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1 Nago is Coming! Nago is Coming! Reflections on the Ancestors in Vodou Megan Raitano University of Florida Harold Courlanders Song 30 Nago rive e! Boulicha Nago rive e! Nago rive e! Boulicha Nago rive e! Li l, li tan, bata la! Nago rive jodi a, o enhen! Nago arrives hey! Boulicha Nago arrives hey! Nago arrives hey! Boulicha Nago arrives hey! It is the hour, it is the time, beat the drums! Nago arrives today, oh yeah! Ansyen or ancestors are one of the most important pillars of Vodou. Ansyen connect Vodouists to their deceased family members and connect them to their African roots. Recognition of the ancestors is very prominent in this song through both the frequent mentioning of Nago and the references to Boulicha Nago. In Vodou songs, it is common to hear people calling out to African countries, people, cultural practices, and regions. This can be seen in Harold Courlanders songs 6, 10, 11, 12, 14, and 23, to name just a few. This practice is a method of reaching out to the roots of the religion and to the roots of the people. During the years of slavery in Haiti, many people were taken from the West Coast of Africa and brought to Ha iti to work. This helps account for the prominence that Nago has in Haitian Vodou. Nago is a word of Fon origin, which refers to the language and culture of Yorb. This song is part of the Rada rite, which is indicated by the references to Nago. The Rada rite is associated with West Africa, specifically with Benin, and with the Yorb religion. Boulicha Nago is a Yorb lwa. Calling on Boulicha Nago indicates that this song is part of the Rada rite. The songs directive to beat the drums at a certain hour indicates that this is a ceremony song used to call the lwa and start the ceremony.


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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/IR00001362/00026
 Material Information
Title: Nago is Coming! Nago is Coming!: Reflections on the Ancestors in Vodou, Megan Raitano
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Publication Status: Unpublished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 are the results of a combination of in class material and independent research on individually chosen topics. The writing styles, citation styles, and views expressed in the essays are established by the students and do not necessarily reflect those of the professor or the Archive.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00001362:00026

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Nago is Coming! Nago is Coming!
Reflections on the Ancestors in Vodou
Megan Raitano, University of Florida

Harold Courlander's Song 30

Nago rive e! Nago arrives hey!
Boulicha Nago rive e! Boulicha Nago arrives hey!
Nago rive e! Nago arrives hey!
Boulicha Nago rive e! Boulicha Nago arrives hey!
Li le, li tan, bata la! It is the hour, it is the time, beat the drums!
Nago rive jodi a, o enhen! Nago arrives today, oh yeah!

Ansyen or ancestors are one of the most important pillars of Vodou. Ansyen connect
Vodouists to their deceased family members and connect them to their African roots.
Recognition of the ancestors is very prominent in this song through both the frequent mentioning
of Nago and the references to Boulicha Nago.
In Vodou songs, it is common to hear people calling out to African countries, people,
cultural practices, and regions. This can be seen in Harold Courlander's songs 6, 10, 11, 12, 14,
and 23, to name just a few. This practice is a method of reaching out to the roots of the religion
and to the roots of the people. During the years of slavery in Haiti, many people were taken from
the West Coast of Africa and brought to Haiti to work. This helps account for the prominence
that Nago has in Haitian Vodou.
Nago is a word of Fon origin, which refers to the language and culture of Yoruba. This
song is part of the Rada rite, which is indicated by the references to Nago. The Rada rite is
associated with West Africa, specifically with Benin, and with the Yoruba religion. Boulicha
Nago is a Yoruba lwa. Calling on Boulicha Nago indicates that this song is part of the Rada rite.
The song's directive to "beat the drums" at a certain hour indicates that this is a ceremony
song used to call the Iwa and start the ceremony.