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1 The Healing Lwa Kahlil Harrison University of Florida Milo Marcelins Song 159 (pp. 106) Oh Osanj, you gave me the eye for me to see them! The y hate Osanj, they love his charms! Oh Osanj! Lend me your rattle! Oh Osanj! Lend me you altar! The rattle is not mine, it is Balindjos rattle! The altar is not mine, it is Balindjos altar! Who says this? It is mister Osanj! The money for you acres of land is here. This song is a statement about how Vodouists feel about some other Vodouists, or perhaps outsiders, and about the Vodou practitioners dependence on Osanj a lwa The song says that Osanj is hated but his charms are loved. Though it is unlike ly that a non follower would witness the effects of possessions, this statement could be aimed straight at them. After all, a nonfollower would undoubtedly not like the idea of lwa and chwal but greatly enjoy the healing afforded to them. The same can be said of Vodouists who, for whatever reason, do not sing to Osanj but welcome his healings. Without Osanj, one would not be able perform part of his or her duty as an oungan or mambo The priest or priestess needs Osanjs eye for vision, his rattle to summon and ward off lwa, and his altar to use as a platform for healing rituals and to honor the lwa. The song also paints a positive picture of Osanj. For example, the Vodouist says that Osanj gave him an eye, allowing him to predict the future. Osanj onl y has one eye, making him a generous lwa to not only give up his only eye but also give up his power to predict the future. Using his rattle, Osanj is a healing lwa unlike his Ogou brothers who are known for metallurgy, war, fire, energy, and force. This rattle and the altar from which healings are done are lent to Vodouists to aid in their healings. The singer takes care to mention that neither the rattle nor the altar is his; both belong to Balindjo, the medic.


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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001362/00013
 Material Information
Title: The Healing Lwa, Kahlil Harrison
Series Title: HAI3930, ANT3930, LAS3930, REL3938
Physical Description: Course Material
Creator: Raitano, Megan
Publisher: Hebblethwaite, Benjamin
Raitano, Megan
Felima, Crystal
Place of Publication: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
 Notes
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Megan Raitano.
Publication Status: Unpublished
General Note: This is a collection of student essays from the Haitian Vodou class offered at the Universtiy of Florida. These essays were chosen for their depth and understanding of the Haitian Vodou religion and culture.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001362:00013

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The Healing Lwa
Kahlil Harrison, University of Florida

Milo Marcelin's Song 159 (pp. 106)

Oh Osanj, you gave me the eye
for me to see them!
They hate Osanj, they love his charms!
Oh Osanj! Lend me your rattle!
Oh Osanj! Lend me you altar!
The rattle is not mine, it is Balindjo's rattle!
The altar is not mine, it is Balindjo's altar!
Who says this? It is mister Osanj!
The money for you acres of land is here.


This song is a statement about how Vodouists feel about some other Vodouists, or
perhaps outsiders, and about the Vodou practitioners' dependence on Osanj, a Iwa. The song
says that Osanj is hated, but his charms are loved. Though it is unlikely that a non-follower
would witness the effects of possessions, this statement could be aimed straight at them. After
all, a non-follower would undoubtedly not like the idea of Iwa and chwal but greatly enjoy the
healing afforded to them. The same can be said of Vodouists who, for whatever reason, do not
sing to Osanj but welcome his healings. Without Osanj, one would not be able perform part of
his or her duty as an oungan or mambo. The priest or priestess needs Osanj's eye for vision, his
rattle to summon and ward off lwa, and his altar to use as a platform for healing rituals and to
honor the lwa.
The song also paints a positive picture of Osanj. For example, the Vodouist says that
Osanj gave him an eye, allowing him to predict the future. Osanj only has one eye, making him
a generous Iwa to not only give up his only eye but also give up his power to predict the future.
Using his rattle, Osanj is a healing Iwa unlike his Ogou brothers who are known for metallurgy,
war, fire, energy, and force. This rattle and the altar from which healings are done are lent to
Vodouists to aid in their healings. The singer takes care to mention that neither the rattle nor the
altar is his; both belong to Balindjo, the medic.