Citation
1. Lakou Kajòj

Material Information

Title:
1. Lakou Kajòj
Creator:
Hebblethwaite, Benjamin ( Videographer, Interviewer )
Publisher:
National Endowment for the Humanities
Publication Date:
Language:
Haitian Creole
Kreyòl Ayisyen
Physical Description:
digital video

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Vodou -- Haiti ( lcsh )
Religion ( lcsh )
African diaspora -- Caribbean Area ( lcsh )
Spirituality ( lcsh )
Creoles -- Social life and customs -- Haiti ( lcsh )
Creoles -- Religious life and customs -- Haiti ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage:
Haiti

Notes

Funding:
Funding provided by NEH collaborative grant.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.

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Lakou Kajj in Gonayiv, Part 8 (i.e. video clip 8) Recorded by Benjamin Hebblethwaite, March 30, 2013 in Gonaives, Haiti Transcriped and translatd by Tahiri Jean Baptiste Revised by Megan Raitano and O . Josu Dimanche (JD ) Edited by Benjamin Hebblethwaite Man: Paske si leta te konn enptans Lakou sa a, yo t ap genyen tout apwobasyon pou yo te kapab jere avk yo. Se sa k f tr pwochnman la menm minist dkil, delakilti m ap f vin antre la tou. Paske se yo k pou pran angajman sa. Se premye pa sa ki pou ft la kor kteman. S e apre pasaj la la, si yo gen mal pou yo kapab angaje sou wout la, mwen menm, m ap f yo vin la dirkteman, pou yo bay jesyon de nesans lan, pou yo ka eseye f l korkteman, pou lakou a ka gentan vin plante. Man: Because i f the state knew the importance of this Lakou 1, they would have multiple appropriations in place to cherish them. That is why, very soon, I will make, even the minister of culture visit here also . Because, they have to take on this responsibility. This is the first step that needs to be accomplished. After that, if they have a chance to work on the road, I will make them come here directly, so that they can give the go head Ben: Pett mwen ka di de twa ti mo sou pwoj nou, poukisa nou vini an Ayiti, e kk detay sou aryfon sa a. Donk, nou menm nou soti Laflorid epi n ap travay avk yon bous ki pmt nou menm kolekte entvyou avk fim ki montre seremoni Vodou. Depi twazan deja , nou gentan kmanse kolekte anpil seremoni Vodou, prensipalman nan lavil Miyami. Paske nou viv Laflorid, konsa li tou pre. Epi, nou mete tout fim sa yo nan yon achiv nan yon bibliyotk dijital nou pou nou prezve kilti a yisyen an, pou nou prezve Vodou tou: pou pmt moun ki vini nan lavni, nan desanzan, senksanzan, kapab konnen kijan Vodou a te ye jounen jodi a. Se y on travay dokimantasyon, se y on travay prezvasyon. Se pa y on travay pwofi. Kmsi nou p ap devlope pwodwi avk fim nou f. Se plis kenbe tradisyon an pou, non slman moun nan lavni, men moun jounen Ben: Perhaps I could say a few words on our project, on why we came to Haiti, some details on the past . So, we’re from Florida and we are working with grant that allows us to collect interviews and videos that show Vodou ceremonies. For three years now, we have already started to collect video of Vodou ceremonies, principally in Miami. Because we live in Florida, it’s close. We put all of these videos i n an archive in a digital library so we can preserve Haitian culture, so we can also preserve Vodou: allowing people of the near future, people two hundred years, five hundred years from now can know how Vodou was in this time period. It is a project of documentation of preservation . It is not for profit. For example, we are not developing products with the videos we make. It’s mostly to maintain the tradition for, not only the near 1 Lakou is a Haitian Creole word for yard. In Vodou, a lakou is often a sacred space for ceremonies to family spirits and ancestors. 1 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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jodi a ki pa konnen anyen sou Vodou epi ki gen tandans, malerezman, di y on seri de mechanste sou tm nan. Donk, n ap eseye kontre on sten mantalite prejije anti Vodou ki egziste nan peyi nou depi ksmansman esklavaj. Blan te rakonte mechanste sou jan Afriken panse, kilti yo pratike. Donk, nou vle elimine eksplwatasyon sa a avk entvyou avk eksp pou klere limy sou laverite, sou sa Vodou a ye. Sa a se rezo n nou la. Donk, mwen ta renmen kmanse avk kk kesyon sou nou menm: kijan nou rele, ki kote nou soti, epi kijan nou vin konekte avk peristil isit, avk Lakou isit, Lakou Kajj isit la. future, but also for people who don’t know anything about Vodou and who have the tendency to, unfortunately, say certain cruel things on the subject matter. We’re trying to counter certain prejudiced mentalities against Vodou that exist in our country since the start of slavery. Whites told lies on how Africans thought, and the culture they practiced. So, we want to eliminate this exploitation with interviews with experts to shine light on the truth of Vodou. This is the reason we’re here. So, I would like to start with some questions about you all; what are your names, where are you from, and how did you come to be connected to this temple here, with this yard, with Lakou Kajj here. Man [yellow shirt]: Mwen menm m se pitit pitit M t L akou. Nou leve, nou jwenn Vodou. Men, se avk Vodou peyi Ayiti te pran endepandans , peyi a. L nou leve nou menm, nou timoun, nou jwenn Vodou ap danse. Se nou menm ki gen Pareen Legba ou tande tout peyi a ap rele a. Se lakay nou ki gen Pareen Legba. Man [Yellow Shirt]: I myself am the grandchild of the owner of this yard. We were raised with Vodou. But, it is with vodou that the country of Haiti got its independence . When we were growing up, as children, we found Vodou being celebrated. We were the ones with Parenn Legba you hear everyone calling out to. Our home has Parenn Legba. Ben: E sa sa ye, P arn? Ben: And what is that, Parn ? Man [yellow shirt]: Pareen ! Men kay Pareen la; se y on l wa. Man [Yellow Shirt]: Parenn ! This is the house of Parenn ; he’s a Spirit. Ben: Legba se y on l wa men . Ben: Legba is a Lwa but Man [yellow shirt]: Legba se y on l wa; ou rele l nan ptal pou l vin antre. Men se nou k gen kay Legba. Se nou menm menm ki te konn mache f Vodou pou tout moun nan peyi a. Se te lakay nou. Kilti sa se nou menm ki te gen kilti sa, mache f Vodou toupatou. Enbyen nou Man [Yellow Shirt]: Legba is a Spirit ; you call him through a portal so he can enter. But, we are the ones who have a home for Legba. We were the ones performing Vodou rituals for everybody in the country. It was at our house. This culture, we were the ones with this 2 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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menm nou leve nou jwenn Vodou a, ki donk tout sa nou te leve nou te jwenn granmoun yo t ap f. Nou toujou swiv sou sa ansyent yo t ap f; se Vodou a. Anojou nou pa janm mete tt nou nan pozisyon nou pa t leve jwenn lakou a te genyen. Men, mwen menm m se pitit pitit Mriyiz Dawou . Mwen rete lavil. Men l Vodou a —nou pral kmanse —se l nou bezwen nou vini. Nou vin rete la nan lakou a pou nou fete lakou a pou jis Vodou a fini. Ft lakou a nou konn kmanse dis mas nou fini ven oubyen vennde. Se selon jan Pak la tonbe a, paske nou p ap janbe Vandredi Sen. Jan Pak la tonbe a se konsa nou toujou mete Vodou a. Nou touye bt nan lakou a chak dezan. Ane sa nou f Vodou a a fs nou, nou pa touy e bt. Ane k ap vini, fk nou touye bt. Se chak dezan nou vse san nan lakou a. Men tout done sa yo, nou pote chay sa yo antanke pou k nou. Nou san d. Nou bezwen d pou ede nou, paske mway en nou konn f nou kk defo gen bagay nou paka f. Gen y on kantite moun ki konn vini nanpwen fs pou ta resevwa yo jan ou vle. Al se nou menm ki sanse ap fete lakou a. Premye granmoun nou menm nou leve nou jwenn la nou te leve jwenn , nou te jwenn Sela Dawou. Sela Dawou mouri a syk dezan a sandezan. Apre Sela Dawou, Frederik Dawou vin pran. Frederik mouri a katrevendiznevan. Apre Frederik se te Kamelo ki te vin kenbe lakou a k ap chante km Svit. Li mouri a swasannkenzan. Kounye a nou gen Grasya Dest ine, pitit pitit t itant Dawou. M kw l genyen senkannsizan. Oke nan senkannsizan nan granmoun ki dem lakou a se Eradi Dawou. Li gen katrevensetan. Li gen Chimn Dawou ki te ansanm avk li. Chimn gen katrevensizan. Madan Jera Dekla culture going around, per forming rituals everywhere. Well we were raised with Vodou; so we were raised with what all the elders were doing. We always follow what the elders did; it’s Vodou. Today we do not put ourselves in positions we were not raised in in the yard. But, I myself am the grandchild of Mriyiz Dawou. I live in the city. But during the time of the Vodou celebrations —we are about to start —when we need to we come. We come to stay here in the yard so we can celebrate the yard until the Vodou ce lebrations end. We start the celebrations for the yard March 10th and we finish on the 20th or the 22nd. It depends on how Easter falls, because we never skip Good Friday. The Vodou celebrations are held in accordance to Easter. We kill animals in the yard every two year. This year we held the Vodou celebrations with our resources, we did not kill animals. Next year, we have to kill animals. We only kill in the yard every two years . But all of these provisions, we carry these burdens essentially by ourselves. We have no help. We need help, because our means fails us sometimes, there are things we can’t do. There are a number of people who come and there is no capability to receive them the way you would like to . Well, we celebrate the yard. The first elder we grew up knowing —we grew up with Sela Dawou. Sela Dawou died at the age of one hundredtwo . After Sela Dawou, Frederik D awou took over. Frederik died at ninety nine years old. After Frederik it was K amelo who came to keep the yard, who was leading services as the Svit. He died at seventy five years of age. Now we have Grasya Destine, the grandchild of Titan Dawou . I believe she is fifty six years old. Of the elders in the yard there is Eradi Dawou. He 3 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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gen swasanndouzan. Men vrman lakou a gen senksanzan depi l ap fete, senksanzan. is eighty seven. There is Chimn Dawou who is with him. Chimn is eighty six. Mrs Jera Dekla is seventy two. Truly the yard has been around for five hundred y ears, five hundred years. Ben: Senksanzan, se y on pakt tan. Ben: Five hundred years, that’s a long time. Man [Yellow Shirt]: On pakt tan! Depi nan momam Tousen Louvti te rete nan lakou isi a. Li te rete nan lakou isi a; li t ap svi a Mriyiz Dawou. Mriyiz la se te y on oungan ki te konn klere avk on brav ki te rele Gran Chemen. L Tousen Louvti ap sti —mwen m t ap ka konn bagay sa yo non. Se granmoun yo k ap ba nou yo, k ap kite yo, k ap kite yo pou nou paske gen de granmoun ki pa t konn li , ki pa ka ekri pou kite pou nou, men nou jwenn pawl yo nan youn youn de youn youn de , nou jwenn pawl yo. Eben l Tousen Louvti te isi a — men nan mn sa w ap gade a li gen yon tou ladann. Li te konn al kache nan tou a lajounen. Gen l l ale asw; gen l l f tout tan l se isi a l f l. Li te di: l n l ap soti Brav la ki rele Gran Chemen an te di a jounen jodi a rete dmi isit. Wi, pa soti menm pou w rive al nan tou a. Li f jounen an vre. Nan asw li leve l sti al nan tou a. Li pa retounen. Li rete nan tou a pou demen sidyeve. Y arete Tousen Louvti. Se sa k f nou genyen moniman l la, Tousen Louvti nou gen moniman l la a. Man [Yellow Shirt]: A long time! Since the moment Toussaint L’Ouverture stayed in this e yard. He stayed in this yard; he was working with Mriyiz Dawou. Mriyiz was an oungan who used to deal with a brave Lwa called Gran Chemen. When Toussaint L’Ouverture was leaving — I myself did not know these things. The elders told us the stories; they left them for us because some of them did not know how to read nor write to write them for us, but we got the stories from one another . Well , when Toussaint L’Ouverture was here—that mountain you see has a cave in it. He used to go hide in that cave during the day. Sometimes he would go at night; sometimes he would spend the whole time here. He said: when he was leaving, the B rave called Gran Chemen said stay and sleep here today. Yes, don’t leave; not even to make it to the cave. He spent the day here. At night he g ot up and went to the cave. He did not return. He stayed in the cave until the next day. They arrested Toussaint L’Ouverture. That’s why we have his monument here. We have a monument of Toussaint L’Ouverture. Ben: Moniman? B en: Monument? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Wi Tousen Louvti. Kounye a nou genyen, yo genyen pou yo ba nou yon ptre l, yon imaj li pou nou mete — Man [Yellow Shirt]: Yes, Toussaint L’Ouverture. They are giving us portrait or him , an image for us to put —we are going to 4 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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nou gen on plas nou pral f . N ap kraze nan wout la la pou yo ka mete l sou plas la. create a space for it. We are going to make an opening in that road there so they can put him on that space. Ben: L yo pale de Tousen Louvti nan liv istwa souvan yo mete anfaz sou kwayans Katolik. ske w ka pal e sou sa? Si s e konsa Tousen Louvti te vrman Katolik e Vodou? Li te mache nan de branch yo? Ben: When they talk of Toussaint L’Ouverture in the history books, often, they put emphasis on the Catholic belief . Can you speak on that? Was he really Catholic and Vodou? Was he in the two branches? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Vodou: se isi a! Vodou, m pa t konnen Katoli la. Mwen menm sa m te leve jwenn granmoun yo di, se Vodou l te ye. Se lakou isi a; se Vodou. Pran tout bagay kenbe yo! Branch pa branch, se te Vodou! Man [Yellow Shirt]: Vodou: It was here! Vodou, I did not know about the Catholicism. I myself grew up with the elders saying that it was Vodou. If it was in this yard; it’s Vodou. Take everything and keep them! Branch after branch, it was Vodou! Man [Sunglasses]: M konnen nan letan te gen y on bagay yo te konn angaje ladan li. L w jwenn dzansyen lontan yo toujou di w se Katolik yo ye. Moun nan te mt te Vodouwizan yo di w a mwen menm, m se yon Katolik. Epoutan, Man [Sunglasses]: I know that in the past there was something they used to engage in. You find that the elders of the past always said they were Catholic. The person could be Vodouist, but they would say they were Catholic. Man [Yellow Shirt]: E jiskaprezan nou menm nou se Vodou. Men, l on moun mande nou ki relijyon nou nou di se Katolik. Men, se Vodou nou ye. Man [Yellow Shirt]: And, still today we are Vodou. But, when someone asks for our religion we say we are Catholic. But, we are Vodou. Ben: Esplike poukisa nou di nou Katolik l nou Vodouwizan. ske sa soti tout istwa prejije? Ben: Explain why you say that you are Catholic when you are Vodouists. Does that come from a history of prejudice? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Non, non, ki vle di, n ou menm nou gen dwa soti nan Vodou a la, nou pran desizyon nou, nou antre an yon legliz Katolik n al priye. L nou antre legliz Katolik la n al priye nou santi Bondye ba nou plis fs. Paske menm l nou te devan kouv a nou t ap Man [Yellow Shirt]: No, that means that we can leave Vodou, we can decide to enter a Catholic church to pray. When we enter the Catholic church to pray we feel that God gives us more strength. Because, even when we are before the altar doing a Vodou ritual we have 5 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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f on Vodou, fk nou f “o non Papa ak Pitit ak Lesprisen.” F nou priye Bondye avan pou Bondye ba nou pasaj pou nou antre sou Ginen an. to say “in the name of the Father, the Child , and the Spirit.” We have to pray to God first so God can give us passage to enter into Ginen. Ben: Stadi Katolik la pa separe avk Vodou? Ben: In other words Catholicism isn’t separated from Vodou? Man [Sunglasses]: Non pou f swit avk sa mesye a di a: gen y on kesyon de sekt. Paske dan lansyen moun yo pa t reflechi sou sekt a. Paske l w pale de relijyon an , m oun nan konnen relijyon se l se Pwotestan, ou se Batis, ou se Advantis, ou se Katolik. Vodou an yo pa t ba li non reli jyon menm. Konprann? Se etan Nouvo Testaman, nan tan nouvl jenerasyon sa nou vini an, gen tout moun ki sanse Vodou. Paske imajine w pafwa moun nan konn nan Vodou an, li p vin nan Vodou. Poukisa? Paske l konnen se y on bagay ki anomali ke l ap f. Se kou nye a la pandan setan nou vin antre nan sistm Vodou an ki f kounye a moun nan vin konnen Vodou a se y on relijyon li ye. Man [Sunglasses]: No to continue with what the man said: there is a question of division. Because in the past the people did not reflect on the division. Because when you are talking of religion people understand religion as Protestant, or Baptist, or Adventist, or Catholic. They di d not consider Vodou a religion. Understand? It was during this new time , the time of the new generation where we are now, everyone became aware of the Vodou. Because imagine that sometimes, the person can be practicing the Vodou, he’s afraid of participating in Vodou ceremonies . Why? Because, he knows that he is doing something anomalous. It is now that w e are entering into a system of Vodou that lets people know that Vodou is a religion. Man: Pou yo pran responsabilite yo, sa vle di se vodouyizan ki vle relijyon yo. Man: For them to take responsibility, that means, it is the vodouyizan who want their relijyon. Man [Yellow Shirt]: E se avk Vodou peyi d’Ayiti sa la te pran endepandans li. Man [Yellow Shirt]: And it was with Vodou that the country of Haiti came to take its independence. Ben: Se sa! Ben; That’s right! Man [Yellow Shirt]: A Vodou! Man [Yellow Shirt]: With Vodou! 6 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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Ben: E pale mwen de sa. Kijan Vodou te enspire endepandans peyi d’Ayiti? Ben: And, talk to me about that. How did Vodou inspire the independence of Haiti? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Bon mwen menm , m pa ka ap f in ba w branch sa a . Paske sa m ap di w yo se granmoun ki te leve ki ba nou yo. M ka ba w stori lakou a. Men m pa ka ba ou l peyi a t ap pran endepandans li, li te prann sou Vodou. M te leve m jwenn yo di m: peyi d’Ayiti l l t ap pran endepandans se a Vodou l te pran l. Men m pa gen anyen m ka ba w km diferaman kman l te sti, kman l pa t sti. Paske s l bagay m konnen, Tousen, Desalin, tout lt prezidan yo ki genyen yo, tout ewo yo e Lamt, Madan Kolon. Tout gen y on seri de gwo gwo istwa moun sa yo yo t ap goumen avk Frans pou peyi a te kapab pran endepandans li. Man [Yellow Shirt]: Well , personally, I can’t completely give you this branch. Because, what I’ll tell you is what the elders told us. I can give you the story of the yard. But, I cannot give you [confirmation that] when the country took its independence, it took it with Vodou. I gr ew up with them telling me that Haiti won its independence with Vodou. But, there’s nothing I can tell you particularly about how it happened or did not happen. Because a ll I know is that Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean Jacques Dessalines, all the other presi dents , all the heroes and La Mort, and Madame Catherine Flon. All of these people have impressive stories about fighting with the French for the independence of this country. Man [Sunglasses]: Wi non a de st, toujou se, demenm de swit l w pale de endepandans pa egzanp se y on bagay ki rete dan listwa. Paske menm l la ou konn w peyi an pafwa moun nan konn nan y on kriz politik. Kriz politik la tlman sa nan san nou, nou toujou w ke moun yo gen de bagay yo toujou ap f nan kafou. Pa egzanp yo di w konsa: oke tl moun ap bay pwoblm nan peyi a. Li itilize menm sa ki te genyen nan lansyen pou l f. Kman pafwa l w w moun nan konn rive nan kafou a la epi sitou nan l milit ap vin f arstasyon ou konn jwenn moun nan konn pran d bouty epi konn pran d farin frans, e asyt blan. Man [Sunglasses]: Well [...] when you talk of independence, for example, it’s something that stays in the past. Because even when you look at the country sometimes, someone is usually in a political crisis. The political crisis is so engrained; we feel that the people are always doing things in the intersections . For example t he y tell you that: okay a particular person is causing problems in the country. He [the population] uses the same old methods. Sometimes you’ll see the person arrive at the road here and then particularly when the military comes to make arrest s , you find that the pe ople take bottles and wheat flour, and white plates ... Man [Yellow Shirt]: T rase vv! Man [yellow Shirt]: Trace a vv! Man [Sunglasses]: Sa se y on bagay l ap f dan l ansyen. Paske l m ap aprann istwa a, kman Man [Sunglasses]: This is something ancient. Because when I learned the story, how it was, 7 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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istwa a ye, l n ap pale de lame Napoleyon endijn ou konnen apr batay sa a kote ou jwenn istwa relijyon an se la l vin antre plis. L w gade batay la kman l f? L lame endijn fin bat lame Napoleyon epi w vin w dapre tandans , otorit e yo toujou di w “bon peyi Dayiti se on peyi, apre batay sa, si yo pa f on jan divize li se y on peyi k ap pran lemond.” L sa yo vin pran tandans de mist, d Lwa nou genyen y ap f entpr e tasyon. Tankou jounen jodi a w ap gade pou w w legliz gen d moun ki genyen bon Lwa: tankou sa n ap rele Madan Lenba, n ap rele Ogou, n ap rele Legba, n ap rele Brav. Jodi a tout moun sa yo, yo oblije antre yo nan relijyon. Kman yo konvenk moun sa yo? Yo konvenk yo pa d mwayen. Paske mou nan, se sa k f gen moun ki toujou a p di l i pa vle di l se Vodou. Poukisa? Paske l moun nan part la li jwenn yon badji nou nan ap di konsa wi entl Lwa ap f y on travay pou mwen pou m vwayaje. Moun nan di men non si Lwa te ka f travay pou l vwayaje, Bk a t ap vwayaje. Ou konprann? Se nan sans sa legliz la vin fme, kijan l fme? L w gade kounye a moun nan gen bon Lwa nan tt li li antre nan on legliz ki sa yo f pou li? Premye sa yo f pou li yo mande l , yo mande l ske l gen kay , l i di non. Y ale yo konstwi y on kay ba li. ske pitit ou al lekl? Non! Kounye a yo voye pitit li lekl. when we speak of Napoleon’s army and the natives, after that battle is when the story of the religion is most prevalent. When you look at the battle, how did it happen? When the native army beat Napoleon’s army, then you see the authorities had a tendency to say “well Haiti is a country, after this battle, if we do not find a way to divide this country it’s a country that will take over the world.” Then they started speaking about mysticism; they were interpreting some of our lwa. Today you see that churches have people who have good lwa: like those we call Madame L enba, or Ogou, or Legba, or Brave. Today all those people, they have to enter into religion. How do they convince these people? They convince them with their abilities. That’s why there are people who are always saying they don’t want to say they are Vodouist. Why? Because when the person appears here he finds our temple and says yes so and so the lwa are working for me so I can travel. The person says but no if the Lwa can help you travel, Bk would travel. Do you understand? That is how the church came t o be, how did it form? When you look and see that the person has a good Lwa in his head and he enters a church what do they do for him? The first thing they do for him, they ask him if he has a house he says no. They go and build him a house. Do your child ren go to school? No! They send his children to school. Man: Menm bagay patwon an, yo gen patwon! Man: It’s patronage; they have patrons! Man [Sunglasses]: Ou konn sa m di ou la ? Yo mande moun nan kisa w ap f? M p ap f anyen. Yo ba l koms. Enbyen jodi a se sa k f kounye a majorite moun yo ki genyen gwo Man [Sunglasses]: You understand what I am saying? They ask the person : what are you doing? I’m not doing anything. They give him a business. Well today that’s why the majority 8 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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Lwa pou yo svi Vodou a, moun sa yo oblije al konvti. Vwala ke moun nan pa konvti. Konvti a sa l ye, l konv t i nan entansyon mwayen ekonomik lan li f t pou li , ki f l oblije antre nan legliz la. Pafwa menm legliz la , l l gen y on bagay l ap rele tankou lchan adorasyon, pafwa moun nan konn ap danse nan adorasyon e poutan se y on lwa k ap danse anndan legliz la. Ou konprann ? Se nan sistm sa ki f ou w konsa konsa y ap diminye Lwa ki genyen nan jenerasyon ki genyen. Pas ke l w gade Vodou a konn genyen nenpt si s moun k ap danse la se sis l wa. Moun nan mwayn li ou w kat al legliz kounye a w w kman Vodou a rete a de moun. Ou konprann ? Se sa k f kounye a m kw avk evolisyon Vodou a la. M kw bagay yo chanje. Paske gen kk bagay ki pa t ap rive . of people who have powerful lwa , who serve Vodou, these people have no choice but to convert. In reality the person does not convert. The conversion is due to the improvement in economic means that is done for him , t herefore, he is compelled to join the church . Sometimes even the church, when they have something they’re doing, like songs of worship, sometimes the person is dancing in worship and it’s really a lwa who’s dancing in the church. Do you understand? That’s how you see little by little they are reducing the lwa with each generation. Because when you look, Vodou can have anywhere from six people dancing and that’s six lwa. You see four of them go to church and now you see that Vodou is left with two people. That’s why I believe in the evolution of Vodou. Vodou is here. I believe that things have changed , because there are things that would not have happened. Ben: Pou kominote a ou ka pale de kominote isit, konbyen moun ki f pati li? ske nou konte yo? ske nou gen manm, oubyen ounsi obyen on Svit? Kijan nou ganize nou nou menm? Ben: For the community, can you talk about the community here. How many people does it consist of? Do you count them? Do you have members, an ounsi or a Svit? How are you organized? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Nou menm nou gen ounsi. Nou gen ounsi nan lakou isi a menm. Nou gen ounsi l n ap f Vodou isi a. Nou gen ounsi l on moun rele nou pou nou al f y on Vodou pou li dey. Nou soti a ounsi sa yo pou al f Vodou a. Men manm ki moun ki vr man chf Vodou a se Eradi Dawou avk Grasya Destine. Men nou gen ounsi. Man [Yellow Shirt]: Us, w e have an ounsi. We have an ounsi here in this yard. We have ounsi when we are doing Vodou celebrations. We have ounsi when someone calls us to do a ritual for them outside of the yard. We leave with these ounsi to perform the ritual. But members, the people who truly are the chiefs of Vodou are Eradi Dawou and Grasya Destine. But, we have ounsi. 9 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture

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Ben: Kijan y on moun ta vin y on ounsi isit nan kominote a? Ben: How does someone become an ounsi here in this community? Man [yellow Shirt]: Kman moun nan ka vin y on ounsi nan kominote a ! L i gen dwa renmen jan nou f dans epi l chwazi mache avk nou. Li vin di nou sa, nou mete non l nan kaye. Li vin enskri. Nou enskri l. Li ansanm av nou. L nou soti n al f Vodou a si nou f Vodou a pou ven kb, chak moun se avk senk kb yo ka soti. Nou f separasyon ba yo chak senk. Man [Yellow Shirt]: How A person can become an ounsi in this community ! if he likes our ceremonies then he can choose to walk with us. He comes and tells us and we put his name in a notebook. He is signed up. We sign him up. He is with us. When we leave to do Vodou celebrations i f we do the celebration for twenty cents , each person leaves with five cent s. We divide and give them each five . Man: Tanbouyin tou papa. Man: The drummers too, man. Man [Yellow Shirt]: Konsa! Tanbouyin, moun k ap bat tanbou, sa k ap bat f, sa k ap chante, ki gen l wa k ap danse a. Nou resevwa yo, nou met tt nou ansanm , nou resevwa yo avk mwayen yo ba nou pou n al f Vodou a. Man [yellow Shirt]: Like that! The drummers, the people who play the drums, those who play metal instruments, those who sing who have Lwa and are dancing. We receive them ; we collaborate and receive them with the resources they give us to do the Vodou ceremony. Ben: E moun ki f pati lis la ki enskri ske yo bezwen peye yon kotizasyon tanzantan? Ben: T he people who make up the list, who are signed up , do they have to pay dues every once in a while? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Bon kotizasyon an , pary enskripsyon an, nou pa menm bezwen sa paske nou gen manm. Nou gen manm tankou nou gen misye , se trezorye, nou gen misye sa [ Jwen . . .]. Ou pa konprann? Nou gen sa se ounsi [wonsi?] ; nou gen sa se s vit; nou gen sa se oungan. Nou gen tout bagay yo, lakay . Man [Yellow Shirt]: Well , much like subscriptions; we do not need dues because we have members. We have members, for example we have him as treasurer . We have this guy [....]. Do you understand? We have ounsi; we have servants ; we have oungan. We have all of them here . Ben: Ou f sistm Kanzo a? Ben: Do you practice Kanzo? Man [Yellow Shirt]: Non, nou pa f Kanzo! Man [yellow Shirt]: We don’t practice Kanzo! 10 Copyright 2015, The University of FloridaDuke University National Endowment for the Humanities Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture


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