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Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 1 Benjamin Hebblethwaite interviews Welele Noubout A t Lakou Souvnans, Gonaves, Haiti, March 31, 2013 Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Transcribed and translated by Rose Laure Jean Joseph, Megan Raitano and Tahiri Jean Baptiste Click here to watch the interview Ben: Mwen pral pale ak Welele. Man: Welele? Ben: Ou gen dwa tande, koute. Man: Welele? Ben: Welele. Ben: I am going to speak with Welele. Man: Welele? Man: Welele? Ben: Welele.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 2 Man : Se ou yo rele Welele? Welele: Se mwen k Welele, ou pa t konnen? Man: O, o se on bagay mwen tande lontan man. Man: Abobo! Welele: Abobo! Man: Oke, oke antouka gen yon dnye bagay. Nou menm nou pa svi avk move bagay b isit se. Welele: Se Ginen. Man: Ginen, se sa k f yo mete m siveyan. Ben: Ou se siveyan? Man: Wi, wi. Ben: A bon, oke oke. Welele: Pou moun pa f v y e bagay. Man: Pou moun pa f vey bagay pa bon. Ben: Oke oke oke. Men: Se sa k f m siveye. Welele: Gad, gade se tankou le t anpili Ben: Tanpliye. Welele: Fr anmason, moun ki gade tonm Jezi. Man: Are you the one they call Welele? Man: Oh, I heard that a long time ago! Man: Abobo 1 Welele: Abobo not use bad things here. Ginen Man: Ginen this is why they made me a watchman. Ben: You are a watchman? Man: Yes. Ben: Oh good, okay okay. Man: S good. Ben: Okay. Man: This is why I am a watchman. Welele: Look, it is like he is a tanpily. Ben: Tanpliy Welele: A mason the people who watched 1 Abobo! is a Vodou expression of praise that emanates f rom the Rada Rite. A rough equivalent is halellujah in Biblical English.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 3 Ben: Ou pare? Cameraman: Wi. Ben: Ou kmanse deja? Cameraman: Wi. Ben: Oke bon, jodi a nou la avk Welele isit nan Souvnans pou f on ti entvyou nan kontks achiv Vodou, ki baze nan Inivsite La Florid. Welele pale nou de ou memn, kote ou ft, di nou kk bagay. Welele: Kote m soti, m vin? Ben: Kote ou soti? Welele: Mwen rive la. Bon m ap salye ou Ben. Epi fom di ou, anpil resp epi on e felisitasyon pou travay w ap f paske antanke Ayisyen, moun ki pratike Vodou antanke Voduizan sa toujou enterese nou jwenn de moun ki enterese avk sa yo rele Vodou. Paske si nou f istwa Vodou, an Ayiti, se nou pran rejete, ki jan nou t ap tiye yon lt, ki jan nou t ap tiye houngan, t iye manbo, kraze tanbou, tiye ounsi, pou yo te bay yon levanjil, pa kont nou chita sou yon levanjil tou paske si ou w ap swiv byen, anvan Vodouizan f tout de Li k e Bondye sot nan syl la. Al, mwen kw nan resp sa ke tou. Vodou se yon bagay inivsl, se lespri an jeneral sa depann ki jan ou menm svi l. Se tankou dlo ou genyen lakay ou, men nan douch la. Gen dlo cho gen dlo frt, ou svi ak dlo cho si ou bezwen dlo cho, ou svi ak dlo frt si ou bezwen dlo frt. Ben: Are you ready? Cameraman: Yes. Ben : Did you start already? Cameraman: Yes. Ben: Okay well, today we are here with Welele, here at Souvnans to conduct an interview for the Vodou Archive based at the University of Florida. Welele, tell us about yourself, where you were born, just a couple of things. Welele: Where did I come from? Ben: Where are you from? Welele: I came here. Well, I want to greet you Ben and I have to say, I have a lot of respect, and honor, and congratulations for the work you are doing on behalf of Haitians, on behalf of Vodouists. It is always interesting to find out about people who are interested in Vodou. Because if we look at the history of Vod ou in Haiti, you will find the a nti Vodou Campaign. This was a movement where people were killing others, houngan, mambo, breaking drums, and killing ounsi to establish an evangelism despite the fact that we are also well established in an evangelism Because if you look carefully, before Vodouist s do anything they say go outside H im t han the heavenly God Well I believe in that in general that depends on how you us like t he water you have in your house, in your bathroom. There is hot and cold water, you use hot water when you want hot water and cold water when you need cold water.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 4 Ben: Oke. W elele: Al, Welele soti nan Bene n, on kote Jacmel ki pase tout vil nan semin. Al mwen te sipoze on p Katolik. Ben: A bon, oke. Welele: Mwen te sipoze yon p Katolik, men apre tout istwa nou konnen Nou pa ge n pwoblm ak legliz on kontr se menm bagay yo, se lespri ou ka rele l fason ou vle. Tankou nou konnen andan Vodou gen yon sl lespri, Gran Mt la, epi gen divs kalite don ki manifeste sou divs kalite enji ki viv divs kalite koul ou w nan Vodou a. Ou w wouj, ou w nwa, ou w blan, ou w tout sa. Se yo menm ki detmine, komsi, men tout soti yon sl kote. Ki se papa a ki bay tout kalite don, oswa moun ki pral kase fy pou tt f mal, oswa moun ki pral kase fy po moun ki pral akouche timoun. Nan tout d omn nou konnen Vodou a li menm se yon inivsite ki ouv, ki gen tout sys yo andan l, san nou pa bezwen define. Tankou pa egzanp, si nou pran vv, tout sa vv vle di, tout vv youn apre lt n ap swiv ke, n ap w nou jwenn tout eksplikasyon av menm mou n yo rele sivilizasyon ki te la. K i gentan pyebwa andan Vodou, menm moun nou genyen kounye a. Epi bon mwen leve avk yon p mwen f pi f tan m nan legliz Katolik tou. Ben: M hmm Welele: M kw mwen gen dizan nan vi m, kounye mwen gen trant dezan, mwen kw mwen gen dizan nan vi m depi m pa viv kay Ben: Okay. Wel ele: Well, Welele came from Bene n, a place in Jacmel. I spent most of my life in seminar ies ; I was supposed to become a Catholic priest Ben: Oh okay. Welele: I was supposed to become a Catholic priest but after all of the I did not have a problem with the church, on the contrary they are the same thing, and it is the spirit that you can call what you want For example, we know in Vo dou there is one spirit, th e Gran Mt 2 and there are different types of gifts that are reflected by varying energies and the diverse colors that are seen in Vodou. You see red, black, white, you see all of t hese colors. They decide and are all from the same place father who shares different things or people who pick leaves for headaches or for people who are going into labor. In every domain we know Vodou, it is a university that is open that has all the knowledge in it, without needing to be defined. For ex ample, if we look at the vv and everything they mean, one after the other we will see that we find all the explanations from the same people they called civiliz ilization who were here Who had roots within Vodou and are still the very same people now. Well I w as raised with a priest and I spent most of my life in the Catholic Church. Ben: M hmm Welele: I think I spent ten years of my life now I am 32, I spent ten years of my life living with a priest or nun! 2 Gran Mt
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 5 m o kay p. Ben: Wow! Welele: Sa vle di ou, mwen f tout vi m sa, kay p. Ben: E ou p at rete avk paran ou yo? Welele: Pa vrman, se pa paske paran m p at genyen mwayen pou yo leve m. Epok l legliz Katol ik antre nan peyi a, moun yo t vrman respekte yon p, yon p yon veritab, yon psonaj sa yo rele yon notab, yon saj. Se ke si li te bezwen yon timoun nan fanmi; klkeswa moun ki nan legliz nan, li jis di oke mwen bezwen pitit sa a. Al mwen menm, manman papa te leve legliz la, se p a ki te reveye yo tou, sa ki f mwen tou ft andan legliz la. Mwen ft andan legliz, nan f entvyou pou sa, mwen te sipoze obeyi pou sa. Mwen te sipoze vin p Ben: Wi. Welele: Epi mwen vin kite sa, nou kwaze epi nou re jwenn nou nan menm bagay yo. K ote nou jwenn konprann nou kapab di nou se yon prensip nostik. Ben: Oke. Welele: Paske, nostik nan tout relijyon. Ben: Oke, se konesans. Welele: Se konesans, pwisans wap jwenn nostik nan Vodou, w ap jwenn nostik mason lj w ap jwenn nostik nan Katolik, w ap jwenn nostik nan, nan tout sek yo. Ben: Wow! Welele: This means I spent that much of my life in the houses of priests. Ben: Did you live with your parents? Welele: Not really, this t have the means to raise me. During the time when the Catholic Church entered the country, people truly respected priest s A priest, a genuine person, a person of importance; what they call remarkable, a wise and sensibl e person. If he needed a child from one of the families whether or not in the church he would just say kay I need this child. Well, my mother and father were raised in the church and it was a priest that raised them this is why I was born in ch urch. I was born in the church and we interviewed for th at I was supposed to do th at I was supposed to be come a priest. Ben: Yes Welele: I abandoned th at enc ountered it again and found that it was the same W here we found understanding we could say it was a Gnostic principle Ben: Okay Welele: Because G nostic i s m is in every religion. Ben: Okay, this is knowledge. Welele: This is knowledge, knowing you wil l find G nostic ism in Vodou, M ason ic L odges, Catholicism; you will find it all religions.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 6 Ben: M wi, m wi. Mwen kw sa tou. Welele : Nmal, paske nou se konesans jo n fo di, a po sodi Al, se non fanmi m se Ramon, se Nwel, Ramon Nwel. Men anvan, non apre Ramon Nwel manm a n papa m te ban mwen non fanmi a n Mwen pa gen pwoblm av yo men m vin chwazi yon lt non, ke yo rele non vanyan andan Vodou. Ben: Oke se non v a ny a n ou. Welele : Mwen pa fse manyen yon non vanya n paske sa se pou moun inisye. Ben: Oke Welele: Men s e l m aprann mwen vin konprann poutt kisa mwen te vin chwazi non Welele. Si ou gade ou di We le le sa vle di, li sonnen twa fwa. We le le sa vle di mwen te kapab papa, petit, lespri, se pa sa mwen ye se jis yon non ki vin abite. Ben: Oke. Welele: Sa s e son, epi anpil moun tou, l yo di Welele nan a sosyete sa se tankou yon vye bagay. Men si ou al nan teyolojik, l mo Kretyn se yon vye bagay. Kretyn se tankou ou joure manman ou. Menm jan nan sosyete yo di Welele, yo vin pran mo Kretyn pou svi l km yon moun k ap pi bon svi Bondye. Ben: Oke. Welele: Enbyen pou kisa mwen pa svi ak Welele tou paske yo t ap pale l mal. Se yon Ben: Of course, I believe that too. Welele: This is n ormal because we are knowledge jan fo di, a po sodi Well, my family named me Ramon, my last name is Nwel, Ra mon Nwel B ut before, no after Ramon Nwel, my mother and father gave me the family name I d id not have a problem with them, but I chose another name; this is called a vanyan name 3 in Vodou. Ben: Okay this is your v a ny an name. We the vanya n name because it is for people who are initiated. Ben: Okay Welele: But when I learned I came to understand why I chose the name Welele. If you said We le le this means it resonates three times. We le le th is means I could have said the Father, t he S on, and the Holy Spirit but this is not what I am. It is just a name that I have come to have. Ben: Okay Welele: That is the sound and a lot of people, when t hey say Welele in society it is a bad thing B ut if you research theology you will see the word Christian wa s a bad thing. Christian meant you disrespect ed your mother. Just as in society they say Welele, they took the word Christian and used it to describe a person that is serving God well. Ben: Okay Welele: Well because they were talking bad about it. It is a 3 The non vanyan is sometimes described as a secret ritual name that one receive s within a Vodou society. In the case of Welele Noubout, he uses his non vanyan as his public name. A parallel of this can be found in Islamic naming traditions.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 7 moun ki f sa k ki dwl, sa k ki pi mal. Mwen plis pran Welele pou m svi ave l, ke m ka pote sa k ki bon. Ben: Oke. Welele: Se ki sa ou pral f, paske ni bon ni mal se ki sa l ye? Ni bon ni mal se tou de ki egziste, yo sipoze viv ansanm. Ben: M hmm Welele: Mwen gen dwa f ou byen, menm se yon mal. Pandan mal byen an, ki mal pou ou a, byen pou mwen. Mwen gen dwa f yon byen, se yon mal li ye pou ou, epi byen mal, sa mal pou yon ekip lt. ou poko inisye? Nan kontks kanzo obyen deka a obyen eske se yon posibilite lavni ou? Si se yon posibilite ki wout ou bezwen f pou rive, deside f chwa sa a? Welele: Andan Vodou gen plizy fason moun insiye. Ben: M hmm Welele: Gen moun fk li vin lave tt, gen moun fk li vin kouche f kant jou yo mande andan djv o o andan badji pou l f a n van pou l soti. Men gen de moun ki se, depi nan vant manman yo, sa rele de chwazi. Ben: Wi, wi se sa wi. person who does bad things I mostly chose Welele to use it to do and bring good. Ben: Okay Welele: It is what you are going to do, because bad? Neither good nor bad exists exclusiv ely they are supposed to coexist together. Ben: M hmm Welele: I may do something good but it is actually bad W hile the bad is good w hat is bad for you is good for me. I may do something good but it is bad for you and the good is bad that is bad fo r another group Ben: Okay. You said you you are an initiate or you are not initiated yet? In the kanzo or deka context ? O r is it a possibility in your life? If it is a possibility what route do you need to take to get there to decide to make this dec ision? Welele: Within Vodou there are many ways people are initiated. Ben: M hmm Welele: There are people who must come wash their heads. There are people who must lie down and spend a number of days inside the dj vo or badji 4 before they can leave B ut there are some people who have been chosen since they womb they 4 The djvo is the initiation chamber that only initiates may enter. The badji is synonymous w ith djvo but also seems to have a broader connotation of the Vodou temple, too.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 8 Welele: Mwen t ap pral di sa a. Menm l ou se de chwazi depi nan vant, men gen d prensip andan ritul f aksepte, f ou konfy yo. Pa egzanp, menm l ou se yon insiye depi nan vant, sa a yo rele lave tt, klase tt. Lave tt se tankou sa a yo f nan batm, klase tt se tankou ki jan m ta di klase? Lave tt se di wi mwen aksepte pou yo vin jwenn mwen epi klase tt se youn apre lt km yo vini. Kouman m ka eksplike sa, se tankou ou gen yon wout ki ft p ou dis machine. Ben: Oke Welele: Epi vin genyen san machine ki sipoze pase sou wout sa a. Pou pa gen blokis, kisa ou f kounye a? Se swa ou mete on limy ou fede s iyalizyon oubyen mete yon lapolis pou di avanse, ret kanpe pou mete yon, pou f yon va e byen, e sa ki klase tt. Mwen t ap plis pitou di mwen se yon ministre nan nostik, nan nostik ke antwoj men ki se menm bagay. L ou gade tout lt relijon ki vini, l ou gade andan Vodou ou w tout soti la. Ben: Oke Welele: Tout soti la men e pa kont ke, e gen anpil travay ki ft on men pa on insiye tankou on p Vodou ki gen bagay pou l f. Ben: M hmm. Welele: Epi ou p ap souvan jwenn parey Vodou oubyen on insiye ki pral di ou se on insiye sou on pre Vodou Li pa rete yon sekr li pitou rete konsa a k js. Welele: I was going to say that. Even though you have been chosen since you were in your womb there are p rinciples within the rituals that you have to accept, you must believe For example, when you are an initiate since the womb, this is what they call lave tt klase t t Lave tt means they had a baptism, klase tt how do I say it ? K lase? Lave tt is saying es I accept them coming one after the other as they come. How can I explain this? I t is like having a road that was made for ten cars. Ben: Okay Welele: And then there are a hundred cars that a re trying to pass on th e road. How do you prevent blo ckages ? W hat wo uld you do? You either put a light or a police man to help direct the cars, to tell them when to go, when to stop. This is for their benefit, t his is what you call klase tt I would prefer to say I am a ministe r of G nostic ism in the Gnostic ke antw oj but this is the same thing. When you look at where all the other religions came from when you look inside Vodou you see that they all came from it. Ben: Okay Welele: Every one of them came from it. There is a lot of work that was done honorably although I am not an initiate, like a priest in Vodou who ha s things he must do Ben: M hmm Welele: And you will not often find someone who practices Vodou or an initiate of Vodou who is open about it It a secret they just prefer to keep it behind closed doors.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 9 Ben: Oke. Welele: Li pi saj km si ke, si l gen pwoblm nou la. Sak f ou w andan Vodou moun yo chante plis pou yo pale a moun. Ben: M hmm Welele: Pa egzanp, neg la gen dwa di ou nan Vodou, gen an gwo chante Vodou mwen renmen anpil ki di. Nou p ap fache avk pech lat. Pech lat se, Voduizan rele sa, se moun vivan. Paske gen on jou ya bezwen ou. (chante) M p ap fache avk pech lat paske gen jou y a bezwen ou. Simity lakwa gen yo n tan, y a bay yo bo dy nou. Sa vle di, nou pa gen po u nou fache avk pesn moun paske si moun sa gen bezwen nou, nou oblije al bal svis. Ou pa bezwen konnen si l se Katolik, si l Pwotestan, oubyen si l masisi o madivin sa pa regade nou, li gen vi imen Bondye andan l. Nou gen po f l konekte avel pou l rive kote li dwe rive ale. Sa li f ak k l se bagay ki gade l. Ben: Oke, se sa. Man: Pa egazanp Ben: On ti moman (N ou te rete pou on ti moman paske van an t ap vante ) Mwen menm se on fanatic Boukman eksperyans depi ane kantvindis. Natirlman m ap swiv jaz tankou Jah Nesta, e mwen te etidye fenomn Rasta nan peyi Jamayik depi ventan nan lavi mwen. Mwen ta renmen konnen ki jan V odou avk Rasta k ontre an Ayiti. Paske se an Miami tou paske male nan anpil peristil mwen w anpil drd A npil Rasta men ki gen on baz Ben: Okay Welele: It is more considerate that way; if we are here. This is why you s ee people singing a lot to talk to people with in Vodou. Ben: M hmm Welele: For example a man may tell you in Vodou, there is a well known Vodou song I like a lot. We will not be upset with the sinners of the earth. Sinners of the e arth, Vodouists call them living people. Because there will be a day they will need you. (Si ng s) I will not be upset with the sinners of the Earth because there will be a day when they need you. The cross of the cemetery is coming, and they will make them kiss our This means, because if th at person need us we have to help th are Catholics, Protestant, gay or lesbian, this does not concern you. They have a human life from God inside of them. We have to make them connect so they are able to reach whe re they are supposed to reach. What t hey do with their body concerns only them. Ben: Okay. Ben: A moment please ( We took a little break because it was very windy ) I have been a fan of the Boukman Experience since 1990. Naturally, I have been following bands like Jah N e sta and I have studied the phenomenon of Rasta in Jamaica since I was 20 I would like to know how Vodou and Rasta meet in Haiti B ecause in Miami in every peristil I see a lot of dreads. A lot of Rastas have a solid base in Vodou.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 10 solid nan Vodou. Welele: Ou byen di l wi. Ou di Rasta, drd Ben: M hmm Welele: Men nan langage pa Vodou yo rele sa zing. Ben: Zing! Oke mwen te tande mo sa a deja. Welele: La fanmi Zing a se de moun tankou konsa (li montre dread li), ki f dr ead net. Men se pa yo ki f l, yo ft konsa. Ben: Oke, se sa. Welele: Sa vle di anvan men m Rasta, Calacia e ou gen Bob Marley. S i ou al nan z n Sen Rafa y l, mwen pa konnen pou kounye a moun sa yo te viv Degwot, e yo pa desann nan vil. Ben: Se sa Wele le: Simbi Ben: Oke Welele: Sa vle di, l yo di Simbi Anvezo ki nan dlo se Simbi Konga Zinga yo sa yo rele zing dread yo, yo menm viv an gwt jis ka pre sa nan zon Sen Rafael la, nan zon Donon w ap jwenn Dezil ki t e egziste toujou. Ben: A bon li viv nan gw t. Welele: Li viv nan gwt Swa yo gen ki viv nan gwt oubyen genyen ki desann nan anba la vil. Genyen sa a yo ki pa nan sivilizasyon modn. Nan sense e yo moute machin yo Welele: You said it well. You sa y Rasta, dread. Ben: M hmm Welele: In the Vodou language, we call it zing Ben: Zing Okay, I heard this word before. Welele: The family of Zing a is composed of people like this (he shows his dreads), who have dread s. B ut they are not th e ones who did it, they were born with it. Welele: This means before even Rasta, Calacia you had Bob Marley. If you go to the area those people live in caves down to the city Welele: Simbi Ben: Okay Welele: This means, when they say Simbi Andezo who i Konga The Zinga, the ones who call zing dreads, t hey live in caves they still li ve in the area of Saint Rafael, in the neighborhood Donon you will find Dezil that still exists. Ben: Oh okay they live in caves Welele: They live in caves They may live in caves or there are some who move to the city. There are some who are not a part of modern civilization I n a sense they ride cars, they use
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 11 pale nan miko. Yo pa gen pwoblm avk sivilizasyon men yo genyen pwop sivi lizasyon pa a yo ki se antik kote soti. Men sou a l prann nan zon kote nan sid, kote mwen menm soti, egzakteman yo prske pa rete paske w ap jwenn granmoun ki ka sonje l. Yo rele moun sa yo mt Ginen fanm yo rele yo metrs Ginen. Ben : Oke Mt Ginen. W elele: Mt Ginen Ben: Mt Ginen moun ki gen dread oubyen z ing. Welele: Zing se nan zon kote m ap di ou nan Sen Rafa yl, nan n Me n nan Sid Deso yo rele moun sa yo metrs, mt Ginen. Ki jan yo di moun sa yo se de moun ki rete nan d y raje poutt yo re te nan Degwot tou. Ben: Mhmm. Welele: Yon nan gwo pwoblm ki genyen isit menm di se relijyon. Konesans se pa nan liv, li chita vrman. Ben: Oke Welele: Invisite Vodou se pa nan liv li ye. Tankou l ou pran invisi te Katolik yo, nan teyoloji, on ng vin mason, on ng vin p on ng vin past w a l f yon etid Ben: M hmm Welele: Nan l iv, men nan Vodou etid la pa nan liv son koneksyon ou jwenn nan invsite revelasyon, ki nan la B ib ; tou nan Revelasyon. Pierre te f larevelasyon, Jezi te microphones. They do not have a problem with civilization but they have their own civilization which is the ancient place I am from. But i f you go to the neighborhoo d in the S outh, where I am from they are almost gone but you might fi nd old peo ple who still remember it. They call these people the master s of Ginen the women are called the mistress es of Ginen Ben: Okay, masters of Ginen Welele: Master of Ginen Ben: The master s of Ginen people with dreads or z ing Welele: Zing is in the ar ea I am telling you about, in Saint Rafael in the N orth B ut in the S outh, Deso they call those people mistresses and masters of Gine Th e way they can tell these people apart is the fact that they live behind a big field and in Degwot Ben: Mhmm. Welel e: One of the biggest problems we have a religion. Knowledge is not in books, it is real Ben: Okay Welele: Vodou u niversity is not in books. For instance when you are in classes at a Catholic u niversi ty, in theology, and later become a mason, a priest, or pastor they are learning Ben: M hmm Welele: In books, but in Vodou the studying is not in books it is a connection you find in the university of r ev elations, which is also in the B ible; the book of
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 12 w t l bagay, se nan menm ki egziste toujou. Jezi te leve la m, wap jwenn sa nan Vodou a y ap leve m. Ben: Wi wi menm se ak travaj la p a wl, se mo, se oral. Welele: Wi wi a l Rasta li vin pa gen pwoblm paske ki sa yo vin di Ras ta. Se Ras de Zetwal, la fanmi Z etwal, la Z etwal de David N an etwal gen lavi. Nou menm si nou gade andan ou jwenn dey etwal tou ki pa deranje anyen. Etwal vin la, l wa te mare pou l te jwenn Jezi. Ki sa li swiv? S e l zetwal. L twa mag, ansan ak m i. Se te zetwal la nou pa gen pwoblm ak sa Rasta epi Zinga, Zinge se non sa yo nou vin genyen isit a. Epi km ou te pale Boukman se petit Boukman ki te f Zing eksperyans an kontre di Boukman eksperyans li f Zing eksperyans. Ti Paul petit L L. Ben : Oke, Zing eksperyans! Welele: Zing eksperyans! Eksperyans dread. Boukman kite liv la nan men li. Ben: Boukman Dutty Welele: Boukman Dutty Boukman eksperyans lt prive eksperyans epi Zing eksperyans, eksperyans djaz la. Ben: Oke, djaz la bon? W Ben: Y ap f ef Revelations. Peter had a revelation, Jesus saw such things and this is what still exist s Jesus raised the dead, you will find this in Vodou; they raise the dead. Ben: Yes, even with the work of words it is words, it i s oral. Welele: Yes, well Rast because those came to say Ras ta. They are from a race of stars, Zetwal family, t h e star of David. In stars there is lif e. If we look inside star appeared when the King wanted to find Je sus. What did he follow? He followed the star. When the three wise men were coming to find Jesus bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they too followed that star. If it is the star, we do not have a problem with that, Rasta or Zinga. Zinga is a name that they have been given here. S ince you talked about Boukman it is his child that created the Zing Experience instead of Boukman Experience H e created t he Zing Experience, Little Pauk the child of L L 5 Ben: Okay, Zing Experience! Welele: Zi ng Experience! Dread s experience. Boukman left the book with him. Ben: Boukman Dutty Welele: Boukman Dutty Boukman Experience, other pri vate experiences, and the Zing E xperience, E xperience the Band Ben: Okay, is the band good? Ben: They are doing their best 5 L L is a member of Boukman Eksperyans.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 13 Welele : Y ap f ef km gen k k jou mwen pa tande yo mwen pa kon n kisa yo f. Ou konnen depi li te marye, ou gen madam, pitit. Tankou Vodou di a l man de chanjman Ben: Krey l man de chanjman. Kisa sa vle di? Wel ele : Krey l mand e chanjman, se e poukisa yon antite tankou Vodou ki f yon gwo batay pou retir e chenn nan pye, retir e chenn nan men. Mwen di chenn nan men paske chenn nan, nan tt ou. Se pi gwo batay sa pou nou f zanset nou yo te f gwo batay pou retir e c henn nan e sa ki vin paret konfizyon, ke f yo di Ayisien pa ka gen tt ansanm. Moun yo pa konprann se yon baz espirityl ki poko chita vrman. Ki j an mwen ka esplike sa? K i jan nou ka di lespri pou moun konprann? Kote nan pale gen demare radyo ak televizy on k ap pase a la fwa. Ben: M hmm Welele: Pou m kapte on radyo, on televizyon sa, f m genyen yon resept radyo oubyen resept televizyon. Mete l la mwen kapte l, kounye a la si gen demilye on kap pase sou frekan radyo sa m vle kapte. Kisa pou f pou ka kapte l byen, kounye a mwen mete yon antn ki pi moute pou kapte l. Se pwoblm ki vin koz ou w Ayisien ak Ayisien frappe yon ak lt paske yo pa konprann se fwotman de enji sa ki f m di ou l ou gen yon wout ki ft p ou dis machin ou gen san machin pou l i k ap pase sou li ... ki sa k pase, blokis. Be n: M hmm Welele: Ou debloke sa kounye a sa pou f? Welele: They are doing their best but it has what they are doing now. When you are married, have a wife and children things change. As Vodou says, Kreyl mande ey l mande th at mean? We l requires change is why something such as Vodou had a big battle to free the chains from our hands and feet I said the chains on our hands because the chain it is in your mind This is the bigge st battle for us our ancestors battled to remove the chains from our minds. This is what causes confusion and why it is said that Haitians understand that this is a spiritual base that How do I explain this? H ow do we say spirit so people understand? Where the talking has stopped, the radio and the television are on all the time. Ben: M hmm Welele: For me to receive the signals of radio and t elevision, I must have a radio receptor or television rece ptor Put them there and I capture them now there are two million signals on the same frequency of the people I want to receive What can I do to really receive them ? N ow I put up the highest antenna to receive them This issue causes Haitians to disagree with each other because an energy like that of a road for 10 cars with 100 cars using it, what happens, a traffic jam Ben: M hmm Welele: You unblock this and now what do
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 14 Swa ou mete on polis oubyen on mete on siyal ke f yo f adwat, agoch, vini. Kounye a ou w tout moun ap batay ak lt yo pa konprann ou ka poze tt ou kesyo n. Kouman f on pep pa konprann yo se premye pep lwa, yo sou fatra, yo sou lt bagay. Se menm sa m ap di ou an, chenn nan soti nan men vizyl mwen soti nan pye vizyl vin nan tt mwen. E nou menm nou gen gwo travay sa pou n ou f vrman, men ki n ap f l p aske gen on epok nou pa t menm vle bat Vodou. Gen yon epok nou pa t ka vin la cheche vin konn kisa Vodou a ye. Se l ou w travay la ap ft, li gen on tan pou chak bagay. Ben: M hmm Welele: Sa ke kisa mwen menm preche se mwen jwenn moun ki vrman konne n kouman pou yo klase sa, pou nou rive klase se yo vre pou nou pa gen tout pwoblm sa yo nou gen na sosyete. L ou gade Vodou an jeneral si moun yo te gen on prensip, sou gade li ki jan yo salye lwa yo, youn a pre lt. Yon prensip, yo gen yo n prensip nan so syete. Ben: A wi. Welele : Voduizan konnen li pa kanpe machin li ne n pt ki jan. Gen prensip nan Vodou ki di l, li pa ka kanpe l nept ki jan nept kote pa t ap gen blokis nan lari a. Se ke tout bagay yo la e si ou pran tout pwovb Ayisy en ki soti andan V odou a ank, se tout ki rich s ke nou genyen pou nou rekonstwi yon lt nasyon, pou nou konnen plas nou. Km pou leve kanpe sa yo rele konsyans nan etap si kanalis, si kanalis si ou poko la sa vle di ou poko la di tou. Ben: M hmm you do? You can have an officer or a sign th at direct s the cars right, left, straight Now you see everyone arguing with others who they you can ask yourself why T hey were the people around trash and they are around other things. This is what u, the chain s are no longer on their han ds but in the ir minds. We have a lot of work to do but I truly believe we will do it because there was a time when we did not want Vodou. There was a time where you could not c ome here to learn about Vodou. It is whe n you see the work being done you realize that there is a time for everything. Ben: M hmm Welele: This is what I preach, if I find someone who truly knows how to classify this, to reach this level we c an not have all the problems we have in our society. When you look at Vodou in general, to see if they have principles you look at how they greet the spirits, one after the other. A principle, they have a principle in the society. Ben: Oh yes. way they want Th ere are principles in Vodou that say a Vod ouist cannot stop anywhere w here they would be blocking th e road. It is like everything here, if you take all the Haitian proverbs that came from Vodou, they are the wealth we have to reconstruct another nation, so we know our place. Well, to make mention of what they call conscious ness in the steps of psychoanalysis; psycoanalysis means if you are not here yet, you are not here at all. Ben: M hmm
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 15 Welele: Fk ou konnen pas ke konsyan s se konsyans de bagay. Pou konsyans se ke de cho yo ye men pou jwenn bagay kan menm, ou poko rive la. Mwen te kw nan rive la on jou, paske menm paw l sa k ap pale kounye a p at janm kon n pale. Ben: Oke, e l wap pale di pa egzanp Rasta Jamayi ken, sa ki f mwen kirye se konnen si ou ta jwenn tankou an kominote Rasta isit, an Ayiti? Welele: Ki solid ? Ben: Pa slman solid, men ki reklame Hayl Selasi... Welele : Km ? Ben: Km sov, km wa km reprezantasyon kwayans Rasta? On seri de moun ki swiv filozofi vejetaryen moun ki pa menm manje sl, moun ki pa bw alkl tankou on Rasta fran. Welele: Fran Ben: Eske sa eg z i ste isit, tankou li eg z iste an Afrik di Sid ? Ben: Mwen te konnen anpil Rasta nan Afrik di Sid... Welele: Wi, sa egziste isit. W ap jwenn menm ganizasyon Rasta isit ki pa anpil men, mwen te jis vle f diferans pou ou avk Rasta ki soti Jamayik de Haili Selassie I Ben: Wi se sa a. Welele: You must know because consciousness is consciousn e ss of th ings. To be cons cious they have to be warm hearted but to find things anyways, you did not get there yet. I believed in th is dream because the same saying that is being talked about has never used to be talked about before. Ben: Okay, when you are talking about for example Jamaican Rastas, I am curious to learn if there are places in Haiti where you will find Rasta communities? Welele: That are unified ? Ben: Not just solidified, but also claims Haili Selassie Welele: As? Ben: As savior, as a king as a representation of Rasta heritage? There a re certain people who are vegetarian, there a re they are pure Rasta s Welele: Pure Ben: Does this exist here like it ex ists in the South Africa ? Welele: Ye s Ben : I knew a lot of Rastas in South Africa... Welele: Yes, that happens here. You find Rasta organizations that are not very much but I just wanted to show you the difference from Rastas from Jamaica who follow Highly Calacia.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 16 Welele: Avk si yon moun w drd sa nou menm nou rele Zing, ki gen koneksyon di rkt avk Simbi Andezo. Ben: Se sa. Welele: Men gen kot e mwen ale, tankou nan Basin Zim avk tout drd mwen epi l m leve nan tout basin a n Vrman gen kk ng (?) konsa anba dlo vre, ki soti anba dlo vrman. Genyen men m Basin Zing se lakay yo, se D Zing, drd kmsi d y. Si nou al nan Bib la, kman se Samson. Ben: Se sa tou, se sa, sa egziste tou nan kilti sa yo Welele: Ou jwenn gen anpil Rasta men an isit, ki kw nan Haile Salassie I Mwe n menm mwen konprann yo nan yon sans paske Ewp ki pote Jezi Kri blan an, nou menm nou konnen li antre lojik imen, nan moun moun pa ni nwa ni blan on moun. Paske si ou pike m, ou pike m se san. Ben : Se sa, wi se sa. Welele: Nou genyen yon pwen da rive k i kom li gen yon pwen fini ki koman. Nou soti andan vant manman nou menm jan nap tounen nan te ng nou. Se ke nou genyen yon obligasyon pou nou met tt nou ansanm pou nou f tel bagay ansanm. Kisa mwen vin konprann li vin tande yo, si Ewpeyen vin pote Je zi Kri blan la epi se black nou y e menm epi nou gen Jezi Kri blac k nou reprezante pa Highly Calace. Ben: Wi se sa se sa. Welele: L ou swiv, kisa tout bagay Jezi t ap Welele: And if someone see dreads, what we call Z ing that have a direct connection with Simbi Andenzo. Welele: There are places I went, like Basin Zin, with my dreads and when I emerge d from the water people said him Really there are people l ike that under the water. They come from under the water. The re is even Basin Zin it is their D Zing, dreads are starting to be behind. If we go to the B ible, this would be Samson. Ben: That t oo this exists also in those cultures. Welele: You find, there are a lot of Rastas here who believe in Haile Salassie I I understand them in th e sense that Europeans brought a white Jesus Christ; w e know it through human logic about people, a person is not white or black they are just a person. If you poke a person you will see blood. Ben: Yes, yes. Welele: We have songs with a purpose and some of these songs can be comedic. We womb The same way we came from the dirt we will re turn back to the dirt. It is like we have an obligation to work together to do things together. I came to understand that people hear them. If the Europeans brought a white Jesus Christ and we are black then we must have a black Jesus Christ which is repr esented by Haile Selassie Welele: When you follow this, what was
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 17 di. Jezi nan mitan tout moun, swiv ke mwen te ka genyen yon ti pwoblm ki pa yon ti p woblm men pou tt se Haile Selassie yo bay sl man pou reprezante Jezi paske yo menm tou se Jezi andan Jezi, menm jan nan Vodou nou di nou se Bondye andan Bondye. Si nou se pitit Bondye, nou se Bondye. Kounye a se ki jan mwen pral f mwen viv Bondye sa a, ki kreye pye bwa sa a, ki kreye tout sa a nou w bl ki p w p, kisa ou pral f kounye a paske ou pa kab kreye pye bwa a, kreye sa. Men ki jan ou pral f pou viv ou pou montre s ak andan an. Swa pou nan amoni ak pye bwa a pou pa ko upe l swa pou nan amoni av k rivy paske li gen ti pwason, li gen tout sa ki egziste pou yo viv tou. Pa egzanp mwen konprann, ng yo pa manje vyann, bt yo nou pa gen pouwva so u yo konsa vrman yo soti yo ft m enm jan avk nou y ap mouri menm jan avk nou. Si nou gade byen yo soti andan pousy epi y ap tounen andan pousy si mwen pousy. Gen l nan tanp nou rive a nou gade, epi tou nou menm ak animal la. Nou se animal nan on lt sans. Ben: Wi, se yon lide ki baze nan bon jan refleksyon. Welele: Refleksyon Ben: E rasyonalite, e pou koze Jacmel, ou di nou ou ft Jacmel. Nou menm nan achiv Vodou nou ta renmen vizite vil sa a. Pale nou de Vodou Jacmel, eske ou konnen l e ki jan ou ta ka esplike nou menm? Welele: Vodou Jacmel sa ou ka konprann men ki difran. Mwen t ap pito di nan les id e nan len Ben: Oke Welele: Se ntm an difran, premiye man se Jesus saying? Je sus is in everyone. I found small problem because only Haile Selassie represents Jesus because they too ar e Jesus within Jesus. In Vodou we say there is a God God this Godliness. God created the trees, he created every beautiful thing that we see; what will you do now ? B ecause you can cut the tree, God created it. How are you goin g to E ither you are in harmony with the trees so you river because it has fish and other livings thing that were mean t to live. For example, I understand there a re meat. W animals, they came and were made the same way we were and they will die like we die. If you really look they came from dirt and they will return to the dirt as I do We will look and see that we are the same as animals. We are animals in another sense. Ben: Yes, this idea is based on thorough reflection. Welele: Reflection Ben: And rationality, and for things about Jacmel, you said you were bo rn in Jacmel. We, from the Vodou A rchive, would like to visit tha s city. Tell us about Vodou in Jacmel, do you know about it and how can you explain it to us? Welele: There is Vodou in Jacmel that you can understand but it is different. I prefer to talk a bout South Elando, in the city. Ben: Okay Welele: They are completely different, first
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 18 pa menm fason moun yo danse, se pa menm fason yo salye lwa yo. Anpil lwa se pa menm, yo genyen isit ou jwenn Bade menm nan Lisid ou p ap jwenn Bade, w ap jwenn Ogou, w ap jwenn Agwe o u p ap jwenn Manbo Inan nan sids, nan l isid menm. Ben: Oke Welele: Ou p ap jwenn, gen le bagay ki kapab pote gen bagya ki tre tre enteresan. Ou gen dwa rive isit ou jwenn Ogou Wouj enpitou lt kote ou ka rive ou jwenn li woz. Ben: Ogou Woz, a bon. Welele: Men sa a depann sa yo re le chan Manyetis. Ben: Oke Welele: Si chan manyetis sa mande anpil enji li nmal li wouj menm si gen lt kote li kalm, gen kote w ale ou jwenn Ogou Bade tir manchet li batay, li tire enpe. Gen lt kote li part li sal ye tout moun li bo tout moun li kontan. Ben: Oke oke li gen yon lt jan Welele: Men sa depann de chan manyetis ki la. Kiyes pitit ki la ki gen batay pou l al s ove pitit li paske li sou batay ? Se de prensip difran, se menm jan w ap jwenn seri di m, ge n seri di moun yo f dan s le m, yo pa f Gede dan s le n , yo f seremoni yanm Ou jwenn Gede nan Lw s nan Sid lwes nan zn sa yo. Epi tout rit yo pa menm jan an ou ka swiv sa a w al nan Sidel ou ka jwenn ou mwen senk ak sis tanbou. E pa bo isit ou jwenn t wa tanbou, nan Soukri ou jwenn de tanbou nan lt zn yo jwenn nan tout. Yo gen the spirits are not the same Y ou may find Bad there but in the S outh you will not find Bad You will find Ogou and Agwe but you w ill not find Manbo Inan in the south east, in the s outh at all. Ben: Okay Welele: [There are some things] y find, there are things you will find and there are some things that are really inte resting. You may arrive here an d find Ogou Wouj (red) and find another place where he is pink. B e n: Ogou Woz (pink), okay Welele: But th at depend s o n what they call the magnetic field. Ben: Okay Welele: If the magnetic field requires a lot of energy but there are other places where it is calm. There are places where Ogou Bad will swing his machete and there are other places where he arrives and greets everyone with kisses and he is happy. Ben: Okay, he has another aspect to him. W elele: But this depends on the magnetic field that is here. Wh ose child is here who has to battle to save their chi ldren because he wants to fight? These are two different principles, the same way you find certain words, there are certain words said to those who are perform ing a dance for the dead, they in the north the dance of the of the dead, they have a yanm ceremony. You find Gede in the West, and S outhwest of these neighborhoods. Every rite is the same, you can practice thi s and go to
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 19 plizye rit yo jwenn, ou pa jwenn Yanvalou la, ou pa jwenn Ibo la, ou pa jwenn Petwo la. Ben: Se vre isit se Dahomen? Welele: Se Dahomen, Nago, Rada. Men l ou di Rada se k d ki mache avk tout tanbou. Ben: Se sa Welele: A l Jacmel w ap jwenn anpil koul epi sa yo ka touve ou p ap jwenn vrman, li pa fasil pou jwenn sak sakre, bagay vin plis opera Ben: A bon, sak f sa a? Welele: Sa k f sa a? E n se menm jan ou te ka poze m kesyon poutt k isa poutt pi fo chante yo se d y pwen. Se kmsi moun yo gen yon kont y ap rann, se kmsi yo gen yon pwoblm a on moun, non. Men pa bliye val tan yo f pou yo rekonet sosyete sa a tankou sosyete Ayisien, pa bliye sa ki te ft pou y o te elimine Vodou a. Si nou pran nan milnfsanswasant, se rejete moun sa yo sere vye bagay, se sa ki vin koz yo p ouve vant yo ba ou. Oke kisa sa a ou te bezwenn men m ba ou l, demen ou gen dwa w moun dey a ki vin la k ap vin sou moun. An ou bezwenn t el bagay, ou bezwenn foto m e mwen kanpe mwen poste li pran foto m. Li konnen nan kisa ou ye epi, son fason li ironik. Ben: Mhmm. the S outh and find they use six drums, over here you find three drums, in Soukri you find two drums and you find drummers in other neighborhoods. There are plenty of rhythms Petwo here. Ben: This is true, here is Dahomey? and Rada. B ut when you say Rada it is a rope that comes with all drums. Ben: It is. Welele: Well in Jacmel you will find a lot of color and you will find things that are rarely found. It is not easy to find sacred things, things become very operatic Ben: Why is this? Welele: Why is this ? I t is the same way you could ask me questions. This is why most of the songs are seeking out the pwen people have a problem that they were discussing but thi s is not it. forget the amount of time it took for them to recognize what was done to try to eliminate Vodou. If we look at 196 0, there was the rejection movement the people who hid things, this caused them to fear being open with others. Okay, [they say,] what do you want me to give to you, and then tomorrow you may see that person and they may come to you again pretending that they are meeting you for the first time. Oh you need this, you need a pictur e and I will stand and pose for a picture. He knows in an ironic way. Ben: Mhmm.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 20 Welele: A se sa a ou bezwenn, se menm jan sou ga de on seremoni k ap ft la, se pa tout seremoni yo kite ou fime gen yon kot e ki rezve espesyalman pou moun ki insiye se priy le ye pa gen kamera pa gen anyen la, yo fmen tout pt epi ou pa konn sak ka pase andan. Ben: W i, se sa a Welele: Se sakre. Ben: Wi mwen te w sa a paske mwen te mache andan avk kamera moun mande mwe n soti. Welele: Ya Ben: Ou te w sa ? Welele: Ya, se sa a. Epi ou p ap jwenn dey lakou tankou ou jwenn nan Gonavies, ou jwenn Soukri, Badjo, Souvnans. Pa genyen de lakou f ki gen dey yo limen tankou twa lakou sa yo men gen lt zon ki vrman f tankou l yo pale de lankou Real. Ou jwenn gen de lakou an jeneral swa nan Jeremi o nan Belans. Ben: Oke, ki jan lakou sa vin plis baze nan dezym kote se fanmi ki al pi lwen ave l ? Welele: Pa fseman paske pa bliye Vodou se invsl. Sa ke si l, l i nmal pou gon yon fs Dahomen oubyen Dereyal, se te wayote, oubyen Kongo se sa ki f ou jwenn plizy rit Kongo. Kongo yo jwe nan Soukri se pa menm Kongo sa a yo yo jwe nan Potoprans ditou, se pa men Kongo sa yo jwe Okay de fon menm. Pa egzanp mwen pral di o u, nan Soukri yo f (Pa pi di tan, m pa pi di tan pi) nan Potoprans yo f ( Pim pim pa, pim pa da pa da tim) sa se dezym Kongo on twaz y m Kongo ou jwenn Welele: Oh this is what you want, this is how you see a ceremony being conduct ed. Not every ceremony will allow you to film. There are some plac es that are especially cautious for the initiates and they are private so cameras are not allowed, they close all the doors Welele: This is a secret Ben: Yes, I saw that because I went inside with the camera and people ask ed me to leave. Welele: Yes Ben: Did you see this? A nd you will not find any communities like th os e of Gona ves, Soukri, Badjo and Souvnans. There are no other communities as knowledgeable as these communities but there are other communities that are truly talented like the community of Dereyal You find there are communities in general in Jeremi or Belan d Ben: Okay, how do these community become established in a second location, is it family that moved away? Welele: Not necessarily because don t forget Vodou is universal If it is normal to have a Dahomian or a Dereyal, kingdom s or Congo this is why you find several Congo rites. Congo rites are found in Soukri but it is not the same rhythm you would find in Port Au Pr ince that s the second Congo rhythm, or a third in Okay (He then makes the sound of each Congo drum played in different cities) Do you understand?
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 21 nan Ok ay (Li bi dim pidi pa pi tim pit pa ) Ou konprann? Ben: Uh huh Welele: Se nan menm chan enji yo tou ki fs manye ti, ki la l bezwenn. Eske se yon enji tou wouj dif oubyen on enji ba oubyen ki byen kalm, dous pou kalme ? Ben: Woz la? Welele: Sa pral depann ki kote ak chak moun men si chak pwenn Ta nkou legliz Katolik f l yo gen yon chap l o pawas klkeswa kote sou la te pou yo. Welele: Soukri Ben: Soukri, l toujou gen eleman rekonan sa. Welele: M wi, yo gen pwen kome, Kongo. Ben: Tankou lwa Kongo yo? Welele: Lwa Kongo yo se lwa ki renmen larejwisa ns, ki la pou fe te Tankou mwen di ou sa depan de ki sa chan de enji bezwen men yo konekte menm kote paske nan peyi Kongo, on peyi tankou Ayiti ou jwenn yon pil depatman an dan li men nan Kongo gen pil lt depatman yo tou. Ben: Uh huh Welele: Se to u jou menm Kongo a. Pa eg zanp sou l al Jacmel, w al Okay, w al Okap se Ayiti, se tonjou menm Ayisien. Ayi sien Okap, ki K apwa Ayisien ki Jakmel yen. Ben: Uh huh Welele: It is in the same field of energy also is the magnetic force that is there when needed. Is it a red energy, or a low energy, or calm or sweet energy to calm ? Ben: The pink one? Welele: That depends on each person but that is the point For example, the Catholic Church buil ds a chapel or church wherever they feel necessary in the world. Ben: Congo Les Caye s or Congo Welele: Soukri Be n: Soukri, it always has a recognizeable element in it? Welele: Yes, they have common points Congo Ben: Like the Congo spirits ? Welele: The Congo spirits are spirits like joyfulness, they are here to party For instance, it depends on what the field of energy needs but they are connected because in Congo a country like Haiti you find a lot of departments within it but Congo has a lot of other departments, too Ben: Uh huh Welele: It is always the same Congo. Fo r example if you go to Jacmel, Les Cayes and Cap Hatien they are in Haiti, they are still Haitian. They are residents of that city.
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 22 Ben: Welele: Karakt local, li pran pwodi milye ak Ben: Oke, wi se sa. Epi p ett pou mande yon deny k esyon: Ki jan ou w lavi Vodou? Welele: Enbyen lavi Vodou se yon fiti e jwa. Chanje mwen toujou di anvin moun sou la te sou on fiti risk. Ben: Hmm Welele: Fiti a riske. A nbyen Vodou ki se lespri ki nan pyebwa a, gade jan pyebwa a kontan men si se pa mw en menm ou menm ki vin deranje l, koupe l lap f de milya. Se sa f mwen te di ou nou se Bondye nan Bondye. Kisa nou pral f pou viv sa, paske se Bondye ki kreye sa a. Si l kreye sa li gen nesesite l poukisa pou nou l detri l. Sa ke pou epi si ou gade byen ane 1960 sou Lesko sou Pe t y on mouvman rejete. Oke? T anbou se te on enstriman yo te di djab, anbyen menm moun ki te di tanbou djab nan legliz Pwotestan nan legliz Katolik you gen tanbou kounye a. Ben: Mwen te w sa a nan legliz Katolik an Ayiti. Welel Ben: L ap antre lakay yo Welele: Se lespri lespri pa ka dispart. Kisa ki lespri, ki f ou pa ka w l, ou poko pare. Lespri se ki sa l li ye se, moun maty fizik oubyen sa yo rele moun ap oub yen sikolojik, moun ft de maty e de nanm, maty se sa m ka touche am se sa f m ap pale avk ou, gen de milye bagay nan kesyon ou poze mwen la. Nan de milye kesyon ou chwazi youn, menm Ben: Yes, local characteristic s... Welele: Lo cal characteristics, he or she takes the pr oduct of the local environment nd perhaps a final question: joy. Remember I al ways say the life of people on e arth is a future at risk Ben: Hmm Welele: The future is a risk. W ell Vodou is like a sprit that is in a tree, look at how the tree is happy but if the tree or cut it, it will last for two billion years This is why I said we are God within God. It is what we do with this life becaus e God created it. If he created it then it must have a purpose Then why would we destroy it? This is why if you look at 1960 under Lesco t u nder Pe t y on, it was the rejection movement. Okay? D rums were inst ruments that were said to be demonic and the same peo ple who said drums were demonic now have drums in Protestant and Catholic churches. Ben: I saw this when I visited a Catholic church in Haiti. Ben: It is entering their homes You do ready What is a spirit? A person, physical matter or what the y call people or a psychological person made of physical or spiritual matter. Nanm is what hands can touch, what makes me able to talk to you. There are tw o million questions you can ask
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 23 m pa konnen de milye lt kesyons yo ki sa yo ye, se lespri a. Ki t ou ale, l ap toujou egziste epi mwen qwe se on jwa apre lo ntan e mwen pa konnen sou f B ib la sa a yo nfan pwodi g Ben: Wi wi m konnen Bib la tre byen Welele: Tre byen, enbyen enfan pwodi S ou gade nan Soukri, gen ekip moun ki te nan p ki vini nan peristil se l pou w enfan pwodi, l ou ale w ap tounen. Ou jwenn anpil past ki vini houngan. Ben: Se vre? Welele: Men wi. Ben: Oke Welele: Ou vin jwenn gen de legliz Pwotestans menm ki bati on peristil kounye a mwen k ap bo ou youn na n eksperyans ki nan Delma, tran twa ; Enperatris ki vin nan Soukri bo lakay li, kote rete nan Delma te gen yo legliz Pwotestans ki enpeche yo, epi legliz sa vin transfme vin on peristil, yo achte, legliz la vin tounen on peristil. Ben: Oke Welele: Sa se kmsi, se espwa pou Vodou mwen kw epi l ou gade b yen nan jenerasyon nan fiti k ap moute nan lakou epi gen on seri moun ki lev e nan Vodou yo bay timoun plas yo ; tab l zanj. Sa vle di jenerasyon Vodou toujou ft e se youn yon nan relijyon kote yo bay timoun nan plas andan Vodou nan seremoni yo pral f pou T i L zanj mwen pa kon n ki jou li ye me and in that two million you chose one and two million questions, this is the spirit. Even if you die, it will always exist and I believe it is joy after a long time ib le, what they call the prodigal son. Ben: Yes, I know the B ible very well. Welele: Good, the prodigal son. If you look at Soukr i there are some people who were priest s but came to the peristil this is whe n you see the prodigal son, when you leave and you come back. You find many pa stors who are now Vodou priests. Ben: Really? Welele: Of course Ben: Okay Welele: You may find there are some Protestan t churches that are now Vodou temples I will give you an example now, about one of m y experiences in Delma w ith 33 ; the Emperess who came from Soukri. They lived in Delma s and there was a Protestant church that was harassing them and now this church has transformed into a Vodou temple They bought the church and turned it into a peristil. Ben: Okay Welele: I believe t his can be viewed as hope for Vodou. When you really look at the new generation, the future that is growing up in the community there are certain people who were raised with Vodou and the ir children replace them, the table for little angels This mean s w generation is always born. It is one of the religion s where children are given roles in Vodou. They will have a
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 24 espesyalman Ben: Yon Mkredi Welele: Mkredi ou pral gade la, svit yo pral cho, ou pral w timoun yo depi nan maten k ap kmanse aprann danse menm jan a moun yo, jwe tanbout menm ya a moun yo ki pral ranplase ouns i ki pral ranp lase tan bouye, ki pral ranplase sanba k la yo. Sa ke kilti Vodou li te deja la si l ou kmanse depi sou Moyiz ki te f baton tounen koulv epi nou menm ki di koulv se Danbala Wedo, depi l sa li pat fini epi li pran baton sa a, l te fann l anm a. Ben: Se sa a. Welele: Pouvwa sa a, menm Jezi tou, si ou gade pati Jezi ale pok li t ap leve m, ou ka plis w sa a nan Vodou. Se ke mwen kw fiti a mwen pa plis p pou moun menm. Vodou sa a, li tankou on lespri, mwen plis p pou moun paske si ou gade de moun ki pak pare, konprann? Epi mwen panse jou Ayisien konprann kisa ki Vodou a ye vrman planet, t a sove paske Vodou pa fseman sa sel man. Pa egzanp, si nou gade Vodou ki te nan l pok sou tan ansyen testaman, sou ou foure dwt nan je m, m ap foure nan je ou tou. Chak premye gason ki ft, nou oblije bay L i an sakrifis nou pran nou touye li sak ki pi bl bef, ou genyen nan pati raje nou bay li, nan ja den mayi sak ki pi bl nou bay L i. Jezi vin fini ak sa epi bon, li pa di kraze sa non, li di bon Bondye pa nan sa sl man paske l nou moute anl a nou pa bezwen limen balenn S e l tanp medyasyon, l tanp moun m ou d i yo, oubyen nostik de enchoj ki rive nan nivo sa, de sal loj tou, de venerab Yo gen tanp ou pa bezwen f sa a l ou ale, men gen tanp tou ou obli je f l. Se ke soti ansyen testaman rive jounen jdi a l kounye a. Li la toujou e si ceremony for the little angels specifically know when it is. Ben: On a Wednesday Welele: Wednesday, you will see the servants excited, in the morning you will see children learning the dances, playing drums with the d rummers. They will repl ace the ounsi, drummers, and the experts who are here Vodou has been our culture ever since Moses made his stick turn into a snake and we say snakes are Danbala W do. And h e was not finish ed, he also spli t the sea with his stick. Ben: Yes Welele: That power, even Jesus himself if you look at parts of the B ible where Jesus raise s the dead, you will mostly see this in Vodou. I am afraid for people who will practice Vodou in the future; Vodou is like a spirit. I am mostly afraid for people because if you look there are some people who are not ready yet. Do you understand? I think the day Haitians truly understand Vodou is the day the planet will be sa ved be cause Vodou is not wrong. For example, if you look at Vodou during the time of the Old Testament, if you poke out my eye, I would poke out your eye in return Every first b orn son was to be given to the L ord as a sacrifice and they would sacrifice them; th e best cow from the cattle, the best piece of land, and the best corn from the field had to be given to the L ord. When Jesus came this stopped but it did not cease entirely. He said ell God is not only in heaven because when you ascend into heaven yo u d t is duri ng mediation in church when the nun tell s them or gnostic of enchoj reaches the level, to the masonic lo dges the venerab le people There
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 25 nou pran 1960, l yo te kon n ap di y ap touye moun, kidnape moun li la a toujou moun ap danse jan yo vle. Mwen pa kon sou w rara? Ben: An wi, wi wi nou te gade pre zidan rara. Welele: Moun yo di i, men mwen men Ayisien e sa m ye. Se ke mwen kw fiti se yon chaje ak espwa, mwen kw tout pitit pitit ... se pa pou Ayisy en Vodou a se pou moun ki gen k, se pou moun, moun e pa pou moun ki nwa e blan, moun ... se moun de k, mou n pa gen koul. Moun se kisa ou di kisa ou f, ki se twa pwol andan vodou ki sakre se la v erite la verite, la verite. Depi ou gen sa ou moun ou pa bezwen gen koul, o u p ap pral f l na n fason moun yo f l, si ou vle redui pou ale kote nan lemonn, ou ge n viza nou menm nou pa gen pwoblm sa a. Ou w peyi sa a, ou pa bezwen vi za pou vin la, depi sou papa De salin, prem ye anper nou genyen, klkeswa moun ki gen libte pou yo viv lib, vin la a. Ou pa t bezwen ni blan ni nwa, youn nan bagay se Ayisy en renmen etranje yo pa konnen, men yo pa konnen pou kisa menm se bliye yo bliye. Se depi lontan tout etranje ki gen k ki lib ki gen kolaborasyon. On sl dwt pa manje kalalou paske mwen konnen se ansanm pou nou rive e gen plas li la. Ben: Oke, m Welel e: Se mwen pou di ou m si Ben: P ou tan ou pataje avk nou e mwen ta sw ete non ka kolabore ank nan la vi km bou s pmt nou vini an Ayiti jis ka 2015. M are temples where you do not need to do that when you go, but there are temples where yo u have to do this. It is from the times of the Old Testament until today It has always been here, take 1960 for example, when they were killing people kidnapping people, it is still here people are still dancing how they want I Ra ra ? Ben: Yes, we saw the Rara president. ve the future is full of hope. I believe Vodou is not for every child Vodou is for people who have heart, it is for people. It i s not for black people or white people, people are people there is no color. People are what they say and what they do. There ar e three sayings in Vodou which are sacred it is the truth, the truth, the truth If you have this need to have color a nd you will not do it the same way other people do it. If you want to go anywhere in the world, you have to have a In this country you do not need a v isa to come since Dessalin es the first emperor we ha d, it does not matt er who, people who want to live freely can come here Y white or black. One of things Haitians love is foreigners they don t know It has been forever that all the foreigners had the heart and were free, and collaborated One finger does not eat okra because I know we have to get there together because we do not belong here. Ben: Okay, thank you very much ... Welele: I should be thanking you. Ben: For t he time you spent with us and I hope we can collaborate again as the grant allows us to come back to Haiti until 2015. I
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 26 ap mande renouvle, m en antouka mwen ta renmen kontinye travay avk ou menm. Welele: Anbe n m la, mwen kw k e tout sa a dwe ft nan kesyon Vodou an tankou le Vodouizan, l ap ft e si l pa t dwe ft li pa t ap ft. Se pou nou di pa gen Aza Aza egziste tankou mo men sa pa jan moun yo define l se tankou mirak. Men ou menm mirak pa egizste Nan on sans mirak egiz iste se travay ou t ravay pou mirak egiziste. Li p ap vin rete konsa pou mirak ft fk ou gen yon travay ou f. Ben : Se sa se sa. Welele: Kounye a, tann pou mirak vin jwenn ou. Ben: Travay la enptan. Welele: Al mwen kw se ou menm pou m di msi epi Ini vsite Florid, paske mwen kw travay ki te sipoze ft ki pa ft. Si yo te gen pwoblm swa yon peyi o nasyon sa depann de ki jan viv de relijyon yo, ki ms kisa li genyen lakay li. Si ou komas vini pou konprann kiys mwen ye. Sa se yon, nou konekte tankou moun, o u pa vin domine. Sl fason nou ka byen, se l ou poze kesyon ki le mwen te manje, bonjou ki jan ou ye, eskize m. L nou konekte antanke moun ou pa vin an dominan ou vle di ke wout la vin pi fasil paske nou prale ansanm se sak f yon sl dwt pa manje ka lalou. Nou sou yon sl plant t paske ou oblije konprann paske menm l mwen te nwa o wouj tout gen danje ni wouj ni nwa kisa nou pral f, ni wouj ni nwa met tt nou ansanm, paske f nou sove imanit. M si se pou ou. Abobo, mwen kw resp pou tout moun k ap f jan de travay sa a yo, e mwen fe lisite sa epi inivsite a la se Vodou a ki se andan rv yo. Ou ka jwenn anpil moun ki ka bay ou esplikasyon pou yo e chak sa would like to renew it but anyways I would like to continue to work with you. that should be done for Vodou will happen if it is not mean t happ en. We have to see there is no chance Chance exists as a word but but as a miracle n the sense that miracles exist you have to work for the miracle to work. It will not stay like that for a miracle to happen you have to do work. Welele: Now wait for the miracle to come to you. Ben: The work is important Welele: Well I believe I should be thanking you and the University of Florida because I think there are things that are suppos ed to be done done. If there was a problem or a country or nation this depends on living the religion the customs, what they have at home If you begin to understand who I am. This is one way we connect as people you come to dominate them. The only way you can be fr iends is when you ask questions about wh at they ate tell them good morning and say excuse me. Wh en we connect as people you don t come to dominate, you want to say that the road will be easier because we are going together and this is why one fing er does not eat okra We live on a single planet, you have to understand because even though I am black or red there is still danger for both black and red so we will work together to save humanity. The thanks is for you Abobo! I re sp ect everyone who i s doing this work and I would like to
Copyright 2014 Benjamin Hebblethwaite Rose Laure Jean Joseph, M egan Raitano, and Tahi ri Jean Baptiste at the University of Florida. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 27 mwen w esplike tt li a menm tan a. Ayibobo, msi anpil. Ben: Ayibobo congratulate them. Vodou is a university that is in dreams You can fi nd many people that can explain everything to you Ayibobo, thank you very much. Ben: Ayibobo.