7 Vodou Albums Interpreted

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Material Information

Title:
7 Vodou Albums Interpreted
Abbreviated Title:
Rasin Figye, Se don nou
Physical Description:
PDF transcription, translation and interpretation
Language:
Haitian Creole
English
Creator:
Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean-Baptiste
Publisher:
Benjamin Hebblethwaite
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Florida
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean Area, Haitian Vodou, Haitian Creole, Rasin Figye   ( lcsh )

Notes

Abstract:
This file provides the Haitian Creole transcription, English translation, and annotations and interpretations.
General Note:
This is the first of 7 albums that will receive this treatment.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
System ID:
AA00019349:00001


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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 1 7 V od ou A lb um s Interpreted (1) Rasin Figye, Se don nou E dited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Annotations by Benjamin Hebblethwaite and Megan Raitano Transcribed and translated by Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste 1.a Nou pral rele Bondye Rasin Figye! anvan nou lapriy devan Ginen yo. Adye, n ap rele Granmt la anvan. Nou pral met ajenou. pou nou priye nan pye Ginen yo. 1.b Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! L bounda fache, kote l chita? At! zili (zili Petwo) o, m pral rele pwen an. Bilolo! zili Mapyang o, m pral rele pwen an. 1.a 1 Fig Tree Roots! before we pray in front of the Ginen. W so we can pray at the feet of the Ginen. 1.b Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! When an ass is angry, where does it sit? On the ground! 2 Oh zili (zili Petwo 3 Bilolo! 4 Oh zili Mapyang 5 l the pwen. 1 The monotheistic base upon which Vodou is established is expressed in the first line of the album. Lines 3 primacy over the Ginen the African spirits. Lines 5 7 reiterate this idea while asserting the place of supplicating and kneeling to the spirits. 2 This is a call and response ritual expression that identifies the Kongo Rite. Vodou rel igion is composed of many Rites which are the rituals and traditions of specific ceremonies. Vodou ceremonies often celebrate more than one Rite; for example, a given ceremony may begin with the Rada Rite, which salutes the Rada spirits, a nd segues, hours later, into the Petwo Kongo Rite. On other occasions, Vodou ceremonies may adhere to a single Rite, such as a ceremony for Ogou Feray in the Nago Rite. In Nago and Rada Rites, the canonical spirit salutations of Legba, Marasa, Loko, Ayizan Danbala Wdo and Ayida Wdo and Sobo and Bad are widely respected. In Gonayiv, Haiti, there are temples that specialize in one Rite such as Lakou Souvnans (Rada), Lakou Soukri (Kongo), Lakou nan Badjo (Nago) or Lakou Dewonvil (Banda), etc. There is much unity in diversity in Vodou In each respective Rite, ritual utterances are expressed by participants between songs to identify the Rite of the ceremony. T his formulaic ritual utterance marks the Petwo Kongo Rite. The question is, what does it mean? The expression When an ass is angry, where does it sit? is used by t he central participants of the Vodou ceremony a lead singer, an oungan, a manbo with the chorus and initiates responding On the ground! Is this a playful Ko ngo style taunt to those angry souls who brood instead of dancing through life? 3 zili Petwo is a member of the zili family, one of the most prominent families of Vodou Lwa. The zili family represents in varying degrees depending on the man ifestation love, sexuality, protection, defense, motherhood, and the commitment to empowerment. 4 Bi lolo is an exclamation of joy in the Petwo R ite. It is a Kikongo word and translates to people get ready to listen

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 2 Mwen gen yon lwa ki danse nan tt mwen. Jou ti ng konnen non li, m ap f yo kado pwen a n. Ayayayayay! Se bon! 1.c F yo w o. zili Dant, f yo w o. Bilolo! Amwey! F yo w, zili Dant. N ap f yo w, zili Dant Dan Petwo. zili Dant ap f yo w. F yo w, zili Freda ap f yo w. Mtrs zili ap f yo w. ap f yo w. Lt b zile a y ap w n ap navige. 1.d Ng yo di, y a manyen mwen, se pa vre. Bilolo! Ng yo pral touye m, yo manti. Nan S ido o, si Dye vle. O, kay o si Bondye vle, woy. Pwen an, Bondye pa vle non. M aji sou maji, wanga sou wanga, wi, m ap tann yo. I have a lwa who dances in my head. The day little guys know her name, Ayayayayay! 1.c Oh make them see. zili Dant, oh make them see. Bilolo! Help! Make them see, zili Dant. make them see, zili Dant Dan Petwo. zili Dant 6 will make them see. Make them see, zili Freda 7 will make them see. Mistress zili will make them see. will make them see. On the other side of the island t 8 1.d The guys s deal with Bilolo! The gu ys are going to kill me, they lie Oh in Sido God willing. Oh, oh house if God wants, whoa The pwen, no want it Magic on magic, wanga on wanga 9 5 zili Mapyang is a Lwa gad or a pr otector Lwa, belong ing to the family of zili. Her vv is a pentagram with an eye traced into its center, indicating her status as a protector. When she arrives in ceremonies her eyes bulge enormously and she is given a dagg er for each hand which she hold s stiffly to her side. Those who serve zili give her ritual hugs; she keeps her daggers in her hands as she embraces her servants. She makes magical potions with water, leaves, perfume and other ingredients. 6 zili Dant or zili Mabenge is similiar to zili Mapyang but is considered the mother of all Petwo Lwa. She represent s the devotion and protectiveness of mothers for their children. 7 zili Freda is the rich and seductive mulat to woman with flowing hair and she represents bea uty sexiness, and love. She is associated with the Mater Dolorosa a Catholic saint represented as a beautiful woman decorated with ornate jewelry with a dagger piercing her heart. The dagger is also seen i n her jealously over betrayal. 8 Since zili is a sea spirit, there are numerous references to the sea an d sailing in her songs. One of her lovers is Agwe, a principle sea s pirit in Vodou. 9 This is a magic charm or object. Wanga are created by Oungan or Manbo and they can be used for good and evil magic. Wanga can bring about misfortune or illness, and it can also bring about prosperity, such as good harvests and fertility. One Haitian proverb says: Mezi lajan w, mezi wanga w Your success depends upon how much you invested

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 3 1.e Leyogann m t al achte pwen an. Bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilolo! Leyogann m soti a k pwen an. M ap mouri yon jou Dimanch swa. L m ap antere, ti ng p ap konn af mwen. M t al achte pwen an. M t al dy pwen an wi! 2.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Ko ngo! L bounda fache, kote l chita? At! Kd, yo pote kd. Yo pote kd pou yo mare Figye m. Bilolo! Amwey! Moun yo pote kd la, yo pa ka mare m way! M pa ti kochon, ng yo di y ap mare li. Figye, m pa ti kabrit, ng yo di y ap mare li la. Danb ala Wdo (Ayida Wdo), ti ng se chen, mare li. 2.b Elize, gangan nan Sido, rele lwa yo pou mwen. Bilolo! M rele Elize, Elize, Elize, Elize! Bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilolo! 1.e Le yogann 10 is where I went to buy the pwen. Bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilolo! Leyogann is where I left with the pwen. I going to die some Sunday evening When I I went to buy the pwen. I went aft er the pwen yes! 2.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! When an ass is angry, where does it sit? On the ground! Rope, they carry rope. They carry rope so they can tie my Fig Tree. 11 Bilolo! O h my! The people carry the rope , oh my m not a little pig ; the ; it here. Danbala Wdo (Ayida Wdo 12 ), the little guy is a dog tie him 2.b Elize, Vodou priest in Sido, call the lwa for me. Bilolo! I called Elize, Elize, Elize, Elize! Bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilo, bilolo! 13 10 Leyogann is a town in the South West region of Haiti that is well known and respe cted for its rich Vodou traditions. 11 Trees are fundamental symbols in the Vodou religion. The Lwa inhabit the trees, and Vodou ceremonies often incorporate trees into ritual as libations and sacrifices are pou red out at the base of the tree to feed the spirit or spirits in the tree. Many Lakou Vodou in Haiti have trees dedicated to a specific spirit and sometimes the tree is adorned with a flag or a symbol of the spirit that resides in it. Lakou Souvnans and La kou Kajj in Gonaves, for example, have trees linked to specific spirits. These trees are considered to be sacred and can be found in all Lakou, or Vodou yards. 12 Danbala Wdo and Ayida Wdo were the first Lwa created by God. They are thought to be the mo ther and father of all Lwa and are represented as snakes in some of their vv. Like the larger Rada Rite itself, they are represented by white objects such as eggs, flour, clothing, etc. Ayida is identified with the rainbow. During possession, the horses of Danbala will typically fall to the ground, make snake like movements and will hiss in order to identify themselves as Danbala or Ayida.

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 4 Mwen pa konnen konbyen lwa ki gen nan lakou sa. Rasin Figye! Wi, w al rele lwa yo, wi m prale! Rele lwa yo pou mwen wi! Ayayayayayay! O wi, wi, wi, wi, wi, wi! 2.c Wdo, m rele Wdo. Agawou Wdo Yo pote kd o, pou yo mare mwen. M pa ti kabrit m esye; yo pote kd. A, a, a, a, a M pa ti kochon, Bondye, moun yo pote k d. Men m pa rele ti bf, yo pote kd. 2.d Sa m ap f a, se don m li ye. Sa m ape f a, se don m li ye. Bilolo! Anwey sa se don pa m li ye. Yo met mache vin gade y a tande nouvl, ayayay! 3.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! L bounda fache, kote l chita? At! Ede m kase fy la. Pitit mwen malad, w a ede m kase fy la. Bilolo! Maladi pa rete a moun o. Amwey, o! Fig Tree Roots! Call the lwa for me yes! Ayayayayayay! Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! 2.c Wdo, I called Wdo. Agawou Wdo 14 oh they carry rope, so they can tie me. guys; they carry rope. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah! e. 2. gift 15 Bilolo! Oh my, this is my gift They can walk to come see 3.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! When an ass is angry, where does it sit? On the ground Help me break the leaves. 16 My child is sick, Bilolo! Oh sickness is no joke. Oh my, oh! 13 The Petwo Kongo praise word Bilolo! like the Rada equivalent, Ayibobo! reflects reduplicative linguistic processes such as the repetition of one or more syllables. 14 Agawou Wdo is a Vodou Lwa associated with storms, wind, thunder, lightning, and earthquakes He is the Danwomen, Rado, and Petwo rites. Agawou is chwal ) possessed by the spirit such as standing in basins filled with broken glass. 15 Vodouists are called by the Lwa to serve either as Oungan, Manbo, or Ounsi by way of dreams or life experiences. Thus, those who are in service of the Lwa in Vodou regard it as a gift of the Lwa, the ancestors, and also from God. 16 A significant percentage of medicines are deri ved from plants ; Vodou also includes traditions of plant based healing (see Vonarx, Nicolas. 2011. ). This song shares themes with, Fy yo sove lavi mwen nan miz mwen ye o. Pitit mwen malad, mwen kouri kay gangan, Simbi o [...] et al 2012:187).

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 5 Maladi pa rete a moun o. Ede m kase fy la, pou m soulaje zanfan yo. M pral kase fy la. M pral manyen fy la. 3.b Twa fy tonbe nan basin n an. Bilolo! Twa fy tonbe jou rezon an Twa fy tonbe nan demanbre mwen. Amwey o, m a rele gran zili o. Kote m ap mete lwa yo? 3.c Dan Petwo, m pa bezwen lajan yo, m p ap travay pou yo. Bilolo! M pa bezwen lajan pou sa yo, m ap trav ay pou yo, ane a kout o. Se pa mwen menm ki manman w, ane a kout o! sa w kw y a f mwen? Wi, Dan Petwo silamasal doki a, pa rele m papa! M ap rele Dan Petwo, Petwo, Petwo, Petwo Bilo bilo bilo bilo bilo bilolo! 3.d Lafanmi yo, sanble. Eritye yo, san ble. Lafanmi yo, sanble. Nou p ap kite lakou a tonbe! Bilolo! 4.a Resp pou fanm yo se sa nou vle! Mesye, resp pou fanm yo se sa nou mande al! Oh Sickness is no joke. Help me break the leaves, so I can soothe the children. touc h the leaves. 3.b Three 17 leaves fell in to the sea. Bilolo! Three leaves fell on the day of the reason Three leaves fell in my demanbre. 18 Where shall I put the lwa ? 3.c Dan Petwo 19 I Bilolo! I mother oh the year is short! Yes, Dan Pet wo the silamasal doki 20 apa! Bilo bilo bilo bilo bilo bilolo! 3.d Families, assemble. Heirs, assemble. Families, assemble. yard fall! Bilolo! 4.a Respect for women 21 Men, respect for women so that for 17 The number 3 is a common figure in Vodou songs and in Haitian culture. Jil and Jil (2009) place the number 3 in the context of Kongo numerology, pointing out the notions of twa wch dife legged Kongo cooking cauldron, and twa fy 18 A Demanbre is a gathering of extended family where members of the family feast and honor the ances tral Vodou Lwa. 19 Dan Petwo is the name of a Lwa, a Vodou priest, and a king in the Kongo who reigned over a unified Kongo. 20 This is an example of langaj in Vodou songs, which is the presence of African language fragments. 21 This song criticizes male sex ism. Beside the moral aspect, there is no explicit appeal to religion. The song illustrates the social critique present in many Vodou songs.

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 6 Mesye jn gason k ap maltrete fanm yo. Fk nou pa bliye mesye, se yo ki manman nou. Mesye gason yo, meda m yo se manman nou, se vre. Yo f manje, yo lave, yo pase. Medam yo f manje, yo lave, yo pase. L soly kouche, nou rele yo manman. Mesye, nou gen l bliye ke se nou menm menm ki manman nou? Mesye, nou gen l bliye ke se mwen menm ki ba nou tete? M esye, nou gen l bliye ke se mwen ki konn okipe nou? Mesye, nou gen l bliye ke se mwen menm ki konn ba nou lanmou? Mesye, poukisa k f se mwen menm menm nou pi maltrete? 5.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! L bounda fache, kote l chita? At! M pa te la, gade m antre. Mwen antre pou m al bay Rasin nan jart way o Bilolo! Adye, n ap ba yo jart, se vre. Ng yo bliye sa Rasin f pou yo. Ng yo bliye sa Ginen f pou yo. Se te nan yon ti katye yo rele Bwa Kayiman e. Pitit Rasin nan, f seremoni an. Mwen di Boukmann f seremoni sa. Jodi a, Ayisyen nou la e, nou devan blan mannan yo. Mas K onpa men djaz ou! Men, young men who are mistreating women. You must not forget men they are your mothers. Men, the ladies are your mothers, s true. They cook, they wash, they iron. The ladies cook, they wash, they iron. When the sun sets, you call them mother. Men, you must have forgotten that we are the ones who are your mothers? Men, you must have forgotten that it is I who breastfed you? Men, you must have forgotten that it was me who took care of you? Men, you must have forgotten that it is me who gives you love? mistreat the most? 5.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! When an ass is angry, where does it sit? On the ground! Oh I entered so I could strengthen the Ro ots 22 oh my Bilolo! The guys forgot what Roots did for them. The guys forgot what Ginen did for them. Hey i t was in a little neighborhood they call Bwa Kayiman. 23 Children of the Roots, do the ceremony. I told Boukmann 24 do this ceremony. Today, hey Haitians we are here ahead of the poor white people. Mas K onpa 22 Roots or Rasin refer to hereditary Lwa and traditions. They are different from the L wa and traditions that can b e purchased from bk They are traditions that one inherits dir ectly through biological family and they are considered to be pure, benign, and fundamental 23 Bwa Kayiman is a village as well as a forest in the northern plain of Ha iti. It was the site of a Petwo ceremony that consecrated a violent slave rebellion, and ultimately paved the way for the Haitian R evolution and War of Independence (1791 1803) 24 Boukmann wa s a Jamaican born Vodou priest who, along with Ccile Fatiman, led the Bwa Kayiman ceremony.

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 7 5.b Dye, ala kote lafanmi m yo malont o. Gade m kouche lopital, yo pa vini w mwen. Bilolo! Adye, moun sa yo mechan, se vre. Y ap tann se l m mouri pou yo ba n m yon sky o. Y ap tann se l m mouri pou yo ba m yon sky o. Jou lanm mwen, y a va kontan. Jou lanm mwen, y a va rejwi. L y ap rele lwa anba dlo, l w monte, Kazo, w a pale avk yo, lanm pa yo dy la. 5.c Sa ki panse gen de bondye, gade chita moun sila yo, k ap goumen pou relijyon. Bilolo! Adye, kite yo goumen, se vre. Bondye kreye chak moun ak des t en pa yo. Bondye kreye chak moun pou f chemen pa yo. Volonte Bondye ki f mwen la kite m svi Ginen an. k ite m sv i Ginen an, Makaya, m ap svi Ginen m. 6.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! L bounda fache, kote l chita? 5.b Lord, oh how disloyal my family is. lying in a hospital, Bilolo! Oh my, these peo ple are truly evil. so they can give me a casket. so they can give me a casket. re calling the lw a from under the water 25 their death is behind here. 5.c Those who think there are two gods, look at those people sitting, who are fighting for religion. 26 Bilolo! God created e ach person with their own destiny God created each person to make their own path. s will is why I 27 let me serve the Ginen. 28 l et me serve the Ginen, Makaya 29 my Ginen. 6.a Afoutayi! Yi! Bila bila Kongo! When an ass is angry, where does it sit? 25 This is probably a reference to the Vodou ritual ( wete m anba dlo that occurs one year after the desounen death rites. The desounen separates the deceased from his or her Vodou s pirits and transfers them to a living descendent. In the bring the dead back from under the water ritual t he soul of the dead ancestor is called forth from a govi asked to communicate with the living members of the family via description, the deceased can chastise or make recommendations to the living. 26 This song critiques interreligious conflict, asserts the centrality of Bondye (God), and argues the Bondye destines people to serve the Ginen (spirits). 27 This song demonstrates the henotheistic foundations of Vodou. 28 Ginen is a term used by Vodouists to refer to the dwelling of the Vodou spirits, the servants of the spirits, and the posthumous resting place of Vodouists. Ginen also more broadly refers to Africa and those in the diaspora who work to preserve connections to Africa and African traditions. 29 This is a Kikongo word that signifies a Vodou rite, and a family of Lwa that includes Simbi, zili Mapyang, Loko Atisou, and Wangita. Makaya is also a forested mountain in Haiti where the Lwa are thought to reside.

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 8 At! Manman m te pale mwen, pou m pa t svi ak moun sa yo. Moun ki p soufrans la, se yo ki pi kriminl. Bilolo! Adje, yo pi kriminl, se vre Ayayay! Val mache yo mache, yo pa sa touye mwen. Val lite yo lite yo pa sa jete mwen. Sa k ap bw av w la, k ap manje av w la, o way o. F w pa bliye se li k ka detwi lavi ou. 6.b Balmannan o lwa m nan ki mache lan nuit o, vin rakonte mwen sa w w. Bilolo! Amw ey, vini rakontre m Balmannan manman manman. Wi! A minwi y swa, m rakontre ak dyab la. Yon b l se san, yon b l se dife. Je dyab la ret tou limen. Dyab la griyen dan l sou mwen, m tounen lafimen dife. Gen granmoun pase gran moun. Wi, Balmannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan mannan, li mache nan nuit o! Bilolo! 6.c Sa mn ta ye. Menm si m ale la, m pa pral dy lanm a. Bilolo! Manman nan, m p ap al chche lanm a souple. Ayayay! Wi! Y al nan simity s t fwa, pou detwi lavi mwen. Yo ale devan Baw on st fwa pou detwi lavi fr w la. On the ground! My mother told me, not to deal with these people. People who are scared of suffering, they are the ones who are the most criminal. Bilolo! Oh my, they are truly the most criminal. Ayayay! As much as they walk, they c Those who are drinking with you, who are eating with you, oh my oh my You must not forget s he who may ruin your life. 6.b Oh Balmannan 30 my lwa oh who walks in the night, c ome tell me what yo u saw. Bilolo! Oh help come tell me Balmannan, mother mother. Yes! At midnight last night, I encountered the monster. O ne of its side s was blood, the other side was fire. up The monster grinned at me, I turned into smo ke. There are adults who are beyond other adults. Yes, Balmannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, mannan, oh s he walks at night! Bilolo! 6.c Sa mn ta ye 31 Bilolo! go looking for death please. Ayayay! Yes! They went to the cemetery seven times, to destroy my life. They went in front of Baw on 32 seven times to destroy 30 Balmannan is a fearsome female Lwa in the Kongo Petwo rite; she is sometimes referred to as manman or mother. 31 An example of langaj ( African language fragments ) in the text. 32 Bawon or Bawon Samdi is the spirit of life and death. He is an important and powerful spirit of the de ad who presides over cemeteries. He is also the head and father of the Gede family that is honored in Haiti at the end of October and beginning of November. Purple and black are the colors of this family of spirits

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 9 Etwal pa w la, Agasou poko file o. Etwal pa w la poko file o. 7.a Nou prale o, nan Ginen. Rasin Figye! Nou pral rele lwa zanst yo. Pou nou di yo beni nou n divize. Yo pa t batay pou n ta viv chen manje chen. Yo te batay pou l inyon ak lap. Yo pa t batay pou n ta viv chen manje chen. Yo te batay pou linyon ak lap. 7.b Twp sitiran pran peyi a. Y antre l yo vle, yo soti l yo vle. Amwey! Yo antre l yo vle, se vre! Wi! Sa n ap f? Yo pa bezwen viza, nou menm l pou n al lakay yo, se anpil demach, tt chaje. Papa Desalin, nou di kote ou ye? 7.c Jou konba de Vty a, se yon jou m p ap janm bliye. Se pa de san ki koule pou n libere o! Se vre! Amwey! Twp san te koule, se vre. Oh your star Agasou 33 fall en yet. Y 7.a O w Fig Tree Roots! lwa of our ancestors. To tell them bless us would live dog eat dog. They fought for union and peace. ould live dog eat dog. The y fought for union and peace. 7.b Excessive indulgence has over taken the country. They come in when they want, they leave when they want. Oh my! They come in when they want, What will we do? as for us when we go to their house distress. Papa Dessalines 34 we say where are you? 35 7.c The day of the Vty battle 36 Oh so much blood was shed so we could be free true. 33 Agasou is a L wa who is served in the Dawonmen, Petwo, a nd Rada rites. He is an aquatic Lwa and is known for his ability to heal. Agasou Agasu lineage claimed to descend from a panther and the princess Aligbonon. Ag asu founded the royal dynasty of Allada (from which the term Rada is derived) where h e is still revered as an ancestor and a spirit. 34 Jean Jacques Dessalines declared Haitian independence on January 1, 1804 in Gonayiv As Haiti s first black ruler Vodou honors Dessalines like no other historical statesman. D essalines appears in numerous songs. In this song Dessalines is being asked to address the injustice s experienced by Haitians who at tempt to migrate The Vodou community of L akou nan Badjo in Gonayiv has the name of Jean Jacques Dessalines painted on the outside wall of the temple next to the name of Ogou Badagri. In that way, Dessalines the military general, and Ogou Badagri, the warrior spirit, are intimately associated. 35 Like several songs on this album, this one takes the form of a chante pwen with words of criticism, this time directed at the hypocrisy displayed by the succession of foreign interventions in Haiti and the difficulties Haitians face when attempting to leave Haiti. 36 The battle of Vty (Verti r es ) was a f inal def ining battle of the Haitian Revolution that took place at Vty in northern Haiti. Generals Jean Jacques Dessalines and Franois Capois led Haitians in a victorious attack against French expeditionary forces on November 18, 1803. Today November 18 is a national holiday in Haiti.

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 10 An nou rele E nper Desalin o. Ede m chante, P apa Desalin o. Vo ye lwa Ginen yo vin delivre nou. P eyi a malad o. 7.d Ayisyen patriyt, an met tt ansanm pou nou sove peyi a. Pale, pale, pale! Boujwazi, dy aspora an n met tt ansan m pou nou sove nasyon an. Nou gen l pa w jan pp la ap soufri. Se pa etranje ki pou vin sove peyi a, se nou menm ayisyen ki pou sove peyi a. Tt ansanm mezanmi pou sove nasyon an. 7.e Chi, chi, chi, n ap kenbe yo. Bil, bil, bil! Chi, chi, chi, n a p kenbe yo. Amwey! N ap kenbe yo, wi se vre. Sgo, n ap kenbe yo, wi se vre. Depi m simen mayi m at, m ap kenbe yo. Amwey o, depi n simen mayi n at, n ap kenbe yo. Yo renmen pouvwa ak lajan. n ap kenbe yo. Rasin Figye, bon bagay! 7.f F yo w o, ayisyen fr m yo, f yo w o. Bilolo! Amwey! N ap f yo w. Wi, n ap f yo w, laboujwazi, n ap f yo w! F yo w, ayisyen lt b, f yo w! Ayisyen lakay, f yo w, laboujwazi, l ap f yo w! F yo w o, ayisyen fr m yo, E mperor Dessalines. Oh, help me sing, P apa Dessalines. Send the Ginen lwa to come deliver us. Oh the country is sick. 37 7.d Haitian patriot s s put our heads together to save the country. Speak, speak, speak! Bourgeoisie, diasp ora s put out heads together to save the nation. You must not have see n how the people are suffering. save the country, have to save the country. Unity my friends so we can save the nation. 7.e catching them. Bil, bil, bil! catching them. catching S go catching As long as I sow my corn i n the ground, catching them. Oh help, as long as we sow corn in the ground, They like power and money w Fig Tree Roots, good stuff! 7.f Oh make them see, my Haitian brothers, oh make them see. Bilolo! the bourgeoisie, 38 Make them see, Haitians in foreign lands make them see! Haitians at home, make them see Oh make them see, my Haitian brothers, 37 Clearly the Vodou Ginen 38 Both songs 7d and 7f employ the term laboujwazi (bourgeoisie), shedding some light on class consciousness in Vodou culture. Th ese songs seem to encourage soli darity from various social classes in order to show the world a cohesive Haiti for the bicentential of 2004 In addition to its Vodou themes, this Racine Figuier album emphasizes several socially conscience themes.

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Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Megan Raitano, Myrlande Denis and Tahiri Jean Baptiste University of Florida, The NEH Collaborative Grant 2014 11 f yo w o. F yo w o, Ayiti chanje. N ap f yo w, Ayiti chaje, mezanmi! F yo w, an de mil kat la, y a w n ap avanse. Woy, se bon! oh make them see. Oh make them see, Haiti h as changed. oh heavens! Make them see, i