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1 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Interview with Max Beauvoir, part 2 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed by Joane Buteau and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Translated by Megan Raitano Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Benjamin Hebblethwaite http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U78oH5vAYqY Valery : Medames et msye ank yon lt fwa, nou avk chf Vodou a, Msye Max Beauvoir. N ap pale de Vodou e l n ap pale de Vodou, ke nou st tal la etabli li antan ke relijyon. Li rekonni day na n konstitisyon peyi nou donk [...] Day yo di w ke relijyon pp Ayisyen an se Vodou. Katolik yo, Potestan yo, tout moun k ap gade nou la, ki de lt relijyon : Vodou a gen plas li nan sosyete nou. Max Beauvoir te sot eksplike sa li ye. Men li sten ke l w pale de Vodou, nan lespri sten Ayisyen, anpil Ayisyen day, sa vle di Satan, sa vle di djab, sa vle di bagay malefik. E nou pral eseye sne kesyon sa nan ang sa e an menm tan nou, nou pral ese ye montre tou vizavi de lt relijyon yo kote ke Vodou an, malgre tou, gen plas li sitou nan dja s pora a. Valery: Ladies and gentleman once again, we are with the Vodou leader, Mr. Max Beauvoir. We are talking about Vodou and when we are talking about Vodou, we have already established it as a religion. Besides, it is recognized in our countrys constitution so [] Moreover they told you that the religion of the Haitian people is Vodou. The Catholics, the Protestants, everyone wh o is watching us, those of other religions : Vodou has its place in our society. Max Beauvoir already explained that. But it is certain that when we talk about Vodou, in the minds of certain Haitians, a lot of Haitians, it means Satan, it means devil, it means something evil. And we are going to try to buckle down on this question a nd at the same time, we are going to try to show with respect to the other religions that Vodou, in spite of everything has its place especially in the

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2 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Vodouwizan yo, yo santi yo pett pa aksepte. Nou pral vin sou sa paske gen yon bagay ke mwen bezwen konprann jounen jodi a: poukisa Vodouwizan oblije sere ogatwa l, sere otl li, tandis ke l t relijyon yo, menm jan ak Endouwist lan, Chinwa yo, yo ouv yo chita sou yon tab y ap pale ak tout moun, n ap vin sou sa. Kounye a, kisa ou ka di tout moun k ap gade nou yo ? Gen yon past k ap gade kounye a la, li menm ofiske ke mwen gen yon entvyou ansa nm avk ou paske pou mesye sa w reprezante djab, Satan, eksetera. Kisa ou ka di de yon moun konsa? Max Beauvoir : Mwen panse ke vrman, mwen tande anpil past pale. E mwen bezwen konkli ke yo di anpil betiz sou Vodou. Yo joure Vodouwizan ; yo di anpil betiz ke se swa isit ou aletranje. Oubyen ke se swa lakay nou, lamenmchoz. Men si ou gade l byen ou w se yon af de rasist, e se menm bagay sa ki te alabaz de prejije de koul o Zetazini d Amerik, pa egzanp an Afrik di Sid. Paske yo pa t renmen moun nwa, yo pa t renmen lapanse nwa. Panse nwa a, dapr yo, panse moun nwa se yon bagay pou yo te voye jete boule, afen ke tout moun anbwate l [...] nan menm men panse blanch pou nou ka viv tankou Frans, pou nou te ka f yo mete nou dey lakay nou. Men fk nou te adopte li; men fk mwen di nou sa k rive nou. Valery : E yo te kolonize nan lespri e yo te kolonize mantalman. Max Beauvoir : Ebyen, si ou mande jodi a poukisa peyi nou pv jan li pv lan, ebyen se senpleman paske apr 1806, ou vin gen yon gouvnman ki pa nse blan. E ki adopte metd blan e natirlman ou nan dy batiman an. Ou nan dy taptap la nou di. Bon souvan ou pa ka pran devan yo, yo tout se devwa w. E se sa yo te toujou swete. diaspora. The Vodouists, they feel that perhaps they arent accepted. We are coming to that because there is something that I need to understand today: why Vodouists are required to hide their ogatwa (small private altar ), to hide their altar, whereas other religions, like with the Hinduists, the Chinese, they openly sit around tables talking with everyone, we are coming to that. Now, what can you tell everyone that is watching us? There is a pastor that is watching now; he is offended that I am having an interview with you because to him you represent the devil, Satan, etcetera. What can you say to a person like that? Max Beauvoir: I truly think, I hear many pastors talk. And I need to conclude that they mock Vodou a lot. They insult Vodouists ; they express many idiocies whether here or abroad. Or even in our very home s its the same thing But if you look at it closely you see its a racist issue, and it is something tha t is at the root of color prejudice in the United States, or for example in South Africa. Because they didn t like black people, they didnt like black ideas. The black ideas, according to them, the thoughts of black people are something for them to set on fire so that everyone can box it up [...] in the same way think like white s so we can liv e like the French, so we could have them put us out of our home s But we must have adopted it; but I have to tell you all what happen ed to us Valery: And they colonized the mind and they colonized mentally. Max Beauvoir: Then, i f you ask today why our country is poor like it is, well it is simply because after 1806, you came to have a government that thought whi te. And that adopted the white method ology and naturally youre at the back of the boat. We say y oure at the back of the taptap. Well often you cant get ahead of them; theyre your obligation And that is what they always hoped

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3 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Malerzman, anpil past Ayisyen, anpil p Aysiyen yo te vin vandi alapanse oksidantal la, konpltman. Donk yo panse ke panse nasyonal Ayisyn nan ki soti nan zanst nou avk tout savwa ke yo akimile pa tout zanst pandan d milye ane, e se sou sa nou chita. Sou savwa sa, yo panse ke tout sa te dwe rejte, yo te dwe bale tout sa de yon kout men. E ke vrman pou yo te f tab yo raz de tou afen pou yo rekonmanse yon lt vi. Li te stipid, li kl paske nanpwen janm sosyete ki ka f sa, ka sa pa t janm egziste. Gen yon bagay ki rele pwogr ; pw ogr yo a se sou bagay etranje, yo kole li ak pa ou a, ou soude l ak pa w la, ou f pp la admt li, ou mache av l, se kon sa ou f pwogr. Men pwogr ki te soti an paske tab yo raz sa p ap svi a anyen W ap rete nan anyen, se kon sa bagay sa yo ye, donk nan sa mwen pa nse nou tr mechan. Nou t ale menm jiska tiye anpil moun. E m ap pale de dechoukaj, ou sonje moun sa yo. Nou gen pi f de rejete sa yo, e nou te gen 13 ladan yo nan listwa d Ayiti. Trz fwa yo kouri sou Vodouwizan e yo tiye d milye de Vodouwizan a ch ak fwa. Nou pa vle ret sou sa paske li negatif. An nou panse ke moman an chanje. E ke nou panse ke ni p ni past yo, tan an rive pou yo vin Ayisyen tou, pou yo konprann ke enter yo se nan Ayiti li ye. E ke se pa paske yo resevwa yon ti kb nan Misisipi oubyen nan Alabama pou yo vin detwi lakay yo ; e ke natirlman yo gen enter pou yo mete men nou ansanm, travay ansanm pou konstwi peyi nou ansanm. Paske se peyi pa nou li ye e nou gen yon devwa: se lese yon peyi ki mey de sa nou jwenn nan a no z anfan a no peti zanfan Valery : Men ou pa sansavwa tou ke yo akize nou kareman de pwoblm Unfortunat ely, many Haitian pastor s many Haitian priests were sold to western ideology completely. So they thought that the Haitian national that comes from our ancestors and all the knowledge that they accumulated from all t he ancestors during thousand of years, and on this we sit O n that knowledge they think that all that should be reject ed th at it should be swept away with the wave of a hand And that really they could wipe the slate cle an of everything so that they could start another life. It was stupid; it was obvious because there was not a society that could do that this case had never existed There is something called progress ; their progress is foreign they place it with yours, you weld it with yours you make people a cknowledge it, you walk with it, thats how you make progress. But the progress that c ome s out, because the table is empty not hing will be accomplish ed You will remain with nothing thats how these things are so in that way I think they are very cruel We went as far as killing many people And I am talking of the post Duvalier antiVodou violence you remember those people. We experien ced most of those persecutions and we ha d 13 of them in the history of Haiti. Thirteen times they attacked Vodouists, and they killed thousands of Vodousists each time. We dont want to dwell on that because its negative. Let us think that times have changed. And we think that for both priest s and pastor s the time has come for them to become Haitians too, for them to understand their interests are in Haiti. And that just because they receive a little bit of money from M ississippi or Alabama they shouldnt destroy their home country; and naturally they are interested in putting their hands together so we can build the country together. Because it is ou r country and we have a duty : its to leave a country that is be tter than what we found for our children and our chidlrens children. Valery: But you are also fully aware that they outright accuse us with respect to the

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4 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants peyi a, yo akize l: left ke peyi d Ayiti nan povrete ke li ye an, ke li nan marasman sa. De menm svi de pasaj biblik pou yo montre w ke Vodou an, Vodouwizan a n k ap svi lwa, jisteman, k ap adore imaj, k ap adore lt espri ke se bagay satanik de Labib menm, ki se liv referans yo, Labib pa aksepte yo. Max Beavoir : Se sa. Valery : Men l t di de sa a, si w ap mache nan yon relijyon Katolik ou Potestan, p a gen jan w kapab aksepte konsp Vodou a. Ou panse ke koabitasyon, byen ke koabitasyon tr palpab antre Vodou an e relijyon Katolik lan, an nou di sa. Men kijan ou w pozisyon Vodou an? Max Beauvoir : Men, mwen panse ke fin alman, moun sa ki pan se konsa a yo gen t. Mwen panse ke vrman kesyon de prezante Labib la km si se ladny pawl, l Labib la fin pale, mwen pa konn sa w ap di a, sa se yon betiz. Yon liv pa ka ekri depi 5 mil lan oubyen di mil an, pou nou ka di ke li prezan jodi a, ke li bon pou pp Ayisyen, ke Labib pa t menm konnen lt Labib yo. Donk yo di l, di se liv referans pou pp Ayisyen; s e yon blag. Twazyman, natirlman gen yon mechanste idyo ke yo te konnen isit tou ; ke yo te konn pran ng mare l nan dy otomobil yo tiye l. Donk se lamechanste; se vrman move donk mwen panse ke natirlman moun ki f sa yo, yo te dwe mande padon, mete jenou yo a t pou yo mande padon a Bondye, vreman; retire lavi yon moun ki blese tout yon fanmi, vrman mwen panse ke tan sa a fin i. Nou panse jodi a se yon tan ki baze sou leresp. Leresp natirlman de tout relijyon yo. E mwen menm, mwen pwofese resp sa. Mwen respekte mesye Katolik yo pwofondeman, mwen respekte mesye problems of the country, they make the accus ation : the fact tha t the country of Haiti is in the poverty that its in that its in this hardship They even using Biblical passages to argue that Vodou, Vodouists who are serving the lwa, precisely, are worshiping images, are worshiping other spirits th at t hose are the Satanic things specifically refered to in the Bible, which is their reference book ; the Bible doesnt accept them. Max Beauvoir: Thats right Valery: But others say of that, if you are following a Catholic or Prote stant religion, theres no way you can accept the concept of Vodou. You think that cohabitation, even though cohabitation is very palpable between the Vodou and in the Catholic religion, let us say that much. But how do you see the position of Vodou? Max Beauvoir: But, I think that finally, the person who thinks this way is wrong I think that the real question of presenting the Bible as if it is the la st word, when the Bible has stopped speakin g I dont know w hat y ou wo uld say that is a mockery A book cant have been writ t e n 5 thousand years ago or 10 thousand years ago for us to still say that it is present today, that it is good for the Haitia n people, that the Bibl e did not even know the other Bibles [sacred writings] So they say it, say it is the reference book for the Haitian people ; thats a joke. Third ly of course there is an idiotic evil that th ey knew here too ; that they would take a ma n and tie him behind an automobile, they killed him So its cruelty ; its really bad so I think that of course the people who do that, they should ask for forgiveness, get on their knees on the ground so they can ask Bondyes (Gods) forgi veness ; really, take away the life of a person who injures an entire family, I think that this era is over We think today is an era that is based on respect. Of course t he respect of all the religions. And I m yself, I profess that respect I deeply respect the Catholic

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5 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Pwotestan yo nan fwa yo ; mwen respekte tout relijyon paske ou pa di ou se yon moun relijyon ou menm e ou pa apresye relijyon lt moun. Okontr, eseye apresye l se tout. Kote yo gen febls yo ede l, ba yo fs. Paske li tr enptan ke larelijyon li menm se yon bagay pou moun respekte. Se pozisyon pa m e mwen regrt tout vye betiz yo di sou Vodou, sitou pa d Ayisyen ank. Ce sont des Hatiens vendus des petits Hatiens e se sa ki eksplike poukisa peyi a pale de lang. Kman ou ka blame Vodou kan depi 1806 ou pran tout pp la an antye, ou boure li nan yon kwen lepli rekile posib de lasosyete e ou rele l moun andey. Donk li pa ka andedan, e se si li pa andedan kman li ka konstwi andedan; donk li pa posib. Donk moun ki panse konsa, sa f twp betiz extradin oswa l ap manti oswa l ap twonpe moun kons yaman oubyen yo konnen malontman. Paske l w pouse yon moun dey li pa ka konstwi andedan e pouvwa politik toujou rete nan mi Kretyen jiska jodi a. Valery : Sa se yon lt rele n ap vin sou sa. Men pou nou retounen sou menm kesyon sa, menm deba sa nan d d ide sa a, moun relijyon sa yo baze yo sou left ke tout Vodou an gen yon imaj, gen de fwa mechan, gen yon imaj malefik. N ap vin nan asp sa a, gen yon lt asp nan Vodou a ki rete pou li eliside. Poukisa nou gen otan de t anpil moun di ke Vodou an f ; pa egzanp n ap pale de wanga, moun k ap tiye moun, de zonbifi kasyon, eksetera, on va e n veni r Donk nou ka konprann d d ide moun sa yo l yo panse a Vodou, se sitou sa ke yo w. Ki lt imaj ke yo ka prezante devan yo pou yo men I respect the Protestant men regarding their faith; I respect all religions because you can t say that you yourself are a person of religion and then you dont appreciate t he religions of others. On the contrary, try ing to appreciate it is everything. Wh ere they have weaknesses they help them give them strength. Because it its very important that religion itself is something for people to respect. This is my sta nce and I regret all the horrible things they say about Vodou, especially by Haitians. T he se are Haitians sold to smallminded Haitians and this explains w hy the country speaks two language s How you can blam e Vodou when s ince 1806 you tak e the people as a whole, you stuff them in the most remote corners of society possible and you call them rural people [outsiders]1. So they can t be inside, and if they are not inside how can they build inside; thus it is not possible. Thus pe ople who think this way, they make extraordinary insults w h ether they are lying or they are consciously deceiving people or they act impolitely. Becau se when you push someone out he cant build inside and political p ower to this day, stays within th e walls of Christianity Valery: That is another matter we are coming to. But to return to the same question, this same debate that in world of idea s those members of those religio ns based themselves on the fact th at all of Vodou has an image, sometimes cruel ; it has an image of evil. We are coming to this aspect; there are other asp ects of Vodou that remains to be elucidated Why is there so much wrong that Vodou does according to a lot of people ; for example, speaking of spells people who kill people, of zombification, well get to that. Thus we can understand the ideological orientation of those peo ple when they think of Vodou; its especially this that they see. What other images can they present before 1 Beauvoir uses the term moun andey which means rural people, which, literally, means outside people.

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6 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants kapab w ke Vodou a, se pa slman sa? Kisa w ka di pett km chf siprm du Vodou pou w di yon Pwotestan, yon Katolik, pou w di bon vwala sa Vodou an f ki bon, ki pozitif. Max Beauvoir : Pp Ayisyen an gen dwa gade l toupatou, se yon pp ki alabaz fy, se yon pp ki renmen lalibte; se pou sa ke zanst li te goumen pou lalibte pou li bay otonomi a yon peyi ki rele Ayiti. Yo te chwazi mo Ayiti a yo di w li te vle di terre haut terre montagneuse se yon blag. Paske mo Ayiti se yon mo fon li ye, se yon mo Danwomen Mwen chaje Danwomen, mwen ka pale avk yo, y a di w. Mo Ayiti a vle di dezm , a pati de moman sa se t pa nou. Paske yo te o kouran ke te gen yon trete de Wizwik en 1697 ki te bay Lafrans t a. Donk se pran nou pran t a avk lalibte avk lendepandan s. Donk ansanm li, ladann li tou, se ke Ayisyen an reprezante; Ayisyen ki Nou Yk, Ayisyen ki Miyami, Ayisyen ki an Frans, ki an Almay, nenpt ki kote o mond li prezante imaj de fyte sa a. E nou konnen pp Ayisyen an paske nou w l nan tout Afrik kman l i te ede devlope Lafrik. Nou w l pati o Kanada, kman travay li f Kanada, e tout Kanadyen yo respekty de Ayisyen e de ap Ayisyen an paske li te kabap f li menm. E li f l nan anpil peyi menm isit Ozetazini. Li rive isit li pa t menm konn pale Ang l, men an pe de tan, li rive o depa, li pett t ap bale nan yon faktori men anvan ou konnen, li prske manadj nan faktori a, li menm sipviz e tout bagay nan jan sa a. E li pral f l paske li siyale prezans li, par sa qualit par son excellence. E se s a ki pmt tout moun rekont Ayisyen ; men mwen panse ke se yon fyte pou nou tout. Poukisa devlpman sa pa ft lakay nou? Mwen panse ke sa se yon pwen tr enpotan them so that they can see that Vodou, it i s not only this ? What can you say perhaps as the supreme leader of Vodou to a Pr otestant, a Catholic, to say well here is what Vodou does that is good th a t is positive Max Beauvoir : The Haitian people have a right to see it all over, they are a people who are proud at the core, and they are a people who love freedom ; that is why their ancestors fought for freedom to give autonomy to a country called Haiti. They chose the word Haiti, they t old us it means the high land, the mountain land, thats a joke. Because the word Haiti is a Fon word, its a Dahomian word. I am filled with Dahomen I can speak with them, theyll tell you The wo rd Haiti means from now on , as of this moment its our land Because they were aware there was a Treaty of Ryswik in 1697 that gave France the land. So we took the land along with freedom and independ ence. So together, inside it also, those Haitians represent something; Haitians who are in France, Haitians who are in G ermany, any where in the world t hey present an image of that pride. And we know the Haitian pe ople because we see them in all of Africa, how they helped to develop Africa. We see them in parts of Canada, how their work builds Canada, and all Canadians are respect ful toward Haitians and Haitian contributions because t hey could do it. And they made it in many countries, even here in the United States. They arrived here and they didnt even know how to speak English, but in little time she arrived at the beginning s he was perhaps sweep ing in the factory and before you know it, s he was almost a manager in the f actory, s he even supervised and everything developping in that way A nd s he s going to make it because s he signaled his presence, by his quality, by hi s excellence. And that is what allowed everyone to recognize Haitians; but I think that was a point of pride for all of us. Why does this development not happen at home? I think that this is a very important point

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7 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants moun ki f devlpman nan nenpt kl peyi nan mond nan, se moun ki gen pouvwa pol itik nan men yo. Pouvwa politik la, li ba w dwa pou moun bay taks, leve taks nan men moun, f moun peye pou taks, se sa ki pmt ou f ld etabli atrav paleman eksetera. Ou f ld, ou kreye ledwa e lejist e sa k pa bon ou rele kon sa. Men si ou p a janm nan pozisyon sa a, kman w ap f kapab responsab pou li, se betiz. Vodouwizan pa janm an pozisyon menm d egalite lakay li, f nou di sa. Se yon moun yo bouskile nan yon kwen, yo di li pa la dann, se moun andey. E menm lekl jiska jodi, yo pa f lekl pou li menm jodi a, menm pou l al lopital, pa gen lopital pou li vrman. Donk an st se tout sa ki mande renouvle, ki mande repanse pou nou f yon peyi kote tout Aysiyen kapab viv egalman. Evidaman, gen Ayisyen ki viv aletranje yo ki soti, yo gen tandans gade yo mal, se vre. Yo rele yo dyaspora avk yon tandans negativ. Men nan yon lt kote, ce sont des Hatiens ki te dwe kite peyi yo pou yon rezon ou yon lt, lepli souvan pou yon rezon politik. Nou w l yo kite peyi a, fk nou w m enm si nou pa mande yo retounen, men f n ba yo mwayen pou yo patisipe nan konstriksyon peyi a tankou nou menm Ayisyen anndan. E ke se pa chans slman ke nou andedan e yo andey a. Men yon lt kote, sa ki andey a, se pa tan li l ap pdi, men se yon bagay l al chche, se yon teknoloji ke li ale aprann pou yon rezon. E li kapab kontribye positivman pou konstriksyon peyi a. Valery : Menm jan ou st pale la, si nan tt peyi a te gen Vodouwizan, si prezidan an te Vodouwizan e menm ske nan istwa nou p a t janm te gen yon prezidan ki Vodouwizan ou yon prezidan alatt ki svi Vodou? Ki nmalman, pett yo pa t deklare ouvtman, which the people who work in development all over w orld these are people who have political power in their hands. Political power, it gi ves you the right to tax raise taxes on people make people pay taxes, it permits you to make rules established through parliament, etcetera. You make ord e rs, you create the right and the fair a nd what is not good you call it that. But if you never are in that position, how are you able to be responsible for it, thats ridiculous. Vodouists are never even in position s of equality in her or his home, w e have to say this. It is a person they sh ove d in to a corner, they tell him hes not included hes a rural person [a n outsider ] And even the schools today they dont make schools for him or her today, even for him or her to go to the hospital, there arent really hospitals for him. So in this way its all of this that needs to be renew ed, that needs to be reassessed so we can create a country where all Haitians can live equally. Ev idently, there are Haitians who live overseas who leave they have the tendency to look down on them its true. They call them diaspora wit h a negative connotation But in another sense those are Haitians who must leave th e ir country for one reason or another, often for a political reason. We see when they lea ve the country, we must see that even if we dont ask them to return, we must give them the means to partic ipate in the constructi on of the country just like us Haitians on the inside And its only by chance that we are inside and they are outside. But in another place, those who are on the outside, s he or he is not wasting time, but s he or he went to search for something it s a technique she or he went to learn a technology for a reason. And s he or he can contribute posi tively to ward the construction of the country. Valery: In t he same way that you just spoke, if the leadership of the country includes Vodouists, if the president was a Vodouist or is it the case in our hist ory that we ever had a president who was a Vodouist or a president who practices Vodou ? Who normally

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8 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants menm ki Vodouwizan. Max Beauvoir : Te gen Anper Soulouk; Anper Soulouk, mwen kw li te yon Vodouwizan. Li te konn f seremoni nan Pal Nasyonal chak dimanch, tanbou te bat. Men nou konnen tr byen pp Frans a li menm, li vin envante yon mo ke li rele li: Souloukri. Ou ka jwenn mo sa nan tout diksyonn, tankou yon moun k ap f betiz slman. Sa vle di l Soulouk, yo di w yo pa t konn manje sou tab, li pa t konn kenbe foucht, li pa t konn sesi e sesa. Se yon bann de vye bagay ke yo kritike l, men o fon se te yon gran chf d eta. Valery : Si nan tt peyi a te gen de Vodouwizan, ou panse peyi d Ayiti an ta miy? Ou pans e sitiy asyon an t ap mye ? Max Beauvoir : Pa gen dout, pa gen dout, paske Vodou an avan tou t li egalit. Li pa w diferans antre Ayisyen yo. Ansanm li baze sou sa menm. Non, mwen di te gen vrman, te gen de kk Ayisyen w ap jwenn yo tou nan Senegal, w ap j wenn yo tout la nan Bodetin, nan Latibonit, k ap f d iri. W ap jwenn, se te yon Malyen, yon Dahomeyen e se sa k vin ban nou relijyon an e yo ki ranje e ki ban nou lang ke nou pale a, lang Kreyl la. Da nho men an, e Nijerya? Bon mwen t ap tradui sten chant e, sten priy. M al w moun yo, mwen eseye jwen n li. L mwen rive Nijery a epi pa t gen tradiksyon ank. Sa w chante a, jan w chante an Kreyl la, zry moun Nijerya tande l dirkteman, yo tande l nan sans pa yo. La, li pa saji de tradiksyon, sa vle di al chche yon mo, ranplase mo sa ladan li. Yo chche gram pou mete ansanm, nou menm pa jan w di l la se kon sa li soti nan zry moun Nijerya dirk dirk. p erhaps they dont declare i t openly is a Vodouist ? Max Beauvoir: There was Emperor Soulouque; Emperor Soulouque, I think he was a V odouist. He would do ceremonies in the National Palace each Sunday, the drums woul d beat. But we know very well that the French people themselves they came to inve nt a word they call : Souloukri. You can find that word in any dictionar y referring to a person who only does stupid things. That means at the time of Soulouque, they t old you that they did nt know how to eat at a table, he didnt know how to hold a fork, he didnt know this and that. They criticize d them fo r a bunch of stuff, but in truth he really w as a great leader of the state. Valery: If at the head of the country there was a Vodou ist do you think the country of Haiti would be better off? Do you think the situation wou ld be better ? Max Beauvoir: There is no doubt, no doubt, because, Vodou, if anything its egalitarian It does not see a difference between the Haitians. All together it s very much based on that. No, I say there were really, there were some Haitians, you would find them in Senegal, you would find them in Bodetin, in Artibonite, who were cultivating rice You would find they were Malian, Dahomian, and that what is came to give us the religion and it is they who set out and it is they who gave us the language we speak, the Creole language. Dahomey and Nigeria? Well, I am translating certain son gs, certain prayers. I went to see the people, I tr ied to find it. When I arrive d in Nigeria and there were no longer any transla tions What you sing, how you sing in Creole, the ears of Nigerian people hear it directly, they hear it in their own way Here, it isnt about translation that means to go look for a word, replace that word inside it. They seach for gramm ar to put together, we ourselves, how we say it here is not how it comes across to the ears of the Nigerian people directly.

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9 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and JeanBaptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Men Nijerya, nou konnen se pi gran peyi Lafrik ws. Yo di w ke, mwen panse se yon er, pa t gen moun Nijerya nan 30 negrye a, e ke 30 negrye pa t mennen Nijeryen lakay nou. Se yon blag. Ayisyen yo se Nijeryen; sa k f si n ka pale Kreyl, zry Nijeryen an ap tande l nan lang pa li. Valery : Hmm, entresan. Nou pral pale de politik yon ti ka l paske nou asimile jan w sot di an tal a la, Vodou e politik. Men nou tounen sou Vodou antan ke tl, antan ke relijyon. Kijan ou konsevwa Vodou an, ki jan ou sot di tal an : 401 lwa a? Vodouwizan ki sevi 401 lwa, moun k ap gade nou, yo pa ka konprann ke Vodouwizan sa a se nan Bondye li kw. Paske pou li menm li kw nan d lwa, li kw nan d zespri. Kiys ki espri sa yo? Kils yo ye e kote Bondye gen plas li la ? P aske l nou tande Vodouwizan ap pale, ap f lapriy l, se Granmt, se Bondye ke li envok e tou. Pou lt relijyon yo, yo twouve ke li pa nmal, se menm yon aberasyon. Kisa w ka reponn nan sa? Max Beauvoir : Wi li pa nmal pou yo paske yo ta renmen svi lwa pa yo, Bondye pa yo, nan relijyon pa yo. Donk se sa yo ta renmen, men an reyalite vrm an se ke tout Ayisyen ta gen yon f nan relijyon pa yo. Se de relijyon ki pa viv avk mwayen pa yo, yo gen blan k ap voye kb ba yo. Ke se swa Wm k ap voye kb an Ayiti ou ke se swa Misisipi, Alabama k ap voye kb pou Ayiti. Plis, si ke relijyon p a yo gonfle, plis y ap resevwa kb. Ou w sa m di w, se sa slman ki gen ladan. Imajine w gen 9 milyon edmi Ayisyen, si chak Ayisyen mete yon dola nan kt moun sa yo ledimanch. Sa vle di chak dimanch yo resevwa 9 milyon edmi dola. Se yon gwo zaf, se sa ke y ap defann, se pa Bondye ke y ap defann. But Nigeria, we know is the biggest country in West Africa. They tell you that, I think that its an error, the re werent Nigerian s in the slave trade and that th e slave trade did no t lead Nigeria ns to o ur home. Its a joke. Haitians are Nigerians ; which means if we can spe ak Creole, Nigerian ears are list ening it in their own language Valery: Hmm, interesting. We are going to talk about politics a little because we understood what you were talking about earlier, Vodou and politics. But we turn back to Vod ou as it is as a religion. How do you conceptualize Vodou, what do you add about what you mentioned earlier : the 401 lwa? Vodouists who serve 401 lwa ; people who are looking at us they cant understand that th e se Vodouists believe in Bon dye (God) Because for them they [Vodouists] beli e ve in the lwa, they believe in the spir its. Who are these spirits? Who are they and where is Bon d ye s place? B ecause when we hear Vodouists talking, saying their prayers, it is Granmt, it is Bon d ye (G od) who they invoke. For the other religions, they find that it isnt normal, its an aberration. What can you say to that? Max Beauvour: Yes, it isnt normal for them because they would like to serve their own spirits their own God, in their own re ligion. So that is what they would like, but truly, in reality its that all Haitians would have an advantage in their own religion Im talking about religions that dont live within their means they have white peop le who are sending them money Whether its Rome thats sending money to Haiti or whether it is Mississippi or Alabama that s send in g money to Haiti. Plus, if their religion swells the more m oney they receive. You see what I tell you, that i s all it is Imagine you have 9 and a half million Haitians, if each Haitia n put a dollar in these peoples collections on Sundays. That means each Sunday they receive 9 and a half million dollars. Its a big issue, thats what they are defending; it isnt G od theyre

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10 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Valery : Y ap defann pa egzanp anpil nan yo di ke y ap defann left ke te gen yon Mesi, Jezi Kris ki te vin sou lat a pou vin sove pp li, ki se tout moun an jeneral; lm, si w vle di, klke swa kote w te ye. Si sete an Azi, klke swa kontinan an, yo pa f fi de sa. Yo di ke li se Lesov de limanite. Nan Vodou an li menm ske li rekonnt... M ax Beauvoir : Nou gen 450 mil sov. Tout moun ki te nan Bwa Kayiman yo. Se sa nou rele sov. Valery : 450 mil so v? Donk lwa yo se espri? An nou pale de sa. Max Beauvoir : An nou moun pale de relijyon li menm, nou di ke se relasyon avk Bondye, nou di l deja. Nou w ke sa byen konpri, li klasik nan tout nivo. Men o fon, relijyon se yon fason pou montre moun kman pou viv. Gen bon fason pou moun viv; si mwen tiye w oubyen si w vole sa k nan pch mwen, se mal viv. Men gen de fason pou byen viv, pou ou ka fini er, mwen menm tou; ebyen gen de lwa de travay, eksetera. Vodou a mete l la, an st Kouzen Zaka ke mwen pale de li an, se lespri travay. Se yon travay divinize e travay sa yo reprezante l lakay nou souvan... kman mwen ta di w, km agrikilti slman, km moun k ap travay lat, pen patat. Men o fon se pa vre. Travay ke n ap f la nan televizyon an oubyen travay ke w ap f avk plim ou an, ebyen tout se travay Kouzen Zaka. Se pou montre w ke kman travay se baz sosyete a. Sa se youn, men gen lt. Ou gen Ogou, Ogou Feray, fk nou pa pran nenpt Ogou paske gen yon seri de Ogou; mwen kw gen 21, ebyen se li menm k ap b a w fs, k ap ba w kouraj. Men se pa slman ke li se lespri fs, men se li menm ki f w leve nan kabann lemat e n l defending. Valery: They are defending for example, a lot of them say that they are defending the fact that there was a Messiah Jesus Christ who came to the earth to save his people, who are all people in general; in othe r words mankind, wh erever y ou were. If it was in Asia, which eve r continent they dont let that concern them They say that he is the Savior of mankind. In Vodou itself does it recognize... Max Beauvour: We have 450 thousand savi ours All the people who were in Bwa Kay iman. Thats what we call sav iours Valery: Four hundred and fifty thousand sav iours ? So the lwa are spirits? Lets talk about that. Max Beauvoir: Let us people speak of religion itself we say that it is a r el ationship with God, we said that already. We see that this is well understood it is classic al at all levels. But at the heart of it, religion is a way to show people how to live. There are good ways for people to live I f I kill you or if y o u steal w hats in my pocket, that is bad living But th ere are ways to live well, so you can end up happy just as I can, too; well there are lwa of work, etcetera. Vodou put it here, in this way Cousin Zaka who I s poke of hes the spi rit of work. It is a divine work and that work often presents itself in our country how would I tell you, like agr iculture only, like people who are working the land, sweet potato bread? But at the core i ts not true. The work we are doing on television or the work that you are doing with your pen, well all of that is the work of Cousin Zaka. It is to show you that work is the foundation of society. That is one, but there are others. You have Ogou, Ogou Fe ray ; we must not take any Ogou because there is a series of Ogou ; I think there are 21, well its he who gives you strength, who give s you courage. But it is not only strength in spirit, but it is he who makes you rise from bed in the

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11 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants w pa kab ank e ke lanj ap tonbe ou ta renmen ret lakay ou. L ap di w leve w, al travay, l ap di w, l ap di w ke travay la enptan. [1 6:47] Valery : Non men, tr byen. L n ap pale de Ogou, kiys li ye kijan nou kapab eksplike yon moun ki pa menm konprann konsp de lwa sa a. Max Beauvoir : Se de konsp yo ye jisteman, tout lwa yo se konsp. Tout lwa se konsp. N ap pale de Zili yo Kman ou ka gen yon sosyete san Ezili, kman o u ka gen yon sosyete san lanmou? Ki sosyete ou genyen? Se yon sosyete bt sovaj. Paske se lanmou ki pmt moun respekte lt, ede lt, ganize vi nou ansanm e se sa Ezili a ye pou nou. Ke ou rele li le Freda k e ou rele li Dant. Li gen de asp diferan, nou di gen 51 Ezili e menm Grann Brijit nan lanm li bezwen ank zili. E se sa Grann Brijit la ye pou nou. Paske menm lam ki pa bagay ki senp tankou pa msye kretyen yo. Nou pa kw nan paradi, pigatwa, ak lenf. Mwen panse tout sa se yon blag. Valery : Se yon senbolism yo itilize. Al ou st di tal ke yo se de konsp donk ou vle di ke Voudouwizan k ap svi yon lwa itilize lwa, li pito aliyen a konsp de vi sa a? Max Beauvoir : Se sa, ak konsp de vi sa a. V alery : Donk lwa pou moun k ap gade yo la a, o ft lwa pou moun k ap gade ki pett Katolik ou Potestan se pa yon lespri malefik, yon lespri ki yon kote? Max Beauvoir : Y on lespri k ap f t ? Valery : K ap f t ke moun ap svi ? m orning when you cant take any more and the snow is falling and you would like to stay home. He will tell you to wake up go to work, he will tell you, he will tell you that the work is important. Valery: No but, very good. When we talk about Ogou, who is he, how can we explain him to a person who doesnt even understand this concept of lwa? Max Beauvoir: They are precisely concepts, all lwa are concepts. All lwa are concepts. We are talking of Ezili. How can you have a s ociety without Ezili, how can you have a society without love? What society do you have? Its a society of savage animals. Because it is love that allows people to respect oth ers, help others, to organize our lives together and that is what Ezili is for us W h ether you call her Freda or whether you call her Dant She has two different aspects, we have 51 Ezili and even Grann Brijit in death she needs Ezili again. And that is what Grann Brijit is for us Because death is not as simple as that of th e Christian s. We dont believe in heaven, purgatory, and hell. I think all of that is a joke. Valery: It is a symbolism they use. So you just said that they are con c epts so do you mean to say that Vodouists who are s erving the lwa use lwa s he would rather align with that concept of life? Max Beauvoir: Thats right, with that concept of life. Valery: Then lwa for people who are watching here ; in fact, lwa for people watching who are perhaps Catholic or Protestant is i t not an evil spirit, a spitit that is somewhere? Max Beauvoir: A spirit that is doing wrong? Valery: That is doing wrong, that people are serving?

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12 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir : Fk nou pa bliye ke menm Bondye a li menm, ke gen pawl de Bondye nan tout relijyon yo menm an Angl God sesi God sela. Men nou menm nou rele Bondye, Bondye. Souvan n mete yon l t bon dy l ank nou di : Bondye bon. Sa vle di se yon prensip ki extrmeman bon li kalifyab pa bonte li, e sa ki f nou pa ezite mete kalifikatif devan li. Nou mete bon ni devan ni dy. E ke vr man se pa moun k apral voye pitit li ki pral voye l boule etnlman. Als ke nou te ka prevwa ke nou ta pral f yon vye bagay e ke ou ta ka di l non, pa f sa. Ebyen, non, li pa ta f sa, li tann nou nan bwsadan m, l w mouri l a pral tann ou pou li voye w boule. Se pa serye, se pa lanmou. Valery : Bondye se yon Bondye lanmou. Max Beauvoir : E se natirlman pou sa mwen pa konprann ke yo n moun relijye kapab kouri sou yon lt relijyon pou touye moun nan, swadizan l ap f rejete, l ap f kanpay, eksetera. Se pa lanmou sa; kman ou ka eksplike ke w ap preche lanmou nan prch lakay ou ep i w ap kouri di al touye lt la? Li pa posib e se pou sa mwen pa ka kw ladan yo. Nou panse ke nou respekte yo ; nou panse ke chak moun ka kw nan sa l vle. Sa nou kw ladann paske nou a egalite. E nou di ke Vodou a egalit e tout moun gen dwa e yo nan dwa ke nou genyen an: se panse jan nou vle. E ke si l t la vle panse kon sa, mwen respekte l, e mwen respekte l tou, menm mwen pa dak av l. Men nan yon lt kote, nou menm nou pa ka kw nan paradi, nan pigatwa, nan lanf. Valery : Nan ki sa nou kw egzak teman ? Max Beauvoir : We must not forget that even B o n d ye himself, that there are expressions about Bondye in all religions ; even in English God this God that . But we call Bondye, Bondye Often we put another good behind it again we say: Bondye 2 is good. That means h e or she is an extremely good principle, he or she is qua lif iable by his or her goodness, and that s what makes us not hesitate to place qualifiers before him or her We put good before and after. And really that isnt a person who would send his or her chi ld to be burned eternally. So we could predict tha t we c ould do something bad and you would say to him no, dont do that So, no, he or she wouldnt do that as if he or she waits for us in our toothbrushes ; when you die he or she is waiting for you to send you to burn? That is not serious, th at is not love. Valery: Bondye is a loving God. Max Beauv oir: And it is naturally for that I do not understand how a religious person can attack another religion in order to ki ll the person he or she is, so to speak, conducting a rej ection pogram, he or she is conducting a campaign, etcetera. That isnt love ; how can you explain that you are preaching love in your sermons at home and you are quick to say go kill the others? It isnt possible a nd that is why I cant beli e ve in them We know that we respect them; we think that each person can believe in what he or she want s We believe in this because we are equal. A nd we say that Vodou is e galitarian and all people have rights and they have the rights that we have: its to think how we want. And if others want to think that way I respect them, and I respect it too, even though I dont agree with it. But in another respect we ourselves cant believe in heaven, in purgatory, in he ll. Valery: In what do you believe exactly? 2 In Haitian Creole the word Bondye means, at least etymologically, good God. The Haitian expression plays on the prefixed and agglutinated adjective, bon by adding a predicat ive adjective bon, after Bondye : Bondye bon ( [the good] Lord is good)

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13 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir : E byen se yon yon bagay ki bokou pli konpl ks an s m lanm pou yon V odouwizan se pa yon bagay ki sen p, an s m, fk ou pa bliye ke vrman nou menm nou kw natirlman nan re ye nkanasyon. Valery : Vodouwizan kw nan reyenkanasyon ? Max Beauvoir : Fseman, li tounen sou t a 16 fwa. Wit fwa an gason, wit fwa an fi Valery : A bon Max Beauvoir : Af e n ke se sa bi lavi a. Se akimile ekspery ans. Valery : Jiskas ke ou vin paf Max Beauvoir : Jiskaseke ou paf e ou rantre nan Bondye e ou f pati de li menm. [20:05] Valery : Se sa donk ou retounen alasous l ou fini. Donk nou tr pwch, pmt mwen di sa si mwen twonpe mwen, korije m, nou tr pwch de Endouwism ki pett panse yon menm jan. Max Beauvoir : Yo gen de resanblans konsiderab. Youn nan yo se de moun ki te panse kankou nou. Menm nan peyi Lachin gen anpil chinwa ki panse t anko u nou. Yo gen Ogou yo tou, menm jan yo gen Ezili yo tou, e tout bagay sa yo. Valery : An nou pale de koabitasyon oubyen diyalism nan relijyon yo. Katolik yo anpil moun nou ka konprann avk d done istorik, poukisa Katol ik lan fseman pandan l Katolik lan li Vodouwizan? Potestan an kapab tou Vodouwizan. ske nan konsp Vodou an antanke relijyon nou aksepte sa? Yon moun, ou Potestan, ou Katolik epi ou Vodouwizan tou an menm tan? Max Beauvoir: So it is something much more complex, the whole of death for a Vodouist in not a simple thing, in whole, you must not forget that really we naturally believe in reincarnation. Valery : Vodouists belive in reincarnation? Max Beauvouir: Strongly, a person returns to the earth 16 times. Eight as a male, 8 as a female. Valery: Good. Max Beauvoir : I n the final analysis, this is the purpose of life. Its the accumulation of experience. Valery: Until yo u become perfect. Max Beauvoir: Until you are perfect and you enter in God and you are made a part of Him. Valery: That is, then, you return to the source w hen you die. So we are very close, perhaps I say that if I am mistaken, correct me, we are very c lose with Hinduism which perhaps thinks the same way. Max Beauvoir: They have a considerable resemblance. One of them is a people that thought like us. Even in China there are many Chinese that think like us. They have their Ogou too, just as they have t heir Ezili too, and all of those things. Valery: Lets talk about cohabitation or dualism of religions. The Catholics are a lot of people we can understand with some historical data, why are the Catholics specifically while Catholic, he or she is also Vodouists? Protestants can also be Vodouists. Is this a concept of Vodou as a religion that we accept? A person, youre Protestant, youre Catholic and youre a Vodouist too at the same time?

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14 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir : Wi bagay la se ke [ ...] ou gen lt relijyon yo, Katolik, Potestan, yo se relijyon ki jalou. Yo f w konprann ke lt la ka chita la pou l pa an konpetisyon av l. Pa janm gen konpetisyon de Vodouwizan ak Kretyen ni Katolik ni Potestan kmsi se yon konpetisyon ki pa egziste. Tandiske lt yo toujou panse ke yo gen konpetisyon ak lt la, se sa k f yo kouri pou al touye l. Epi rakonte anpil kalite betiz sou li. Valery : Paske yo pa aksepte, yo pa vle aksepte. Max Beauvoir : Se yo ki te konn ekri, se yo ki te gen jounal La Phalange se lt jounal kon sa kote yo te pibliye panse pa yo. Ou konprann? Se sa ki f yo te penn Vodou an yon fason viln, nonakseptab ; e natirlman li pa ka akseptab si w ap touye moun paske Vodou a pa touye moun ; o kontr Vodouwizan nan trtman, li pa trete Vodouwizan slman Katolik, Pwotestan vin w l tou e se yo menm ki reteni lasante pp ayisyen an. L w ap pale pa egzanp du Departman de la Sante Piblik an Ayiti, ou gen legran dkt, gran savan sesi sela, avk lopital jeneral oubyen au Kap Ayisy en, Justinien, ou gade konbyen moun ki rant r e nan lopital sa yo, w a w yo pa svi vrman, yo pa reponn alapanse ayisyn. Valery : A oke. Max Beauvoir : Paske moun nan ki nan mn nan la ki l l ap gentan desann jis pou l rive l avil pou l kouri l opit al j eneral? Yo pa gen posibilite. M pa di pou nou ta kraze lopital sa yo, men non, f yon espesyalite avk yo. Sa bon pou zorey, sa bon pou moun ki pa w, sa bon pou tout af de jan sa. Fk nou bezwen ti lopital ki pr moun ki f si w blese la ou p ap ge ntan senyen twp, ou ka jwenn yon Max Beauvoir: Yes, the thing is that [] you have other religions, Catholic, Protestant, they are jealous religions. They make you understand that others can sit here as long as its not in competition with them. There was never competition between Vodouists and Christians, either Ca tholic or Protestant; its a competition that doesnt exist. Whereas the one group always thi nk s that it ha s a competition w ith the others and that makes them in a hurry to kill each other. And they recount many types of idiocies about it. Valery: Because they dont accept, they dont want to accept. Max Beauvoir: I t was them who would write, those who had journals La Phalange is another journal like that where they published their thoughts. Do y ou understand? Its this that helped them portray Vodou as something villainous unacceptable ; and naturally it cant be accept able if you are killing people because Vodou doesnt kill pe ople ; on the contrary Vodouists are into treatment s he or she doesnt only treat Vodouists Catholics and Protestants come to see him or her too and he or she returns health to the Haitian people. When you are talking for example about the Department of Public Health in Haiti, you have th e great doctor, the great scientists of this and that, and the general hospital or C ape Haitian, Justin i en, you see how many people go in to those hospitals, you ll see that they dont really serve them they dont respond to the Haitian mindset V alery: Oh okay. Max Beauvoir: Because the person who is in the mountains when w i ll she or he have the time to go down all the way to arrive in the City in a rush to the general h ospital? Th ey dont have the possibility. I am not saying we should destroy those hospitals ; of course no t create special izations with them That one is good for hear ing, that one is good for people who cant see, that one is good for all

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15 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants lopital b lakay ou Se yon lt fm. Yo rantre nan vil la pran yon gwo kare b Pal Nasyonal, ou f yon l opital j eneral, li pa aksesib. Valery : Al la ou vle f alizyon avk metsen fy yo, a moun ki... Max Beauv oir : Se yo menm ki mentni lasante pp A yisyen an, e se yo menm ki pa slman Vodouwizan men yo trete Katolik, Pwotestan osi byen, menm past yo tou, yo trete pa Vodouwizan yo. Genyen ki pa gen kb, yo trete l san kb. Anpil ladan yo. Donk an sm se Vodou an ki mentni lasante pp Ayisyen an. Valery : Toutaf, nou pral retounen apr poz sa. Fwa sa, ou sot di tal a ke Vodou pa f mal o kontr w ap pale de byen Vodou f pou pp ayisyen, epi o nivo sante eksetera, eksetera. Men gen de moun ki rete kw ke Vodou f anpil mal, Vodouwizan touye moun, yo zonbifye moun, yo f wanga dy moun, yo Max Beauvoir : An n pran kesyon zonbi sa a V alery: O k e N ap pran l tal. Paske se yon kesyon ki tlman long, men n ap pran l tal. M vle retoune n sou liv lan, li v finalman ke Vodouwizan yo genyen k m liv de referans. E se ekri pa c hf s iprm Vodou an ki se mesye Max Beauvoir ki avk nou la Le Grand Recueil Sacr se reptwa chante Vodou Ayisyen an ke nou gen devan nou la. problems of such and such a nature. We need little hospitals that are near the people s o if you are injured, you dont bleed too much you can find a hospital near your house Its another way. They set up in the city, take a big plot near the National Palace, they made a g eneral h ospital, its not accessible. Valery: So you allude to the leaf doctors3, to people who Max Beauvoir: They are the ones who have maintained the health of the Haitian people, and they are the one s who not only treat Vodouists but they treat Catholics, Protestan ts a s well and the pastors too they are treated by the Vodouists. Th ere some who have no money, they treat them without money. Many of them So in sum, its Vodou that maintains the health of the Haitian people. Valery: Thats right, we are going to return after this pause. This time, you just said that Vodou doesnt do evil on the contrary you were talking about the good Vodou does for the Haitian people and with respect to health etc, etc. But there are people who still believe that Vodou does a lot of evil that Vodouists kill people, that they zombify people that they use sorcery behind peoples backs, they M ax Beauvoir: Lets take that zom bi question. Valery: Okay. We are going to take it soon. Because it is a question that is quite long but we will take it. I want to return to the book, a book finally that Vod ouists have as a reference book. And it is written by the s upreme l eader of Vodou and that is Mr. Max Beauvour who is with us here The Great Sacred Collection 4 is a repertoire of Haitian 3 Herbalists. 4 Beauvoir, Max. 2008. Le grand recueil sacr, ou, Rpertoire des chansons du Vodou Hatien. [Haiti]: Koleksyon Memwa Vivan.

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16 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Epi nou genyen tou Lapriy Ginen donk se de liv diferan youn lt ki rantre nan patrimw n Ayisyen an. Max Beauvoir : Nan patrimw n Ayisyen an. Valery : Kote nou ka jwenn liv sa yo ? Max Beauvoir Enben, n malman se Prs Nasyonal Repi blik d Ayiti se yo ki pibli y e l. Se yo ki pibliy e jounal o fisy l yo. A n sm, m panse li te tr flat yo te aksepte pibli y e l pou nou mete nan koleksyon spesyal koleksyon patrim n Valery : E si se o Zetazini? Max Beauvoir : Nmalman yo t ap vann li La Pliade. Men anpil moun di m yo chche l La Pliade men yo p a jwenn li, m pa konnen sa k rive antre Prs Nasyonal e La Pliade la. Men an prensip se la Pliade ki sanse distribye l an Ayiti. Valery : Isit kote n ap f entevyou avk ou la nou nan Tanp Yehwe o Zetazini; bon, a n fen a Nou Yk, Long Island, se sten ke pandan emisyon an n ap gen telefn kontak e adrs kote nou ka pran kontak avek madanm Nikl Mil kote li ka jwenn liv sa pou Vodouwizan k ap gade e pou tout moun k ap chche, de chch de verite ki kapab jwenn. Mesye Max Beauvoir, nou pral pran poz, pa bl iye n ap retounen sou kesyon Vodou a, zonbifikasyon e mal ke Vodou, dapr sten, ap f de sosyete ayisyen. Rete branche. Vodou s ongs we have in here. And we have also The Ginen Prayer 5, so its these two books that join the Haitian heritage. Max Beauvoir: In the Haitian heritage. Valery: Where can we find these books? Max Beauvoir: Well, normally it is National Pr ess of the Republic of Haiti, they publish it. They publish the official journals In sum, I think it was very flattering that they accepted to publish it for us and put i t in their special collection, the heritage collection. Valery: And if youre in the States? Max Beauvoir: Normally they would buy it at The Pl iad e But many people told me they checked The Pl iad e but they couldnt find it I dont know what happenened between the National Press and The Pl iad e But in theory its The Pl ia de that is suppose d to distribute i t in Haiti. Valery: Here where we are doing the interview with you at Temple Yahweh in the USA; well, in New York, Long Island, it is certain that during the program we are going to h ave telephone contact information and an address where we can contact M s. Nicole Miller where one can f ind that book for Vodouists who are watching and f or all people who a re searching, seekers of the truth who can find i t Mr. Max Beauvoir, we are going to take a break, do nt forget that we are returning to the Vodou question, zombification, and the evil that Vodou, according to some is doing to Haitian society. Stay tuned. 5 Beauvoir, Max. 2008 [2004]. Lapriy Ginen [Port au P rince]: Edisyon Prs Nasyonal d Ayiti.



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1 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Interview with Max Beauvoir, part 2 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed by Joane Buteau and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Translated by Megan Raitano, Tahiri Jean-Baptiste and Benjamin Hebblethwaite http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U78oH5vAYqY Valery : Medames et msye ank yon lt fwa, nou avk chf Vodou a, Msye Max Beauvoir. N ap pale de Vodou e l n ap pale de Vodou, ke nou st tal la etabli li antan ke relijyon. Li rekonni day nan konstitisyon peyi nou donk [...] Day yo di w ke relijyon pp Ayisyen an se Vodou. Katolik yo, Potestan yo, tout moun k ap gade nou la, ki de lt relijyon : Vodou a gen plas li nan sosyete nou. Max Beauvoir te sot eksplike sa li ye. Men li sten ke l w pale de Vodou, nan lespri sten Ayisyen, anpil Ayisyen day, sa vle di n an ang sa e an menm tan nou, nou pral ese ye montre tou vizavi de lt relijyon yo kote ke Vodou an, malgre tou, gen plas li sitou nan dja s pora a. Valery: L adies and gentleman once again, we are with the Vodou leader, Mr. Max Beauvoir. We are talking about Vodou and when we are talking about Vodou, we have already established it as a religion. Besides, it is recognized in our so they told you that the religion of the Haitian people is Vodou. The Catholics, the Protestants, everyone who is watching us, those of other religions : Vodou has its place in our society. Max Beauvoir already explained that. But it is certain that when we talk about Vodou, in the minds of certain Haitians, a lot of Haitians, it means it it means buckle down on this question a nd at the same time, we are going to try to show with respect to the other religions that Vodou, in spite of everything has its place especially in the

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2 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Vodouwizan yo, yo santi yo pett pa aksepte. Nou pral vin sou sa paske gen yon bagay ke mwen bezwen konpr ann jounen jodi a: poukisa Vodouwizan oblije sere ogatwa l, sere otl li, tandis ke lt relijyon yo, menm jan ak Endouwist lan, Chinwa yo, yo ouv yo chita sou yon tab y ap pale ak tout moun, n ap vin sou sa. Kounye a, kisa ou ka di tout moun k ap gade nou yo ? Gen yon past k ap gade kounye a la, li menm ofiske ke mwen gen yon entvyou ansanm avk ou konsa? Max Beauvoir : Mwen panse ke vrman, mwen tande anpil past pale. E mwen bezwen konkli ke yo di anpil betiz sou Vodou. Yo joure Vodouwizan ; yo di anpil betiz ke se swa isit ou aletranje. Oubyen ke se swa lakay nou, lamenmchoz. Men si ou gade l byen ou w se yon af de rasist, e se menm bagay sa ki te alabaz de prejije de koul o Zetazini d Amerik, pa egzanp an Afrik di Sid. Paske yo pa t renmen moun nwa, yo pa t renmen lapanse nwa. Panse nwa a, dapr yo, panse moun nwa se yon bagay pou yo te voye jete boule, afen ke tout moun anbwate l [...] nan menm men panse blanch pou nou ka viv tankou Frans, pou nou te ka f yo mete nou dey lakay nou. Men fk nou te adopte li; men fk mwen di nou sa k rive nou. Valery : E yo te kolonize nan lespri e yo te kolonize mantalman Max Beauvoir : Ebyen, si ou mande jodi a poukisa peyi nou pv jan li pv lan, ebyen se senpleman paske apr 1806, ou vin gen yon gouvnman ki panse blan. E ki adopte metd blan e natirlman ou nan dy batiman an. Ou nan dy taptap la nou di. Bon souv an ou pa ka pran devan yo, yo tout se devwa w. E se sa yo te toujou swete. diaspora. The Vodouists, they feel that perhaps they to that because there is something that I need to understand today: why Vodouists are required to hide their ogatwa (small private altar), to hide their altar, whereas other religions, like with the Hinduists, the Chinese, they openly sit around tables talki ng with everyone, we are coming to that. Now, what can you tell everyone that is watching us? There is a pastor that is watching now; he is offended that I am having an interview you say to a person like that? Max Beauvoir: I truly think, I hear many pastors talk. And I need to conclude that they mock Vodou a lot. They insult Vodouists ; they express many idiocies whether here or abroad. Or even in our very home s the same thing But if you look at it closely you racist issue, and it is something that is at the root of color prejudice in the United States, or for example in South Africa. t like black people, they according to them, the thoughts of black people are something for them to set on fire so that everyone can box it up [...] in the same way think like white s so we can liv e like the French, so we could have them put us out of our home s But we must have adopted it; but I have to tell you all what happened to us Valery: And they colonized the mind and they colonized mentally. Max Beauvoir: Then, i f you ask today why our country is poor like it is, well it is simply because after 1806, you came to have a government that thought white. And that adopted the white method ology and naturally at the back of the boat. We say y at the back of get ahead your obligation And that is what they always hoped

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3 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Malerzman, anpil past Ayisyen, anpil p Aysiyen yo te vin vandi alapanse oksidantal la, konpltman. Donk yo panse ke panse nasyonal Ayisyn nan ki soti nan zanst nou avk tout savwa ke yo akimile pa tout zanst pandan d milye ane, e se sou sa nou chita. Sou savwa sa, yo panse ke tout sa te dwe rejte, yo te dwe bale tout sa de yon kout men. E ke vrman pou yo te f tab yo raz de tou afen pou yo rekonmanse yon lt vi. Li te stipid, li kl paske nanpwen janm sosyete ki ka f sa, ka sa pa t janm egziste. Gen yon bagay ki rele pwogr ; pw ogr yo a se sou bagay etranje, yo kole li ak pa ou a, ou soude l ak pa w la, ou f pp la admt li, ou mache av l, se kon sa ou f pwogr. Men pwogr ki te soti an paske tab yo raz sa p ap svi a anyen W ap rete nan anyen, se kon sa bagay sa yo ye, donk nan sa mwen panse nou tr mechan. Nou t ale menm jiska tiye anpil moun. E m ap pale de dechoukaj, ou sonje moun sa yo. Nou gen pi f de rejete sa yo, e nou te gen 13 ladan yo nan listwa d Ayiti. Trz fwa yo kouri sou Vodouwizan e yo tiye d milye de Vodouwizan a chak fwa. Nou pa vle ret sou sa paske li negatif. An nou panse ke moman an chanje. E ke nou panse ke ni p ni past yo, tan an rive pou yo vin Ayisyen tou, pou yo konprann ke enter yo se nan Ayiti li ye. E ke se pa paske yo resevwa yon ti kb nan Misisipi oubyen nan Alabama pou yo vin detwi lakay yo ; e ke natirlman yo gen enter pou yo mete men nou ansanm, travay ansanm pou konstwi peyi nou ansanm. Paske se peyi pa nou li ye e nou gen yon devwa : se lese yon peyi ki mey de sa nou jwenn nan a no zanfan a no peti zanfan Valery : Men ou pa sansavwa tou ke yo akize nou kareman de pwoblm Unfortunately, many Haitian pastor s many Haitian priests were sold to western ideology completel y. So they thought that the Haitian national that comes from our ancestors and all the knowledge that they accumulate d from all the ancestors during thousand of years, and on this we sit O n that knowledge they think that all that should be reject ed th at it should be swept away with the wave of a hand And that really they could wipe the slate clean of everything so that they could start another life. It was stupid; it was obvious because there was not a society that could do that this case had never existed There is something called progress ; their progress is foreign they place it with yours, you weld it with yours you make people a cknowledge you make progress. But the progress that c o me s out, because the table is empty not hing will be accomplish ed You will remain with nothing these things are so in that way I think they are very cruel We went as far as killing many people And I am talking of the post Duvalier anti Vodou violence you remember those people. We experienced most of those persecutions and we ha d 13 of them in the history of Haiti. Thirteen times they attacked Vodouists, and they killed thousands of Let us think that times have changed. And we think that for both priest s and pastor s the time has come for them to become Haitians too, for them to understand their interests are in Haiti. And that just because they receive a little bit of money from Mississippi or Alabama destroy their home country; and naturally they are interested in putting their hands together so we can build the country together. Because it is ou r country and we have a duty : to leave a country that is be tter than what we found children. Valery: But you are also fully aware that they outright accuse us with respect to the

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4 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants peyi a, yo akize l: left ke peyi d Ayiti nan povrete ke li ye an, ke li nan marasman sa. De menm svi de pasaj biblik pou yo montre w ke Vodou an, Vodouwizan an k ap svi lwa, jisteman, k ap adore imaj, k ap adore lt espri menm, ki se liv referans yo, Labib pa aksepte yo. Max Beavoir : Se sa. Valery : Men l t di de sa a, si w ap mache nan yon relijyon Katolik ou Potestan, pa gen jan w kapab aksepte konsp Vodou a. Ou panse ke koabitasyon, byen ke koabitasyon tr palpab antre Vodou an e relijyon Katolik lan, an nou di sa. Men kijan ou w pozisyon Vodou an? Max Beauv oir : Men, mwen panse ke fin alman, moun sa ki panse konsa a yo gen t. Mwen panse ke vrman kesyon de prezante Labib la km si se lad ny pawl, l Labib la fin pale, mwen pa konn sa w ap di a, sa se yon betiz. Yon liv pa ka ekri depi 5 mil lan oubyen di mil an, pou nou ka di ke li prezan jodi a, ke li bon pou pp Ayisyen, ke Labib pa t menm konnen lt Labib yo. Donk yo di l, di se liv referans pou pp Ayisyen ; s e yon blag. Twazyman, natirlman gen yon mechanste idyo ke yo te konnen isit tou ; ke yo te konn pran ng mare l nan dy otomobil, yo tiye l. Donk se lamechanste; se vrman move donk mwen panse ke natirlman moun ki f sa yo, yo te dwe mande padon, mete jenou yo a t pou yo mande padon a Bondye, vreman ; retir e lavi yon moun ki blese tout yon fanmi, vrman mwen panse ke tan sa a fini. Nou panse jodi a se yon tan ki baze sou leresp. Leresp natirlman de tout relijyon yo. E mwen menm, mwen pwofese resp sa. Mwen respekte mesye Katolik yo pwofondeman, mwen resp ekte mesye problems of the country, they make the accus ation : the fact that the country of Haiti is in the this hardship They even using Biblical passages to argue that Vodou, Vodouists who are serving the lwa, precisely, are worshiping images, are worshiping other spirits th at those are the specifically refered to in the Bible, which is their reference book ; the Bible them. right Valery: But others say of that, if you are following a Catholic or Protestant religion, you can accept the concept of Vodou. You think that cohabitation, even though cohabitation is very palpable between the Vodou and in the Catholic religion, let us say that much But how do you see the position of Vodou? Max Beauvoir: But, I think that finally, the person who thinks this way is wrong I think that the real question of presenting the Bible as if it is the la st word, when the Bible has stop ped speakin g I hat y ou would say that is a mockery A book have been writ t e n 5 thousand years ago or 10 thousand years ago for us to still say that it is present today, that it is good for the Haitia n people, that the Bible did not even know the other Bibles [sacred writings] So they say it, say it is the reference book for the Haitian people a joke. Third ly of course there is an idiotic evil that th ey knew here too ; that they would take a ma n and tie him behind an automobile, they killed him cruelty ; of course the people who do that, they should ask for forgiveness, get on their knees on the ground so they can ask forgiveness ; really, take away the life of a person who injures an entire family, I think that this era is over We think today is an era that is based on respect. Of course t he respect of all the religions. And I m yself, I profess that respect I deeply respect the Catholic

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5 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Pwotestan yo nan fwa yo ; mwen respekte tout relijyon paske ou pa di ou se yon moun relijyon ou menm e ou pa apresye relijyon lt moun. Okontr, eseye apresye l se tout. Kote yo gen febls yo ede l, ba yo fs. Paske li tr enptan ke larelijyon li menm se yon bagay pou moun respekte. Se pozisyon pa m e mwen regrt tout vye betiz yo di sou Vodou, sitou pa d Ayisyen ank. Ce sont des Hatiens vendus des petits Hatiens e se sa ki eksplike poukisa peyi a pale de lang. Kman ou ka blame Vodou kan depi 1806 ou pran tout pp la an antye, ou boure li nan yon kwen lepli rekile posib de lasosyete e ou rele l moun andey. Donk li pa ka andedan, e se si li pa andedan kman li ka konstwi andedan; donk li pa posib. Donk moun ki panse konsa, sa f twp betiz extradin oswa l ap manti oswa l ap twonpe moun konsyaman oubyen yo konnen malontman. Paske l w pouse yon moun dey li pa ka konstwi andedan e pouvwa politik t oujou rete nan mi Kretyen jiska jodi a. Valery : Sa se yon lt rele n ap vin sou sa. Men pou nou retounen sou menm kesyon sa, menm deba sa nan d d ide sa a, moun relijyon sa yo baze yo sou left ke tout Vodou an gen yon imaj, gen de fwa mechan, gen yon imaj malefik. N ap vin nan asp sa a, gen yon l t asp nan Vodou a ki rete pou li eliside. Poukisa nou gen otan de t anpil moun di ke Vodou an f ; pa egzanp n ap pale de wanga, moun k ap tiye moun, de zonbifi kasyon, eksetera, on va e n veni r Donk nou ka konprann d d ide moun sa yo l yo panse a Vodou, se sitou sa ke yo w. Ki lt imaj ke yo ka prezante devan yo pou yo men I respect the Protestant men regarding their faith; I respect all religions because you can that you yourself are a person of religion and then the religions of others. On the contrary, try ing to appreciate it is everything Wh ere they have weaknesses they help them give them strength. Because it its very important that religion itself is something for people to respect. This is my stance and I regret all the horrible things they say about Vodou, especially by Haitians. T he se are Haitians sold to small minded Haitians and this explains w hy the country speaks two language s How you can blam e Vodou when s ince 1806 you take the people as a whole, you stuff them in the most remote corners of society possible and you call them rural people 1 So they can and if they are not inside how can they build inside; thus it is not possible. Thus people who think this way, they make extraordinary insults w h ether they are lying or they are consciously deceiving people or they act impolitely. Becau se when you push someone out ower to this day, stays within the walls of Christianity Valery: That is another matter we are coming to. But to return to the same question, this same debate that in world of idea s those members of those religio ns based themselves on the fact that all of Vodou has an image, sometimes cruel ; it has an image of evil. We are coming to this aspect; there are other asp ects of Vodou that remains to be elucidated Why is there so much wrong that Vodou does according to a lot of people ; for example, speaking of spells people who kill people, of zombification, Thus we can understand the ideological orientation of those people when they think of Vodou; this that they see. What other images can they present before 1 Beauvoir uses the term moun andey

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6 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants kapab w ke Vodou a, se pa slman sa? Kisa w ka di pett km chf siprm du Vodou pou w di yon Pwotestan, yon Katolik, pou w di bon vwala sa Vod ou an f ki bon, ki pozitif. Max Beauvoir : Pp Ayisyen an gen dwa gade l toupatou, se yon pp ki alabaz fy, se yon pp ki renmen lalibte ; se pou sa ke zanst li te goumen pou lalibte pou li bay otonomi a yon peyi ki rele Ayiti. Yo te chwazi mo Ayiti a yo di w li te vle di terre haut terre montagneuse se yon blag. Paske mo Ayiti se yon mo fon li ye, se yon mo Danwomen. Mwen chaje Danwomen, mwen ka pale avk pati de moman sa se t pa nou. Paske yo te o kouran ke te gen yon trete de Wizwik en 1697 ki te bay Laf rans t a. Donk se pran nou pran t a avk lalibte avk lendepandans. Donk ansanm li, ladann li tou, se ke Ayisyen an reprezante ; Ayisyen ki Nou Yk, Ayisyen ki Miyami, Ayisyen ki an Frans, ki an Almay, nenpt ki kote o mond li prezante imaj de fyte sa a. E nou konnen pp Ayisyen an paske nou w l nan tout Afrik kman li te ede devlope Lafrik. Nou w l pati o Kanada, kman travay li f Kanada, e tout Kanadyen yo respekty de Ayisyen e de ap Ayisyen an paske li te kabap f li menm. E li f l nan anpil peyi menm isit Ozetazini. Li rive isit li pa t menm konn pale Angl, men an pe de tan, li rive o depa, li pett t ap bale nan yon faktori men anvan ou konnen, li prske manadj nan faktori a, li menm sipviz e tout bagay nan jan sa a. E li pral f l paske li siyale prezans li, par sa qualit par son excellence E se sa ki pmt tout moun rekont Ayisyen ; men mwen panse ke se yon fyte pou nou tout. Poukisa devlpman sa pa ft lakay nou? Mwen panse ke sa se yon pwen tr enpotan them so that they can see that Vodou, it i s not only this ? What can you say perhaps as the supreme leader of Vodou to a Protestant, a Catholic, to say well here is what Vodou does that is good th a t is positive Max Beauvoir : The Haitian people have a right to see it all over, they are a people who are proud at the core and they are a people who love freedom ; that is why their ancestors fought for freedom to give autonomy to a country called Haiti. They chose the word Haiti they t old us it means the high land, the mountain land a joke. Because the word Haiti is a Fon word, Dahomian word. I am filled with Dahomen I can speak The wo rd Haiti our land Because they were aware there was a Treaty of Ryswik in 1697 that gave France the land. So we took the land along with freedom and independ ence. So together, inside it also, those Haitians represent something; Haitians who are in France, Ha itians who are in G ermany, any where in the world t hey present an image of that pride. And we know the Haitian people because we see them in all of Africa, how they helped to develop Africa. We see them in parts of Canada, how their work builds Canada, and all Canadians are respect ful toward Haitians and Haitian contributions because t hey could do it. And they made it in many countries, even here in the United States. They arrived here and they even know how to speak English, but in little time she arrived at the beginning s he was perhaps sweep ing in the factory and before you know it, s he was almost a manager in the f actory, s he even supervised and everything developping in that way A nd s he s he signaled his presence, by his quality, by hi s excellence. And that is what allowed everyone to recognize Haitians; but I think that was a point of pride for all of us. Why does this development not happen at home? I think that this is a very important point

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7 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants moun ki f devlpman nan nenpt kl peyi nan mond nan, se moun ki gen pouvwa politik nan men yo. Pouvwa politik la, li ba w dwa pou moun bay taks, leve taks nan men moun, f moun peye pou taks, se sa ki pmt ou f ld etabli atrav paleman eksetera. Ou f ld, ou kreye ledwa e lejist e sa k pa bon ou rele kon sa. Men si ou pa janm nan pozisyon sa a, kman w ap f kapa b responsab pou li, se betiz. Vodouwizan pa janm an pozisyon menm d egalite lakay li, f nou di sa. Se yon moun yo bouskile nan yon kwen, yo di li pa la dann, se moun andey. E menm lekl jiska jodi yo pa f lekl pou li menm jodi a, menm pou l al lopi tal, pa gen lopital pou li vrman. Donk an st se tout sa ki mande renouvle, ki mande repanse pou nou f yon peyi kote tout Aysiyen kapab viv egalman. Evidaman, gen Ayisyen ki viv aletranje yo ki soti, yo gen tandans gade yo mal, se vre. Yo rele yo dyaspora avk yon tandans negativ. Men nan yon lt kote, ce sont des Hatiens ki te dwe kite peyi yo pou yon rezon ou yon lt, lepli souvan pou yon rezon politik. Nou w l yo kite peyi a, fk nou w menm si nou pa mande yo retounen, men f n ba yo mwayen pou yo patisipe nan konstriksyon peyi a tankou nou menm Ayisyen anndan. E ke se pa chans slman ke nou andedan e yo andey a. Men yon lt kote, sa ki andey a, se pa tan li l ap pdi, men se yon bagay l al chche, se yon tekno loji ke li ale aprann pou yon rezon. E li kapab kontribye positivman pou konstriksyon peyi a. Valery : Menm jan ou st pale la, si nan tt peyi a te gen Vodouwizan, si prezidan an te Vodouwizan e menm ske nan istwa nou pa t janm te gen yon prezidan ki Vodouwizan ou yon prezidan alatt ki svi Vodou? Ki nmalman, pett yo pa t deklare ouvtman, which the people who work in development all over world these are people who have political power in their hands. Political power, it gi ves you the right to tax raise taxes on people make people pay taxes, it permits you to make rules established through parliament, etcetera. You make ord e rs, you create the right and the fair a nd what is not good you call it that. But if you never are in that po sition, how are you able to be ridiculous. Vodouists are never even in position s of equality in her or his home, we have to say this. It is a person they sh ove d in to a corner, a n outsider And even the schools today for him or her today, even for him or her to go to the hospital, really hospitals for him. So in this way needs to be renew ed, that needs to be reassessed so we can create a country where all Haitians can live equally. Ev idently, there are Haitians who live overseas who leave they have the tendency to look down on them them diaspora wit h a negati ve connotation But in another sense those are Haitians who must leave th e ir country for one reason or another, often for a political reason. We see when they lea ve the country, we must see that even we must give them the means to partic ipate in the constructi on of the country just like us Haitians on the inside chance that we are inside and they are outside. But in another place, those who are on the outside, s he or he is not wasting time, but s he or he went to search for something it s a technique she or he went to learn a technology for a reason. And s he or he can contribute posi ti vely to ward the construction of the country. Valery: In t he same way that you just spoke, if the leadership of the country includes Vodouists, if the president was a Vodouist or is it the case in our history that we ever had a president who was a Vodouist or a president who practices Vodou ? Who normally

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8 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants menm ki Vodouwizan. Max Beauvoir : Te gen Anper Soulouk; Anper Soulouk, mwen kw li te y on Vodouwizan. Li te konn f seremoni nan Pal Nasyonal chak dimanch, tanbou te bat. Men nou konnen tr byen pp Frans a li menm, li vin envante yon mo ke li rele li: Souloukri. Ou ka jwenn mo sa nan tout diksyonn, tankou yon moun k ap f betiz slman. Sa vle di l Soulouk, yo di w yo pa t konn manje sou tab, li pa t konn kenbe foucht, li pa t konn sesi e sesa. Se yon bann de vye bagay ke yo kritike l, men o fon se te yon gran chf d eta. Valery : Si nan tt peyi a te gen de Vodouwizan, ou panse peyi d Ayiti an ta miy? Ou panse siti y asyon an t ap mye ? Max Beauvoir : Pa gen dout, pa gen dout, paske Vodou an avan tou t li egalit. Li pa w diferans antre Ayisyen yo. Ansanm li baze sou sa menm. Non mwen di te gen vrman, te gen de kk Ayisyen w ap jwenn yo tou nan Senegal, w ap jwenn yo tout la nan Bodetin, nan Latibonit, k ap f d iri. W ap jwenn, se te yon Malyen, yon Dahomeyen e se sa k vin ban nou relijyon an e yo ki ranje e ki ban nou lang ke nou pale a, lang Kreyl la. Da nho men an, e Nijerya ? Bon mwen t ap tradui sten chante, sten priy. M al w moun yo, mwen eseye jwen n li. L mw en rive Nijery a epi pa t gen tradiksyon ank. Sa w chante a, jan w chante an Kreyl la, zry moun Nijerya tande l dirkteman, yo tande l nan sans pa yo. La, li pa saji de tradiksyon, sa vle di al chche yon mo, ranplase mo sa ladan li. Yo chche gram pou mete ansanm, nou menm pa jan w di l la se kon sa li soti nan zry moun Nijerya dirk dirk. p t openly is a Vodouist ? Max Beauvoir: There was Emperor Soulouque; Emperor Soulouque, I think he was a V odouist. He would do ceremonies in the National Palace each Sunday, the drums woul d beat. But we know very well that the French people themselves they came to inve nt a word they call : Souloukri. You can find that word in any dictionary referring to a person who only does stupid things. That means at the time of Soulouque, they t old you that they did table, he he They criticize d them for a bunch of stuff but in truth he really w as a great leader of the state. Valery: If at the head of the country there was a Vodou ist do you think the country of Haiti would be better off ? Do you think the situation would be better ? Max Beauvoir: There is no doubt, no doubt, because Vodou, if anything egalitarian It does not see a difference between the Haitians. All t ogether it on that. No, I say there were really, there were some Haitians, you would find them in Senegal, you would find them in Bodetin, in Artibonite, who were cultivating rice You would find they were Malian, Dahomian, and that what is came to give us the religion and it is they who set out and it is they who gave us the language we speak, the Creole language. Dahomey and Nigeria? Well, I am translating certain son gs, certain prayers. I went to see the people, I tr ied to find it When I arrive d in Nigeria and there were no longer any translations What you sing how you sing in Creole, the ears of Nigerian people hear it directly, they hear it in their own way Here, it translation that means to go look for a word replace that word inside it. They seach for grammar to put together, we ourselves, how we say it here is not how it comes across to the ears of the Nigerian people directly.

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9 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Men Nijerya, nou konnen se pi gran peyi Lafrik ws. Yo di w ke, mwen panse se yon er, pa t gen moun Nijerya nan 30 negrye a, e ke 30 negrye pa t menne n Nijeryen lakay nou. Se yon blag. Ayisyen yo se Nijeryen ; sa k f si n ka pale Kreyl, zry Nijeryen an ap tande l nan lang pa li. Valery : Hmm, entresan. Nou pral pale de politik yon ti kal paske nou asimile jan w sot di an tal a la, Vodou e politik. Men nou tounen sou Vodou antan ke tl, antan ke relijyon. Kijan ou konsevwa Vodou an, ki jan ou sot di tal an : 401 lwa a? Vodouwizan ki sevi 401 lwa, moun k ap gade nou, yo pa ka konprann ke Vodouwizan sa a se nan Bondye li kw. Paske pou li menm li kw nan d lwa, li kw nan d zespri. Kiys ki espri sa yo? Kils yo ye e kote Bondye gen plas li la ? P aske l nou tande Vodouwizan ap pale, ap f lapriy l, se Granmt, se Bondye ke li envoke tou. Pou lt relijyon yo, yo twouve ke li pa nmal, se menm yon aberasyon. Kisa w ka reponn nan sa? Max Beauvoir : Wi li pa nmal pou yo paske yo ta renmen svi lwa pa yo, Bondye pa yo, nan relijyon pa yo. Donk se sa yo ta renmen, men an reyalite vrman se ke tout Ayisyen ta gen yon f nan relijyon pa yo. Se de relijyon ki pa viv avk mwayen pa yo, yo gen blan k ap vo ye kb ba yo. Ke se swa Wm k ap voye kb an Ayiti ou ke se swa Misisipi, Alabama k ap voye kb pou Ayiti. Plis, si ke relijyon pa yo gonfle, plis y ap resevwa kb. Ou w sa m di w, se sa slman ki gen ladan. Imajine w gen 9 milyon edmi Ayisyen, si chak Ayisyen mete yon dola nan kt moun sa yo ledimanch. Sa vle di chak dimanch yo resevwa 9 milyon edmi dola. Se yon gwo zaf, se sa ke y ap defann, se pa Bondye ke y ap defann. But Nigeria, we know is the biggest country in West Africa. They tell you that, I think error, the re Nigerian s in the slave trade and that th e slave trade did no t lead Nigeria ns to o Haitians are Nigerians ; which means if we can spe ak Creole Nigerian ears are listening it in their own language Valery: Hmm, interesting. We are going to talk about politics a little because we understood what you were talking about earlier, Vodou and politics. But we turn back to Vodou as it is as a religion. How do you conceptualize Vodou, what do you add about what you mentioned earlier : the 401 lwa? Vodouists who serve 401 lwa ; people who are looking at us th e se Vodouists believe in Bondye (God) Because for them they [Vodouists] beli e ve in the lwa, they believe in the spir its. Who are these spirits? Who are they and where is Bon d ye ? B ecause when we hear Vodouists talking, saying their prayers, it is Granmt, it is Bon d ye (God) who they invoke. For the other religions, they find that aberration. What can you say to that? because they would like to serve their own spirits their own God, in their own religion. So that is what they would like, but truly, in that all Haitians would have an advantage in their own re ligion about within their means they have white people who are sending them money is Mississippi or Alabama that send in g money to Haiti. Plus, if their religion swells the more m oney they receive. You see what I tell you, that i s all it is Imagine you have 9 and a half million Haitians, if each Haitia n put a dollar on Sundays. That means each Sunday they receive 9 and a half million what they are defending;

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10 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Valery : Y ap defann pa egzanp anpil nan yo di ke y ap defann left ke te gen yon Mesi, Jezi Kris ki te vin sou lat a pou vin sove pp li, ki se tout moun an jeneral; lm, si w vle di klke swa kote w te ye. Si sete an Azi, klke swa kontinan an yo pa f fi de sa. Yo an li menm ske li rekonnt... M ax Beauvoir : Nou gen 450 mil sov. Tout moun ki te nan Bwa Kayiman yo. Se sa nou rele sov. Valery : 450 mil sov? Donk lwa yo se espri? An nou pale de sa. Max Beauvoir : An nou moun pale de relijyon li menm, nou di ke se relasyon avk Bondye, nou di l deja. Nou w ke sa byen konpri, li klasik nan tout nivo. Men o fon relijyon se yon fason pou montre moun kman pou viv. Gen bon fason pou moun viv; si mwen tiye w oubyen si w vole sa k nan pch mwen, se mal viv. Men gen de fason pou byen viv, pou ou ka fini er, mwen menm tou; ebyen gen de lwa de travay, eksetera. Vodou a mete l la, an st Kouzen Zaka ke mwen pale de li an, se lespri travay. Se yon travay divinize e travay sa yo reprezante l lakay nou souvan... kman mwen ta di w, km agrikilti slman, km moun k ap travay lat, pen patat. Men o fon se pa vre. Travay ke n ap f la nan televizyon an oubyen travay ke w ap f avk plim ou an, ebyen tout se travay Kouzen Zaka. Se pou montre w ke kman travay se baz sosyete a. Sa se youn, men gen lt. Ou gen Ogou, Ogou Feray, fk nou pa pran nenpt Ogou paske gen yon seri de Ogou ; mwen kw gen 21, ebyen se li menm k ap ba w fs, k ap ba w kouraj. Men se pa slman ke li se lespri fs, men se li menm ki f w leve nan kabann lemat e n l defending. Valery: They are defending for example a lot of them say that they are defending the fact t hat there was a Messiah Jesus Christ who came to the earth to save his people, who are all people in general; in othe r words mankind, wh erever y ou were. If it was in Asia, which eve r continent that concern them They say that he is does it recognize... Max Beauvour: We have 450 thousand saviours All the people who were in Bwa Kay iours Valery: Four hundred and fifty thousand sav iours about that. Max Beauvoir: Let us people speak of religion itself we say that it is a rel ationship with God, we said that already. We see that this is well understood it is classic al at all levels. But at the heart of it, religion is a way to show people how to live. There are good ways for people to live I f I kill you or if yo u steal w is bad living But th ere are ways to live well, so you can end up happy just as I can, too; well there are lwa of work, etcetera. Vodou put it h ere, in this way Cousin Zaka who I spoke of the spi rit of work. It is a divine work and that work often presents itself in our country iculture only, like people who are working the land, sweet potato bread ? But at the core true. The work we are doing on television or the work that you are doing with your pen, well all of that is the work of Cousin Zak a. It is to show you that work is the foundation of society. That is one, but there are others. You have Ogou, Ogou Feray ; we must not take any Ogou because there is a series of Ogou ; I think there are 21, strength who give s you courage. But it is not only strength in spirit, but it is he who makes you rise from bed in the

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11 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants w pa kab ank e ke lanj ap tonbe ou ta renmen ret lakay ou. L ap di w leve w, al travay, l ap di w, l ap di w ke travay la enptan. [16:47] Valery : Non men, tr byen. L n ap pale de Ogou, kiys li ye kijan nou kapab eksplike yon moun ki pa menm konprann konsp de lwa sa a. Max Beauvoir : Se de konsp yo ye jisteman, tout lwa yo se konsp. Tout lwa se konsp. N ap pale de Zili yo. Kman ou ka gen yon sosyete san Ezili, kman o u ka gen yon sosyete san lanmou? Ki sosyete ou genyen? Se yon sosyete bt sovaj. Paske se lanmou ki pmt moun resp ekte lt, ede lt, ganize vi nou ansanm e se sa Ezili a ye pou nou. Ke ou rele li le Freda ke ou rele li Dant. Li gen de asp diferan, nou di gen 51 Ezili e menm Grann Brijit nan lanm li bezwen ank zili. E se sa Grann Brijit la ye pou nou. Paske menm lam ki pa bagay ki senp tankou pa msye kretyen yo. Nou pa kw nan paradi, pigatwa, ak lenf. Mwen panse tout sa se yon blag. Valery : Se yon senbolism yo itilize. Al ou st di tal ke yo se de konsp donk ou vle di ke Voudouwizan k ap svi yon lwa itilize lwa, li pito aliyen a konsp de vi sa a? Max Beauvoir : Se sa, ak konsp de vi sa a. Valery : Donk lwa pou moun k ap gade yo la a o ft lwa pou moun k ap gade ki pett Katolik ou Potestan se pa yon lespri malefik, yon lespri ki yon kote? Max Beauvoir : Y on lespri k ap f t ? Valery : K ap f t ke moun ap svi ? morning when you any more and the snow is falling and you would like to stay home. He will tell you to wake up go to work, he will tell you, he will tell you that the work is important. Valery: No but, very good. When we talk about Ogou, who is he, how can we explain him to a person who even understand this concept of lwa? Max Beauvoir: They are precisely concepts, all lwa are concepts. All lwa are concepts. We are talkin g of Ezili. How can you have a society without Ezili, how can you have a society without love? What society do you Because it is love that allows people to respect oth ers, help others, to organize our lives together and that is what Ezili is for us W h ether you call her Freda or whether you call her Dant She has two different aspects, we have 51 Ezili and even Grann Brijit in death she needs Ezili again And that is what Grann Brijit is for us Because death is not as simple as that of the Christian s. believe in heaven, purgatory, and hell. I think all of that is a joke. Valery: It is a symbolism they use. So you just said that they are con c epts so do you mean to say that Vodouists who are s erving the lwa use lwa s he would rather align with that concept of life? concept of life. Valery: Then lwa for people who are watching here ; in fact, lwa for people watching who are perhaps Catholic or Protestant is it not an evil spirit, a spitit that is somewhere? Max Beauvoir: A spirit that is doing wrong ? Valery: That is doing wrong, that people are serving ?

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12 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir : Fk nou pa bliye ke menm Bondye a li menm, ke gen pawl de Bondye nan tout relijyon yo menm an Angl God sesi God sela. Men nou menm nou rele Bondye, Bondye. Souvan n mete yon l t bon dy l ank nou di : Bondye bon. Sa vle di se yon prensip ki extr meman bon, li kalifyab pa bonte li, e sa ki f nou pa ezite mete kalifikatif devan li. Nou mete bon ni devan ni dy. E ke vr man se pa moun k apral voye pitit li ki pral voye l boule etnlman. Als ke nou te ka prevwa ke nou ta pral f yon vye bagay e ke ou ta ka di l non, pa f sa. Ebyen, non, li pa ta f sa, li tann nou nan bwsadan m, l w mouri l a pral tann ou pou li voye w boule. Se pa serye, se pa lanmou. Valery : Bondye se yon Bondye lanmou. Max Beauvoir : E se natirlman pou sa mwen pa konprann ke yon moun relijye kapab kouri sou yon lt relijyon pou touye moun nan, swadizan l ap f rejete, l ap f kanpay, eksetera. Se pa lanmou sa ; kman ou ka eksplike ke w ap preche lanmou nan prch lakay ou ep i w ap ko uri di al touye lt la? Li pa posib e se pou sa mwen pa ka kw ladan yo. Nou panse ke nou respekte yo ; nou panse ke chak moun ka kw nan sa l vle. Sa nou kw ladann paske nou a egalite. E nou di ke Vodou a egalit e tout moun gen dwa e yo nan dwa ke nou genyen an: se panse jan nou vle. E ke si lt la vle panse kon sa, mwen respekte l, e mwen respekte l tou, menm mwen pa dak av l. Men nan yon lt kote, nou menm nou pa ka kw nan paradi, nan pigatwa, nan lanf. Valery : Nan ki sa nou kw egzak teman ? Max Beauvoir : We must not forget that even B o n d ye himself, that there are expressions about Bondye in all religions ; even in English this God that Bondye, Bondye Often we put another Bondye 2 is good. That means h e or she is an extremely good principle, he or she is qualif iable by his or her goodness, and that makes us not hesitate to place qualifiers before him or her We put good before and after. And really would send his or her chi ld to be burned eternally. So we could predict that we c ould do something bad and So, no, he or she as if he or she waits for us in our toothbrushes ; when you die he or she is waiting for you to send you to burn ? That is not serious, that is not love. Valery: Bondye is a loving God. Max Beauv oir: And it is natural ly for that I do not understand how a religious person can attack a nother religion in order to ki ll the person he or she is, so to speak, conducting a rejection pogram, he or she is conducting a campaign, etcetera. ; how can you explain that you are preaching love in your sermons at home and you are quick to say go kill the others? beli e ve in them We know that we respect them; we think that each person can believe in what he or she want s We believe in this because we are equal. A nd we say that Vodou is e galitarian and all people have rights and they have the rights that we have: And if others want to think that way I respect them, and I respect it it. But in another respect we ourselves believe in heaven, in purgatory, in hell. Valery: In what do you believe exactly? 2 In Haitian Creole the word Bondye means, at least etymologically, expression plays on the prefixed and agglutinated adjective, bon by adding a predicative adjective bon, after Bondye : Bondye bon ([the good] Lord is good).

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13 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir : E byen se yon yon bagay ki bokou pli konpl ks an s m lanm pou yon V odouwizan se pa yon bagay ki sen p, an s m, fk ou pa bliye ke vrman nou menm nou kw natirlman nan re ye nkanasyon. Valery : Vodouwizan kw nan reyenkanasyon ? Max Beauvoir : Fseman, li tounen sou t a 16 fwa. Wit fwa an gason, wit fwa an fi Valery : A bon Max Beauvoir : Af e n ke se sa bi lavi a. Se akimile ekspery ans. Valery : Jiskas ke ou vin paf Max Beauvoir : Jiskaseke ou paf e ou rantre nan Bondye e ou f pati de li menm. [20:05] Valery : Se sa donk ou retounen alasous l ou fini. Donk nou tr pwch, pmt mwen di sa si mwen twonpe mwen, korije m, nou tr pwch de Endouwism ki pett panse yon menm jan. Max Beauvoir : Yo gen de resanblans konsiderab. Youn nan yo se de moun ki te panse kankou nou. Menm nan peyi Lac hin gen anpil chinwa ki panse t anko u nou. Yo gen Ogou yo tou, menm jan yo gen Ezili yo tou, e tout bagay sa yo. Valery : An nou pale de koabitasyon oubyen diyalism nan relijyon yo. Katolik yo anpil moun nou ka konprann avk d done istorik, poukisa Katolik lan fseman pandan l Katolik lan li Vodouwizan? Potestan an kapab tou Vodouwizan. ske nan konsp Vodou an an tanke relijyon nou aksepte sa? Yon moun, ou Potestan, ou Katolik epi ou Vodouwizan tou an menm tan? Max Beauvoir: So it is something much more complex, the whole of death for a Vodouist in not a simple thing, in whole, you must not forget that really we naturally believe in reincarnation. Valery: Vodouists belive in reincarnation? Max Beauvouir: Strongly, a person returns to the earth 16 times. Eight as a male, 8 as a f emale Valery: Good. Max Beauvoir : In the final analysis, this is experience. Valery: Until you become perfect. Max Beauvoir: Until you are perfect and you enter in God and you are made a part of Him. Valery: That is, then, you return to the source w hen you die. So we are very close perhaps I say that if I am mistaken, correct me, we are very close with Hinduism which perhaps thinks the same way. Max Beauvoir: They have a considerable resemblance. One of them is a people that thought like us. Even in China there are many Chinese that think like us. They have their Ogou too, just as they have their Ezili too, and all of those things. dualism of religions. The Catholics are a lot of people we can understand with some historical data, why are the Catholics specifically while Catholic, he or she is also Vodouists? Protestants can also be Vodouists. Is this a concept of Vodou as a a Vodouist too at the same time?

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14 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Max Beauvoir : Wi bagay la se ke [...] ou gen lt relijyon yo, Katolik, Potestan, yo se relijyon ki jalou. Yo f w konprann ke lt la ka chita la pou l pa an konpetisyon av l. Pa janm gen konpetisyon de Vodouwizan ak Kretyen ni Katolik ni Potestan kmsi se yon konpeti syon ki pa egziste. Tandiske lt yo toujou panse ke yo gen konpetisyon ak lt la, se sa k f yo kouri pou al touye l. Epi rakonte anpil kalite betiz sou li. Valery : Paske yo pa aksepte, yo pa vle aksepte Max Beauvoir : Se yo ki te konn ekri, se yo ki te gen jounal La Phalange se lt jounal kon sa kote yo te pibliye panse pa yo. Ou konprann? Se sa ki f yo te penn Vodou an yon fason viln, nonakseptab ; e natirlman li pa ka akseptab si w ap touye moun paske Vodou a pa touye moun ; o kontr Vodouwizan nan trtman, li pa trete Vodouwizan slman Katolik, Pwotestan vin w l tou e se yo menm ki reteni lasante pp ayisyen an. L w ap pale pa egzanp du Departman de la Sante Piblik an Ayiti, ou gen legran dkt, gran savan sesi sela, avk lopital jeneral oubyen au Kap Ayisyen, Justinien, ou gade konbyen moun ki rant r e nan lopital sa yo, w a w yo pa svi vrman, yo pa reponn alapanse ayisyn. Valery : A oke. Max Beauvoir : Paske moun nan ki nan mn nan la ki l l ap gentan desann jis pou l rive l avil pou l kouri l opital j eneral? Yo pa gen posibilite. M pa di pou nou ta kraze lopital sa yo, men non, f yon espesyalite avk yo. Sa bon pou zorey, sa bon pou moun ki pa w, sa bon pou tout af de jan sa. Fk nou bezwen ti lopital ki pr moun ki f si w blese la ou p ap gentan senyen twp, ou ka jwenn yon Max Beauvoir: Yes, the thing have other religions, Catholic, Protestant, they are jealous religions. They make you understand that others can sit here as long as them. There was never competition between Vodouists and Christians, eithe r Catholic or Protestant the one group always thi n k s that it ha s a competition w ith the others and that makes them in a hurry to kill each other. And they recount many types of idiocies about it. want to accept. Max Beauvoir: I t was them who would write, those who had journals La Phalange is another journal like that where they published their thoughts. Do you understand? portray Vodou as something villainous unacceptable ; and naturally it be accept able if you are pe ople ; on the contrary Vodouists are into treatment s he or she only treat Vodouists Catholics and Protestants come to see him or her too and he or she returns health to the Haitian people. When you are talking for example about the Department of Public Health in Haiti, you have the great doctor, the great scientists of this and that, and the general hospital or C ape Haitian, Justin i en, you see h ow many people go in to those hospitals, you see really serve them Haitian mindset Valery: Oh okay. Max Beauvoir: Because the person who is in the mountains when w i ll she or he have the time to go down all the way to arrive in the City in a rush to the general h ospital? They possibility. I am not saying we should destroy those hospitals ; of course no t create special izations with them That one is good for hear ing, that one is good for people who one is good for all

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15 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants lopital b lakay ou Se yon lt fm. Yo rantre nan vil la pran yon gwo kare b Pal Nasyonal, ou f yon l opital j eneral, li pa aksesib. Valery : Al la ou vle f alizyon avk metsen fy yo, a moun ki... Max Beauvoir : Se yo menm ki mentni lasante pp A yisyen an, e se yo menm ki pa slman Vodouwizan men yo trete Katolik, Pwotestan osi byen, menm past yo tou, yo trete pa Vodouwizan yo. Genyen ki p a gen kb, yo trete l san kb. Anpil ladan yo. Donk an sm se Vodou an ki mentni lasante pp Ayisyen an. Valery : Toutaf, nou pral retounen apr poz sa. Fwa sa, ou sot di tal a ke Vodou pa f mal o kontr w ap pale de byen Vodou f pou pp ayisyen, epi o nivo sante eksetera, eksetera. Men gen de moun ki rete kw ke Vodou f anpil mal, Vodouwizan touye moun, yo zonbifye moun, yo f wanga dy Max Beauvoir : An n pran kesyon zon bi sa a V alery: O k e N ap pran l tal. Paske se yon kesyon ki tlman long men n ap pran l tal. M vle retoune n sou liv lan, liv finalman ke Vodouwizan yo genyen k m liv de referans. E se ekri pa c hf s iprm Vodou an ki se mesye Max Beauvoir ki avk nou la Le Grand Recueil Sacr se reptwa chante Vodou Ayisyen an ke nou gen devan nou la. problems of such and such a nature. We need little hospitals that are near the people s o if much you can find a hospital near your house set up in the city, take a big plot near the National Palace, they made a g eneral h accessible. Val ery: So you allude to the leaf doctors 3 to people who Max Beauvoir: They are the ones who have maintained the health of the Haitian people, and they are the one s who not only treat Vodouists but they treat Cathol ics, Protestan ts a s well and the pastors too they are treat ed by the Vodouists. Th ere some who have no money, they treat them without money. Many of them So Vodou that maintains the health of the Haitian people. Valery: we are going to return after this pause. This time, you just said that Vodou on the contrary you were talking about the good Vodou does for the Haitian people and with respect to health etc, etc. But there are people who still believe that Vodou does a lot of evil that Vodouists kill people, that they zombify people that they use sorcery M ax bi question. Valery: Okay. We are going to take it soon. Because it is a question that is quite long but we will take it. I want to return to the book, a book finally that Vod ouists have as a reference book. And it is written by the s upreme l eader of Vodou and that is Mr. Max Beauvour who is with us here The Great Sacred Collection 4 is a repertoire of Haitian 3 Herbalists. 4 Beauvoir, Max. 2008. Le grand recueil sacr, ou, Rpertoire des chansons du Vodou Hatien [Haiti]: Koleksyon Memwa Vivan.

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16 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants Epi nou genyen tou Lapriy Ginen donk se de liv diferan youn lt ki rantre nan patrimw n Ayisyen an Max Beauvoir : Nan patrimw n Ayisyen an Valery : Kote nou ka jwenn liv sa yo ? Max Beauvoir Enben, n malman se Prs Nasyonal Repi blik d Ayiti se yo ki pibli y e l. Se yo ki pibli y e jounal ofisy l yo. A n sm, m panse li te tr flat yo te aksepte pibli y e l pou nou mete nan koleksyon spesyal koleksyon patrim n Valery : E si se o Zetazini? Max Beauvoir : Nmalman yo t ap vann li La Pliade. Men anpil moun di m yo chche l La Pliade men yo pa jwenn li, m pa konnen sa k rive antre Prs Nasyonal e La Pliade la. Men an prensip se la Pliade ki sanse distribye l an Ayiti. Valery : Isit kote n ap f entevyou avk ou la nou nan Tanp Yehwe o Zetazini; bon, a n fen a Nou Yk, Long Island, se sten ke pandan emisyon an n ap gen telefn kontak e adrs kote nou ka pran kontak avek madanm Nikl Mil kote li ka jwenn liv sa pou Vodouwi zan k ap gade e pou tout moun k ap chche, de chch de verite ki kapab jwenn. Mesye Max Beauvoir, nou pral pran poz, pa bliye n ap retounen sou kesyon Vodou a, zonbifikasyon e mal ke Vodou, dapr sten, ap f de sosyete ayisyen. Rete branche Vodou songs we have in here. And we have also The Ginen Prayer 5 so books that joi n the Haitian heritage. Max Beauvoir: In the Haitian heritage. Valery: Where can we find these books? Max Beauvoir: Well, normally it is National Press of the Republic of Haiti, they publish it. They publish the official journals In sum, I think it was very flatteri ng that they accepted to publish it for us and put i t in their special collection, the heritage collection. Max Beauvoir: Normally they would buy it at The Pl iad e But many people told me they checked The Pl iad e but they find it the National Press and The Pl iad e But in theory ia d e that is suppose d to distribut e i t in Haiti. Valery: Here where we are doing the interview with you at Temple Yahweh in the USA; well, in New York, Long Island, it is certain that during the program we are going to have telephone contact information and an address where we can contact M s. Nicole Miller where one can f ind that book for Vodouists who are watching and f or all people who a re searching, seekers of the truth who can find it Mr. Max Beauvoir, we are going to take a break, do that we are returning to the Vodou question zombification, and the evil that Vodou, according to some is doing to Haitian society. Stay tuned. 5 Beauvoir, Max. 2008 [2004]. Lapriy Ginen [Portau -Prince]: Edisyon Prs Nasyonal d Ayiti.


Interview with Max Beauvoir, part 2
CITATION THUMBNAILS DOWNLOADS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00013442/00001
 Material Information
Title: Interview with Max Beauvoir, part 2
Abbreviated Title: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U78oH5vAYqY
Physical Description: PDF transcription of Max Beauvoir interview
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: 2012
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean Area, Haitian Vodou, Haitian Creole, bilingual text   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Abstract: This is the complete Haitian Creole transcript and English translation of the second part of an interview with Max Beauvoir. The video was uploaded to YouTube by the interviewer, Valerio Saint-Louis on August 16, 2009.
General Note: This work was funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
System ID: AA00013442:00001

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Interview with Max Beauvoir, part 2
Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Transcribed by Joane Buteau and Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Translated by Megan Raitano, Tahiri Jean-Baptiste and Benjamin Hebblethwaite
httD://www.voutube.com/watch?v=U78oH5vAYaY


YouM


VODOU MAX BEAUVOIR CHEF SUPREME DU VODOU -PART# 2


Valery: Medames et msye anko yon lot fwa,
nou avek chef Vodou a, Msye Max Beauvoir.
N ap pale de Vodou e le n ap pale de Vodou,
ke nou sot tale la etabli li antan ke relijyon.
Li rekonni daye nan konstitisyon peyi nou
donk [...] Daye, yo di w ke relijyon pep
Ayisyen an se Vodou. Katolik yo, Potestan
yo, tout moun k ap gade nou la, ki de lot
relijyon: Vodou a gen plas li nan sosyete nou.
Max Beauvoir te sot eksplike sa li ye. Men li
seten ke le w pale de Vodou, nan lespri seten
Ayisyen, anpil Ayisyen daye, sa vle di
"Satan," sa vle di "djab," sa vle di bagay
"malefik." E nou pral eseye scene kesyon sa
nan ang sa e an menm tan nou, nou pral
eseye montre tou vizavi de lot relijyon yo
kote ke Vodou an, malgre tou, gen plas li
sitou nan dj aspora a.


Valery: Ladies and gentleman once again, we
are with the Vodou leader, Mr. Max
Beauvoir. We are talking about Vodou and
when we are talking about Vodou, we have
already established it as a religion. Besides, it
is recognized in our country's constitution so
[...] Moreover, they told you that the religion
of the Haitian people is Vodou. The
Catholics, the Protestants, everyone who is
watching us, those of other religions: Vodou
has its place in our society. Max Beauvoir
already explained that. But it is certain that
when we talk about Vodou, in the minds of
certain Haitians, a lot of Haitians, it means
"Satan," it means "devil," it means
something "evil." And we are going to try to
buckle down on this question and at the same
time, we are going to try to show with respect
to the other religions that Vodou, in spite of
everything, has its place, especially in the


1 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants










Vodouwizan yo, yo santi yo petet pa
aksepte. Nou pral vin sou sa paske gen yon
bagay ke mwen bezwen konprann jounen
jodi a: poukisa Vodouwizan oblije sere
ogatwa 1, sere otel li, tandiske lot relijyon yo,
menm jan ak Endouwist lan, Chinwa yo, yo
ouve yo chita sou yon tab y ap pale ak tout
moun, n ap vin sou sa. Kounye a, kisa ou ka
di tout moun k ap gade nou yo? Gen yon
paste k ap gade kounye a la, li menm ofiske
ke mwen gen yon entevyou ansanm avek ou
paske pou mesye sa w reprezante "djab,
Satan," eksetera. Kisa ou ka di de yon moun
konsa?


Max Beauvoir: Mwen panse ke vreman,
mwen tande anpil paste pale. E mwen
bezwen konkli ke yo di anpil betiz sou
Vodou. Yo joure Vodouwizan; yo di anpil
betiz ke se swa isit ou aletranje. Oubyen ke
se swa lakay nou, lamenmchoz. Men si ou
gade 1 byen ou we se yon afe de rasist, e se
menm bagay sa ki te alabaz de prejije de
koule o Zetazini d Amerik, pa egzanp an
Afrik di Sid. Paske yo pa t renmen moun
nwa, yo pa t renmen lapanse nwa. Panse nwa
a, dapre yo, panse moun nwa se yon bagay
pou yo te voye jete boule, afen ke tout moun
anbwate 1 [...] nan menm men panse blanch
pou nou ka viv tankou Franse, pou nou te ka
fe yo mete nou deyo lakay nou. Men fok nou
te adopted li; men fok mwen di nou sa k rive
nou.


Valery: E yo te kolonize nan lespri e yo te
kolonize mantalman.

Max Beauvoir: Ebyen, si ou made jodi a
poukisa peyi nou pov jan li pov lan, ebyen se
senpleman paske apre 1806, ou vin gen yon
gouvenman ki panse blan. E ki
adopted method blan e natirelman ou
nan deye batiman an. Ou nan deye
taptap la nou di. Bon souvan ou pa ka
pran devan yo, yo tout se devwa w.
E se sa vo te touiou swete.


diaspora.
The Vodouists, they feel that perhaps they
aren't accepted. We are coming to that
because there is something that I need to
understand today: why Vodouists are
required to hide their ogatwa (small private
altar), to hide their altar, whereas other
religions, like with the Hinduists, the
Chinese, they openly sit around tables talking
with everyone, we are coming to that. Now,
what can you tell everyone that is watching
us? There is a pastor that is watching now; he
is offended that I am having an interview
with you because to him you represent "the
devil, Satan," etcetera. What can you say to a
person like that?

Max Beauvoir: I truly think, I hear many
pastors talk. And I need to conclude that they
mock Vodou a lot. They insult Vodouists;
they express many idiocies whether here or
abroad. Or even in our very homes, it's the
same thing. But if you look at it closely you
see it's a racist issue, and it is something that
is at the root of color prejudice in the United
States, or for example in South Africa.
Because they didn't like black people, they
didn't like black ideas. The black ideas,
according to them, the thoughts of black
people are something for them to set on fire,
so that everyone can box it up [...] in the
same way think like whites so we can live
like the French, so we could have them put us
out of our homes. But we must have adopted
it; but I have to tell you all what happened to
us.

Valery: And they colonized the mind and
they colonized mentally.

Max Beauvoir: Then, if you ask today why
our country is poor like it is, well it is simply
because after 1806, you came to have a
government that thought white. And that
adopted the white methodology and naturally
you're at the back of the boat. We say you're
at the back of the taptap. Well often you can't
get ahead of them; they're your obligation.
And that is what they always hoped.


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Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


_I _I I _I _I I









Malerezman, anpil paste Ayisyen,
anpil pe Aysiyen yo te vin vandi
alapanse oksidantal la, konpletman. Donk yo
panse ke panse nasyonal Ayisyen nan ki soti
nan zanset nou avek tout savwa ke yo akimile
pa tout zanset pandan de milye ane,
e se sou sa nou chita. Sou savwa sa, yo
panse ke tout sa te dwe rejte, yo te dwe
bale tout sa de yon kout men. E
ke vreman pou yo te fe tab yo raz
de tou afen pou yo rekonmanse
yon lot vi. Li te stipid, li kle paske nanpwen
janm sosyete ki ka fe sa,
ka sa pa t janm egziste.
Gen yon bagay ki rele pwogre; pwogre
yo a se sou bagay etranje, yo kole li ak pa ou
a, ou soude 1 ak pa w la, ou fe pep la
admet li, ou mache ave 1, se kon sa ou
fe pwogre.
Men pwogre ki te soti an
paske tab yo raz, sa p ap sevi a anyen.
W ap rete nan anyen, se kon sa bagay
sa yo ye, donk nan sa mwen panse
nou tre mechan. Nou t ale menm jiska tiye
anpil moun. E m ap pale de dechoukaj,
ou sonje moun sa yo. Nou gen pi
f6 de rejete sa yo, e nou te gen 13 ladan yo
nan listwa d Ayiti. Trez fwa yo
kouri sou Vodouwizan e yo tiye de milye
de Vodouwizan a chak fwa. Nou pa vle
ret sou sa paske li negatif. An nou
panse ke moman an change.

E ke nou panse ke ni pe ni paste yo, tan an
rive pou yo vin Ayisyen tou, pou yo
konprann ke entered yo se nan Ayiti li ye.
E ke se pa paske yo resevwa yon ti
kob nan Misisipi oubyen nan Alabama pou
yo vin detwi lakay yo; e ke natirelman yo gen
entered pou yo mete men nou ansanm, travay
ansanm pou konstwi peyi nou ansanm. Paske
se peyi pa nou li ye e nou gen yon devwa: se
lese yon peyi ki meye de sa nou jwenn nan a
no zanfan a no peti zanfan.



Valery: Men ou pa sansavwa tou ke yo
akize nou kareman de pwoblem


Unfortunately, many Haitian pastors, many
Haitian priests were sold to western ideology,
completely. So they thought that the Haitian
national that comes from our ancestors and
all the knowledge that they accumulated from
all the ancestors during thousand of years,
and on this we sit. On that knowledge, they
think that all that should be rejected, that it
should be swept away with the wave of a
hand. And that really they could wipe the
slate clean of everything so that they could
start another life. It was stupid; it was
obvious because there was not a society that
could do that, this case had never existed.
There is something called progress; their
progress is foreign, they place it with yours,
you weld it with yours, you make people
acknowledge it, you walk with it, that's how
you make progress.
But the progress that comes out, because the
table is empty, nothing will be accomplished.
You will remain with nothing, that's how
these things are, so in that way I think they
are very cruel. We went as far as killing
many people. And I am talking of the post-
Duvalier anti-Vodou violence, you remember
those people. We experienced most of those
persecutions, and we had 13 of them in the
history of Haiti. Thirteen times they attacked
Vodouists, and they killed thousands of
Vodousists each time. We don't want to
dwell on that because it's negative. Let us
think that times have changed.
And we think that for both priests and
pastors, the time has come for them to
become Haitians too, for them to understand
their interests are in Haiti. And that just
because they receive a little bit of money
from Mississippi or Alabama they shouldn't
destroy their home country; and naturally
they are interested in putting their hands
together so we can build the country together.
Because it is our country and we have a duty:
it's to leave a country that is better than what
we found for our children and our chidlren's
children.

Valery: But you are also fully aware that they
outright accuse us with respect to the


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Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


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peyi a, yo akize 1: left ke peyi
d Ayiti nan povrete ke li ye an, ke li nan
marasman sa. De menm sevi de pasaj biblik
pou yo montre w ke Vodou an, Vodouwizan
an k ap sevi Iwa, jisteman, k ap
adore imaj, k ap adore lot espri
ke se bagay "satanik" de Labib
menm, ki se liv referans yo, Labib, pa
aksepte yo.



Max Beavoir: Se sa.

Valery: Men lot di de sa a, si w ap mache nan
yon relijyon Katolik ou Potestan, pa gen jan
w kapab aksepte konsep Vodou a. Ou panse
ke koabitasyon, byen ke koabitasyon tre
palpab antre Vodou an e relijyon Katolik lan,
an nou di sa. Men kijan ou we pozisyon
Vodou an?


Max Beauvoir: Men, mwen panse ke
finalman, moun sa ki panse konsa a yo gen
to. Mwen panse ke vreman kesyon de
prezante Labib la kom si se ladenye pawol, e1
Labib la fin pale, mwen pa konn sa w ap di a,
sa se yon betiz. Yon liv pa ka ekri
depi 5 mil lan oubyen di mil an,
pou nou ka di ke li prezan jodi a,
ke li bon pou pep Ayisyen, ke Labib pa t
menm konnen lot Labib yo. Donk yo di 1,
di se liv referans pou pep Ayisyen; se yon
blag. Twazyeman, natirelman gen yon
mechanste idyo ke yo te konnen isit tou; ke
yo te konn pran neg mare 1 nan deye
otomobil, yo tiye 1. Donk se lamechanste; se
vreman move donk mwen panse ke
natirelman moun ki fe sa yo, yo te dwe
made padon, mete j enou yo a te pou yo
made padon a Bondye, vreman; retire lavi
yon moun ki blese tout yon fanmi, vreman
mwen panse ke tan sa a fini. Nou panse jodi a
se yon tan ki baze sou lerespe. Lerespe
natirelman de tout relijyon yo. E mwen
menm, mwen pwofese respe sa.
Mwen respekte mesye Katolik yo
pwofondeman, mwen respekte mesve


problems of the country, they make the
accusation: the fact that the country of Haiti
is in the poverty that it's in, that it's in this
hardship. They even using Biblical passages
to argue that Vodou, Vodouists who are
serving the lwa, precisely, are worshiping
images, are worshiping other spirits, that
those are the "Satanic" things specifically
referred to in the Bible, which is their
reference book; the Bible doesn't accept
them.

Max Beauvoir: That's right.

Valery: But others say of that, if you are
following a Catholic or Protestant religion,
there's no way you can accept the concept of
Vodou. You think that cohabitation, even
though cohabitation is very palpable between
the Vodou and in the Catholic religion, let us
say that much. But how do you see the
position of Vodou?

Max Beauvoir: But, I think that finally, the
person who thinks this way is wrong. I think
that the real question of presenting the Bible
as if it is the last word, when the Bible has
stopped speaking-I don't know what you
would say-that is a mockery. A book can't
have been written 5 thousand years ago or 10
thousand years ago, for us to still say that it is
present today, that it is good for the Haitian
people, that the Bible did not even know the
other Bibles [sacred writings]. So they say it,
say it is the reference book for the Haitian
people; that's a joke. Thirdly, of course there
is an idiotic evil that they knew here too; that
they would take a man and tie him behind an
automobile, they killed him. So it's cruelty;
it's really bad so I think that of course the
people who do that, they should ask for
forgiveness, get on their knees on the ground
so they can ask Bondye's (God's)
forgiveness; really, take away the life of a
person who injures an entire family, I think
that this era is over. We think today is an era
that is based on respect. Of course the respect
of all the religions. And I myself, I profess
that respect. I deeply respect the Catholic


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Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


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Pwotestan yo nan fwa yo; mwen respekte
tout relijyon paske ou pa di ou se yon moun
relijyon ou menm e ou pa apresye relijyon lot
moun.

Okontre, eseye apresye 1 se tout.
Kote yo gen febles yo ede 1, ba yo fos.
Paske li tre enpotan ke larelijyon li menm se
yon bagay pou moun respekte.

Se pozisyon pa m e mwen regret tout vye
betiz yo di sou Vodou,
sitou pa de Ayisyen anko. Ce sont des
Hniien, vendus a despetits Himien, e se sa
ki eksplike poukisa peyi a pale de
lang. Koman ou ka blame Vodou kan depi
1806 ou pran tout pep la an antye, ou
boure li nan yon kwen lepli rekile posib
de lasosyete e ou rele 1 moun andeyo.
Donk li pa ka andedan, e se si li pa
andedan koman li ka konstwi andedan; donk
li pa posib. Donk moun ki panse konsa,
sa fe twop betiz extraodine oswa 1 ap
manti oswa 1 ap twonpe moun konsyaman
oubyen yo konnen malonetman. Paske le w
pouse yon moun deyo, li pa ka konstwi
andedan e pouvwa politik touj ou rete nan mi
Kretyen jiska j odi a.


Valery: Sa se yon lot rele n ap vin sou sa.
Men pou nou retounen sou menm kesyon sa,
menm deba sa nan 6d d ide sa a, moun
relijyon sa yo baze yo sou left ke tout
Vodou an gen yon imaj, gen de fwa mechan,
gen yon imaj malefik.
N ap vin nan aspe sa a, gen yon lot aspe nan
Vodou a ki rete pou li eliside.
Poukisa nou gen otan de to anpil
moun di ke Vodou an fe; pa egzanp
n ap pale de wanga, moun k ap
tiye moun, de zonbifikasyon, eksetera, on va
en venir. Donk nou ka konprann 6d
d ide moun sa yo le yo panse a
Vodou, se sitou sa ke yo we. Ki lot
imaj ke yo ka prezante devan yo pou yo


men, I respect the Protestant men regarding
their faith; I respect all religions because you
can't say that you yourself are a person of
religion and then you don't appreciate the
religions of others.
On the contrary, trying to appreciate it, is
everything. Where they have weaknesses,
they help them, give them strength. Because
it its very important that religion itself is
something for people to respect.
This is my stance and I regret all the
horrible things they say about Vodou,
especially by Haitians. These are Haitians
sold to small-minded Haitians and this
explains why the country speaks two
languages. How you can blame Vodou when
since 1806 you take the people as a whole,
you stuff them in the most remote corners of
society possible and you call them rural
people ["outsiders"]1. So they can't be inside,
and if they are not inside, how can they build
inside; thus it is not possible. Thus people
who think this way, they make extraordinary
insults whether they are lying or they are
consciously deceiving people or they act
impolitely. Because when you push someone
out, he can't build inside and political power,
to this day, stays within the walls of
Christianity.

Valery: That is another matter we are coming
to. But to return to the same question, this
same debate that in world of ideas, those
members of those religions based themselves
on the fact that all of Vodou has an image,
sometimes cruel; it has an image of evil.
We are coming to this aspect; there are other
aspects of Vodou that remains to be
elucidated. Why is there so much wrong that
Vodou does according to a lot of people; for
example, speaking of spells, people who kill
people, of zombification, we'll get to that.
Thus we can understand the ideological
orientation of those people when they think
of Vodou; it's especially this that they see.
What other images can they present before


1 Beauvoir uses the term moun andeyo which means "rural people," which, literally, means "outside
people."

5 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants









kapab we ke Vodou a, se pa selman
sa? Kisa w ka di petet kom chef
siprem du Vodou pou w di yon
Pwotestan, yon Katolik, pou w di bon
vwala sa Vodou an fe ki bon, ki
pozitif.

Max Beauvoir: Pep Ayisyen an gen dwa gade
1 toupatou, se yon pep ki alabaz fye, se yon
pep ki renmen lalibete; se pou sa ke zanset li
te goumen pou lalibete pou li bay otonomi a
yon peyi ki rele Ayiti. Yo te chwazi mo Ayiti
a yo di w li te vie di, terre haut, terre
montagneuse, se yon blag. Paske mo Ayiti se
yon mo fon li ye, se yon mo Danwomen.
Mwen chaje Danwomen, mwen ka pale avek
yo, y a di w. Mo Ayiti a vie di "dez6me," a
pati de moman sa se te pa nou. Paske yo te o
kouran ke te gen yon trete de Wizwik en
1697 ki te bay Lafrans te a. Donk se pran nou
pran te a avek lalibete avek lendepandans.
Donk ansanm li, ladann li tou, se ke Ayisyen
an reprezante; Ayisyen ki Nou Yok, Ayisyen
ki Miyami, Ayisyen ki an Frans, ki an
Almay, nenpot ki kote o mond li prezante
imaj de fyete sa a. E nou konnen pep Ayisyen
an paske nou we 1 nan tout Afrik koman li te
ede devlope Lafrik. Nou we 1 pati o Kanada,
koman travay li fe Kanada, e tout Kanadyen
yo respektye de Ayisyen e de apo
Ayisyen an paske li te kabap fe li menm.



E li fe 1 nan anpil peyi menm isit Ozetazini.
Li rive isit li pa t menm konn pale Angle,
men an pe de tan, li rive o depa, li petet t ap
bale nan yon faktori men anvan ou konnen, li
preske manadj nan faktori a, li menm
sipevize e tout bagay nan jan sa a. E li pral fe
1 paske li siyale prezans li, par sa quality, par
son excellence. E se sa ki pemet tout moun
rekonet Ayisyen; men mwen panse ke se yon
fyete pou nou tout. Poukisa devlopman sa pa
fet lakay nou?



Mwen panse ke sa se von pwen tre enpotan


them so that they can see that Vodou, it is not
only this? What can you say perhaps, as the
supreme leader of Vodou, to a Protestant, a
Catholic, to say well here is what Vodou
does that is good, that is positive.


Max Beauvoir: The Haitian people have a
right to see it all over, they are a people who
are proud at the core, and they are a people
who love freedom; that is why their ancestors
fought for freedom to give autonomy to a
country called Haiti. They chose the word
Haiti, they told us it means, the high land, the
mountain land, that's a joke. Because the
word Haiti is a Fon word, it's a Dahomian
word. I am filled with Dahomen, I can speak
with them, they'll tell you. The word Haiti
means "from now on," as of this moment it's
our land. Because they were aware there was
a Treaty of Ryswik in 1697 that gave France
the land. So we took the land, along with
freedom and independence. So together,
inside it also, those Haitians represent
something; Haitians who are in France,
Haitians who are in Germany, any where in
the world they present an image of that pride.
And we know the Haitian people because we
see them in all of Africa, how they helped to
develop Africa. We see them in parts of
Canada, how their work builds Canada, and
all Canadians are respectful toward Haitians
and Haitian contributions because they could
do it.
And they made it in many countries, even
here in the United States. They arrived here
and they didn't even know how to speak
English, but in little time, she arrived at the
beginning, she was perhaps sweeping in the
factory and before you know it, she was
almost a manager in the factory, she even
supervised and everything developing in
that way. And she's going to make it because
she signaled his presence, by his quality, by
his excellence. And that is what allowed
everyone to recognize Haitians; but I think
that was a point of pride for all of us. Why
does this development not happen at home?
I think that this is a very important point


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moun ki fe devlopman nan nenpot kel peyi
nan mond nan, se moun ki gen pouvwa
politik nan men yo. Pouvwa politik la, li ba w
dwa pou moun bay taks, leve taks nan men
moun, fe moun peye pou taks, se sa ki pemet
ou fe lod etabli atrave paleman eksetera.

Ou fe lod, ou kreye ledwa e
lejist e sa k pa bon, ou rele kon sa.
Men si ou pajanm nan pozisyon sa a,
koman w ap fe kapab responsab pou li,
se betiz. Vodouwizan pajanm an
pozisyon menm d egalite lakay li, f6 nou di
sa. Se yon moun yo bouskile nan yon kwen,
yo di li pa ladann, se moun andeyo.
E menm lekol jiskajodi, yo pa fe lekol pou li
menm jodi a, menm pou 1 al lopital,
pa gen lopital pou li vreman. Donk an
sot se tout sa ki made renouvle, ki
made repanse pou nou fe yon peyi kote
tout Aysiyen kapab viv egalman.


Evidaman, gen Ayisyen ki viv aletranje
yo ki soti, yo gen tandans gade yo mal,
se vre. Yo rele yo dyaspora avek yon
tandans negative. Men nan yon lot
kote, ce sont des Hiien'\ ki te dwe kite
peyi yo pou yon rezon ou yon lot,
lepli souvan pou yon rezon politik.
Nou we le yo kite peyi a, fok nou we
menm si nou pa made yo retounen,
men f6 n ba yo mwayen pou yo
patisipe nan konstriksyon peyi a tankou
nou menm Ayisyen anndan. E ke se
pa chans selman ke nou andedan e yo
andeyo a. Men yon lot kote, sa ki andeyo
a, se pa tan li 1 ap pedi, men se yon
bagay 1 al cheche, se yon teknoloji ke
li ale aprann pou yon rezon. E li kapab
kontribye positivman pou
konstriksyon peyi a.

Valery: Menm jan ou sot pale la, si nan tet
peyi a te gen Vodouwizan, si prezidan an te
Vodouwizan e menm eske nan istwa nou pa t
janm te gen yon prezidan ki Vodouwizan ou
yon prezidan alatet ki sevi Vodou? Ki
n6malman, petet vo pa t deklare ouvetman,


which the people who work in development
all over world, these are people who have
political power in their hands. Political
power, it gives you the right to tax, raise
taxes on people, make people pay taxes, it
permits you to make rules established
through parliament, etcetera.
You make orders, you create the right and
the fair and what is not good, you call it that.
But if you never are in that position, how are
you able to be responsible for it, that's
ridiculous. Vodouists are never even in
positions of equality in her or his home, we
have to say this. It is a person they shoved
into a corner, they tell him he's not included,
he's a rural person ['an outsider']. And even
the schools today, they don't make schools
for him or her today, even for him or her to
go to the hospital, there aren't really hospitals
for him. So in this way it's all of this that
needs to be renewed, that needs to be
reassessed so we can create a country where
all Haitians can live equally.
Evidently, there are Haitians who live
overseas who leave, they have the tendency
to look down on them, it's true. They call
them diasporawith a negative connotation.
But in another sense, those are Haitians who
must leave their country for one reason or
another, often for a political reason. We see
when they leave the country, we must see
that even if we don't ask them to return, we
must give them the means to participate in
the construction of the country just like us
Haitians on the inside. And it's only by
chance that we are inside and they are
outside. But in another place, those who are
on the outside, she or he is not wasting time,
but she or he went to search for something,
it's a technique she or he went to learn a
technology for a reason. And she or he can
contribute positively toward the construction
of the country.
Valery: In the same way that you just spoke,
if the leadership of the country includes
Vodouists, if the president was a Vodouist or
is it the case in our history that we ever had a
president who was a Vodouist or a president
who practices Vodou? Who normally-


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Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


II _I I I I I _I









menm ki Vodouwizan.


Max Beauvoir: Te gen Anpere Soulouk;
Anpere Soulouk, mwen kwe li te yon
Vodouwizan. Li te konn fe seremoni nan
Pale Nasyonal chak dimanch, tanbou
te bat. Men nou konnen tre byen pep
Franse a li menm, li vin envante yon
mo ke li rele li: Souloukri. Ou kajwenn
mo sa nan tout diksyonne, tankou yon
moun k ap fe betiz selman. Sa vie di e1
Soulouk, yo di w yo pa t konn manje
sou tab, li pa t konn kenbe fouchet,
li pa t konn sesi e sesa. Se yon bann
de vye bagay ke yo kritike 1, men o fon
se te yon gran chef d eta.


Valery: Si nan tet peyi a te gen de
Vodouwizan, ou panse peyi
d Ayiti an ta miyo? Ou panse
sitiyasyon an t ap mye?

Max Beauvoir: Pa gen dout, pa gen dout,
paske Vodou an avan tout li egalite. Li pa we
diferans antre Ayisyen yo. Ansanm li baze
sou sa menm. Non, mwen di te gen vreman,
te gen de kek Ayisyen w ap jwenn yo tou nan
Senegal, w ap jwenn yo tout la nan Bodetin,
nan Latibonit, k ap fe diri. W ap jwenn, se te
yon Malyen, yon Dahomeyen e se sa k vin
ban nou relijyon an e yo ki ranje e ki ban nou
lang ke nou pale a, lang Kreyol la.
Danhomen an, e Nijerya? Bon mwen t ap
tradui seten chante, seten priye. M al we
moun yo, mwen eseye jwenn li. Le mwen
rive Nijerya epi pa t gen tradiksyon anko. Sa
w chante a, jan w chante an Kreyol la, z6rey
moun Nij erya tande 1 direkteman, yo tande 1
nan sans pa yo. La, li pa saji de tradiksyon, sa
vie di al cheche yon mo, ranplase mo sa
ladan li. Yo cheche grame pou mete ansanm,
nou menm pajan w di 1 la se kon sa li soti
nan z6rey moun Nijerya direk direk.


perhaps they don't declare it openly-is a
Vodouist?

Max Beauvoir: There was Emperor
Soulouque; Emperor Soulouque, I think he
was a Vodouist. He would do ceremonies in
the National Palace each Sunday, the drums
would beat. But we know very well that the
French people themselves, they came to
invent a word they call: Souloukri. You can
find that word in any dictionary, referring to
a person who only does stupid things. That
means at the time of Soulouque, they told
you that they didn't know how to eat at a
table, he didn't know how to hold a fork, he
didn't know this and that. They criticized
them for a bunch of stuff, but in truth he
really was a great leader of the state.

Valery: If at the head of the country there
was a Vodouist, do you think the country of
Haiti would be better off? Do you think the
situation would be better?

Max Beauvoir: There is no doubt, no doubt,
because, Vodou, if anything, it's egalitarian.
It does not see a difference between the
Haitians. All together it's very much based
on that. No, I say there were really, there
were some Haitians, you would find them in
Senegal, you would find them in Bodetin, in
Artibonite, who were cultivating rice. You
would find, they were Malian, Dahomian,
and that what is came to give us the religion
and it is they who set out and it is they who
gave us the language we speak, the Creole
language. Dahomey and Nigeria? Well, I am
translating certain songs, certain prayers. I
went to see the people, I tried to find it.
When I arrived in Nigeria and there were no
longer any translations. What you sing, how
you sing in Creole, the ears of Nigerian
people hear it directly, they hear it in their
own way. Here, it isn't about translation, that
means to go look for a word, replace that
word inside it. They seach for grammar to
put together, we ourselves, how we say it
here is not how it comes across to the ears of
the Nigerian people directly.


8 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


I YII _I









Men Nijerya, nou konnen se pi gran peyi
Lafrik wes. Yo di w ke, mwen panse se yon
ere, pa t gen moun Nijerya nan 30 negrye a, e
ke 30 negrye pa t mennen Nijeryen lakay
nou. Se yon blag. Ayisyen yo se Nijeryen; sa
k fe si n ka pale Kreyol, z6rey Nijeryen an ap
tande 1 nan lang pa li.


Valery: Hmm, enteresan. Nou pral pale de
politik yon ti kal paske nou asimilejan w sot
di an tale a la, Vodou e politik. Men nou
tounen sou Vodou antan ke tel, antan ke
relijyon. Kijan ou konsevwa Vodou an, ki jan
ou sot di tale an: 401 lwa a? Vodouwizan ki
sevi 401 lwa, moun k ap gade nou, yo pa ka
konprann ke Vodouwizan sa a se nan Bondye
li kwe. Paske pou li menm li kwe nan de lwa,
li kwe nan de zespri.


Kiyes ki espri sa yo? Kiles yo ye e kote
Bondye gen plas li la? Paske e1 nou tande
Vodouwizan ap pale, ap fe lapriye 1, se
Granmet, se Bondye ke li envoke tou. Pou lot
relijyon yo, yo twouve ke li pa nomal, se
menm yon aberasyon. Kisa w ka reponn nan
sa?

Max Beauvoir: Wi, li pa nomal pou yo paske
yo ta renmen sevi lwa pa yo, Bondye pa yo,
nan relijyon pa yo. Donk se sa yo ta renmen,
men an reyalite, vreman, se ke tout Ayisyen
ta gen yon fe nan relijyon pa yo. Se de
relijyon ki pa viv avek mwayen pa yo, yo gen
blan k ap voye kob ba yo. Ke se swa Wom k
ap voye kob an Ayiti ou ke se swa Misisipi,
Alabama k ap voye kob pou Ayiti.



Plis, si ke relijyon pa yo gonfle, plis y ap
resevwa kob. Ou we sa m di w, se sa selman
ki gen ladan. Imajine w gen 9 milyon edmi
Ayisyen, si chak Ayisyen mete yon dola nan
ket moun sa yo ledimanch. Sa vle di chak
dimanch yo resevwa 9 milyon edmi dola. Se
yon gwo zafe, se sa ke y ap defann, se pa
Bondve ke v ap defann.


But Nigeria, we know is the biggest country
in West Africa. They tell you that, I think
that it's an error, there weren't Nigerians in
the slave trade, and that the slave trade did
not lead Nigerians to our home. It's a joke.
Haitians are Nigerians; which means if we
can speak Creole, Nigerian ears are listening
it in their own language.

Valery: Hmm, interesting. We are going to
talk about politics a little because we
understood what you were talking about
earlier, Vodou and politics. But we turn back
to Vodou as it is, as a religion. How do you
conceptualize Vodou, what do you add about
what you mentioned earlier: the 401 lwa?
Vodouists who serve 401 lwa; people who
are looking at us, they can't understand that
these Vodouists believe in Bondye (God).
Because for them, they [Vodouists] believe
in the lwa, they believe in the spirits.
Who are these spirits? Who are they and
where is Bondye's place? Because when we
hear Vodouists talking, saying their prayers,
it is Granmet, it is Bondye (God) who they
invoke. For the other religions, they find that
it isn't normal, it's an aberration. What can
you say to that?

Max Beauvour: Yes, it isn't normal for them
because they would like to serve their own
spirits, their own God, in their own religion.
So that is what they would like, but truly, in
reality it's that all Haitians would have an
advantage in their own religion. I'm talking
about religions that don't live within their
means, they have white people who are
sending them money. Whether it's Rome
that's sending money to Haiti or whether it is
Mississippi or Alabama that's sending money
to Haiti.
Plus, if their religion swells, the more
money they receive. You see what I tell you,
that is all it is. Imagine you have 9 and a half
million Haitians, if each Haitian put a dollar
in these people's collections on Sundays.
That means each Sunday they receive 9 and a
half million dollars. It's a big issue, that's
what they are defending; it isn't God they're


9 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


_I _II I _I yl _I












Valery: Y ap defann, pa egzanp, anpil nan yo
di ke y ap defann left ke te gen yon Mesi,
Jezi Kris, ki te vin sou late a pou vin sove
pep li, ki se tout moun an general; 16m, si w
vie di, kelke swa kote w te ye. Si sete an Azi,
kelke swa kontinan an, yo pa fe fi de sa. Yo
di ke li se "Lesove de limanite." Nan Vodou
an li menm eske li rekonnet...



Max Beauvoir: Nou gen 450 mil sove. Tout
moun ki te nan Bwa Kayiman yo. Se sa nou
rele sove.

Valery: 450 mil sove? Donk lwa yo se espri?
An nou pale de sa.


Max Beauvoir: An nou moun pale de relijyon
li menm, nou di ke se relasyon avek Bondye,
nou di 1 deja. Nou we ke sa byen konpri, li
klasik nan tout nivo. Men o fon, relijyon se
yon fason pou montre moun koman pou viv.
Gen bon fason pou moun viv; si mwen tiye w
oubyen si w vole sa k nan poch mwen, se mal
viv. Men gen de fason pou byen viv, pou ou
ka fini ere, mwen menm tou; ebyen gen de
lwa de travay, eksetera. Vodou a mete 1 la, an
sot Kouzen Zaka ke mwen pale de li an, se
lespri travay. Se yon travay divinize e travay
sa yo reprezante 1 lakay nou souvan... koman
mwen ta di w, kom agrikilti selman, kom
moun k ap travay late, pen patat. Men o fon
se pa vre. Travay ke n ap fe la nan televizyon
an oubyen travay ke w ap fe avek plim ou an,
ebyen tout se travay Kouzen Zaka. Se pou
montre w ke koman travay se baz sosyete a.
Sa se youn, men gen lot. Ou gen Ogou, Ogou
Feray, fok nou pa pran nenpot Ogou paske
gen yon seri de Ogou; mwen kwe gen 21,
ebyen se li menm k ap ba w fos, k ap ba w
kouraj.


Men se pa selman ke li se lespri fos, men se
li menm ki fe w leve nan kabann lematen le


defending.


Valery: They are defending, for example, a
lot of them say that they are defending the
fact that there was a Messiah, Jesus Christ,
who came to the earth to save his people,
who are all people in general; in other words,
mankind, wherever you were. If it was in
Asia, whichever continent, they don't let that
concern them. They say that he is "the Savior
of mankind." In Vodou itself, does it
recognize...

Max Beauvour: We have 450 thousand
saviours. All the people who were in Bwa
Kayiman. That's what we call saviours.

Valery: Four hundred and fifty thousand
saviours? So the lwa are spirits? Let's talk
about that.

Max Beauvoir: Let us people speak of
religion itself, we say that it is a relationship
with God, we said that already. We see that
this is well understood, it is classical at all
levels. But at the heart of it, religion is a way
to show people how to live. There are good
ways for people to live. If I kill you or if you
steal what's in my pocket, that is bad living.
But there are ways to live well, so you can
end up happy, just as I can, too; well there
are lwa of work, etcetera. Vodou put it here,
in this way Cousin Zaka who I spoke of, he's
the spirit of work. It is a divine work and that
work often presents itself in our country
... how would I tell you, like agriculture only,
like people who are working the land,
sweetpotato bread? But at the core it's not
true. The work we are doing on television or
the work that you are doing with your pen,
well all of that is the work of Cousin Zaka. It
is to show you that work is the foundation of
society. That is one, but there are others. You
have Ogou, Ogou Feray; we must not take
any Ogou because there is a series of Ogou; I
think there are 21, well it's he who gives you
strength, who gives you courage.
But it is not only strength in spirit, but it is
he who makes you rise from bed in the


10 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


I _I









w pa kab anko e ke lanej ap tonbe ou ta
renmen ret lakay ou. L ap di w leve w, al
travay, 1 ap di w, 1 ap di w ke travay la
enpotan. [16:47]


Valery: Non men, tre byen. Le n ap pale de
Ogou, kiyes li ye, kijan nou kapab eksplike
yon moun ki pa menm konprann konsep
de lwa sa a.

Max Beauvoir: Se de konsep yo ye jisteman,
tout lwa yo se konsep. Tout lwa se konsep. N
ap pale de Zili yo. Koman ou ka gen yon
sosyete san Ezili, koman ou ka gen yon
sosyete san lanmou? Ki sosyete ou genyen?
Se yon sosyete bet sovaj. Paske se lanmou ki
pemet moun respekte lot, ede lot, oganize vi
nou ansanm e se sa Ezili a ye pou nou. Ke ou
rele li le Freda ke ou rele li Danto. Li gen de
aspe diferan, nou di gen 51 Ezili e menm
Grann Brijit nan lanmo li bezwen anko Ezili.
E se sa Grann Brijit la ye pou nou. Paske
menm lamo ki pa bagay ki senp tankou pa
msye kretyen yo. Nou pa kwe nan paradi,
pigatwa, ak lenfe. Mwen panse tout sa se yon
blag.


Valery: Se yon senbolism yo itilize. A16 ou
sot di tale ke yo se de konsep donk ou vle di
ke Voudouwizan k ap sevi yon lwa itilize
lwa, li pito aliyen a konsep de vi sa a?


Max Beauvoir: Se sa, ak konsep de vi sa a.


Valery: Donk lwa pou moun k ap gade yo la
a, o fet lwa pou moun k ap gade ki petet
Katolik ou Potestan se pa yon lespri malefik,
yon lespri ki yon kote?


Max Beauvoir: Yon lespri k ap fe to?

Valery: K ap fe to, ke moun ap sevi?


morning when you can't take any more and
the snow is falling and you would like to stay
home. He will tell you to wake up, go to
work, he will tell you, he will tell you that the
work is important.

Valery: No but, very good. When we talk
about Ogou, who is he, how can we explain
him to a person who doesn't even understand
this concept of lwa?

Max Beauvoir: They are precisely concepts,
all lwa are concepts. All lwa are concepts.
We are talking of Ezili. How can you have a
society without Ezili, how can you have a
society without love? What society do you
have? It's a society of savage animals.
Because it is love that allows people to
respect others, help others, to organize our
lives together and that is what Ezili is for us.
Whether you call her Freda or whether you
call her Danto. She has two different aspects,
we have 51 Ezili and even Grann Brijit in
death she needs Ezili again. And that is what
Grann Brijit is for us. Because death is not as
simple as that of the Christians. We don't
believe in heaven, purgatory, and hell. I think
all of that is a joke.

Valery: It is a symbolism they use. So you
just said that they are concepts so do you
mean to say that Vodouists who are serving
the lwa, use lwa, she would rather align with
that concept of life?

Max Beauvoir: That's right, with that
concept of life.

Valery: Then lwa for people who are
watching here; in fact, lwa for people
watching who are perhaps Catholic or
Protestant, is it not an evil spirit, a spitit that
is somewhere?

Max Beauvoir: A spirit that is doing wrong?

Valery: That is doing wrong, that people are
serving?


11 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


I









Max Beauvoir: Fok nou pa bliye ke menm
Bondye a li menm, ke gen pawol de Bondye
nan tout relijyon yo, menm an Angle "God"
sesi, "God" sela. Men nou menm nou rele
Bondye, Bondye. Souvan n mete yon lot bon
deye 1 anko nou di: Bondye bon. Sa vle di se
yon prensip ki extrememan bon, li kalifyab
pa bonte li, e sa ki fe nou pa ezite mete
kalifikatif devan li. Nou mete bon ni devan ni
deye. E ke vreman se pa moun k apral voye
pitit li ki pral voye 1 boule etenelman. Alos
ke nou te ka prevwa ke nou ta pral fe yon vye
bagay e ke ou ta ka di 1 non, pa fe sa. Ebyen,
non, li pa ta fe sa, li tann nou nan bwosadan
m, le w mouri 1 a pral tann ou pou li voye w
boule. Se pa serye, se pa lanmou.




Valery: Bondye se yon Bondye lanmou.

Max Beauvoir: E se natirelman pou sa mwen
pa konprann ke yon moun relijye kapab kouri
sou yon lot relijyon pou touye moun nan,
swadizan 1 ap fe rejete, 1 ap fe kanpay,
eksetera. Se pa lanmou sa; koman ou ka
eksplike ke w ap preche lanmou nan prech
lakay ou epi w ap kouri di al touye lot la?


Li pa posib e se pou sa mwen pa ka kwe
ladan yo. Nou panse ke, nou respekte yo; nou
panse ke chak moun ka kwe nan sa 1 vle. Sa
nou kwe ladann paske nou a egalite. E nou di
ke Vodou a egalite e tout moun gen dwa e yo
nan dwa ke nou genyen an: se panse jan nou
vle. E ke si lot la vle panse kon sa, mwen
respekte 1, e mwen respekte 1 tou, menm
mwen pa dako ave 1. Men nan yon lot kote,
nou menm nou pa ka kwe nan paradi, nan
pigatwa, nan lanfe.


Valery: Nan ki sa nou kwe egzakteman?


Max Beauvoir: We must not forget that even
Bondye himself, that there are expressions
about Bondye in all religions; even in
English "God this, God that." But we call
Bondye, Bondye. Often we put another
"good" behind it again we say: Bondye2 is
good. That means he or she is an extremely
good principle, he or she is qualifiable by his
or her goodness, and that's what makes us
not hesitate to place qualifiers before him or
her. We put good before and after. And really
that isn't a person who would send his or her
child to be burned eternally. So we could
predict that we could do something bad and
you would say to him no, don't do that. So,
no, he or she wouldn't do that, as if he or she
waits for us in our toothbrushes; when you
die he or she is waiting for you to send you to
burn? That is not serious, that is not love.

Valery: Bondye is a loving God.

Max Beauvoir: And it is naturally for that I
do not understand how a religious person can
attack another religion in order to kill the
person, he or she is, so to speak, conducting a
rejection program, he or she is conducting a
campaign, etcetera. That isn't love; how can
you explain that you are preaching love in
your sermons at home and you are quick to
say go kill the others?
It isn't possible and that is why I can't
believe in them. We know that we respect
them; we think that each person can believe
in what he or she wants. We believe in this
because we are equal. And we say that
Vodou is egalitarian and all people have
rights and they have the rights that we have:
it's to think how we want. And if others want
to think that way, I respect them, and I
respect it too, even though I don't agree with
it. But in another respect, we ourselves can't
believe in heaven, in purgatory, in hell.

Valery: In what do you believe exactly?


2 In Haitian Creole the word Bondye means, at least etymologically, "good God." The Haitian
expression plays on the prefixed and agglutinated adjective, bon, by adding a predicative adjective,
bon, after Bondye: Bondye bon ([the good] Lord is good).

12 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants










Max Beauvoir: Ebyen se yon yon bagay ki
bokou pli konpleks, an som lanmo pou yon
Vodouwizan se pa yon bagay ki senp, an
som, fok ou pa bliye ke vreman nou menm
nou kwe natirelman nan reyenkanasyon.

Valery: Vodouwizan kwe nan
reyenkanasyon?

Max Beauvoir: Foseman, li tounen sou te a
16 fwa. Wit fwa an gason, wit fwa an fi.


Valery: A bon.

Max Beauvoir: Afen ke se sa bi lavi a. Se
akimile eksperyans.


Valery: Jiskaske ou vin pafe.

Max Beauvoir: Jiskaseke ou pafe e ou rantre
nan Bondye e ou fe pati de li menm. [20:05]

Valery: Se sa donk ou retounen alasous le ou
fini. Donk nou tre pwoch, pemet mwen di sa
si mwen twonpe mwen, korij e m, nou tre
pwoch de Endouwism ki petet panse yon
menm jan.

Max Beauvoir: Yo gen de resanblans
konsiderab. Youn nan yo se de moun ki te
panse kankou nou. Menm nan peyi Lachin
gen anpil chinwa ki panse tankou nou. Yo
gen Ogou yo tou, menm jan yo gen Ezili yo
tou, e tout bagay sa yo.

Valery: An nou pale de koabitasyon oubyen
diyalism nan relijyon yo. Katolik yo anpil
moun, nou ka konprann avek de done istorik,
poukisa Katolik lan, foseman pandan 1
Katolik lan li Vodouwizan? Potestan an
kapab tou Vodouwizan. Eske nan konsep
Vodou an antanke relijyon nou aksepte sa?
Yon moun, ou Potestan, ou Katolik epi ou
Vodouwizan tou an menm tan?


Max Beauvoir: So it is something much more
complex, the whole of death for a Vodouist
in not a simple thing, in whole, you must not
forget that really we naturally believe in
reincarnation.

Valery: Vodouists belive in reincarnation?


Max Beauvouir: Strongly, a person returns to
the earth 16 times. Eight as a male, 8 as a
female.

Valery: Good.

Max Beauvoir: In the final analysis, this is
the purpose of life. It's the accumulation of
experience.

Valery: Until you become perfect.

Max Beauvoir: Until you are perfect and you
enter in God and you are made a part of Him.

Valery: That is, then, you return to the source
when you die. So we are very close, perhaps
I say that if I am mistaken, correct me, we are
very close with Hinduism which perhaps
thinks the same way.

Max Beauvoir: They have a considerable
resemblance. One of them is a people that
thought like us. Even in China there are
many Chinese that think like us. They have
their Ogou too, just as they have their Ezili
too, and all of those things.

Valery: Let's talk about cohabitation or
dualism of religions. The Catholics are a lot
of people, we can understand with some
historical data, why are the Catholics,
specifically while Catholic, he or she is also
Vodouists? Protestants can also be
Vodouists. Is this a concept of Vodou as a
religion that we accept? A person, you're
Protestant, you're Catholic and you're a
Vodouist too at the same time?


13 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


I









Max Beauvoir: Wi bagay la se ke [...] ou gen
lot relijyon yo, Katolik, Potestan, yo se
relijyon ki jalou. Yo fe w konprann ke lot la
ka chita la pou 1 pa an konpetisyon ave 1. Pa
janm gen konpetisyon de Vodouwizan ak
Kretyen ni Katolik ni Potestan komsi se yon
konpetisyon ki pa egziste. Tandiske lot yo
toujou panse ke yo gen konpetisyon ak lot la,
se sa k fe yo kouri pou al touye 1. Epi rakonte
anpil kalite betiz sou li.



Valery: Paske yo pa aksepte, yo pa vie
aksepte.

Max Beauvoir: Se yo ki te konn ekri, se yo ki
te gen journal. La Phalange, se lot journal kon
sa kote yo te pibliye panse pa yo. Ou
konprann? Se sa ki fe yo te penn Vodou an
yon fason vilen, nonakseptab; e natirelman li
pa ka akseptab si w ap touye moun paske
Vodou a pa touye moun; o kontre,
Vodouwizan nan tretman, li pa trete
Vodouwizan selman. Katolik, Pwotestan vin
we 1 tou e se yo menm ki reteni lasante pep
ayisyen an. Le w ap pale pa egzanp du
Departman de la Sante Piblik an Ayiti, ou
gen legran dokte, gran savan sesi sela, avek
lopital general oubyen au Kap Ayisyen,
Justinien, ou gade konbyen moun ki rantre
nan lopital sa yo, w a we yo pa sevi vreman,
yo pa reponn alapanse ayisyen.





Valery: A oke.

Max Beauvoir: Paske moun nan ki nan mon
nan la, ki le 1 ap gentan desannjis pou 1 rive
lavil pou 1 kouri lopital general? Yo pa gen
posibilite. M pa di pou nou ta kraze lopital sa
yo, men non, fe yon espesyalite avek yo. Sa
bon pou zorey, sa bon pou moun ki pa we, sa
bon pou tout afe dejan sa. Fok nou bezwen
ti lopital ki pre moun ki fe si w blese la, ou
D an 2entan seven twbo, ou ka iwenn von


Max Beauvoir: Yes, the thing is that [...] you
have other religions, Catholic, Protestant,
they are jealous religions. They make you
understand that others can sit here as long as
it's not in competition with them. There was
never competition between Vodouists and
Christians, either Catholic or Protestant; it's a
competition that doesn't exist. Whereas the
one group always thinks that it has a
competition with the others, and that makes
them in a hurry to kill each other. And they
recount many types of idiocies about it.

Valery: Because they don't accept, they don't
want to accept.

Max Beauvoir: It was them who would write,
those who had journals. La Phalange, is
another journal like that where they
published their thoughts. Do you understand?
It's this that helped them portray Vodou as
something villainous, unacceptable; and
naturally it can't be acceptable if you are
killing people because Vodou doesn't kill
people; on the contrary, Vodouists are into
treatments, he or she doesn't only treat
Vodouists. Catholics and Protestants come to
see him or her too and he or she returns
health to the Haitian people. When you are
talking for example about the Department of
Public Health in Haiti, you have the great
doctor, the great scientists of this and that,
and the general hospital or Cape Haitian,
Justinien, you see how many people go into
those hospitals, you'll see that they don't
really serve them, they don't respond to the
Haitian mindset.

Valery: Oh okay.

Max Beauvoir: Because the person who is in
the mountains, when will she or he have the
time to go down all the way to arrive in the
City in a rush to the general hospital? They
don't have the possibility. I am not saying we
should destroy those hospitals; of course not,
create specializations with them. That one is
good for hearing, that one is good for people
who can't see, that one is good for all


14 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants


V U I U U I I Y









lopital bb lakay ou. Se yon lot fom. Yo
rantre nan vil la, pran yon gwo kare bo Pale
Nasyonal, ou fe yon lopital general, li pa
aksesib.






Valery: A16 la ou vie fe alizyon avek metsen
fey yo, a moun ki...

Max Beauvoir: Se yo menm ki mentni
lasante pep Ayisyen an, e se yo menm ki pa
selman Vodouwizan, men yo trete Katolik,
Pwotestan osi byen, menm paste yo tou, yo
trete pa Vodouwizan yo. Genyen ki pa gen
kob, yo trete 1 san kob. Anpil ladan yo. Donk,
an som, se Vodou an ki mentni lasante pep
Ayisyen an.



Valery: Toutafe, nou pral retounen apre poz
sa. Fwa sa, ou sot di tale a ke Vodou pa fe
mal, o kontre w ap pale de byen Vodou fe
pou pep ayisyen, epi o nivo sante, eksetera,
eksetera. Men gen de moun ki rete kwe ke
Vodou fe anpil mal, Vodouwizan touye
moun, yo zonbifye moun, yo fe wanga deye
moun, yo...



Max Beauvoir: An n pran kesyon zonbi sa a.


Valery: Oke. N ap pran 1 tale. Paske se yon
kesyon ki telman long, men n ap pran 1 tale.
M vle retounen sou liv lan, liv finalman ke
Vodouwizan yo genyen kom liv de referans.
E se ekri pa chef siprem Vodou an ki se
mesye Max Beauvoir ki avek nou la. Le
GrandRecueil Sacre, se repetwa chante
Vodou Ayisyen an ke nou gen devan nou la.

3 Herbalists.
4 Beauvoir, Max. 2008. Le grand recueil sacred, ou,
[Haiti]: Koleksyon Memwa Vivan.


problems of such and such a nature. We need
little hospitals that are near the people so
if you are injured, you don't bleed too
much, you can find a hospital near your
house. It's another way. They set up in the
city, take a big plot near the National Palace,
they made a general hospital, it's not
accessible.

Valery: So you allude to the leaf doctors3, to
people who...

Max Beauvoir: They are the ones who have
maintained the health of the Haitian people,
and they are the ones who not only treat
Vodouists, but they treat Catholics,
Protestants as well, and the pastors too, they
are treated by the Vodouists. There some
who have no money, they treat them without
money. Many of them. So, in sum, it's
Vodou that maintains the health of the
Haitian people.

Valery: That's right, we are going to return
after this pause. This time, you just said that
Vodou doesn't do evil, on the contrary you
were talking about the good Vodou does for
the Haitian people, and with respect to
health, etc, etc. But there are people who still
believe that Vodou does a lot of evil, that
Vodouists kill people, that they zombify
people, that they use sorcery behind people's
backs, they...

Max Beauvoir: Let's take that zombi
question.

Valery: Okay. We are going to take it soon.
Because it is a question that is quite long, but
we will take it. I want to return to the book, a
book finally that Vodouists have as a
reference book. And it is written by the
supreme leader of Vodou and that is Mr. Max
Beauvour who is with us here. The Great
Sacred Collection4 is a repertoire of Haitian


Repertoire des chansons du Vodou Haitien.


15 Copyright 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants









Epi nou genyen tou Lapriyd Ginen, donk se
de liv diferan youn lot ki rantre nan
patrimwan Ayisyen an.

Max Beauvoir: Nan patrimwan Ayisyen an.

Valery: Kote nou kajwenn liv sa yo?

Max Beauvoir Enben, nomalman se Pres
Nasyonal Repiblik d Ayiti, se yo ki pibliye 1.
Se yo ki pibliye journal ofisyel yo. An som, m
panse li te tre flat yo te aksepte pibliye 1 pou
nou mete nan koleksyon spesyal, koleksyon
patriman.

Valery: E si se o Zetazini?

Max Beauvoir: Nomalman yo t ap vann li La
Pleiade. Men anpil moun di m yo cheche 1 La
Pleiade men yo pajwenn li, m pa konnen sa
k rive antre Pres Nasyonal e La Pleiade la.
Men an prensip se la Pleiade ki sanse
distribye 1 an Ayiti.


Valery: Isit kote n ap fe entevyou avek ou la
nou nan Tanp Yehwe o Zetazini; bon, anfen a
Nou Yok, Long Island, se seten ke pandan
emisyon an n ap gen telefon kontak e adres
kote nou ka pran kontak avek madanm Nikol
Mile kote li kajwenn liv sa pou Vodouwizan
k ap gade e pou tout moun k ap cheche, de
cheche de verite ki kapab jwenn. Mesye Max
Beauvoir, nou pral pran poz, pa bliye n ap
retounen sou kesyon Vodou a, zonbifikasyon
e mal ke Vodou, dapre seten, ap fe de
sosyete ayisyen. Rete branch.


Vodou songs we have in here. And we have
also The Ginen Prayer so it's these two
books that join the Haitian heritage.

Max Beauvoir: In the Haitian heritage.

Valery: Where can we find these books?

Max Beauvoir: Well, normally it is National
Press of the Republic of Haiti, they publish it.
They publish the official journals. In sum, I
think it was very flattering that they accepted
to publish it for us and put it in their special
collection, the heritage collection.

Valery: And if you're in the States?

Max Beauvoir: Normally they would buy it
at The Pleiade. But many people told me they
checked The Pleiade but they couldn't find it,
I don't know what happenened between the
National Press and The Pleiade. But in
theory, it's The Pleiade that is supposed to
distribute it in Haiti.

Valery: Here where we are doing the
interview with you at Temple Yahweh, in the
USA; well, in New York, Long Island, it is
certain that during the program we are going
to have telephone contact information and an
address where we can contact Ms. Nicole
Miller where one can find that book for
Vodouists who are watching and for all
people who are searching, seekers of the truth
who can find it. Mr. Max Beauvoir, we are
going to take a break, don't forget that we are
returning to the Vodou question,
zombification, and the evil that Vodou,
according to some, is doing to Haitian
society. Stay tuned.


SBeauvoir, Max. 2008 [2004]. Lapriye Ginen. [Port-au-Prince]: Edisyon Pres Nasyonal d'Ayiti.


16 Copyright C 2012 Hebblethwaite, Buteau, Raitano and Jean-Baptiste
Funded by the NEH Collaborative Grants