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Voodoo Essay

1551 words - 6 pages

Could Voodoo be nothing but evil, black magic, and the work of the devil? Is voodoo really an evil religion that sacrifices humans as well as animals to the demonic Gods? When I first did my paper on Voodoo, the first thing that came to my mind was how Hollywood portrayed Voodoo. When people see something on television or at the movies, they believe it to be reality. Undoubtedly, misconceptions will occur, and unless people are shown evidence against the delusions, it will be taken as fact. I think Voodoo religion is as acceptable as Christianity or any other religion. Voodoo has been tainted from the true principals and understanding.
Voodoo has been shown on screen as evil, black magic, and the work of the devil, rather than as a faith, and most people see spells cast on voodoo dolls like Chucky in Child’s Play, who goes around killing people because he is possessed (Child’s Play 1988).
Is Voodoo a true, spiritual religion, and if so, are people willing to tolerate it? In today’s society, religious tolerance of different groups of people or cultures is very important. By understanding and accepting the differences of real versus imaginary using Voodoo as the prime example, people will be able to see these groups as part of actual society and not just a fictitious magical and evil portrayal in entertainment such as Child’s Play, Trilogy of Terror, and Chloe-Love is Calling You. Hollywood’s portrayals of Voodoo in movies, thus invalid.
Voodoo was founded in Haiti, back when the slaves were brought in from the African homelands. African and Christianity beliefs were easily merged because they are not all that different. Both religions are similar in ways of baptism, or ritual purification. Both believe one God created all people (Hintz 95). In place of God is a Supreme Being called Bondye. He is the head loa and is very powerful. Bondye gives individuals their own destinies. He is too busy to be involved in the personal everyday lives. This is why they believe in the spirits or Loa to whom they worship and make sacrifices (Brown 6).
Just like other religions, Voodoo has it’s own principles, with it’s own set of rites. The Voodoo priest is the houngan. A priestess is a mambo. A houngan religious authority is much more informal then that of a Catholic priest (Hintz 97). A priest has to answer to the bishops and the people. He has a structural church, where as the Voodoo religion does not. The houngan and a mambo are also considered doctors; one of the most important duties is to treat the sick and injured. In voodoo, the saints and Gods of Christianity are translated into loas, they act as intermediaries between the main Voodoo God, the Gran Met, the houngan, and mambos. Ceremonies are held in hounfods, which can be sheds, or openings in the forest (Hintz98). All rituals begin by the houngan asking the Loa to open the gate. After the opening, water is sprinkled throughout important places in the hounfod, especially at the center where the...

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