Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir Summary


Material Information

Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir Summary
Physical Description:
PDF file
Haitian Creole
Benjamin Hebblethwaite, Joane Buteau, Megan Raitano and Tahiri Jean-Baptiste
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Florida
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Caribbean Area, Haitian Vodou, Haitian Creole, Ati Max Beauvoir   ( lcsh )


This PDF provides part 1 of a multipart interview that the journalist Valerio Saint-Louis did with Ati Max Beauvoir, one of Haiti's best known Vodou priests and leaders. The interview was posted to on August 16, 2009 and can be retrieved at this web address:
General Note:
The work of Haitian Creole transcription and English translation was funded by the Humanities Scholarship Enhancement Fund and the NEH Collaborative Grants. Ayibobo!

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright 2014 Jean Baptiste, Raitano, and Hebblethwaite Funded by the UF Duk e NEH Collaborative Grant Summary of Interview with Ati Max Beauvoir conducted by Valerio Saint Louis Summar ized by Tahiri Jean Baptiste Edited by Megan Raitano and Benjamin Hebblethwaite Ati Max Beauvoir discusses the process by which he was elected as the chief representative of Haitian Vodou. The election was conducted across all of the different Vodou societies in Haiti Ati Beauvoir and other Vodou leaders founded the Konfederasyon Nas yonal Vodouwizan Ayisyen (KNVA) or the National Confederation of Haitian Vodou ists headed by Beauvoir and represented by a twenty one member council tasked with tending to the interests of Vodou. Beauvoir assert s that Vodou is a religion equal to any other world religion He criticizes the popular conception that requires a delineation of the parameters of a religion. He believes that the popular rejection of Vodou 's legitimacy as a religion is the result of the monetary gain of those who are against Vodou The dependency of many Haitian Protestant and Catholic religious leaders to U S based financial support is an example of this economic bias. He goes on to say that Haitian Vodou is an oral tradition; Vodou's lack of a holy book has no bearing on its validity as a religion. Beauvoir defines religion not as a body of beliefs with a holy book and a messiah, but rather as a belief system that recognizes a supreme, all powerful, omniscient force. He defines religion as having a relationship with a supreme being. He argues that Haitians, like all people, have a right to present their religion, philosophy, and identity as it best suits them. Ati Beauvoir identifie s the prevailing attitudes about Vodou as fundamentally racist and colorist This attitude, according to Ati Beauvoir, is an effect of the hegemony of the colonial period and the white presence and influence in Haiti following the Haitian revolution There is a long held erroneous belief rooted in racism that b lack original thought, language, cul ture, practice, and life ways a re inherently inferior to that of whites. He believes that the stratification of Haiti will only be resolve d wh en Haitians claim their history and heritage. He also believes in understanding and respecting the religions of others, an ideology that is consistent with his concept of what constitutes a religion. Ati Beauvoir in keeping with Haitian ideology and Vodou teachings, believes in equality. He views reli gion as an individual choice and a means by which one can live morally and ethically. The interview also touches upon th e healing practices of Vodou the accusations made against Vodou, and the books Lapriy Ginen ( The Ginen Prayer ) and Le Grand Recueil SacrŽ ( The Great Sacred Collection ) Ati Beauvoir's masterpieces in which he collects a massive corpus of songs and prayers that form the foundation of Vodou 's sacred literature Keywords and phrases : Ati, chief representative of Vodou, racism, colonialism, religion, identity, Haitian ideology, messiah, heritage, morality, equality colorism