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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 1 Interview at Lakou Souvnans Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Claire Antone interview Svit Fernand Bien Aim and Ongan Alisma November 2, 2012 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcri ption: Tahiri Jean Baptiste Translat ion: Megan Raitano and Tahiri Jean Baptiste Svit Bien Aim : Al ou konnen sl bagay ke nou pa t di nou ske, medam yo, Souvnans, l medam yo nan peryd de rg li, li pa antre andedan de kay la. Puiske kay la fmen ... Lt pwoblm nou genyen ak dam yo, si ou pte pantalon, ou pa antre andedan de kay la. Men puiske yo etranje, yo pa konnen, nou oblije aksepte. Men jodi a se an vakans nou ye, yo di m se jou lm, nou aksepte li. Svit Bien Aim [SBA] : Pou nou f ovti a, ki moun k ap ouvri lodyans la? Svit Bien Aim : Well you know, the only thing that we did nt tell you is that, for the ladies, in Souvnans, when women are in their period of menstruation, she does not enter the house. But since the house is closed... The other problem we have with women, if you wear pants, you do not enter the house. But since they are foreigners, they do not know, we have to accept it. But today we are on holiday, the y say it is the day of the dead; we accept it. Svit Bien Aim [SBA] : To start, who is going to open the conversation?
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 2 Ongan Alisma [OA] : Ben, ki kesyon w ta renmen poze svit a? Ben: Bonjou, msi anpil pou bl aky ou ban nou. Nou vrman santi k kontan e lajwa pou bl jounen e optinite vini pale avk nou menm. Km ongan Alisma fk di, nou travay nan domn kreyl la nan inivsite Laflorid ak Dyouk epi nou te vini an Ayiti pou ede estope tout atitid negatif, pou konmase konbat mantalite rasis e negatif ki egziste la kay nou nan ap pale ak ongan, svit ak bk pou konprann kijan yo w lafwa Vodou, kijan yo w lemonn. Pou konmase m ta renmen konnen kk enfmasyon de ou menm, ki kote ou s ti, kijan ou te jwenn Vodou, depi konben tan w ap svi lwa ou menm ? Svit Bien Aim: Bon mwen menm se pitit lakou a m ye ; al ou konnen ase souvan moun yo pran lakou yo km si se byen leta yo ye. Men se byen prive ke yo ye. Isit la, lakou a, se pou senk eritye ki li ye. Men gen yon eritye ki te pdi psyon pa li. [...] Se kat eritye ki mt lakou a k ap dirije lakou a. Men al, mwen menm ak papa mwen, sa f lontan, papa mwen f senkant an ap dirije lakou a papa m se te pitit la... al, pwoblm, m gen yon seri de fanmi n ansanm avk mwen mwen menm se fanm ki manman mwen, al mwen pa pote non lakou a. Se non papa m mwen pote paske se yon fanm ki manman mwen. Al mt lakou a se te Bwa; al papa Bwa, li menm li te f pitit. Li f Tousim; mwen menm se pitit Tousim ke m ye. Al de mwen menm a papa mwen, nou f lontan ap dirije Lakou a. Papa m f senkant an, mwen menm depi katrevendis ke m la. M se piti Lakou a. Men mwen menm, m pa t nan wout Lakou a, m te dey Lakou a. Rv nou se pou nou te rete an gwo komsa n, konprann, ki genyen anpi l posibilite. Lepouvwa [...] men al se sa nou te di lwa yo. Pou mwen menm Ongan Alisma [OA] : Ben, what questions would you like to ask the onsi ? Ben: Good morning, thank you so much for the beautiful welcome you gave us. We are truly happy and joyous for this beautiful day and the opportunity to come speak with you. As ongan Alisma just said, we work in the area of Creole studies at the Univer sity of Florida and Duke and we came to Haiti in order to put an end to all negative attitudes, to begin combatting racist mentalities that exist in our country by speaking with ongan, s vit and bk in order to understand how they see the Vodou faith, how they see the world. To begin with I would like to know some information about you, where you come from, how you found Vodou, and for how much time you have served the lwa? Svit Bien Aim : Well, as for me I am a child of the lakou; so you know often enough people take the lakou as if they were stateowned assets. But they are private assets. Here, in the lakou, it is for five heirs. But there is one heir who lost his share. [...] It s four heirs who are responsible for the lakou, who are leading the lakou. Well then, myself and my father, its been a long time, my father spent fifty years leading the lakou, my father was a child [of the lakou] ... so, problems, I have a number of family together with me, as for me my mother was a woman [attached to the lakou], so I do not have the name of the lakou. I have my father s name because it was a woman [of the lakou] who had me. Thus the head of the lakou was Bwa; so Papa Bwa, he had a child. He had Tousim ; I am Tousims child. So concerning my father and I we led the Lakou for a long time. My father did for 50 years, I have been here since 1990. I am a child of the Lakou. But I, I wasnt on the path to the Lakou, I was outside of the Lakou. Our dream is to become a large scale business man you understand,
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 3 gen K onstan, Paskal; gen lt fr m Gen yon seri de lt anbisye, mete yo nan dyb la M wen menm kite m dey pito. M ap ede nou kanmm men, se pitit Lakou a m ye ; se nan Lakou a ke m ft. Nou konsidere Lakou a. Lakou a li menm sl diferans Lakou a genyen avk lt Lakou yo se gen on seri de dezd ki konn pase nan lt Lakou yo. Se pa fasi l ; si lwa yo te ka f m dirije Lakou a, se yon bagay ekstradin. Nmalman mwen menm ki vini an: retounen vin f travay lwa yo se pa de bn volonte m vin f l non. M t ap toujou rete nan ti kms mwen pase m t ap vann pwa, m t ap vann diri, m t ap vann mayi moulen. Chak mwa m f on part ; se tire l tire sou mwen Ptoprens. L m al an Afrik la ng yo di m konsa Souvnans kiys ng ki te voye tire sou ou? Al nmalman nou on ti jan pa dak av lwa yo. Si [...] pa t f travay la pou nou, se pou m gen pos ibilite. Se pou m jwenn mwayen w sosyete a. Lontan papa m te pi f pase m. Papa m te gen jaden, l gen pitimi, l gen pwa, l gen mayi, l gen bf; li gen tout bagay. Mwen menm se ng lavil mwen ye. M pa gen wou al se kb m genyen. Pi gwo pwoblm ke m genyen se pou m f Lakou a mache. Pou m f Lakou a mache al m genyen svant yo, m genyen... Ongan Alisma : Ounsi yo Svit Bien Aim: Ounsi yo pa nan administrasyon Lakou a paske ounsi yo pa viv de mwen menm O kontr se yo menm ki ede mwen paske moun ki nan administrasyon Lakou a se svant yo, kwiziny yo, kanbizye yo. Se yo menm ki nan Lakou a. Nou tyen ke pou Lakou. L ou vini pou f t ou w m toujou f bale Lakou a. Lakou a toujou pwp; al se moun nou peye pou nou f travay la. Km which has many possibilities I wanted p owe r. So that is what we told the lwa. For me to have K onstan, Pascal; I have my other brother s There are a number of other ambitious people put them in the job. But leave me out of it I ll help you nonetheless but, I am a child of the Lakou, I was born in the Lakou. We think about the Lakou. The Lakou itself, the only difference th is Lakou has with other Lakou is that the re are a lot of misbehavior that happen s at the other Lakou. Its not eas y ; if the lwa could make me direct the Lakou, its something extraordinary. Normally I came in: returned to come do work for the lwa, I didnt do it willingly. I w ould still be in my little business because I was selling beans I was selling rice, and I was selling cornmeal. Each month I made an appearance, I was shot at in Po rt au Prince. When I went to Africa, the men told m e, Souvnans which man was sent to shoot at you? So naturally we disagree with the lwa a little. If one did nt do the work for us, I have to be able I have to be able to see the society. A long time ago, my father was stronger than me. My father had fields, he had millet, he had beans, he had corn, he had cows ; he had everything. I am a city man I dont have farming implements; I have money The biggest problem I have is running the Lakou. So to run the Lakou I have the servants, I have Ongan Alisma : The ounsi Svit Bien Aim: The ounsi are not in the Lakou administration because the ounsi dont live off of me. On the contrary, they help me becau se people in the Lakou administration are the servants, the cooks, the drink servers. They are i n the Lakou. We care for the Lakou. When you come for a ceremony you s ee that I always have the Lakou swept The Lakou is always clean; w ell, we pay people to do the
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 4 mwen te di tal a m ta renmen f G ran Bwa pou Lakou a. Ou w nou pa ka jwenn t a. Men n ap mete pye bwa. M gen on seri de ti pye bwa [...]. Ou w nan Lakou a, se peye nou peye moun pou awo uze yo pou nou. Kounye a yo vin di ke yo p ap bay Svit yo lajan. Se Lakou yo k ap bay lajan. Se pou Lakou yo gen kont Al si pou Lakou yo gen kont se pou yo konnen stori Lakou a. Nou menm, l nou te ale, dapr etid ke nou f pitit ki te pi ansyen nan Lakou a li te gen santan. Apati de laj pitit sa nou di ke Lakou a manke katran pou Lakou a gen desanzan. Nou te di se an demilkenz dizwitsankenz ke Lakou a te laal se apati de sa. Men se sipozisyon ke nou f paske si nou di w nou te jwenn kijan Lakou a te ye e anpatan m t l akou a, P apa Bwa ng ki te mt Lakou a ki vin enplante Souvnans la, ki enplante Vodou a, pa t moun peyi a. Misye te soti Mannou nan zn Sen Mak. Misye achte trz kawo t isit la. Si pou yo ouvri Soukri se sou do Souvnans pou yo ouvri l. Mache Soukri a se nan t Souvnans li ye. Al nou menm la se apati de Papa Bwa ke nou jwenn on seri de koze. Men Papa Bwa a, nou pa konnen granchz de li menm. Nmalman sa se pi gwo pwoblm m genyen avk Papa Bwa oubyen ng ki t ap dirije avan m yo. Premye ng la se te Papa Bwa; dezym ng la se te Tochiyis piti t Papa Bwa. Lt bagay ke misye f ki pa f m plezi ditou, misye pran Papa Bwa l al antere l lavil. Mwen menm pi gwo pwoblm m genyen avk ng lavil la l m rive on kote, malgre m al lekl malgre se koms a n m ye, yo di a mouche se peyizan w ye. Al se sa k f m konsidere lwa yo. Avk lwa yo m konnen klkeswa sa w di a m p ap [...] ou, paske avk Souvnans la pa gen ng k ap f pase m. Avk Vodou, D y, P apa K ebesou, M t K afou, M trs [ 4:40 ] Tout Vodou di yo work. As I said shortly before, I would like to do a Gran Bwa [sacred forest] for the Lakou. You see we cant find the land. But we are planting trees. I have a series of little trees . You see in the Lakou, we pay to have them irrigate d. Now they re say ing that they w ont give the servants of the lwa money. The Lakou are providing the money T he Lakou needs to have enough funds So for the Lakou to have funds they need to know the story of the Lakou. We, when we went, according to the stud y we conducted the oldest child in the Lakou was 100 years old According to this child s age we say that the Lakou i s fo ur years from being 200 years old. We said it was in 2015, 1815, that the L akou has been hereso its according to that. But we made an assumption because if we told you we found how the Lakou was from the start from the time of t he leader of the Lakou, papa Bwa the man who led the Lakou that came to establish Souvnans, that established Vodou, he wasnt from this country. He was from Mannou in the Saint Mark area. He bought 13 acres of land here. F or them to open Soukri, they had to open it after Souvnans So we learned a series of rumors because of Papa Bwa. But Papa Bwa, we didnt know a lot about him. N aturally that is the biggest problem I ha ve with Papa Bwa or the men who were directing before me. The first man was Pap a Bwa; the second man was Tochiyis the child of Papa Bwa. Ano ther thing he did that didnt make me too happy ; he took Papa Bwa and buried him in the city. The biggest problem I had with the city when I arrive somewhere, although I went to school, although I was a business man, they said, you are a peasant So th ats what ma kes me consider the lwa. With the lwa, I know that whatever you say to me isnt going to harm you, because with Souvnans there arent men wholl be stronger than me. With Vodou, God, Papa Kebesou,
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 5 endiste ng e, men nou pa gen anyen ki ka mt nou. Pou di w kijan pou w jwenn rasin Lakou a oubyen kijan bagay yo te ye: menm papa mwen, moun di papa m gen senkant an, men depi byen bon papa m t ap dirije Lakou. Men pa t konn gen chf? Nou menm se nan rejete nou ft, an karanteyen. Men l sa yo rele [...] deja ap [...] deja. La, li menm, reje te a se pi gwo evenman ki pase Vodou an. Gen yon seri de kote yo derasine tout sa Lakou yo te genyen : menm pye bwa yo. Yo koupe l; peyizan li menm, li toujou renmen pye bwa li. L nou rive nan mapou a, se P apa L i sa. L nou rive nan gayak sa, se Dvk Se l [...] nou rive nan tanmaren an se P apa Ogou. Al w w n toujou konsidere yo; men rejete a pran anpil bagay, kraze anpil rit ki genyen nan Vodou a. Pi gwo pwoblm Vodou an genyen, Vodou an pa gen lajan. Ou w km m di w papa m te pi f pase mwen : p apa m gen bf, li gen pitimi, li gen pwa. Vodou an se an sosyalis yo te konn viv. M ap f dans la la, yo pote bwa [bra] yo vin ede m. Yo pote nat yo pote, anfen tout moun vin ede m. Yo vin ede m chante, yo vin ede m bat tanbou. Al se konsa, men pi gwo evnman ki frape Vodou ank pa fen ( 6:38) Vodou an. Pa gen moun ki konnen li. Pafen Vodou an, al apati de rejete ng yo pran pa fen Vodou an, pa janm jwenn li. Al apati de lokipasyon de diznfsankenz, ng yo vin avk Florida. Florida a se sipoze se pafen pa ou, men se pa pafen pa nou. Tout ng konsidere sa sten, konprann, Florida ? M en se pa pafen pa nou l te ye se te pafen blan. Al nou sipoze, n ap travay a rach pye pou w si nou si nou te ka jwenn Florida a. Nou pa ka jwenn pafen pa nou, men tout otan ke nou pa jwenn li nou kenbe Florida. Mt Kafou, Mtr s All of Vodou sa y s they are important but there is nothing that can master us. To tell you how to find the roots of the Lakou or how things were : my father, people say my father did 50 years but my father led the Lakou from a young age But there wasnt anyone in charge? We were born in the anti Vodou campaign, in nineteen forty one But those called  already are  already there. Here, this the anti Vodou movement is the biggest event that happened to Vodou. There are a series of places w here they eradicated everything the Lakou had: e ven the trees. They cut it; the peasant always like s his trees When we arrived at the mapou tree, it was P apa Lisa When we arrived a the gayak tree, its Dvk; when we arrived at the tamarind tree it was Papa Ogou. So you see we still consider them but the anti Vodou movement took many things, destroyed many rituals that we had in Vodou. The biggest problem Vodou has, Vodou doesnt have money. You see I told you my father was stronger than me: my father had cows, he had millet, he had beans. Vodouist live in socialism. If I am doing the dances here, they bring wood, and they come help me. They bring mats they bring, and finally everyone comes to help me. They come help me sing, they come help me beat the drums. So thats how it is, but the biggest event to hit Vodou, again was not the end o f Vodou. There arent people who know it. Vodou perfume, so from the anti Vodou movement the men t ook the Vodou, it was never found. So from the occupation of 1915, men c a me with Florida perfume Florida perfume is supposed to be you r scent but its not our scent. All men consider that certain, understand, Florida ? B ut it wasnt our scent, it was the scent of the foreigner s So we suppose we are working as hard as we can so they could see if we could find Florida perfume We cant find our s cent,
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 6 Ben: Ou sot pale de Lakou, se on non ou kontre nan anpil etid ayisyen, ske w te kapab di nou kisa Lakou a ye pou Vodou? Ki moun ki vi v ladan li? Ki sans ke l genyen? Svit Bien Aim: Lakou a, li gen anpil moun landan l. M te ka di w se yon vilaj. Lakou isit la gen pr de sandis kay ladan li. Men sandis kay la se pou eritye Lakou a. S e pou inisye yo, oubyen fanatik yo. Si w te sot nan peyi etranje ou vin di m svit m bezwen on kote m f kay, m ap ba w on kote pou f kay. Al se sa ki f moun yo ka ap viv nan Lakou a. Nou gen tout kalite moun. Nou gen moun ki pv; nou gen moun ki ric h. Anfen, nou gen peyizan; nou gen moun lavil. Al moun ki nan Lakou yo pa t fse m an eritye Lakou a. Yo fanatik, yo mande on kote pou yo f kay. Men al gen de fwa tou, lt bagay mwen on ti jan gen pwoblm avk yo tou, menm kote yo bezwen f kay la, yo bezwen f ti kms sou mwen tou. Yo f de chanm kay epi yo lwe on lt chanm. Al nou menm nou pa ta vle sa. Se on chanm ou bezwen, se on chanm pou w rete. Pinga w f de chanm paske, nou menm, nou pa f koms. Koms pa landan l. Al moun ki nan Lakou yo se lesvit oubyen papa Lakou a oubyen bk Lakou a. Se on psonaj yo konsidere sten. Li se yon psonaj ki pou tande tout koze yo; ni bon koze a, ni move koze a. Pi gwo pwoblm nou genyen nan Lakou yo kounye a: gen anpil ng ki pa vle al travay. L lekl ouvri f nou voye pitit yo lekl moun yo chaje lajan nan men nou, sitou fanm yo. Nou menm nou vin isit la. Moun ki plis domine nou isit la se timoun k ap mande charite yo. Timoun ki nan domestisite kay moun yo epi but as long as we dont find it we hold on to Florida. Ben: You just talked about the Lakou; its a name you find in many Haitian studies, could you tell us what the Lakou is in Vodou? Who lives inside it ? What meaning does it have? Svit Bien Aim: The Lakou, it has many people inside it. I could tell you it is a village. The Lakou here has nearly 110 homes inside of it. But the 110 houses are for the heirs of the Lakou. Its for the initiates, or the supporters If you come from a foreign country and you tell me I need a place to make a home, I ll giv e you a place to make a home. So that is what allows them to live in the Lakou. We ha ve all types of people. We have poor people; we have rich people. In short we have peasants; we have village people. So the people in the Lakou are not necessarily heirs of the Lakou. They are supporters they ask for a place to live. But then there are some times too, another thing I also have a little problem with the same place they want to make a home, they want to make a little business too. They make two bed rooms and they rent out the other room. So we dont want that. Y ou need one room ; you stay in one room You must not make two rooms because we dont engage in business Commerce is not apart of it So the people who are in the Lakou are the onsi or the father of the Lakou or the bk of the Lakou. That is a n important person. He is a figure who hear s all of the issues; either the good issues, or the bad issues. The biggest problem we have in the Lakou now: there are many people who dont want to work. When school opens we must send the children to school, people spend money from us, especially the women. We come here. The people who occupy us the most here are the children who are begging The children
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 7 fanm nan. Al fanm nan tr malont, oubyen gason ayisyen an tr malont. Li fin f pitit avk fanm nan, li pa janm bay fanm nan manje. Al nou menm, nou toujou pran sa an konsiderasyon. Nou toujou mande lwa yo pou ede nou w si nou te ka rezoud pwoblm timoun yo e rezoud pwoblm fanm nan. Me n jiska prezan, fanm nan toujou nan move zaf. Fanm nan toujou nan miz. Pi f timoun k ap vann nan lari yo se pitit peyizan yo; se pitit fanm nan. Gen de fwa l jete piti t yo. Sa n te ka di w ank de Lakou yo: yo viv an fanmi. On sl plat manje: o kijan w f f manje ou pa pote pa m ban mwen? Se pou nou pote ban mwen. Pou tout moun pote pa m ban mwen. L yo f dans isit la m di yo konsa, f yo f manje pou yo pote pou mwen pou ven moun. Men se pa mwen k al pral ma nje l non, se moun m w k vini yo. F ke kounye a la si m te nan bon tan la, moun yo t ap pote on ti manje pou mwen la, m t ap svi nou. Men e nan move tan m ye m pa ka di anyen nan koze a. Ben: Kisa w panse sou jan Vodou ap gaye nan peyi etranje, kote w ap jwenn y on seri sosyete, on seri Lakou kote pi f manm yo se etranje yo ye? Kijan w w globalizasyon Vodou? Svit Bien Aim: Se yon tr bl kesyon. Lakou Souvnans ap toujou rete Lakou Souvnans. Lakou Soukri ap rete Lakou Soukri. Lakou Badjo ap rete Lakou Badjo. Ng la vle f ti koms li oubyen ng la bezwen al f ti bagay li nan peyi etranje l, al f l. Gen de fwa ng yo pran non Souvnans oubyen yo pran non lt Lakou y ale nan peyi etranje e yo di se yo menm men, se pa sa. working as domestic servants and the woman. So the woman is very unfair or the Haitian man is very unfair. Once h e s done mak ing children with the woman; he never gives the woman any food. So we, we al ways take that into consideration. We al ways ask the lwa to help us see if we could resolve the childrens problems and resolve the womans problems. But up to the present, the woman is still involved in shady dealings. The woman is still in poverty. Most of the child ren who are sell ing in the streets are the peasants child ren ; its the womans child. Some times she cast s away her children. We could also tell you that the Lakou live s as a family. A single plate of food: oh how come you ma de food and you didnt bring me some ? You all have to bring me some E veryone has to bring me some When they do dances here I tell them that they have to make food to bring to me for 20 people. But its not for me to eat it is for the people who come. Essentially if I was in good time s the people w ould bring me a little food for me here, I w ould serv e you But I am in bad time s I c ant do anything Ben: What do you think about how Vodou is spreading in foreign countries, where you are finding a number of societies, a number of Lakou where most members are foreigners? How do you see the globalization of Vodou? Svit Bien Aim: Thats a very good question. Lakou Souvnans will remain Lakou Souvnans. Lakou Soukri will remain Lakou Soukri. Lakou Badjo will remain Lakou Badjo. The man wants to make a little business or the man needs to go make something in a foreign country, go ahead and do it. There are times when the men t ake the name Souvnans or they t a ke the name of another Lakou and they go to a foreign country and they sa y it s them but,
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 8 Lakou Souvnans p ap bay pys moun otorite. W menm svit a, mwen menm l m al Ptoprens, l m lakay mwen, klkeswa ng, zanmi, oubyen amitye ke m ka [...] monch f on leson pou m mwen. M di non. Oubyen l w al nan [...] non. Souvnans pou w vini. Ou w gen on seri de moun nan peyi etranje ou di mwen s si w betize yo gen dwa f w pedi tt ou. Nan SMS y ap rele w: m gen on ti fanm o Meksik. Ti fanm sa [...] enpoze m viv. M gen yon ng o Kanada chak jou ng la rele mwen. Al ng sa yo, km si sa m te ka di ou, zen ki genyen kay Papa Loko a li ka vle m ba li li. Men Papa Loko pa gen ng li pral bay zen an Gen yon ng ki vin isit la, li di m l ap ban m desanmil dola pou m ba li sekr kanari a. Sekr kanari a se l m mouri w ap jwenn li. M pa ka ba w sekr kanari a. Ni s ekr kanari a se zen Souvnans li ye. Kman w te ka vle ng la gen zen li pou m pran l pou m ba ou l? Al nou menm, lt pwoblm an pasan ke nou genyen isit la nou gen anpil moun ki kritike nou. E nou gen anpil moun ki pale nou mal tou. Ng yo te di mwen gen on ekip moun, on ekip jounalis oubyen gouvnman, te di se pou Souvnans se lapatrimwn mondyal [global patrimony]. Michl reponn kesyon sa pou mwen non: Souvnans patrimwn mondyal la. Ongan Alisma : Oke, rezon ki koz yo kapab di Souvnans patrimwn mondyal se paske li se pli gran Lakou ki kapab egziste andedan peyi d Ayiti e li anglobe lemond. Mwen rive an Afrik, m te ale Kt Divwa, l m rive premye Lakou yo pale se de Lasouvnans. Svit Bien Aim: M vle pou Lakou a rete Souvnans. Ou menm si se pitit Gonayiv ou ye it s not the case Lakou Souvnans will not give anyone the authority. See even the onsi, when I go to Port au Prince, when I am going to my home, whatever guys, friends, or friendships that I can have my friend do a lesson for myself. I say no. Or when you go in  no. You have to come to Souvnans You see there are a number of people in the foreign countri es, at the very least if you fool with them the y can make you lose your head. In SMS there are calling you: I have a little woman in Mexico. That little woma n prevents me from living I have a guy in Canad a each day the guy call s me. So the se guys, its almost as if he wants me to give him the secret in the clay pot that i s at Papa Lokos house But Papa Loko doesnt have a man who hell give the secret to. There is a guy who comes here, he tell s me he will giv e me $200,000 for me to give him the secret of the kanari clay pot And t he secret of the kanari is Souvnans business How could you have wanted for the guy to have the secret, as if Id give it to him? So for us, we have other problems here by the way, we have many people who criticize us. And we have many people who speak ill of us The guys told me that there is a team of people, a team of journalists or governments, who said its because Souvnans is a world patrimony. Michl answer th is question for me: Souvnans is a world patrimony. Ongan Alisma : Okay, the reason why th ey can say Souvnans is a global patrimony is because it is the biggest Lakou that exist s in the country of Haiti and it encompasses the world. I arrived in Africa, I went to Cte d Ivoire when I arrived, the first Lakou they s poke of was Lasouvnans. Svit Bien Aim: I want the Lakou to stay Souvnans. You yourself : if you are a child of
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 9 pitit Vodou w vini nou resevwa w. Km si zen ki genyen nan Souvnans la, si Papa Loko te gen on bagay nou p ap kite moun konnen. Ongan Alisma : Non ditou, se nmal paske sekr Papa Loko rete sekr Papa Loko. Sekr Souvnans ap rete sekr Souvnans. Svit Bien Aim: Nou w etranje a pale kreyl tr byen. Depi konbyen tan ou vini nan peyi a? Fk nou poze w kesyon tou. Ben: Wi, mwen te kmanse etid Kreyl mwen nan milnfsan katrevensz. Sa f sz an depi m ap goumen avk lang ou. Ou konnen m ap aprann kilti a. Svit Bien Aim: Avk egliz ou te kmanse? Ben: Non, se l mwen te nan inivsite mwen te kmanse etid sou kreyl. Depi moman sa mwen te enterese nan Vodou. Svit Bien Aim: Men, ou pa pale m de kandjanwoun (?? Kanje 14:07). Fk ou te pale m de kandjanmo yo. Malgre ou poko fini tou m ap koute w. Ou pa pale m de dans yo; ou pa konn al nan dans yo? Ou pa konn al nan kandjanmo yo? Ou pa konn vin nan ft lakay mwen? Ben: Wi, mwen poko asiste nan anpil seremoni an Ayiti. Mwen te kmanse f lekti mwen Ozetazini. Zanmi Ayisyen dyaspora te entwodwi mwen nan Vodou. Mwen te kmanse ale nan ft Vodou nan Miyami. Donk, konesans mwen genyen baze plis nan Vodou ki pratike nan lavil Miyami e sitou nan sosyete Lento Wa Twa Mist ( 14:35) kote Gonaves, a child of Vodou and you come we ll receive you. Its like the pots we have in Souvnans, if Papa Loko had something we wont let  Ongan Alisma : Not at all, its normal because secrets of Papa Loko remain secrets of Papa Loko. The secrets of Souvnans will remain secrets of Souvnans. Svit Bien Aim: We see that the foreigner speak s Creole very well. Since when have you been com ing to this country? We must ask you questions also Ben: Yes, I started my Creole studies in 1996. That makes it 16 years since I ve been struggling with your language. You know I am learning the culture. Svit Bien Aim: You started with the churches? Ben: No, when I was at college I started studying Creole. Since that moment, I have been interested in Vodou. Svit Bien Aim: But, you didnt talk to me about the Vodou ceremony. You must speak to me about the Vodou ceremonies. Although you still haven t finished, I am listening to you. You havent spoken to me about the dances; dont you go to the dances? Dont y ou go to the ceremonies? Dont y ou come to the celebrations at my home ? Ben: Yes, I havent attend ed many ceremonies in Haiti. I started doing my readings in the U nited States Friends in the Haitian diaspora introduced me to Vodou. I started going to Vodou ceremonies in Miami. So my knowledge is based more on the Vodou practiced in the city of Miami and especially in the society Linto Roi T rois M y st res where
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 10 Ongan Alisma responsab. Pandan twazan k ap vini an, poutt nou gen ti bous ki sipte vwayaj nou, nou vle retounen vizite tout gran Lakou an Ayiti. Pou patisipe e pou filme seremoni yo genyen pou nou kapab prezve sa nan yon achiv inivsit Pou nan lavni nan twasanzan, nan sts an lane, moun k ap gade ki sa Vodou a ye jounen jodi a. Svit Bien Aim: Al gwo medya Ameriken yo konn vin nan ft la wi. Ben: M konnen sa, nou pa sa. Svit Bien Aim: E kil ou fete lakay ou? Ongan Alisma: Se Ozetazini mwen fete. Mwen fete le tranteyen desanm, premye janvye, de janvye, twa janvye Svit Bien Aim: Gen ft tranteyen Desanm? Ongan Alisma: Wi, mwen kmanse tranteyen Desanm de premye Janvye, de Janvye, twa Janvye, nou fini jis a kat Janvye. Svit Bien Aim: Nou pa salye Lwa, nou pa rive nan Lwa? Ongan Alisma: Non, nou pa rive nan Lwa. Manbo Alisma : Gen lt moun ki fete Lwa. Ongan Alisma: Gen lt manbo, gen lt ongan ki fete Lwa. L Lwa, le sis Janvye, nou menm n al patisipe avk lt manbo, ongan ki fete Lwa. Nan dat pa nou tou, yo tout vini yo vin patisipe avk nou. Men l m antre an Ayiti, papa m te abitye fete... Ongan Alisma is in charge. During the upcoming three years because we have a little grant that supports our travels; we want to return to visit all the great Lakou in Haiti. To participate and to film the ceremonies they have so we can preserve them in a University archive. So that in the future, in 300 years, in 700 years, people can see what Vodou was today Svit Bien Aim: So bi g American media sometimes come to the celebration s Ben: I know that, we arent that. Svit Bien Aim: And when do you celebrate at home ? Ongan Alisma: I celebrate in the United States I celebrate December 31st, January 1st, January 2nd, and January 3rd. Svit Bien Aim: You have celebrations on December 31st? Ongan Alimsa: Yes, I start the 31st of December through January 1st, January 2nd, January 3rd, we dont finish until January 4th. Svit Bien Aim: You all dont celebrat e the Epiphany, you do not reach the Epiphany? Ongan Alisma: No, we dont reach the Epiphany. Woman: There are other people who celebrate the Epiphany. Ongan Alisma: There are other manbo, there are other ongan who celebrate the Epiphany. When its the Epiphany, the sixth of January, we go and participate with other manbo and ongan who celebrate the Epiphany. Also on our date they all come participate with us. But
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 11 Svit Bien Aim: Al, yo di mwen ou gen radyo. Ongan Alisma: Wi, nou gen on stasyon radyo. Mwen ge n on stasyon televizyon. Mwen gen on stasyon radyo mwen menm avk fr mwen. Nou gen on stasyon televizyon epi m gen on otl. Svit Bien Aim: Gen radyo tou? Ongan Alisma: Wi. Svit Bien Aim: Kot otl la ye la? Ongan Alisma: Avni d Dat Svit Bien Aim: Nyou S ta O tl? Enben on gran ng ou ye. Ongan Alisma : Men depi w se pitit Vodou, ou deja gran ng. Svit Bien Aim: Kote blan an? M ap tann kesyon blan an. Ongan Alisma: Avan tou, mwen rekont ou depi m tou piti. Depi m gen senk, sizan, mwen rekont ou paske m leve avk mesyedam Paskal yo kote madan Nikola Dekawo. Svit Bien Aim: Ou menm kote w te rete la? Ongan Alsima: Dekawo. Svit Bien Aim: An, Dekawo w te rete? Ongan Alisma: Wi, m leve nan men Renl. Svit Bien Aim: Memwa m on ti jan pa bon. when I came to Haiti, my father normally celebrated it Svit Bien Aim: So, they told me you have radio. Ongan Alisma: Yes, we have a radio station. I have a television station. I have my radio station with my brother. We have a television station and I have a hotel. Svit Bien Aim: Theres a radio too? Ongan Alisma : Yes. Svit B ien Aim: Wh ere is the hotel ? Ongan Alisma: Avenue de s D ates ? Svit Bien Aim: A star hotel? Well then you are an important guy. Ongan Alisma : But if you are a child of Vodou, you are already a n important guy. Svit Bien Aim: Where is the foreigner? I am waiting for the foreigners questions Ongan Alisma: First, I recognize you from my childhood. I have known you s ince I was 5, 6 years old because I was raised by Mr. and Mrs Pascal w ith Mrs. Nicolas of Dekawo neighborhood. Svit Bien Aim: W here did you stay? Ongan Alisma: Dekawo. Svit Bien Aim: Oh you lived in Dekawo ? Ongan Alisma: Yes, I was raised by Renel. Svit Bien Aim: My memory is not very
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 12 Kil n al Dekawo la? N al Dekawo lontan wi Ongan Alisma: Paskal vin rete Dekawo an katreventwa. Svit Bien Aim: L Roje pati? Ongan Alisma: Wi. Svit Bien Aim: E Roje, nou te konn Roje? Ongan Alisma: M konn monnonk Roje Svit Bien Aim: M wi, Roje te ret pi ba a avk dam nan. Monch m pa sonje non. Ongan Alisma: Madan Renl, mwen, m ft, m jwenn yo la, paske m ft an swasantrz. Mwen menm, m leve m jwenn Renl la. Mwen leve mwen jwenn Nikola la Svit Bien Aim: Pandan w ap di Nikola, an nou f on ti zen de Nikola. Prezidan vin isit la. L prezidan vin isit la, al se te sikln ki te fin pase. Ti kay kraze; ti kay a dwat. M di prezidan nou menm nou pa nan ti kay. Peristil la pou f pou mwen. Ou w peristil la nan mov zeta, se pou f l pou mwen. Pi gwo kont la se nan madan Divijye Py Lwi Si madan Divijye Py Lwi t e rete m t ap fin f travay la. M t ap benefisye on lt bagay ank. M di prezidan an lage m nan men madan Divijye Py Lwi. Monch prezidan an lage m nan men madan Divijye Py Lwi. Yo kmanse f peristil la pou mwen. Men kiys moun ki e njeny travay la oubyen mt travay la? Se Filip. Pou ou w jan Filip trete mwen. Yo pa sot nan paran pv non Li pa janm konn good. When did you go to Dekawo? We indeed went to Dekawo a long time ago Ongan Alisma: Pascal came to live in Dekwao in 83. Svit Bien Aim: When Ro ger left? Ongan Alisma: Yes. Svit : And Rog e r we knew Ro ge r ? Ongan Alisma : I know Uncle Roge r Svit Bien Aim: But yes, Rog e r stayed further down with the lady. Man, I do not remember the name. Ongan Alisma: Mrs. Renel, as for me, I was born and I found them here, because I was born in 1973. I grew up and f ound Renel here. I grew up and f ound Nicholas. Svit : While youre saying Nicholas, let us talk a little gossip about Nicholas The president c a me here. When the president c a me here, the hurricane had just passe d. Little houses broke; little houses all over the place. I told our president, we are not in little houses. You need to build the Vodou temple for me. You see the Vodou temple is on bad land ; you need to do it for me The biggest argument is with Divijye Py Lwi. If Mrs. Divijye Py Lwi stayed, I w ould have finish ed the work. I was benefiting from something else as well. I told the president to plac e me in the hands of M rs. Divijye Py Lwi. Man t he president put me in contact with Mrs. Divijye Py Lwi. They started to make the peristil for me. B ut w ho was the engineer of the job or the leader of the jo b? It was Phillip. Y ou s hould have seen how Phillip treated me. They did not come from poor parents. He
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 13 moun sa ditou. Misye pa pran kontak ansanm avk mwen. Ng yo b kote travay la. Tout goumen m goumen a k Filip; monch, an nou antann nou, an nou w si n ta f bagay la. Misye divize av m nt. Mwen menm m pa ka konprann anyen. Sl bagay m te di Filip: m te di Filip se loudo, l p ap janm fin f travay la. Men sa k ladan l se on kontra ke w te pran. Nmalman ou konnen m tr byen. Ongan Alisma : E l se pitit Lakou a. Svit Bien Aim: M mande peristil la se youn. Nou menm nou te vle mete on bagay nan peristil la pou pa gen on... ki gen zam ditou. Bagay la pa mete. Kounye a prezidan sa di l a pral f l pou mwen. M ta byen kontan. N ap swiv pou nou w. Ongan Alisma : Wi an nou swete sa. Nou w misye de bn volonte avk Vodou a. Svit Bien Aim: Nou menm, rv nou se te graden an; on premye graden, on dezym ou twazym graden. L n ap soti m ap moutre w kote graden an te ye. Se apati de graden an l dans ap danse pa gen moun k al pral kanpe ank. Tout moun ap chita. L nou vin isit la, gen de fwa nou di tout moun ap chita e poutan moun ap vide sou nou. L nou vin isit la men kijan nou te jwenn lep a soba a. Men soba a; se la l kmanse. Li rive nan [...] a. Se l m vini m kmanse travay m ouvri soba. L m ouvri soba a, m ta renmen w asiste on jedi la kominyon isit la. Jedi apr Pak pou w w moun. On fanmi ki tlman w m manke plas pote de ban pou m mwen. Malgre sa gen koze. Gen de fwa nou gen dwa di nou oblije reziye nou. Sa nou geny en an, a li menm n ap svi. Paske si didnt even know th at kind of pe rson He did not come in contact with me. The guys were near the site No matter how hard I f ou ght with Phillip; man, lets work it out lets see if we can do the work. The man completely rubbed me the wrong way I myself couldnt understand anything. The only thing I told Phillip: I said Phillip is lazy he ll never finish the work. But tha t in reality it is you who took a contract Normally you know me very well. Ongan Alisma : And he is a child of the Lakou. Svit Bien Aim: For one, I ask ed for the peristil. We wanted to put something in the peristil to not have a that has no weapons at all The thing was not in place. Now th is president said he s going to do it for me. I w ould be very happy. We will wait and see. Ongan Alisma : Yes, lets hope for that. We see he has good will toward Vodou. Svit Bien Aim: As for us our dream was for bleacher stands ; a first bleacher a second or third bleacher When we are leav ing I will show you where the bleacher stands w ere. With the bleachers when the dance s are taking place, the r e wont be anyone standing Everyone w i ll sit When we come here, there are times when we say everyone will sit and yet people are falling all over us. When we come here this is how we found the old man at the inner sanctuary But the inner sanctuary this is where it started. It arrives in . I open the inner sanctuary when I come and start to work When I open the inner sanctuary I would like you to assist a Thursday communion here. Thursday after Easter youll see a lot of people! A family that saw how badly I needed space brought me two benches Despite that there are issues Some times we are obliged to acquiesce We will use what we have Because
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 14 nou ta vle ap ouvri, ki kote n ta jwenn lajan? Dimanch aprmidi l n al pran tt moun yo se nan ti chanm sa. Nan ti chanm m te travay la, se la tout moun [rasanble] Kounye a nou di non, moun yo pwp (21:10) an n vin b isit la Nou f tout moun yo vin chita la epi nou menm n ap site n ap [...]. Men chanm sa plen. N ap pran moun yo ladan l. Jan bagay la vin ye, sosyete a anpil. Men pi gwo pwoblm kote yo kritike m tou, yo di m konsa m gen twp miz. Sosyete a pa ede m rezoud miz a. Anfen, se pa mwen menm. Depi m vini, m ap chche. Si m pa jwenn... Ongan Alisma : ...Se pa ft ou. Wi, Ben! Ben: Ou te pale on ti kras sou inisyason w konn f. Depi nou te rive, nou te aprann ke nan Vodou Gonayiv gen plizy kalite inisyason. M konnen sa ki pase nan Djvo a, nan inisyason an, se sekr men ske w kapab pale sou sa? ske se kanzo; ske se d eka? Svit Bien Aim: Mwen menm, se deka ke nou ye. Ben: Kisa sa ye vizavi kanzo a? Svit Bien Aim: Fk nou ta ale nan Lakou Gran Bitonn, nan Akay pou nou ta w kanzo a. ske se de kanzo ki genyen; ske se on sl kanzo ki genyen? Paske Lakou Gran Biton an ng yo f kanzo ladan li. Nan dizwitsankat, nan kreyasyon drapo a, yo te f inisyason kanzo a. Men kounye a, l bagay ap chanje ng vin mete kanzo. Ng f anpil kanzo. Men li diferan de nou menm. Li tr diferan de deka a Nou menm se Dawomen ke nou ye. Se svis t t ke nou f. D din nou pa f svis t t konsa. Se moun ki nan sp if we want ed to expand where w ould we find the money? We prepare peoples heads in this little room on Sunday afternoon. In the little room I worked, its here everyone assembles. Now we say no, the people are clean lets come here. We make every one come and sit here and we are listing we are  But that room is full. We are takin g people in it. The way things are, the society is large But the biggest problem where they also criticize me they say I have too much trouble. The society would like me to resolve the trouble. At last, its not me. Ive been searching since I came. Ongan Alisma : Thats not your fault. Yes, Ben! Ben: You spoke a little bit about the initiation s you do. Since we arrived, we learned that in Gonaves s Vodou there are several types of initiation. I know what happens in the initiation chamber in the initiation, is a secret, but can you talk about this ? Is i t kanzo; is i t deka? Svit Bien Aim: As for myself, we are d eka. Ben: What is that relative to Kanzo? Svit Bien Aim: We would have to go to Lakou Gran Biton, in Akaye to see k anzo. Are there two kanzo ; is there a single k anzo ? Because the guys do k anzo in Lakou Gran Biton In 1804, in the creati on of the flag, they did the kanzo initiation. But now, when things are changing people have established kanzo initiations People do a lot of kanzo. But its different from us. Its very different from deka. We are Dahomian. We do svis t t Normally, we dont do svis t t that much We
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 15 slman ke nou pran. Se moun yo t al arete, n al chche lakay yo. Ongan Alisma : Moun lwa a reklame. Svit Bien Aim: W, s e moun sa yo ke nou pran nou f svis tt la. Ben: Ou sot svi avk mo sp la ou ka dekri sa li ye pi plis? Svit Bien Aim: E e, tande byen, ki moun ki kapab ban mwen Koze o, pawl o... N ap pale epi n ap sere rs la... Pa pale tout koze. E pa pale tout koze se verite, se kon sa nou ye Ki moun ki ka ban m son sa ? Al ou tande blan? Se pa tout koze nou ka pale. Ongan Makis : Sa se repons la li ba ou la. Se pa tout koze l ka pale. Ongan Alisma : Oke Ben, kesyon w poze sa pa gen repons pou li. Svit Bien Aim : Sp la pou mwen menm gen de fwa n al retire moun nan Sp la nouri. Se on bagay ekstradin. Manbo Alisma : M ta renmen l m vin la on l pou m w s p la grandi. Svit Bien Aim : Nan tanmaren an moun nan vini e rasin nan leve. Se pou moun nan foure pye l ladan l. L n ap vide koze attout tan nou vide koze at n tande pye bwa k ap f ki ki only take people who are in the sp Theyre people they arrested; we go get the m at their home Ongan Alisma : People the lwa claim. Svit Bien Aim: Those are the people we take and do a svis tt (head washing ceremony) Ben: You just used the word sp1, can you explain this more? Svit Bien Aim: Hey, w ho can give me that sound ? [several voices sing and confer] Oh discussons, oh words... W ell talk and well keep the rest... Dont speak about all things. Hey dont talk about all things, its true, thats how we are. So you hear foreigners? We cant talk about everything. Ongan Makis : That is the response he gives you here. He cant talk [ to you] about everything. Ongan Alisma : Okay Ben, theres no answer for this question you asked Svit Bien Aim: The sp for me sometimes we go to remove the pe rson and the s p is fe d. Its an extraordinary thing. Woman: I would like a time for me to see the s p grow. Svit Bien Aim: I n the tamerind tree the person comes and the root is lifted. .. The person will stuff their foot inside of it. When we are chatting all the while were chatting 1 A sp is a sign in Vodou in which a tree root traps someone for several hours, days or weeks Svit Bien Aim reveals here that this is how the members of Lakou Souvnans identify individuals who have been called to Vodou by the lwa. By trapping people by the roots of the tree, the lwa are telling the Souvnans community that they reklame claim this individual to serve them and hence should undertake the lave tt ritual head washing ceremony for the deka initiation
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 16 ki. Nou menm n ap soti. L moun nan soti fr mwen, se on bagay ekstradin. Men al tou nou toujou ap pale sa a lwa yo. Lwa yo gen on seri de moun k ap dirije peyi a ; fk nou te mete yo nan s p wi paske yo dirij e mal Ongan Alisma : Paske m ap sonje an katrevendizwit, m te vini nan svis la te gen on bwa ke yo te koupe la tou pre tanmaren an. Chouk bwa a te rete la. Epi m w on dam ki pran s p ki anl konsa. Pye l sou tt chouk bwa a. Ongan Alisma : Li pran s p la [...] kanpe. Pye l sou tt chouk la, lt pye sa anba... Svit Bien Aim : Epi [...] s p li rete la. Ongan Alisma : Ou frape chouk la rele anmwey! Frape rasin nan rele anmwey! Svit Bien Aim : Fs Souvnans se nan s p la paske ng ta manje ng; ng ta pote ng ale. Gen on fanmi ki f m on bagay. Mesye nan pwen bagay ki f m lapn konsa. Maten an m chita m pale a bagay la. M di monch lwa yo sa n f m la? Nou pa t dwe kite bagay sa rive mwen. On bagay m ba on moun achte pou mwen, moun nan vini l twonpe mwen. Li pot on bagay dezym men ban mwen [...]. On moun ki nan Vodou a n ansanm avk mwen on pitit mwen ank, k pot on bagay dezym men ban mwen. Menm moun nan peyi etranje m di yo, yo di se pa serye. M pa ka ba w achte on bagay nf pou mwen, pou pran li ou pote on bagay dezym men ban mwen. Ongan Alisma : Li pa posib [...] we hear trees going squeek squeek squeek We are going out. Brother, w hen the person is out, its something extraordinary. But also were always talking to the lwa about this The lwa have a bunch of people who are running the country ; we must put them in the sp because they lead badly. Ongan Alisma: Now I remember in 1998, I came to the ceremony, there was a tree that they cut down near the tamarind The tree trunk stayed there. And I saw a woman who was in the s p on top. Her foot on the head of the stump. Ongan Alisma : She took the s p  standing Her foot on the head of the stump, the other under neath Man 2: And  in the s p she stayed there. Ongan Alisma : You beat the stump, yelling help! Beat the roots yelling help! Svit Bien Aim: The force of Souvnans is in the s p because guys would attack each other ; guys would carry each other away There is a family who did something to me Guys there is nothing that grieve s me more. In the morning I s a t and talk ed about i t I sa id : man lwa what did you do to me ? You shouldnt have let this happen to me. I had someone buy something for me, t he person came and deceived me. He brought me something second hand. Someone who is in Vodou with me a child of mine at that brought me something used. Even people in fore ign countries I tell them, they say its not serious. I cant send you to buy m e something new and you bring me something used Ongan Alisma : Its not possible 
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 17 Manbo Alisma : [...] li ta sipoze gen yon s p. Li poko janm konn si l p ap gen on s p. Ongan Alisma : Men non, se pa s vit a k bay s p. Svit Bien Aim : M panse ke si se Svit a k te bay s p la depi y la l te nan s p li deja. Men sa w w l f m nan l ap peye sa kanmm. Paske gen de bagay ki posib; gen bagay ki pa posib. M pa ka ba w achte on bagay pou mwen pou f m sa. Ou pa gen dwa f m sa. Non monch sa a f m lapn. M ap tann yon lt kesyon. Ben: Pou lwa ki monte nan tt svit yo: ske se tout kalite lwa ki byen vini nan Lasouvnans oubyen ske gen lwa nou pa asepte? Svit Bien Aim : Nou pa konnen ki lwa k nan tt svit a paske misye vini lwa pran n. Se a lwa lakay li l soti, lwa pran n. M pa konn ki lwa ki nan tt li. Pou m ka konn ki lwa ki nan tt li, m ap di misye mete ajenou. Gen de fwa m al retire moun yo nan s p avk yon god e dlo, av v a. Etan la tou m ka double l pou m konn ki lwa ke l ye. Kounye a, nou pa al avk gode a ditou. On sl bagay, l nou rive, nou di sa pou nou di a nou retire w ou tlman gen moun nou pa bezwen. Lwa ap danse nan tt moun nan pr ske tout moun ki la depi lwa pran moun nan e moun nan mete ajenou m konn ki lwa li ye. Nan gran seremoni ofisyl yo, l Pak, nou di moun ki pa al f svis tt, pa met ajenou. Paske moun ki pa f [...] nou pa konnen w. Ni ou menm ou pa gen ase de fs tou paske gen on seri de lwa k tr sovaj. Yo fese m at; yo Woman:  H e should have a s p. He doesnt yet know if he wont have a s p. Ongan Alisma : But no, its not the priest who give s s p Svit Bien Aim: I think that if it wa s the priest who gave s p he would have been in s p since yest erday But hell pay for what he did to me nonetheless Because there are things that arent possible ; there are things that are not possible. I cant have you buy me something and you do this. You dont have the right to do that to me me. No man, that upsets me. Im waiting for another question. Ben: For the lwa that ride in the heads of the servants: are all types of lwa allowed to come to Lasouvnans or are there lwa that you dont allow? Svit Bien Aim: We dont know which lwa is in the servants head because the guy comes a nd the lwa takes him He comes with the lwa of his home the lwa take s him I dont know which lwa is in his head. For me to know which lwa is in his head, I ll tell him to kneel. There are times I go and remove them from the s p with a cup of water, and the glass. At the same time I can double it to know which lwa it is. Now, we dont go with the cup at all. One thing, when we arrive, we say what we have to say and we remove you ; w e have so many people we dont need (to know) The lwa are dancing in the heads of the people almost everyone hereif the lwa takes the person and the person kneels, I know which lwa i t is In the big official ceremonies, during Easter, we tell people who havent done the head washing ceremony, dont kneel Because people who dont do  we dont know you. And you do not have enough strength because some lwa are very wild. They threw me down; they pulled me; they burned
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 18 rale m; yo boule mwen. Gen de fwa ng la sot lakay li l pral fout pile svit a. Excusez moi de lexpression. Men tou, gen de fwa l pran pa l tou wi. Se sa depi moun nan se [...] isit la, depi l met ajenou m ap konnen ki lwa ki nan tt li. M ap lonmen li. On l konsa m ka bliye lwa a. Depi m rive devan li m mande l ki lwa l i ye L i menm l ap di m epi m ap sonje l. M konn tout lwa k isit la. Gen de fwa l ft yo konsa, m konn genyen sansenkant a desan ounsi inisye. Mwen menm, se sa nou vin prevwa nan l jou konsa, ske nou ka noble tout moun sa yo? Si l pa tw fatigan. Nou sot nan soba a nou noble yo, l nou sot nan Zamadon nou noble yo epi yo tr fatigan tou. ske nou pa pral itilize on lt strateji pou nou noble yo? Nou pa bezwen vire yo. M mete sa devan lwa yo; m mete sa devan Vodou a. Bagay la on ti jan tr f atigan. Ben: L ou di noble, ou ka eksplike sa? Svit Bien Aim : Lwa pran moun nan; m di ayibobo anyen anba, epi nou ret la Ben: On kalite salitasyon? Ongan Alisma : Chak lwa gen noblasyon [way of being greeted] pa l. Ongan Makis : Ou rele Benjamen; Emi rele Emi. Svit Bien Aim : Menm jan entl Byeneme, entl Jak enben se konsa tou. Ongan Alisma : Menm jan w ap site non moun ki mouri. Ben: Oke, ske ou sonje tout chf ki te me. There are times the guy comes from his house and he will freaking step on the priest. Excuse me for the expression. But also, there are times when he gets his own too. That is if the person is  here, if he kne e l s I ll know which lwa is in his head. I will name him. Occasionally, I ll forget the lwa. When I arrive before him, I ask him which lwa he is. H e will tell me and Ill remember it. I know all the lwa who are here. There are times during the holidays, I sometimes have 150 initiated ounsi I myself, tha ts what we anticipate on days like that, can we invoke all those people? If its not too tedious. We come in the inner sanctuar y, invoke them, when we come from the Zamadon, we invoke them and they seem tired too. Are we not going to use another strategy to invoke them? We dont need to turn them away I lay th is before the lwa, I lay th is in front of Vodou. The thing is a little bit tiring. Ben: When you say noble can you explain that? Svit Bien Aim: The lwa takes the person; I say ayibobo nothing under, and we sta y there. Ben: A type of salutation? Ongan Alisma : Each lwa has a way of being greeted. Ongan Makis : You are called Benjamin, Amy is called Amy Svit Bien Aim: Just as a man is Bien Aim a man i s Jacques its also like that. Ongan Alisma : Just like how you list the names of the dead. Ben: Okay, do you remember every leader
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 19 responsab pou Lasouvnans depi jou li te fonde? ske w gen memwa sa? Svit Bien Aim : Men pa gen anpil chf isit la. Ongan Alisma : Sa vle di ske w sonje non tout moun ki te... Svit Bien Aim : Men non, premye mt abitasyon an se te Pap a Bwa. Apr Papa Bwa se te Tochiyis pitit li. Apr Tochiyis yo vin pran on etranje ki t ap svi avk Papa Bwa, Fr Fe be. [...]. Fr Fe b e rele p epi se mwen menm. Depi tout tan Souvnans la a; chf yo f anpil tan. Ben: Ki asp travay ou ki pi difisil? Svit Bien Aim : Souvnans la li menm, se de fs li genyen. Gen on seri de fanmi ki toujou ap goumen ansanm avk mwen se pou m te kenbe asp mistik la epi asp sosyal la pou m te kite yo nan men yo. Men nan Souvnans se on sl moun ki gen lepouvwa [... 31:50]. Se li menm ki genyen lekote mistik la se li menm ki genyen lekote sosyal. Pou m f ft la se mwen k ap bay kb pou al achte manje. Si ng la pa gen manje mwen k pou ba l manje. Si moun nan pa gen rad se mwen k ap al ba l rad. L dans la ap danse, se mwen k pral f dans la ank. Nan sa, nou pi f nan dans la. Gen de f wa w al nan dans, l w rive nan dans la ou w dans la an dezd. B isit depi dans la kmanse m chita la [...]. M pa f wonn pt ni m pa gen manti L a m ap ye. Men se sa k f Souvnans la tou. Ou konn tande w rive gen pal anpil, gen dezd, men se pa nan d ans Souvnans. M la. responsible for Lasouvnans since it was founded? Do you have that memory? Svit Bien Aim: But there are not many leaders here. Ongan Alisma : I mean do you re member the names of everyone who Svit Bien Aim: But no, the first leader of the grounds was Papa Bwa. After Papa Bwa was Tochiyis, his son. After Tochiyis they took a foreigner who had served with Papa Bwa, Brother Fede. [ ]. Brother Fe be called father and its me. For all the time Souvnans has been here ; the leaders spent a lot of time. Ben: What aspects of your work do you find most difficult? Svit Bien Aim: Souvnans itself, i t has two forces. There are certain families who are always fight ing with me to keep the mystical aspects and leave the social aspects in their hands. But in Souvnans a single person has the power . Its he who has the mystical power, he who has the social power. For me to do the celebration, I have to giv e money to go buy food. If the guy doesnt have food, I have to give him food. If the man doesnt have clothes, I am the one who will give him clothes. When the dance is going on again I am the one who is g oing to do the dance. In that we are strongest in dance. There are times you are going to the dance, when you arrive at the dance you see the dance in disorder. Around here when the dance I sit right here . I dont go anywhere nor do I have lies I will be here But, that is also what makes Souvnans You sometimes hear that you arrive and theres a lot of talking there is chaos but it is not in the Souvnans dance. Im here.
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 20 Ongan Alisma : S fatigan anpil. L dans sa resi fini kote Svit a kouche a l pa ka vire. Svit Bien Aim : Se sa k f menm apr dans la yo m fmen kay la pou on mwa. Apr Pak nou fmen ft la. N ap f on mwa fmti Nan ritwl Souvnans nou gen dwa [...] ritwl Souvnans la anpasan konsa. Pou nou menm, premye j anvye nou se ta Dimanch pak, pou Souvnans. N ap pran avan Pak; n ap pran apr Pak. Apr Pak, ft la ap ft. L ap kmanse s amdi swa; l ap fini vandredi b en y nan. De vandredi ben y nan m pral lakay mwen; m ap retounen apr on mwa. Apr on mwa m ap retoune nan mwa d me oubyen nan mwa d jwen. M ap travay pou m rive premye jiy. L sa m ap f dans m ap f tout bagay. Men l m rive premye j iy nan dezym v andredi mwa d aw out la m p ap f anyen. M ap f leson slman. M p ap resevwa moun andan kay la; m ap resevwa moun dey di premye jiy o kenz out. Apr kenz out la m ap ouvri ka y la. M ap tann Soukri fin pase. Ng Soukri yo gen de fwa yo konn pwofite Souvnans pou yo f dans, mwen menm m pa f sa. Se pou m tann Soukri fin pase. L moun yo al lakay, apr [...] epi m pran an s eptanm e m la pou tranteyen oktb. Premye novanm m ap fmen pou premye m adi a oubyen premye v andredi mwa d desanm nan. Ale m ale la, m ap fmen pou vandredi k avan nwl la oubyen madi k avan nwl la. M la pou jis sis janvye. M ap fmen pou jis sis janv ye apr lwa m ap reprann mwen. Apr Lwa m reprann mwen ; m ap f tout seremoni yo, epi madigra. M ap f twa v andredi karn yo. M ap f tout bagay [...]. Men nan katriym v andredi karn Ongan Alisma : Its very tiring. When th is dance finally ends, where the priest rests he cant move Svit Bien Aim: This is why right after the dance I close the house for a month. After Easter we close the celebration. Well do a month closed In the Souvnans ritual, we can  the Souvnans ritual like that by the way For us, our January first would be Easter Sunday, for Souvnans We ll tak e before Easter; we ll tak e after Easter. After Easter, the celebration will occur It ll start Saturday night; itll finish the Friday bath As of the Friday bath I will go home; I ll return after a month. After a month I will return in the month of May or the month of June. I will work until the first of July. At that time I will do a dance I will do everything. But when I get to the first of July on the second Friday of the month of Au gust I will not do anything. I will only do lessons I will not receiv e people in the house; I will receiv e people outside from the first of July to the 15th of August. After August 15th I will open the house. I ll wait for Soukri to finish The Soukri guys there are times when they profit off of Souvanans to do a dance, I dont do that. I have to wait for the people to finish. When the people go home, after  and then I take in September and Im here until the 31st of October The first of November I will clos e until the first Tuesday or the first Friday of the month of December. When I leave, I will close that Friday before Christmas or the Tuesday before Christmas. Its here all the way until January 6th. I am closed from January 6, after the Epiphany I resume. After the Epiphany I will recover ; I will do all the ceremonies, and Mardi Gras. I will do three lenten Fridays I will do everything . But on the fourth lentan
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 21 nan m p ap f anyen ank. M ap prepare ft la. M p ap f anyen, menm dezm pett m k al f on dezm. Se on moun ki pou voye m al f l. Men m p ap f anyen ank; tout bagay yo konsantre sou ft Pak la. Ben: Oke, mwen vle kite Claire, zanmi mwen poze kk kesyon. Claire: Msi anpil! Mwen menm mwen espsyalis nan istwa Ayisyen. Donk mwen gen kk kesyon sou ki wl Vodou te jwe nan istwa ayisyen. Nan lavi pa w ki wl Vodou te jwe nan revolisyon Ayisy n? Kounye a nan pratik nou genyen ki wl larevolisyon jwe jodi a nan fason nou pratike Vodou? Svit Bien Aim : An dizwitsankat gen seremoni Bwa Kayiman. L ng yo w pa gen lt solisyon pou yo rezoud pwoblm endepandans la yo te f seremoni Bwa Kayiman. L sa yo reyini tout moun. Yo reyini tout nasyon nan seremoni [...] la. Paske seremo ni Bwa Kayiman an li gen kochon ladan li; m pa svi kochon. Men apr seremoni an dezo m a mo d pas la se mwen k ap bay li. Nan lavi pa mwen m nan Vodou an. Depi m timoun m nan Vodou an; m svi Vodou an. L i gen bon kote e l gen move kote. Isit la se yon gwo chantye (36:18) ke l ye. L m ap vin isit la, m gen on dam m te genyen m ta pral divize avk dam nan. Dam nan di mwen ke m pa gen pwoblm ansanm avk ou, Souvnans la pral manje w. Ng Souvnans pral tchw e w [...]. Ni Souvnans la pral ruine w T imoun yo piti, lekl la slman, ovti lekl la gen dwa [...]. (Fanm gws la) Menm moun ki pa konnen m; pa gen lontan ng yo bare m Sen Mak [...] kay [...] te abandone l di non Svit f w ba li. M pa ka ba li kounye a: l m pase ank. M pa konn ng yo ditou. Gen on bagay lajan pou kay ki ap pral ft. Gen on seri de chay nan Friday I will not do anything else I w ill prepar e the celebrations. I will not do anything, even henceforth perhaps I can go ahead and do it henceforth. A person has to have me do it. But I w ont do anything at all; everything is concentrate d on the Easter celebration. Ben: Okay, I want to le t my friend ask some questions. Claire: Thank you very much! I am a specialist in Haitian history. So I have some questions about the role Vodou played in Haitian history. In your life, what role did Vodou pla y in the Haitian revolution? Currently in the practice you have, what role did the revolution play in the way you practice Vodou today? Svit Bien Aim: In 1804 there was the Bwa Kayiman ceremony. When the guys saw the re was n o other solution to resolving the problem of independence, they had the Bwa Kayiman ceremony They assembled everyone. They assembled every nation in the ceremony . Because the Bwa Kayiman ceremony had a pig in it; I dont use pig s But after the ceremony henceforth I will give the password In my life, Ive been in Vodou. Since I was a child I was in Vodou; I serveVodou. It has good places and it ha s bad places. Here is a good site. When I c ame here, I had a lady ; I was going to share with the woman. The woman told me that I dont have a problem with you, Souvnans is going to destroy you. The guys in Souvnans are going to kill you [ ]. And Souvnan is going to ruin you. the children are small, the school only, the opening of the school may . The pregnant woman e ven people who dont know me; It wasnt long before the guys caught me Saint Mark  house  was abandoned he said No, priest, you have to give it to him I cant give it to him now: when I pass by again. I
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 22 Vodou an e tandike Vodou an pa gen lajan ditou. Vodou an pa gen on sous. Depi nou vin isit la n ap travay avk dyaspora a avk moun andey yo, avk moun lavil yo pou nou te jwenn on ti alokasyon pou nou f lekl tanbou a mache. Nou poko janm jwenn sa. Men n ap travay, al sa nan men lwa yo. Sa nan men Vodou djohou yo. Nou pa rele avk pys moun. Nou pa al chche konnen sa k ap pase lakay ng la. Mesye legliz yo se pou on ti krik, ti krak yo debake yo vin lakay nou: jan w w nou debake la nou resevwa nou. Ou w jan m resevwa nou? M tr saj avk nou. L mesye legliz yo vini, m pa resevwa yo. M pa konn sa k ap pase lakay ng legliz yo, ng yo pa bezwen vin konnen sa k ap p ase lakay mwen. Diferans ki genyen nan Vodou an avk legliz la bagay yo tr bagay la. Gen on seri de bagay ng ap f. Isit la katreven pousan moun ki nan seremoni an se fanm yo ye. Se fanm, gen tout kalite fanm. Medam sa yo, yo a dwat yo a goch. Se granmoun m ye, m pa nan zen. M pa vin isit la pou sa. M sot lakay mwen, vin regle on bagay byen detmine. M pa vini nan vagabondaj. Si w vle f vagabondaj, ou pran tan w dey. Mwen menm m pa ladan l. Al se konsa ke m f Vodou an. Se konsa ke m konprann Vodou an. Chak ng f Vodou an on jan diferan. Gen de oungan w al lakay li yo di li gen senkant fanm. Mwen menm, m pa f l konsa. Ni m pa vini pou plezi, m pa vini pou bagay la. Jis f mwen di m ta vle pou m reyisi, pou m f on bon travay. Pou misye li menm, se on oungan li ye f af l mache. Si se avk mwen misye t ap travay: se pa mwen k f misye non. Ng la te deja vin tou gran ng li. didnt know the men at all. There wa s something about money for houses that we re going to be built There are certain burdens on Vodou despite Vodou no t hav ing any money Vodou doesnt have a source. Since we came here weve been work ing with the diaspora, with the country people with the city people to see if we could f i nd a little allocation so we could make the drum school work We havent found that. But were working, so that is in the hands of the lwa. That i s in the hands of the Vodou spirits We dont shout at anyone. We dont go searching to know what is happening at the mans home. The men of the church for whatever reason they show up, they come to our home : how you see us show up here, we receive you. You see how I receive you ? I am very kind to you? When men of the church come, I dont receive them. I dont know what is happening at the church mens homes, the y dont need t o know what is happening in my home. The difference between Vodou and the church is : the things are very delicate There is a number of things the guys will do. Here 80 percent of people in the ceremony are women. Its women, there are all types of women. Th e se women, they are all over the place. I am an adult Im not in to gossip I didnt come here for that. I came from my house to settle something specific I didnt come for prostitution If you want to do prostitution take your self outside. I am not involved. So, thats how I conduct Vodou. Thats how I understand Vodou. Each person does Vodou different ly There are oungan you go to their house and they say he has 50 women. As for myself, I dont do it that way Nor do I come for pleasure, I dont come for sex Simply, I say I want to succeed, to do a good job. For him, he is an oungan, hi s affairs have to function. If he was working with me: its not me who makes him succeed The guy came as
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 23 M ka renmen m vini m gen on ekip ng ke l te moun andey, ke l te moun lavil, ke l te moun nan dyaspora ki bon, ki reyisi, ki nan gouvnman tou. Rv nou, nou menm, se pou nou w on jou ng ki nan gouvnman se ng pa Souvnans pou li ye. Al anpil ng vin isit la men sa rele ng pa m nan se Michl pou l ta ye. Paske la si se Michl, m ap antre lakay Michl m p ap menm frape men m. Se travay sa yo pou t ap ft. Sa yo nan men Vodou an. Nan men Papa Kibesou, nan men Mt Kafou, nan men tout Vodou djohou yo. Claire: Lt kesyon m genyen se sou epk yo l te genyen anpil psekisyon Vodou isit avk legliz katolik oubyen gouvnman ayisyen. M vle konnen si nan Lakou a isit la gen istwa ki soti moman sa yo. Kijan w siviv psekisyon an? Kijan nou te lite kontre...? Svit Bien Aim : Le pli souvan se sa k f m toujou kondane ng andey a. L m ap f af avk ng andey, m f af m avk ng andey. Gen yon grad isit la yo rele anperatris. Se yon moun lavil yo te mete anperatris la. L yo mete l anperatris la ep i genyen Nt Dam Delamsi. Gen on moun ki te malad isit la yo vin konfese moun nan. Li vin f twalt kay la epi l kite fent la ouvri. Epi p a vini li pran Nt Dam Delamsi a. L l rive devan Legba twal la tonbe, Lamsi kraze. Gen on seri de zen, on seri de bagay ou pa kite moun konnen oubyen w pa kite moun antre ladan l. Men gen de fwa yo konn psekite nou. Legliz la konn psekite nou, sten. Nan rejete, lontan, yo di mwen gen de fwa ng yo konn al f dans, y arete yo. a big shot I c ould like to have a team of guys who were outsiders, who were urbanites, who were from the diaspora who were good, successful, who are also in government Our dream is to see a day where guys in government are guys from Souvnans. Al though many guys come here, what I would call my guy would have to be Michelet Because here if its Michelet, I ll enter Michelets house without even knocking Th e s e work s should be done. Those are in the hands of Vodou. In the hands of Papa Kibesou, in the hands of Mt Kafou, in the hand of all the Vodou spirits Claire: Another question I have is about the era when there were many persecutions of Vodou here with the Cathol ic church or the Haitian government. I want to know if the re are stories in this Lakou that come from these times How did you survive persecution? How did you fight against ? Svit Bien Aim: Most often that is why I always condem country guys When I am dealing with country people I do my business with country people There is a rank here called Empress T hey set a city person as the Empress When they put her as the Empress here there is a Notre Dame de la M erci There was someone who was sick here they came and confess ed the person He came to clean the house and he left the window open. And the priest came and took the Not r e Dame de la Merci When s he arrived in front of Legb a the fabric fell, La Merci was crushed There are a bunch of rumors, a set of thi ngs you do not let people know or you dont let people become involved with them But sometimes they persecute us Certainly, t he church sometimes persecutes us In the anti Vodou movement a long time ago they told me some times the guys would go to do a danc e and they arrested them.
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 24 Bon, m pa souvni dans isit la ki gen arete men gen fanmi ki konn al f dans lapolis arete yo, mare yo, bat yo, tout bagay. Yo mete yo nan prizon. Moun ki vin mete bagay la nt se Prezidan Estime. Al nou p ap bliye p Aristid tou non. Jis jounen jodi a ng yo pa janm konsidere Vodou. Lakou sa, nou resevwa tout kalite moun ladan l men nan vi sosyal nou pa gen anyen. Ou t al nan Lakou Badjo, m pa konn si nou w mezon daky la. Claire: Wi! Svit Bien Aim : Rv mwen se mezon daky sa. Depi byen lontan [...] te f on plan pou mwen, l ap f mezon daky la pou mwen. L ap f trant chanm modil labitasyon pou m lwe avk touris ou bagay konsa, men l pa janm ft. Mezon daky la se la pou nou [resevwa] etranje l yo vini. Di mwens, koze sa yo se nan mezon daky la pou n ta f yo. Nou pa janm gen chans pou nou jwenn mezon daky la pou nou jwenn posibilite pou nou f sa. Kounye a, lt vini yo di mwen y ap pral ede mwen nan peristil la pou m genyen mezon daky la epi m gen trant chanm [...] labitasyon an li di m non nou poko ka pran n. [This section has been r edacted based on the advice of Svit Bien Aim BH ] Gen on fanmi ki sot nan peyi etranje ki kritike m sten. Li di Svit a se sanzave; Svit a kite Lakou a savann. M oblije pa ka pale koze a an piblik. Al pinga nou pale koze a dey pou mwen non. Lakou a savann vre. Se sl devan an slman ki klotire klkeswa kote moun nan soti li gen pou l antre ladan l. Nou te f perimt Lakou a se senksanvende mt kare l te ye. Gen yon ng ki f on kloti s e ansyen majistra ; se Jisten ki f kloti. Li f potomitan an ak bagay konsa. Se konsa nou te di nou ta pral f li, n ap chche posibilite. Km si nou t ap f poto mi epi pase fil de f. Nou t ap mete Well, I dont remember dances here that had arrests but there are families who sometimes go to dances and the police arrest them, tie them up, beat them, everything. They put them in prison. The person who went to extremes was President Estim. Although we will not forget priest Aristide Even nowadays guys dont accept Vodou. W e receive all types of people inside this Lakou but have no social life You went to Lakou Badjo, I dont know if you saw the welcoming hall. Claire: Yes! Svit Bien Aim: My dream is that welcoming hall. For a while  they made a plan for me, he d do the welcoming hall for me. He w ould mak e 30 hote l rooms for me to rent to tourists or something like that, but he never did it. The welcoming hall is for receiving foreigners when they come. At least, these talks should happen in a welcoming hall. We never had a chance to get the welcoming hall to find the possibility to do that. Now, others come tell me they are going to help me in the peristil to get the welcoming hall and to have 30 rooms  he told me no we cant do the estate yet [This section has been r edacted based on the advice of Svit Bien Aim BH ] There is a family who ca me from abroad that thoroughly criticize d me. They say the s vit is a bum; the s vit lets the Lakou turn into a desert I m forced not to speak of this matter in public So be careful that you all dont speak of it outside of this conversation. The Lakou really is a desert O nly the front is enclosed wherever people come from they have to enter through it. T he perimeter of the Lakou is 522 square meters. There was a man who made a fence, a former majistrate; Justin made the fence. He made the potomitan and other things like that Thats how we said wed do it we
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 25 poto yo a mt senkant epi nou mete kat ranje ladan l. Tout sa se on bagay k ap koute on gwo lajan M pa konnen m mete sa nan men Vodou an Ongan Alisma : Senksanvende mt la, Svit, rive nan Mapou a? Svit Bien Aim: Li pa rive nan Mapou a. Li soti la konsa li fil e b ponp la epi l la pase nan do Lakou a. L al pran yon ti wat pou li l al rive jis nan [...] epi l peze moute. [...] Claire: M gen on lt kesyon. ske w ka pale sou kijan sosyete Vodou yo te chanje pandan prezidan Franswa Divalye? Svit Bien Aim : Kijan yo te chanje Souvnans a Divalye? Claire: Pandan li te prezidan, ske nou te w chanjman? Svit Bien Aim : Franswa Divalye, nou te ka di papa m te abiye an minisyen. L Franswa Divalye prezidan y al w Divalye. Machin pran pann av yo depi Ponsonde pou rive Lest Divalye te toujou rete saj avk Vodou a. Al devenn papa pa mwen li te anba Zakari. Zakari l l vin [...] ft la, se on ti pake san goud li bay lp, li pa svi a goud ditou. Li jete sa oubyen l ba on moun li konsa. Pa gen lontan gen on minis isit la. On pitit isi t la ki te minis kilti li voye chche isit la pou ale al f on prezantasyon avk yon Beninwa ki te vini nan bagay la. Franswa Divalye pa janm voye machin vin chche moun isit la. Franswa Divalye pa janm psekite Vodou an; nou pa ka di sa. Tandike ounsi pa nou an, pitit pa nou an li te voye di nou ske nou pa t ka [...] demonstrasyon e tandike nou menm nou pa f are search ing for possibilities. For example wed do walls, posts and have iron wire We would put the posts at 50 meters and we would put four rows inside. All th is is something that will cost big money I dont know ; I put that in the hands of Vodou. Ongan Alisma : 522 meters, Svit, arrives at the Mapou? Svit Bien Aim: It doesnt arrive at the Mapou. It c ome s here like this and it goes near the pump and it passe s in the back of the Lakou. It goes past the outhouse to reach all the way to the  and it pushes up. Claire: I have another question. Can you talk about how the Vodou societies changed during president Franois Duvalier? Svit Bien Aim: How they changed Souvnans with Duvalier? Claire: While he wa s president, did you see change? Svit Bien Aim: Franois Duvalier, we could say my father was dressed as a militiaman When Franois Duvalier was president they were going to see him. The car broke down from Ponsonde on the way to Lesther Duvalier was always kind to Vodou. So unfortunately my late father was under Zachary. Zachary, when he came  to the holiday it wa s a little package with a 100 gourdes he gave to the elderly man, he did not use the gourde at all. He thr e w it away or g a ve it to someone. Not long ago there was a minister here A n initiate from here who was a minister of culture sent to find someone to do a presentation with someone from Benin who came in the thing. Franois Duvalier never sent cars here to find people. Franois Duvalier never persecuted Vodou; we cant
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 26 fkl. Nou menm se Vodou n ap f. Gen on tr diferans ak ng k ap f fkl yo ak moun k ap f Vodou. Nou menm se pa fkl n ap f se lwa n ap rele. Nou kw ladan li. Ongan Alisma: Menm kesyon w te poze nou nan machin nan. Vodou a pa nan demonstrasyon paske w pa ka rele lwa a pou jwt. Ou pa ka noble lwa a pou jwt. Svit Bien Aim : Se pa posib. Sa yo se moun ki f bl mvy sa yo. Nou menm nou pa konnen yo. Isit la gen on seri de bagay nou pa ladan l. Y ap mete nou an sp tou. Sp svit a w konn kijan yo konn ye? Kijan nou te ka rele s p s vit a kounye a? Ongan Alisma : Li pi di ke lt. Svit Bien Aim: Simity monch ou f bagay la [...], w pa t f bagay la byen. Ongan Alisma : Sp svit a se mouri. Bal! Svit Bien Aim:: Ou pa gen kesyon ank? Claire: M toujou genyen. M gen anpil kiryozite. M konnen nan konstitisyon nou genyen kounye a dwa Vodouwizan pwoteje. M konnen osi ke nou te oblije goumen anpil pou dwa sa ka pwoteje legalman; ske w panse ke pett nan lavni sa a ka chanje, ke pett leta ayisyen ka retire dwa nou, retire pwot eksyon nou genyen? Svit Bien Aim: Se pa fasil. Mwen menm m p ap aksepte l tou. Lontan l papa m ap f dans isit la se pou l rakonte depoze yo konbyen say that. Our ounsi, our initiates he asked if we could  do a demonstration, though we dont do folklore. We do Vodou. There is a big difference between guys who do folklore and people who do Vodou. We dont do folklore, we call the lwa. We believe in it. Ongan Alisma: Thats the same question you asked us in the car. Vodou isnt involved in demonstrations because you cant call the lwa as a game. You cant invoke the lwa as a game. Svit Bien Aim: Thats not poss ible. Those are people who do wondrous things. We dont know them. W e arent involved in a number of things here. They ll put us in the sp too. A priests sp do you know how the y are ? How could we charatcerize the servants sp right now? Ongan Alisma : It is harder than others Svit Bien Aim: Cemetery man you did the thing . You did nt do the thing well. Ongan Alisma : The servants chains are death Shot! Ongan Alisma : You dont have any more questions? Claire: I still have some. I am very curio us I know in your constitution there is now a right that protects Vodouists. I know that you fought a lot for that legal protection; do you think that perhaps in the future this could change, that maybe the Haitian government will remove your righ ts, remove your protection? Svit Bien Aim: Thats not easy. Also, Im not going to accept it. A long time ago when my father was doing a danc e here he had to
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 27 kabrit li tchwe. Se pou l al pran kat pou l f dans. Mwen menm m t al f dans pou moun ta vin mande m pou m al f sa. Klkeswa ng ki delege a misye di l pa nan Vodou, se koze pa l. Li pa nan Vodou m ap jwenn yon lt ng. Delege a pa vin nan ft mwen oubyen l pa ban m anyen, sa sa f m? Fs chf ki genyen. Ongan Alisma : On lt ap vini. Yo pa p; sa pa ka ft Svit Bien Aim: Pi gwo pwoblm peyizan an genyen, peyizan an toujou refize di laverite. Men si peyizan an te vle di laveritekot ng ki nan Vodou yomonch nou te mt peyi a. Kite m rive lavil la m di kote ng ki n an Vodou yo? Tout ng ap chita chita yo pa gen on ng ki nan Vodou. Enben menm jan an tou nan minist yo, l w rive nan minist yo, si w ta di konbyen ng ki nan minist? W ap w tout minist a nan Vodou. Se si ng la se zanmi w ou ap konnen paske l ng la gen ti Ogatwa l se lakay li l genyen l. Li p ap mete w ladan l ni li p ap ede w tou, li pa vle w konnen kijan koze a ye. Kounye a si pou Souvnans ap fete la pou ng ap vin di m pou m al chche kat monch pye m ap leve sou pye w ou pa sipoze. Sa p ap f ng yo plezi ditou e ba y sa li menm li te fin pase an karanteyen li p ap retounen an demildouz la. M si e sten e ni n ap travay pou sa. N ap travay a rachpye pou Souvnans la. Pi gwo pwoblm nou di Vodou an genyen, pif moun ki nan Vodou an pa konn li. Isit la, apa de de premy ng yo ki te konn li, tout mitan yo pa t konn li. L sa yo gen anpil bagay ke ng yo f tt anba. Al l sa nou st oblije aksepte l. Nou reziye nou pou nou pran li. Men se pa ft nou. L pou declare how many goats he killed. H e ha d to get a card to do a dance Imagine I m doing a dance and someone asks me to do that. Whatever the guy who s delegat ing sa ys hes not in Vodou, thats his story Hes not in Vodou, I ll f i nd another guy. The delegate didnt come to my celebration or he didnt give me anything, what do I care? There are False leader s. Ongan Alisma : Another would com e They arent [priests] scared; it cant happen. Svit Bien Aim: The biggest problem the peasant has peasants always refuse to tell the truth. But if the farmer wanted to tell the truth in the case of the guys who are in Vodouman we would own the land. Let me go to the city and ask where are the guys who are in Vodou? E veryone will sit down, no one is in Vodou. W ell its the same in the ministries, when you arrive at the ministries, if you were to say how many guys are in the ministry? You ll see every ministry is in to Vodou. If the guy i s your friend youll know because he ha s his little altar in his house. He isnt going to include you in it nor help you; he doesnt want you to know how things are Now, if Souvnans is celebrat ing here and guys come and tell me to go get a card I will step on your feet you are not supposed to. That wouldnt please the guys at all and that misery passed in 1941 and it wont return in 2012. I am sure and certain and plus we are working for that. We are working as hard as we can for Souvnans. The biggest problem we say Vodou has, most people in Vodou dont know how to read Here, apart from the first guys who know how to read all the rest dont how how to read Then a lot of the things they do are upside down. Well we are obliged to accept it We resign ourselves to take it But thats not our
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 28 n g la ta kolabore ansanm avk mwen Fanm sa se korespondan metwopl li ye wi, aletranje, o Kanada. Nan s i W k vin isit la, li kritike m sten e l joure m. L sa se te on ti magaz e n li te genyen [...]. Seremoni kmanse dimanch Pak depi b katr yo isit la. Nou travse b isit la e nou f tout wonn Lakou a. N ale nou soti kay Dv. L nou soti kay Dv nou ap pral antre konsa men m ap pral kanpe nan pt sa on moun ap pot on bagay pou mwen. Pandansetan Nansi bagay kamera l. Ng polis pa m nan [...] de moun on bagay konsa. Nansi joure m Nansi f on bagay li mete m nan odyans magaz e n. Li joure mwen; l i di mwen se pa konsa. M pa f bagay yo byen [...]. Men se pa ft nou. Menm li menm, si l ta di mwen l l te vin nan Lakou a li pran Lakou a menm jan on savann. Ou te vin nan Lakou a Svit m vin filme ft la. Gade mesye menm moun sa vin nan ft la. Y o pa konnen w. Yo f w malont. Enben li joure mwen; li f on seri de bagay. Se pa mwen menm; m pa responsab. Se sa m mande lwa yo tou: pou nou gen posiblite dekwa pou n ka f edikasyon ng k ap dirije avk nou yo. Ongan Alisma : Sa m viv li. M ap sonje l nou te nan seremoni dimanch aprmidi nan tanmaren an l sa lapli a te kmanse e te gen klke lt moun ki t ap filme. Mesye yo pa t asepte sa. Apr w te di yo bon, kite yo filme. L sa m te anfas ou a. Svit Bien Aim: M sipoze se on kout kamera ki mennen moun sa yo vin isit la. Seremoni wouj yo s eremoni l moun yo gen kabrit yo, gen bagay konsa nou pa kite yo pran anyen. Al tou, f w ta w depi maten m ap travay ou pa ta bezwen f foto mwen. M on ti jan fatige. fault. When its time for the guy to collaborate with me Th is wom a n is a city correspondant from the United States to Canada. Nansi Wk cam e here, she critiqued me and insulted me. At that time it had a little magazine . The ceremonies started Easter Sunday they were here from four oclock. We cross ed over here and we circled the Lakou. We leave from Dovos house. When we were leaving Dovos house we we re going to enter but I stood at the door and someone wa s bringing something to me. Meanwhile Nancy  adjust e d her camera. My police  two people or something like that Nancy insult s Nancy did something and put me in the audience magazine. She insulted me, she told me thats not how I didnt do the things righ t . But that wasnt our fault Even s he, if s he would tell me when s he came to the Lakou, s he took the Lakou for a desert You came to the Lakou: priest I came to film the celebration. See, m a n even this same person c a me  to the celebration. They dont know you. They are rude to you. Well s he insult ed me; s he did a number of things. Its not me; Im not responsible. Thats also what I ask the lwa : to have the possibility so we can educat e the guys who are leading us. Ongan Alisma : Ive lived that I r emember when we were in the ceremony on Sunday afternoon under the tamarind treewhen the rain started and there were some other people who were filming. The men didnt accept that. After you said theyre okay let them film. At that time I was facing you Svit Bien Aim: I suppose a camera fetish led those people here. The red ceremonies c eremonies when people have goats, have things like thatwe dont let them take anything. Although, you must have seen that I ve been working since the morning, you shouldnt have take n my picture. Im a little
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 29 Ongan Alisma : Wi gen imaj ki ka sti, gen imaj ki pa ta dwe sti. Svit Bien Aim: Li pale m mal L i di m on seri de bagay. Bon, km se pa mwen menm ki se mt Vodou an, se Souvnans ki mt li [...] Madan Alisma : M konn ap gade w nan youtoub l w ap f seremoni w chita w ap chante. Svit Bien Aim: Ou pa vin gade mwen, ou pa vini. Se pou w te f mouche a mennen w tou. Men antankou ane sa nan ft se pou w ta mennen blan yo tou wi. Man: Y ap la. Svit Bien Aim: Blan yo, yo di se pou inivsite y ap travay men yo ka pale de mwen menm. Yo menm ki sa yo ka ofri? Man: Ou konprann sa wi Ben? M te di w sa deja. Reponn kesyon an. Svit Bien Aim: Ki sa nou ka ofri mwen? Nou w nou tande nan ki koze Lakou a ye pou m f l mache, pou m f administrasyon mache se pa on bagay ki fasil. Pandan ke m pa la m ap f on mwa dey men m ap an kontak a sosyete a. F m vin peye yo; l tou [...] m ap vin peye yo. M ap tounen nan Lakou a ank m genyen twa seremoni ke m ap f pou Lakou a ke m p ap met sosyete a ladan l. Si sosyete a vle ban m on ti bagay m ta byen kontan men yo p ap ban mwen. Levenkat m ap pral nan simity debary m ap pral f libera pou manman m a papa mwen. Levensenk m ap pral nan simity Danach pou tired. Man: Yes, there are images that can come out there are images that cant come out Svit Bien Aim: Sh e spoke poorly of me. S he told me a number of things. Well, Im not the head of Vodou, Souvnans is the master  Woman: I sometimes watch you on YouTube when you are doing ceremonies you sit and you sing. Svit Bien Aim: You dont come to see me, you dont come. You should make the man bring you. But this year you should bring the foreigners to the festival Man: They ll be here Svit Bien Aim: The foreigners, they say they are working for their university but they can talk about me. What can they offer? Man: You understand that yes Ben ? I told you that already. Answer the question. Svit Bien Aim: What can you offer me? You see how difficult it is for me to make the Lakou work; to make the administration work is not easy. While I am not here, I spend a month away but I am in contact with the society. I have to come pay them; also when  I am coming to pay them I will re turn to the Lakou again I have three ceremonies that I will do for the Lakou that w ont involve the society If the society wants to give me a little something I would be very happy but they w ont give me anything. On the 24th I am going to the gated cemetery I am going to say a prayer for my mother and my father. On the 25 th I am going to the
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 30 S ouvnans ; m pral f libera pou moun Souvnans yo. Levensis m prale nan simity lentiwo, m pral f seremoni pou moun Souvnans yo. Ben: Nou vini avk on ti donasyon nou ta renmen prezante ba ou men li piti. Sa m ta renmen di nou se ke nou vle akonpaye nou pandan anpil ane. Svit Bien Aim: Tande byen: pa bliye sa w t ap di non. Ou w p Aristid, malgre tout defo l te gen yen g en on bagay li mete sa f m plezi. Bagay twa men an chay pa lou Pou moun m konnen m bay d de wout pou ale nan peyi etranje. S i l m ap f ft la si chak te ban m on grenn dola m t ap gen twp lajan. Monch m deja di w, mesi bokou. Souvnans li menm li gen kote w f donasyon an. Gen papa Kebesou, gen mtrs, gen papa Tchasou yo gen sakt yo. L w di w gen on minis ki vini la, yo kritike m sten. Minis la vini, minist yo gen l mande minis la lajan. Nou menm nou te ka mande minis la on ti kb wi. Sa k f nou pa mande minis la on ti kb gen on fanmi m ki soti an peyi etranje. Se kouzen mwen msye te ye Se ng m te pote lontan. M pote misye nan do mwen epi on l yo voye nouvl ban mwen di y ap voye deptasyon ba Robn, m f on ane m ap pale pou Rob. Yo bay [...] la. Yo pran Rob epi Rob vini. L Rob vini nou te dey a ap pale ; m di Rob koze sa yo nou pa ka pale yo pou moun tande. Nou antre andan m di m konnen ou pot on bagay pou mwen ke ou pot on bagay pou Souvnans. Misye di m pa pot anyen non. Sa k pi vekse mwen Rob chak ane li voye kt Souvnans. Danach cemetery for Souvnans ; I am going to say a prayer for the people of Souvnans. On the 26th I am going to L intiwo cemetery, I am going to do a ceremony for the people of Souvnans. Ben: We come with a little donation we would like to give you, but its small. I would like to say that we would like to accompany you for several year s Svit Bien Aim: Listen well: dont forget what you were going to say You see Father Aristid, despite all of the flaws he had theres something he did that pleased me. Several hands make the load lighter I have so many people I instructed in getting to foreign countries. When I am having a celebration if each of them gave me a single dollar, I would have too much money. Man I already told you, thank you very much. Souvnans has a place for you to make a donation. We have Papa Kebesou, we have Metrs we have Papa Tchasou they have their purse. When the r e is a minister who comes here, they certainly criticize me. The minister comes, the ministries seem to have ask ed the minister for money. We c ould ask the minister for a little money. W e do nt ask the minister for money because I have a family member that comes from a foreign country. He was my cousi n. Hes a guy I supported for a long time. I carried the man on my back and when they sent news to tell me they are deport ing Robert I spent a year speaking for Robert They gave  here. They t ook Robert and Robert came. When Robert c a me we were outside speaking ; I told Robert we cant speak them for people to hear. We entered in side I said I know you brought something for me brought something for Souvnans. He said he didnt bring anything. What offended me most, Robert each year he sent funds for Souvnans.
Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Tahiri Jean Baptiste and Megan Raitano University of Florida. This work was funded by the UF Duke NEH Collaborative Grant 31 Ou mt f rs ou, Rob se l l vin nan Lakou a se on fanmi ki di Svit a a misye a gen lajan, se mwen pou w bay li. Li pa ban mwen n, al se sa k f m on ti jan vekse. Klkeswa l on minis la vini nou pa mande minis la anyen. L minis la fin ale tout fanmi tout fanmi yo konnen minis la ban m anvlop. Minis pa ban m on santim. Ben: Ou di mwen gen dwa mete ti donasyon an sou youn nan kote ... Svit Bien Aim: Non, on sl kote. Swa nan pap Kebesou oubyen nan Mtrs oubyen nan P apa Tchasou. Ben: Kote Marasa yo? Woman: Kote w vle. Chwazi espri w vle Ben k ap bon pou ou. Si se Mar asa w vle bay Marasa l. Svit Bien Aim: Tr byen, Souvnans remsye w. You may do what you want when Robert came to the Lakou it was a family member who told the Priest the guy has no money, I had to give it to him. He didnt give it to me, so that s what offended me a little Whenever a minister comes, we do not ask the minister for anything. When the minister goes all the families think the minister g a ve me an envelope . The minister d id not give me a dime. Ben: You tol d me I can put the donationon in one of the places Svit Bien Aim: No, one place. Either in P apa Kebesou or in Mistress or in Papa Tchasou. Ben: Where is Marasa? Woman: Where ever you want. Choose the spirit you want Ben that is good to you. If its Marasa you want give it to Marasa. Svit Bien Aim: Very well, Souvnans thanks you.