and community. The religion has been villianized by western
culture and has been wrongly portrayed
as malignant and
dangerous. The religion is not founded in any of the "black
magics" or fear popularized by Hollywood films, but rather
it is based on balance and tradition. The religion is not
something which should be encountered with inhibition or
fear induced from childhood horror stories, but embraced
for it's strength and history.
Voodoo (also known as Vodun, Vodou, Umbanda,
Quimbanda, and Candomble) originated as an amalgam of
African religions during the slave trade. As slaves were
shipped from Africa to the Caribbean
and America, groups
of slaves sharing a similier heretage were broken apart to
prevent any since of community or bond between them.
With no connection beyond the tortures of slavery, the
slaves had little chance to establish any relationship to their
fellow captives. Hailing from lifestyles and cultures far
removed from each other, the only opportunity for a
common bond came from sharing their deep faiths. Though
different religions, the intense faiths allowed an intellectual exchange and common bond. With several different
religions present in any given group of slaves, the majority of slaves adapted by holding a service which accepted all
lineages and respected all ancestreal lines of faith, both
aspects being of primary concerns in African religions.
These services were effective in blending the rites and
practices of many religions into one combination religion.
effectively created a new religion, Voodoo,
which translates to "spirit" in several African languages. This new religion gave the slaves a since of alliance with their
nieghboring slaves and, with that alliance, a since of
community. This new found unity was viewed as a threat to
the French and British
plantation owners of the newly
settled colonies. As a means to...