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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00015901/00001
 Material Information
Title: Lakou Souvnans Prayers
Abbreviated Title: Sèvitè Bien-Aimé and Ongan Michelet Alisma lead prayers at Souvnans
Physical Description: 11 PDF pages
Language: Haitian Creole
English
Creator: Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri Jean-Baptiste
Publisher: Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri Jean-Baptiste
Place of Publication: Gainesville
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean Area, Haitian Vodou prayers, Lakou Souvnans   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Abstract: As we arrived at Lakou Souvnans, Sèvitè Bien-Aimé and Ongan Michelet Alisma led our group in a number of prayers in the temple in locations dedicated for specific lwa. Holding candles and pouring out libations, these two Vodou priests provided us with a glimpse of the power of prayer in Haitian Vodou. This work was funded by the NEH Collaborative grant. Ayibobo!
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
System ID: AA00015901:00001


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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 1 Lakou Souvnans Prayers Recorded by Benjamin Hebblehtwaite, November 2, 2012, at Lakou Souvnans in Gonayiv, Haiti Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed and translated by Tahiri JeanBaptiste To watch the video from which this material was transcribed, click here Svit Bien Aim: Jete ti dlo devan papa Keb y esou, se mt kay la. Ongan Alisma: Papa Keb y esou, pi tit ou te dey. M f on antre vin vizite nou. Mwen nan men nou pou nou toujou pwoteje mwen, pwotekte mwen. Mwen se pitit kay la. M te dey mwen rantre epi mwen genyen klke etranje ki nan toune. M w se tout plzi pou m akonpaye pou m vin mennen yo andedan Lakou Souvnans. Pou yo w ki sa k gen lakay nou paske anpil etranje toujou konprann Vodou se djab; Vodou se sseri; Vodou se vye bagay. Nou toujou pr pou nou di yo non, sa yo panse a se pa sa. Nou mennen yo nan laverite a pou yo vin w diferans yo. Vodou se byen ke nou f; nou pa f mal. Ginen an li menm li pa f pati mal e se pati byen slman ke l f. Mwen te dey mwen rantre. M vin devan nou nan pye manman mwen, nan pye papa mwen, Svit Bien Aim : Pou r a little water in front of papa Keb y esou, hes the o wner of the house. Ongan Alisma: Papa Keb y esou, your child was away I entered to come visit you. I am in all your hands so you all will always protect me. I am a child of the house. I was outside and I entered and I have some foreigners who are on a tour. Its my pleasure to accompany them to bring them inside Lakou Souvnans. So they can see what is in our home because a lot of foreigners always think that Vodou is the devil ry ; Vodou is so rcery; Vodou is evil doing; w e are always ready to tell them no, what they think is not true. We bring them to the truth so they can see the difference. Vodou does good ; we dont do harm. Ginen does not take part in harm, it only takes part in good I was away, I entered. I come before you all at the feet of my

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 2 pou nou toujou pwotekte mwen. Pwoteje mwen e ban fs kouraj pou nou f tr avay Ginen an kmsadwa. Man: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim: Kite m di de mo. Al ou konnen, fr m ak s m yo, gen on gran diferans nan Vodou an. Moun k ap f sseri moun k ap tchwe moun yo yo nan Vodou an tou men nou menm nou pa f sseri. Se lamaji blanch ke n f. Nou pa f maji ditou se lwa yo ki di kijan pou bagay la ft. Il y a un tr gran diferans [There is a big difference] ant ng k ap f sseri a e ng k ap f maji blanch la. Nou menm, se menm jan a legliz ke nou ye. L w vin isit la, nou te gen dwa pa pale w de lwa di tou nou di w se jan evanjelis. Se de lj ki genyen. Youn se l soly la cho; se Jan Batis. Lt la se l soly la frt; se S en Jan Evanjelis. Al nou menm se nan S en Jan Evenjelis ke nou ye. Isit la sen Jan Batis la tr f tou. Se papa Bad: on ng nou konsidere sten. Se lwa sa yo nou svi. Se lwa sa yo ki pmt nou avanse. Se avk lwa sa yo nou travay. B isit la se mtrs Ezili s e Ntre Dam de Lamsi; se patwon Souvnans la. Ou mt pale a Mtrs tou. Ongan Alisma: Mtrs Ezili ou konnen bon se manman nou tout. Ou se on manman de bon k. Mtrs santi bon, mennen mennen, ki kapab ede nou avanse nan tout sa n ap antreprann. Nou vin remt nou, ak tout fanmi an, ak tout lt ki akonpanye nou, nan de pla men w. Ou va sovgade [protect] yo, ede yo, pwoteje yo ba yo fs kouraj pou travay mother, at the feet of my father, for you all to always protect me. Protect me and give me strength and courage for us to do the work of Ginen tho r oughly. Man: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim : Let me say a couple of words. Well you know, my brothers and sisters, there is a great difference in the Vodou. People who do sorcery people who are killing peopletheyre in Vodou also but as for us we do not do sorcery. We do white magic. We dont do magic at all, its the lwa who say how things are to be done. There is a big difference between people who do sorcery and people who do white magic. We are just like the church. When you come here we could have not a t all spoken to you about the lwa and told you its evangelism. There are two lodges One is when the sun is hot; Its Jean Baptiste. The other is when the sun sets; its saint Jean Evangelist. So, we are in the blood of S aint Jean Evangelist. Here, Saint J ean Bapt iste is also very powerful. Hes the father of Bad; a man we consider certain. These are the lwa we serve. These are the lwa that allow us to progress. These are the lwa we work wi t h. Over here is mistress Ezili, Its our lady of mercy; the patron of Souvnans. You can also speak to Mistress. Ongan Alisma: Mistress Ezili, you knowwell she is everyones mother. You are a moth er with a good heart. Pleasant smelling mistress, lead lead, who can help us progres in all that we undertake. We come to submit ourselves, with the whole family, with all the others who accompany us, in your two hands. Youll protect them, help

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 3 Ginen an kontinye ft nan lap avk k kontan. Man: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim: Sou kote konsa: se S en Jozf, se Papa Loko. Se youn nan ng ou konsidere sten nan Vodou an paske se Papa Loko. Tal a te gen on dam ki te di af sp la. Papa Loko se li menm ki sanse mt kesyon an nan sp la. L ret nan prizon an tou. L w w bagay yo mal pase, bagay yo mal ft, se Papa Loko k al pran moun sa mete l nan sp. Al se Sen Jozf, se yon ng nou konsidere sten men se misye k nan mache a tou. Se misye ki pouvwa dacha. L i bay travay tou. Se on ng nou konsidere. Se ng pa nou. Ongan Alisma: Sen Jozf, ou tande? Papa Loko jodi a nou prezante nou devan ou a tout bon fwa. A bon k nou, n ap konsantre pou nou f travay Ginen an nan lap ak k kontan. Jodi a mwen prezante devan w a tout pati lt mwen yo a tout akonpayiman mwen yo pouke w ba nou fs kouraj e ptinite pou nou f travay Ginen an nan lap ak k k ontan pou nou vanse pou pi devan. Manbo Alisma: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim: Sa se Sen Py. Gen de S en Py. Youn ki gen kle a e youn ki gen kk la: toul ede se ng pa nou. Men konvti s en Py a se Tobak; se papa Tchasou. Se youn nan ng nou konsidere sten. Gen de rit isit la: rit Grenadya e rit Chas. Se papa Tchasou ki sanse mt rit Chas a. Papa Keb y esou mt rit them, protect them give them strength courage so Ginens work continues in peace and happiness. Man: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim : On this side is S aint Joseph; its Papa Loko. Hes a man whos considered certain in Vodou because its Papa Loko. Earlier there was a woman who said something about the sp affair. Its Papa Loko who is essentially the owner o f the sp concept. He stay s in the prison, also. When things go wrong, things happen badly, its Papa Loko who goes and takes this person to put in the sp. So its S aint Joseph, its a man we consider certain but hes also in the market Hes the ultimate force. He gives work also We have consideration for him. Hes one of us. Ongan Alisma: Saint Joseph, do you hear? Papa Loko today we present ourselves in front of you in good faith With our good hearts, well concentrate to do Ginens work in peace and happiness. Today I come b efore you with all my other parts, with all my accompaniments so you can give us the strength of c ourage and opportunity to do Ginens work in peace and happiness so we can progress further ahead. Manbo Alisma: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim: This is Saint P ierre. There are two S aint Pierres. One who has the key and one who has the rooster: both are our guys But the converted version of S aint Pierre is Tobak; its Papa Tchasou. Its a guy we fully count on There are two rites here: the Grenadya rite and th e Chas rite. Papa

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 4 Grenadya. Ongan Alisma: Papa Tchasou o non de Sen Py m konnen se ou menm ki pou ouvri pt la. Se ou menm k pou bay tout ng liberasyon yo e se ou k kondane tou. Jodi a nou vin prezante devan ou a tout pati lt ki akonpanye mwen pou nou v in mande ou fs kouraj e kontinw ite pou ede nou pou nou gen plis limy e plis bon k toujou pou nou f travay Ginen an. Svit BienAim : Fs Souv n ans la se dlo a. Klkeswa maladi a oubyen klkeswa ka a se benyen nou benyen li. Se dlo nou ba l bw. Nou konsidere sous la sten. Menm jan dlo a konn koule fre nou ta vle dlo a koule fre pou Michl klkeswa kote l ye a pou tout bagay byen mache. Mesye dam sous yo, ou mt pale avk yo. Ongan Alisma: Mesye dam, mwen menm mwen vin remt tout sosyete pa mwen, tout pati lt mwen, tout fanmi an e, tout pitit ritwl mwen yo nan de pla men w. Km ou te kmanse avk nou deja pou ba nou frech kontinye ba nou frech kmsadwa. Menm Rafayl ki akonpanye nou jodi a se paske gen lasante ki koz li ka akonpanye nou, vin avk nou la jodi an. Nou mande plis sante toujou, plis fs kouraj pou tout pati lt yo. Frech n ap bezwen e delivrans. Svit BienAim: Se S en Jewm ki gen kle badji a: g en kle paradi a, gen kle badji a. Sen P apa Znadan! Se youn nan chf Chas a. Al Michl, se on oungan misye ye. Misye ap viv nan peyi etranje. L i Tchasou is essentially the owner of the Chas rite. Papa Keb y esou is the owner of the Grenadya rite. Ongan Alisma: Papa Tchasou in th e name of S aint Pierre, I know it is you who has to open the door. It is you who has to liberate all men and it is you who condemns, also. Today we present ourselves before you, with all the others who accompany me, to come ask you for the strength of courage and continuity to help us be more enlightened and to have better hearts to do Ginens work. Svit BienAim: The water is the strength of Souvnans. Whatever the illness or whatever the case, we bathe him. We give him water to drink. We consider the source to be certain. Just as the water runs cool we would like the water to run cool for Michlet wherev er he is so that everything goes well. Mister misses of the sources, you can speak to them. Ongan Alisma: Gentlemen ladies I come to submit my w hole society, all the others the whole family, and all my ritual children into your two hands. Since you alre ady sta rted refreshing us continue to refresh us earnestly. Even Raphal who accompanied us today, came with us today because of good health. We ask for continous good health, more courage for all the others. Well need refreshment and deliverance. Sv it BienAim: Its S aint Jerome who has the key of the Vodou temple: he has the key to paradise, he ha s the key of the temple. Saint P apa Znadan! Hes one of the chiefs of the Chas. So Mich e let hes

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 5 mennen on ek ip moun vini nan Souvnans. Al p apa Znadan men Michl l ap pale avk ou. Ongan Alisma: Papa Znadan m se on pitit menm jan ak tout lt pitit yo e m ko nnen konpasyon pou tout pitit, l anmou pou tout pitit. Mwen te dey. Jodi a mwen rantre mwen vin prezante mwen devan w ak tout pati lt yo ki akonpanye m. Kote ke ouvri pt la pou resevwa nou anbyen e nou prale anbyen. Nou m ande w fs kouraj e kontinw ite; pou w ede nou travay pou nou toujou panse anv V odou a, pou nou kapab rann Vodou a resipwosite. Svit BienAim: Nou ta mande yo tou mesye kameraman yo ske se pou on magazin y ap travay oubyen ske se pou on jounal on bagay klkonk? Ongan Alisma: Non, nou genyen Inivsite Laflorid e Inivsite Dyouk ki vote on ti bidj pou mesye dam sa yo kapab deplase vin f enpe rechch de Vodou paske etranje yo toujou konnen Vodou a se vye bagay ke l pratike; se sseri; se malfekt. Svit BienAim: Lasseri, moun k ap tchwe moun nan li nan Vodou a tou men moun k ap kidnape moun nan l nan Katolik la tou wi. Ongan Alisma: Moun sa yo la pou yo defann Vodou, pou yo pwouve etranje a kisa sa vle di Vodou. Ki wl Vodou nan lavi chak moun. Ki enptans Vodou nan lavi chak moun. Vodou a pa preche mal. Vodou a pa p ratike mal. Vodou a se byen ke l f. Moun sa yo la pou y al p wouve an ongan. He is living in a foreign country. He broug ht a team of people inside Souvnans. So papa Znadan here is Michelet, hell speak to you. Ongan Alisma: Papa Znadan I am a child just like all the other children and I know compassion for all children, love for all children. I was outside. Today I enter ed to present myself before you with all the others who accompanied me. Open the door and receive us well and we will leave well. We ask y ou for the strength of courage and continuity; for you to help us work so we c an always think in terms of Vodou, so we can reciprocate the Vodou. Svit BienAim: We would ask them also, the cameramen, are they working for a magazine or are they working for a journal or something specific ? Ongan Alisma: No, we have University of Florida and Duke University that voted on a little b udget so these men and women could leave to do a bit of research on Vodou because the foreigners always think that Vodou practices bad things; it is sorcery; it is evildoing. Svit BienAim: Sorcery, people who kill people is in Vodou als o but people who kidnap people is also in Catholicism. Ongan Alisma: These people are here to defend Vodou to show to the foreigner what Vodou means. What role Vodou plays in the life of each person. What importance Vodou has in the life of each person. Vodou does not preach evil. Vodou does not practice evil. Vodou does

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 6 etranje a sa yo te prevwa. S a y ap li nan liv, sa y ap tande yo se pa verite pou yo sispann jazi nan do Vodou. Svit BienAim : Se madam m anman S m anman S se youn nan fanm anpil ny e nan Vodou an. Li menm se grann Sentann. Nou toujou mande manman S oubyen grann Sentann l nou vini, oubyen chak maten, voye je sou nou. Nou pa konn leson an. F nou f travay la byen. Menm jan w ap moutre pitit la leson an, moutre Michl leson an ansanm ak tout ekip la. Manman S ou konnen ke Souvnans la se yon gran fanmi li ye de Lo ryan ak Loksidan, di N o Sid. N ou gen moun toupatou. Al manman S, grann Sentann, men Michl. Di ti koze w ap di a. Ongan Alisma: Manman S m konnen ou se manman nou tout sou pw oteksyon w, sou limy w, kontinw ite w, fason ke w klere chimen mwen. M kapab di ke mwen ft nan peristil. Mwen leve nan peristil. Mwen se on Ongan depi nan kmansman rive jodi an e w ban m ptinite pou mwen travay. Mwen kmanse de klas anfantin jiska segond a rive a linivsite. Manman S ou toujou ban m fs kouraj, pwoteje m e w konnen si nou pa kenbe ke wb ou nou pa ka mache. Se ou menm ki pou kase mete nan bouch nou. Se ou k pou kase mete nan men nou. Se ou k pou pwoteje nou e ou k pou ede no u vanse pou nou rive la jodi a. Ebyen jodi a m vin devan w pou nou prezante tout pati lt yo, tout fanmi an devan w nan de pla men w pou w kontinye pwoteje nou pou n pa dekouraje. Pase nou p ap bliye Vodou a e n ap travay pou Vodou. good. These people are here to prove to the foreigner what they perceived. What they are reading in books, what they are hearing its not true, so they can stop slandering Vodou. Svit BienAim: This is lady m other S. Mother S is one woman a lot of people deny in Vodou. She is granny SaintAnn We always ask mother S or granny Sentann when we come, or each morning, to watch over us. We dont know the lesson. Make us do the work well Just as youre showing the child the lesson, show Michelet the lesson along with the whole team. Mother S you know here Souvnans is a great family from the east and west, from the north or s outh. We have people all over. So mother S, granny Sentann, here is Michelet. Say what youre going to say. Ongan Alisma: Mother S I know you are everyones mother based on your protection, your enlightenment, your continuity, the way you light my path. I can say that I was born in a Vodou temple. I was raised in a Vodou temple I am an ongan from the beginning to now and you give me opportunity so I can work. I started in preschool up to secondary school to university. Mother S you always give me strength courage, protect me and you know if we dont hold on to the tail of your dress we cannot walk. Its you who feeds us. Its you who provides for us. Its you who protects us and you who help us progress so we arrive here today. Well today I come before you s o we can present all the others, the whole family in front of you in your two hands for you to continue to protect us so we arent discouraged. Because, we will not forget

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 7 Man: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim: Ou konnen Michl se Vodouwizan ke m ye men m on tijan entimide. Yo di mwen w ale nan Badjo; w ale nan Soukri; ou vin isit la. Sa w ap chche? Ongan Alisma: M ale nan Badjo. M ale nan Sou kri. Lakou sa yo Souvnans mwen leve ladan yo. Depi m tou piti m ap mache ladan yo, vin nan tout svis l adan yo. Se tout plzi jodi a m ap vini an Ayiti epi mwen jwenn yon gwoup chch ki ta renmen konnen klke choz de Vodou de bon ki pou al edike lt moun k ap panse mal de Vodou yo. Se tout plzi pa m pou m menn en yo nan twa gran L akou mwen konnen ki egziste nan mond lan, e ki andedan lakay mwen menm nan Gonayiv pou m ta mennen yo vin w laverite a. Svit BienAim: Lakou yo, yo pa menm. Lakou Badjo ansanm avk nou. O kontr ljou pase a se nou menm ki te patwo ne Lakou Badjo. Lajan ou fanmi vin retire bagay yo. Apati de era a, Zantray, Badjo te gen on bf li te konn tchwe chak st an se Souvnans ki te konn al tchwe bf la. Apr yon sten tan, Lep al tchwe bf la epwi ng yo moute bf la. Depi l sa yo divize av k Lep. Mwen menm se fanmi Badjo ke m ye. Kote m ye a se nan zn Badjo m ye. Manman mwen se ounsi Badjo. Soukri se Kongo. Il y a un tr gran diferans ant Kongo e Dawomen. Ou w m gen pwoblm ansanm avk ng yo. Lwa Kongo a f tout ank. Nan sa lwa Kongo a pi f se f bk epi vl. Si se pou bk a l ap f bk epi vl a tou. Veye zo w, klkeswa bagay la l ap pran l. Se pa nan Vodou and we will work for Vodou. Man: Ayibobo! Svit BienAim: Michelet you know I am a Vodouist but I am a bit intimidated. They tell m e you went to Badjo. You went to Soukri. You came to visit here. What are you looking for? Ongan Alisma: I went to Badjo. I went to Soukri. These yards Souvnans I was raised in them Ever since I was very little I ve been going to them, going to all the services in them. Its all my pleasure today Im coming to Haiti and I find a group of researchers who would like to know certain good things about Vodou that will educate other people who think ill of Vodou. Its m y pleasure to bring them to three Great Vodou yards I know exist in the world, and is inside my home in Gonaves so I can bring them to the truth. Svit BienAim: The yards are not the same. Lakou Badjo is the same as us. In fact, on the contrary, in the past we were the patron of Lakou Badjo. Money or fami ly rem oved those things. From the era of Zantray, Badjo had a cow it used to kill every seven years and Souvnans would go kill the cow. After a certain time, the elder went to go kill the cow and the guys mounted the cow. Ever since then theyve been divided with Lep. I, myself, am Badjos family. I am in the area of Badjo. My mother is an ounsi of Badjo. Soukri is Kongo. There is a very big difference between Kongo and Dahomey. You see I have problem s with the gu ys. The Kongo lwa do pretty much everything. The Kongo lwa are strongest in creating bk and thieves. If its for

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 8 menm rit li ye. Se Petwo yo ye; nou menm nou se Rada. Men se fanmi nou ye. Nan sous la, nan tt K anal M adanm on branch ale nan So ukri, epi on branch vini Souvnans. Al nou toujou antann nou. Men ladiferans ki genyen, genyen on seri de ng ki tr dezd ke nou menm nou pa kite yo vin lakay nou. Ongan Alisma: Nou konnen gen on diferans ant nasyon Lakou yo de Soukri, de Badjo, de Souvnans e diferans sa mwen toujou ap preche l a letranje. Nou konnen Lakou Soukri se Kongo. Lakou Badjo se Nago. Lakou Souvnans se Dawomen. Svit BienAim: Nago a li menm se on pati nan Dawomen an li ye. Nou gen on ti lekl tanbou isit la. Lekl tanbou a se letan n ap bat tanbou no u moutre timoun yo chante tou: o n seri de son difisil. Km si moun ki soti lavil la, moun ki pat konn Vodou an, li pa ka danse Nago a. Se sak f nou konn moutre yo. Ongan Alisma: Nou f antrennman pou yo. Svit BienAim : Antrennman nan lekl tanbou a. Nago a li menm li tr difisil. Yo menm yo gen on seri de rit yo antre nan Nago a men nou menm nou rete. Lendi swa konsa nou antre yo nan Nago a, f on bon pati nan Nago a. Men diferans ki genyen ant Nago a e tanbou Dawomen an yo diferan. Nago a se avk de men ke l bat. Men se menm fanmi an. M byen kontan ou mennen on seri de etranje vini isit la. Lakou a se on g ran Lakou li ye. N the bk itll do it and the thief also. Watch out, whatever the thing hell take it. Its not in the same rite. They are Petw o; we are Rada. But, we are family. In th e stream, at the head of Kanal M adanm stream, one branch goes to Soukri, and then one comes to Souvnans. So we always work it out. But the difference that exists, there are a bunch of guys who are very misbehaved wh o we do not allow into our house. Ongan Alisma: We know theres a difference between the nations of the yards of Soukri, of Badjo, of Souvnans and I am always preaching this difference abroad.We know Lakou Soukri is Kongo. Lakou Badjo is Nago. Lakou Souvn ans is Dahomey. Svit BienAim: Nago is a part of Dahomey. We have a little drum school here. As we are beating the drums and we show the children how to sing: a number of difficult sounds. For example a person who comes from the city, a person who didnt know Vodou, they cant dance Nago. Thats why we show them. Ongan Alisma: You do training for them. Svit BienAim: Training in the drum school. Nago is very difficult. They have a number of rites they include in Nago but we do not. Monday night we enter them into Nago, do a good part of Nago. But, Nago and Dahomey drums are different. Nago is drummed with two hands. But, its the same family. I am really happy you brought a group of foreigners here. The yard is a great yard. We went to Africa ; we w ent to Benin; we saw saw

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 9 ale an Afrik ; n ale o Benen; nou w ng yo pa gen Lakou. Se nou menm ki gen Lakou. Men sl diferans yo genyen, yo pi f pase nou. Yo pa pase nan Kafou. Yo pa pase nan simety. Tout ekspedisyon yo se nan gran bwa ke yo ft. Rv nou depi nou vin isit la n ap travay pou nou te f yon gran bwa pou Souvnans. Etan nou nan gran bwa, se pou n te f on for sakre tou. Gen on pitit isit la k te vann t a nou te mande achte t a. Tout goumen m goumen avk yo pou m achte t a, m pa ka achte t a. M prske kite af gran bwa a tonbe. Bouskeman m achte demi kawot; al mache a konn ft la. Kounye a m voye mache a nan t ke m achte a. M plante pye bwa ladan l Men se pa sa. S e pa demi kawot an bwa slman ke m te f yon for sakre pou m te menm jan a an Afrik. Paske klkeswa oungan an ougan k pi pv an Afrik lali gen kat kawot, twa kawot, plante pye bwa. Men nou menm nou pa genyen. N ap mande tou papa nou, etan se on moun ki te f nan Vodou an, ki renmen Vodou an, kijan f misye pat f yon gran bwa? Men al se de politik diferan pask e misye gen on seri de bwa ke l koupe mwen menm m pa t ap koupe l. Si on moun koupe pye bwa b isit la, m ap mete w nan prizon. Ongan Alisma: Ebyen Vodou a nou konnen se nou tout men an men ki pou met ansanm ki pou f travay la. Se sa menm n ap chche. Svit BienAim : Se jounalis la ki te vin envite mwen. M te di misye m on tijan pa tlman dak avk misye paske isit la tranteyen oktb nou fmen. N ap retounen premye madi a oubyen premye that the guys didnt have yards. We are the ones who have yards. But, the only difference is that they are stronger than us. They dont go through crossroads. They dont go through cemeteries. All the expeditions are done in big forests Ever since weve been here our dream has been to work to create a big forest for Souvnans. While we are in the big forest we would also create a sacred forest. There is a child here who sol d land; we asked to buy the land. No matter how hard I fought with them to buy the land, I couldnt buy the land. I almost let go of the big forest business For the moment I bought half an acre; so the market happens there. Right now I send the market to the land I bought. I planted trees in it. Bu t, thats not it. Its not o nly half an acre in woods I did, I want to do a sacred forest so I could be just like [they are] in Africa. Because, whoever the ounganthe poor oungan in Africahe has four acres, thr ee acres, to plant trees. But us, we have nothing. We are also asking of our father as a person who was powerful in Vodou, who loved Vodou, how come he didnt create a big forest ? Well its different politics because he had a series of trees that he cut a nd I wouldnt have cut them. If a person cuts a tree here, I will put you in prison. Ongan Alisma: Well in Vodou we know that its all of us hand in hand who have to work together to do the work. That is really what were searching for. Svit BienAim: It s t h e journalist who invited me. I told him I disagreed with him a little because we are closed here on the thirty first of October. Well return on the first Tuesday or the first

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 10 vandredi mwa desanm nan. Se kat desanm n ap rekmanse. Pwiske s e jounalis Vodou a oubyen jounalis Souvnans ke l ye se misye ki f m vin la jodi a paske kay la fmen. Depi kay la fmen nou menm nou pa resevwa moun isit la. Nou ta renmen ba misye on ti chans pou l di de ti mo tou, epi dam sa avk on etranje tou nou ta r enmen pale. Ng ki t ap pilote m nan tou m ta renmen ba misye lapawl. Rapha l : M di on gwo kout Ayibobo pou Svit BienAim ki te pran inisyativ sa an k. M te depase m al lakay li. N ou chita pale moutre msye a plis b. Nou genyen ongan Michl Alisma avk mesye dam etranje yo ki sti Inivsite a yo vini yo bezwen konnen pou sa y ap di de Vodou a e p ou sa nou menm n ap pwone d mikro radio a n ap mete animasyon pou Vodou a. Yo menm yo kanpe so u menm long d ond avk nou. Yo vle konnen ki anomali k genyen andan Vodou a ki f y ap rele Vodou a djab; sseri k gen ladan l. Men nan tou t relijyon yo toujou gen sseri. Toujou gen tout bagay men yo toujou moutre Vodou a km on bagay ki pa anyen menm nan mond lan. Se on relijyon loupenn Yo menm yo vin w, ak de nan yo kisa Lakou Soukri, Lakou Badjo, Lakou Souvnans genyen. Svit BienAim : Devn pa Vodou an maj pati moun ki nan Vodou an se moun st yo ye. Pif oungan nan peyi a pa konn li. Pa gen lontan minist d kilt te f on klk [colloquium] tout peyi a s e mwen slman ki gen on ti lekl tanbou. Apre sa pa gen anyen. Rv nou depi nou vin isit la se pou n ta f on sant de sante. Katreven pousan moun ki vini nan Souv n ans se moun ki te pou al kay bk. Friday of the month of December. We resume December fourth. Since hes t he Vodou journalist or the journalist of Souvnans I came here because th e house is closed. When the house is closed we dont entertain people here. We would like to give him a small chance to say a few words also, and then also this woman and a foreigner would like to speak I would a lso like to let the guy who drove me speak. Raphal: I say a loud Ayibobo for Svit BienAim who took this initiative to heart. I left and went to his house. We sat talking and I talked to him about the details We have ong an Michelet Alisma with the ladies and gentlemen who come from the university ; they come to know what theyre saying about Vodou and why we take radio microphones to transmit Vodou. They are on the same wave length as us. They would like to know what anomo lies are in Vodou to make them call Vodou evil; what sorcery is in it. But, in all religions they always have sorcery. There is always everything but they always show Vodou as something that is nothing at all in the world. Its a suspicious religion. They c ame to see, with their very own eyes, what Lakou Soukri, Lakou Badjo, Lakou Souvnans has. Svit BienAim: Unfortunately for Vodou, the majority of people in Vodou are uneducated people. Most oungan in the country cant read. Not long ago the minister of culture did a colloquium for the whole country and I was the only one who had a little drum school. After that there is nothing. Its been o ur dream since we ve been here to make a health center. Eighty percent of people who

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Copyright 2013 Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Tahiri JeanBaptiste, University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 11 Pi gwo pwoblm nou genyen isit la avk fanm gws la. Fanm ki ansent la, depi se moun Souvnans, vin benyen isit la. L i vin swiv. Degaje w pou w w si fanm sa p ap ka f pitit. Lwa yo f nou jwenn mwayen pou nou di fanm nan byen bon ale lopital paske se sezaryn pou l f. Svit BienAim: Sa se sal de travay la. Sa se kabann nan. S e la m chita; s e la m resevwa moun nan. Men kabann sa pot anpil koze de kabann sa. Moun pa janm manyen kabann sa. Se la nou chita; se la nou travay. Kmsi l madi, l vandredi se la moun vini. S e la nou resevwa yo. Kabann sa, yo di on seri de koze de li menm men nou menm on sl bagay nou konnen se kab ann papa Kebyesou Yo di se kabann madan Desalinon seri de zen men pa janm gen moun ki kouche sou kabann nan. Nou gen on seremoni nou sot f chak dimanch Pak nou gen bandwl ou nsi yo. L o u nsi yo soti yo vini yo depoze bandwl la. Moun ki pral f svis tt la tou. Tout inisye yo tou, yo depoze pakt la la. Apre sa moun pa janm manyen kabann nan. K lkeswa lapsonn men se on bagay nou konsidere sten. Se pi gwo byen Souvnans ka genyen, pou mwen menm, se kabann na n avk ja a tou. come to Souvnans are people who would go to the house of the bk. The biggest problem we have here is with the pregnant woman. The pregnant woman, if its a member of Souvnans, comes to shower here. She gets into the habit. Try and find a way for this woman not to have kids! The lwa help us find a way to tell the woman really early to go to the hospital because you need a caesarean section. Svit BienAim: That is the work room. This is the bed. This is where I sit; its where I receive people. But this bed theres a lot of talk about this bed. People never touch this bed. We sit here; we work here. Like, on Tuesdays, on Fridays people come here. This is where we receive them. This bed, they say a series of things about it but, we know its the bed of Papa Kebyesou. They say its the bed of Dessalines a bunch of gossip but no one ever lies on the bed. We have a ceremony we do eac h Easter Sunday. We have the sash of the ounsi. When the ounsi come they place the sash here The person who is doing the head service also. Also, all the initiates, they place the packet here. After that people never touch the bed. Whoever the person, it s something we consider certain. Its the greatest good Souvnans could have, for me: its the bed and also the large earthen jars.