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|First reference:||Graphic Novel:It Takes a Village, Part 1|
Vodou, Voodoo, or Vudu, is an African-originated religion brought to the Americas by African slaves. It is common throughout Central and South America and widely adhered to in Haiti. Vodou is still in practice today.
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The Haitian remembers how his father Guillame, a Vodou priest, used the favor of the Loa (and his power) to protect his village from the Duvaliers and their Tonton Macoutes. When the terrorists present a danger to the community, Guillame calmly says, "I walk with Legba and Ogun. I lay with Samara and Delun."
The villagers view Guillame's torture as punishment for "betraying the Loa." They believe that if he truly walked with the Loa, he would never have become a victim of the Tonton Macoutes. To regain favor with his people, Guillame decides to make a sacrifice to Ogun and Legba. He tells his people that without them, "the Loa starve." Later, while being beaten, the Haitian prays to "the old gods," but does not believe that they listen.
Guillame believes that his power comes when the Loa mount him. He takes his son to "the crossroads", a place with images of death etched into the mountainside. Together they take "the dark walk" or Petro.
The Haitian says that it was his father's passion that made him such a powerful Houngan. At the crossroads, where "the realm of spirits and world of man met", the Haitian believes it was the Loa who commanded his father to kill him so Guillame could transcend.
The Haitian returns to the crossroads many years later. Though he does not practice his Houngan father's Vodou ways, the Haitian uses herbs and symbols in a summoning ceremony to make contact with invisible spirits. During the vision, he asks the Loa for a blessing for his new mission.
- The Houngan is the male High Priest and is responsible for preserving religious traditions and for maintainting relationships between the spirits and the community.
- The Loa are the spirits whom the Haitians must serve. During rituals, the Houngan can summon the Loa to take part in the service, receive offerings, and grant requests.
- Legba is "the voice of God." As the intermediary between the Loa and man, Legba facilitates communication, speech and understanding. He guides deceased souls through the crossroads.
- Ogun reigns over fire, iron, hunting, politics and war. He is described as being mighty, powerful, triumphal, though he can also be full of rage and destruction. He is able to give strength to men through prophecy and magic.
- Baron Samedi, the Loa of the dead, traditionally stands at the crossroads, and dead souls must pass him first.
- Petro is the black magic Voodoo, named after a group of angry and bitter Loa. They are the hot spirits, and are described as being combative and restless. Though not necessarily evil, Petro can be dangerous if angry or upset. They are responsible for death curses, other lesser curses, and the making of zombies.
- Several popular depictions about Vodou, including the creation of zombies or the use of the "voodoo doll", are either routed in other religions entirely or widely misconstrued from their original purpose within the religion.
- Though 80% of Haitians are considered Roman Catholic (the official religion of Haiti), about half practice Vodou, usually concurrently with other religions. In fact, most Vodoun sects require members to become Roman Catholic first. Most Haitians do not view Vodou as a standalone religion.
- Guillame says he lays with Samara and Delun. In an interview, Joe Kelly said he made these figures up.
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