, ebyen, an reyalite sa li ye? Ebyen se yon bann de mo li ye kote se yon konvsasyon ke pp Ayisyen gen ak Bondye. Donk natirlman pa gen manti ladann, nou p ap bay which one of the three So it is a mystery, but and yet everyone ac cepts it. But we say that there is also a question of archangels. And questions of the angels where are they and what are they? Where are they? Are they people, they people, they are Bondye. With a ll of those questions I see they have about 401 fi gures too, when you put together the angels and archangels, etc. Valery: With the Saints. Max Beauvoir: Yes, with the Saints added on to it. So its no t t hat which make s a religion. All religions have their own formula s that they present to the public. And a Vodouist, Vodou also has its own formula s to present the reli gion to the public. A public that confesses the faith entirely But in ry with Protestants, Catholics it has all kinds o f religions. To me, there are some people who are Vodouists because it is liberty at its core gives everyone the right to liberty, that gives everyone the right to honor also, the right to dignity because the very presence of Vodou in you give s you these rights. You know dignity is not a right that you buy, it is a right you have from birth and you will h ave it until you die. So if someone tramples on your dignity, it hurts you very much if someone stops you from feeling equal w ith another i very upset ing because the divine presen ce in people, allows everyone access to what is greatest in the world, to what is the most extraordinary. And that is how we ourselves see our religion. And while we are talking about books, the time has probably come to present the book. Valery: Certainly. Why not. Finally a reference book. Max Beauvoir: We have one one that we call Prayers of Ginen and Prayers of Ginen then, in reality wh at is it? So, it is a series of w ords in which the Haitian people have a conversation with B o n d ye So nat urally there are no lies in it we Bondye lies,

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11 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Bondye manti, nan ansanm, tout chante, tout lapriy a la e nou reyini l ansanm, nou f yon liv av l. E nou rele l Lapriy Ginen Valery: Lapriy Ginen Max Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir: Sa se youn, men n ale pi lwen, nou di apa Lapriy nou gen tout chante Vodou yo, e l w gade chak ladan se pys de filozofi. Pys de vi, pys de souviv kman nou la pou nou viv. E se pou sa nou mete yo ansanm. E nou f yon lt liv ki rele, Le Grand Recueil Sacr. Valery: Oke, Le Grand Recueil Sacr: ou Rpertoire des Chansons du Vodou Hatien Max Beauvoir: E li gen 1763 chante ladann. Sa vle di se reyinyon de tout laprodiksyon entlektyl Ayisyn. E jisteman, l w gade li, ou twouve li ekstrawdin, tout se de pys filozofi Valery: Ok Max Beauvoir: Li vin ba w tout ar de viv Ayisyen. Ki f ke pp Ayisyen an, l li gen sa, il est un tre diffrent des autres peuples de la terre paske li gen filozofi pa l, li gen apwch pa l de lavi. Valery: Donk li enteresan, de liv sa yo moun k ap gade yo la, yo disponib ki kote? ske yo gen mwayen deja pou yo ka jwenn yo yo menm, a Nou Yk, o Zetazini atrav lemond menm ki gen yon sit entent yo kapab pwofite ba yo pou yo kapab gen aks a yo: de liv sa yo ki se Le Grand Recueil Sacr e Lapriy Ginen ? Max Beauvoir: Sa ki enptan nan liv sa yo, keseswa Le Grand Recueil Sacr a, keseswa Lapriy Ginen an ke ou w a, yo pibliye km patrimwn pp Ayisyen. Voila poukwa lapatrimwn se koleksyon spesyal, sa vle di ou klase l de and together, all so ng s all pray ers are here and we assembled them together, we made a book with it. And we call it Prayers of Ginen Valery: Prayers of Ginen Max Beauvoir. Max Beauvoir: This is one, but we are going further, we say apart from Prayers we have all the Vodou songs, and when we look, inside each is a philosophic al piece. A piece of life, a piece of survival how we are here to live. And that is why we put them together And we made another book called, The Great Sacred Collection Valery: Okay, The Great Sacred Collection: or Repetoire of Haitian Vodou Songs. Max Beauvoir : And it has 1763 songs inside. That means it is a union of all Haitian intelectual production And precisely when you look at it you find it extraordinary, all are pieces of philosophy. Valery: Okay. Max Beauvoir: It give s you all the art of Haitian life That makes it so that the Haitian pe ople when they have that, they are different being s from other people on earth because they have their own philosophy they have their own approach to life. Valery: The refore it is interesting, of those books pe ople are seeing here where are they available? Do they already have the means to find them themselves in New York, the United States, even around the world if there is a web site they can take advantage of to gain access to them: those two books are The Great Sacred Collection and Prayers of Ginen ? Max Beauvoir: What is important in these books, whether The Great Sacred Collection whether Prayers of Ginen that you see, they are published as the heritage of the Haitian people. This is why the heritage forms a special collection that means you classify it

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12 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants menm fason ke ou mete Lasitadl, Pal Nasyonal, eksetera. Li rantre nan mond patrimwn e se patrimwn pp Ayisyen an. E se nan sans sa ke vrman nou pibliye de liv sa yo. Me n nou panse ke se plis ke sa. Nou panse k e se yon kesyon de prezvasyon. Gran ap sa sitou se ke, l w gade istwa d Ayiti. Nou tout te al lekl an Ayiti nou tout te etidye istwa. Nou konen ke te gen k k 8 milyon de n g esklav sou tan koloni an. Men nou pa gen yon sl fraz, oken n kote nan oken liv istwa ki rap te men sa mi sye te di yon jou, men sa nou sonje. [19:00] Valery: Ok e. Max Beauvoir: Donk li pa ekziste, donk ansanm se yon p p ke yo nye depi orijin n an. E sa se yon ramasaj ke li ye ki mete n ansanm, ke nou kapab f nou jwenn sa nou sonje. Pran de zevnman enptan, tankou Bwa Kayiman, pa gen yon grenn dokiman okenn kote sou Bwa Kayiman. Se vre ke nou w menm pwofes blan etranje k ap nye menm egzistans de Bwa Kayiman ki di ke li pa t ekziste. Als ke tout Vodouwizan, tout Ayisyen Vodouwizan, yo sonje tr byen Lapriy Dy, Lapriy Ginen. Men kisa Lapriy Dy a ye? Se jisteman ramasaj sa de tout lapriy yo te f, tout preparasyon spirityl ke zanst nou t e genyen, ke yo te f le 14 out 1791 an vu pou yo ka ale afwonte fs sa yo te konnen ki te sipery paske yo pa t janm iyore ke franse yo te yon fs sipery. Men sonje byen ke Franse yo pa t pou kont yo, fk nou jisteman pa bliye ke menm Etazini d Amerik te ede yo pou yo te lite kont esklav yo. Pa egzanp Espay ak Anglet te kouri sou teritwa la. Yo ale dan lit yo, yo angaje yo nan lit yo, k ak k kont Ayisyen yo pandan peryd batay Bwa Kayiman an. Donk nou w yo tout la. An st se yon lit Ayisyen mennen pa slman kont Lafrans men tout fs rekonni km eta pi f nan lemon d anmenmtan, avk mwayen limite; in the same way you would the Cit adel, the Presidential Palace etceter a. It enters world heritage and it is the property of the Haitian people. And in that respect that we published these two books. But we think that it is more than that. We think that it is a question of preservation. That great contribution especially when we look at the history of Haiti. We a l l went to school in Haiti, we all studied history. We know there were some 8 milion slaves in the time of the phrase any where, in any history book that reports said one day, we remember. Valery: Okay. altogether they are a people who have been denied from the beginning. And that is the interpretation that put s us together, that can make us find what we remember Take two important events like Bwa Kayiman, there is not a single document anywhere about Bwa Kayiman. e see even foreign white professor s who deny the existence of Bwa Kayiman, who say that it d id not exist. So all Vodouists, all Haitian Vodouists, they remember well Lapriy Dy ( Dy Prayers), Lapriy Ginen (Ginen Prayers). But what is just a gathering of all of the prayers they made all spiritual preparatio ns our ancestors had, that they made on August 14, 1791 in order that they could confront tha t force that they knew was superior because they never ignored that the French were a superior force. But remember well that the French were not alone, we must not forget that the United States of America helped them fight against the slaves. For example, Spain and England hurried to swallow the territory. They went into their battles, the y engaged them in battle, headlong against the Haitians during the period of the battle of Bwa Kayiman. So we see all of them here In this way a struggle Haitians led not only against France but also against all the forces recognized as the strongest states in the world at the same time

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13 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants nou te gen wch, nou te gen baton. Men lt yo te genyen gwo zam. Valery: Se te pi gwo puisans li te ye nan lepk la. Max Beauvoir: Menm boult kanon yo te tire a li pran chapo lt lan, li kraze li, li kase mancht ki te nan men l lan. Gwo boult kanon, li rantre nan mitan de janm li, l al tiye chwal la. Epi ng la kontinye kouri devan, l ap kriye Se nan sans sa se lwa ki te mennen nan mitan revolisyon sa, se lwa ki te f endepandans sa, se nan sans sa nou santi nou redevab anv de lwa yo ; se pou sa ke nou panse ke yo ft pou yo okipe yon pozisyon ki tr ot nan yerarch i spirityl Ayisyn nan. Valery: Tr byen, an palan de lwa nou pral vin sou kesyon lwa a. Kisa ki yon lwa pou anpil k ap gade ; paske entevyou sa stenman n ap f l pou moun ki pwofann, ki pa konn anyen de Vodou. E gen moun ki tou, pandan n ap pale de koze Vodou an la, ki septik, ki menm p menm paske Vodou pou anpil moun se yon bagay ki f yo p. Epi gen yon lt ide de Vodou an ki pett w Vodou an antanke relijyon pp nou an ki pa w l konsa yo menm. E moun sa yo gen kesyon e n ap eseye plane sou tout kesyon sa yo, n ap esaye omwen eliside tout kesyon sa yo. Nou pral pran yon poz ; anmenmtan m ap raple nou ke nou avk mesye Max Beauvoir, Chf Siprm Vodou a. Ati Max Beauvoir, se yon plezi pou nou genye n ou yon lt fwa. N ap pale de Vodou, e pou Vodouwizan k ap gade yo se si et sten ke yo konprann sa k ap ft. Men pou moun ki gen yon lt konsepsyon de Vodou, moun ki pett yo menm panse ke sa k ap pale la a se bagay dyab. Apr poz lan mwen pral di w ank nou pral eseye konprann vrman kesyon sa a, poukisa Vodou an gen asimil asyon ak satan ak djab. w ith limited means; we had rocks, we had sticks. B ut the others had big guns. Valery: It was the greatest power of that time. Max Beauvoir: Even the cannon balls they shot it took the lives of others it broke it, it destroyed the machete that was in his hand. Big cannon balls, it enter ed in the middle of his leg, it went and kill ed the horse. And the man continu ed to run forwa rd, he was shouting forward, forward the lwa led at the heart of this revolution, the lwa achieved this independence, in th at sense we f eel we are obligated to the lwa ; that is why we think they are supposed to occupy a very high position in the Haitian spiritual hierarchy Valery: Very good, speaking of the lwa we are coming to the question of Lwa What is a lwa for the many watching ; because this interview, certainly we are making it for profane people, who about Vodou. And there are also people who while we are speaking on Vodou here who are skeptic al who are even frightened because V odou, for a lot of people, i s something that frightens them And there is another idea of Vodou that perhaps sees Vodou as the religion of our people who themselves And those people have questions and we are trying to respond to all of these questions we are going to try to at least elucidate all of these questions We are going to take a break ; at t he same time you that we are with mister Max Beauvoir, the Supreme Leader of Vodou. Ati Max Beauvoir, again it is a pleas ur e for us to have you W e are speaking about Vodou, and to Vodouists that are watching they understand what is happening. But for people that have another conception of Vodou, people who perhaps think that we are speaking about devilish things After the break I am going to tell you again, we are going to try to really understand this issue, why is Vodou associated with Satan and the

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14 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir: Se sa Valery: Ret branche, n ap pran yon poz nan k k moman n ap tounen Devil. we will return in a few moments