Skip to main content

I learned something interesting recently. The people who say that "Voodoo" dolls do not have their roots in Africa are correct.

But you may be surprised as to where they DO have their origins.

Would you believe, PERU? Yup. The natives of Peru in ancient times had what most people today would recognize as so-called "Voodoo Dolls"--effigies of persons constructed of cloth and other materials that were poked with pins and things in an effort to "spiritually" inflict harm on the person the effigy represented.

This was on the Discovery Channel (Canada) about a month and a half ago.
"You liberals with your conspiracy theories are starting to sound like your own version of the John Birch Society"-Rush Limbaugh
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

quote:
Originally posted by Sierra Leone:
The commericalized image that Voodoo dolls are used in magic are mainly hype. Why does this topic interest you if you are a Christian?

Voodoo is an Ewe word with some yoruba roots and Voodoo originates from the Ewes of West Africa. Voodoo dolls used in magic, witchcraft, traditional African medicine or whatever you want to call it is not hype. You can check this this by talking to any Ewe.
Voodoo is derived from Yourba mixed in with Christianity and Native American Spirituality.
And when you say EWE are you speaking of Nigerians im which Yourba was founded. Last time a checked Ewe was a language in Ghana as well. I never saw a Voodoo doll at a Yourba ceremony but maybe I missed that day. When I say it is nype, I meant the way you see the media potray people that practice the religion that is all they show. But that is not all that they use.
Shebakoby,

You can't trust everything you see on TV as fact. You always must look into who is doing and paying for the research, that often predetermines the outcome of such research. Especially when it comes to non-European and specifically African cultural/spritual practices. Please explain how and why this subject appeals to you. You seem to have a total aversion to anyone's spirituality other than conservative Christian. So I'm at a loss for your hidden motives. You could not have posted to simply "inform" us. I hope you don't think that pointing out something like Voudun dolls not having African but Native American origins somehow discredits them to Voudun initiates in the Americas...Those in the West accept and have incorporated all the influences in the "New" world into the religion....They don't have spiritual/cultural tunnel vision like yourself. By the way...How would a Peruvian practice reach Haiti and New Orleans in particular? The Arawak were the natives of the isle of Hispanola, and Peru had no direct contact with the Southern U.S. or Haiti during slavery. So I don't see the connection. Did the tel-lie-vision show you saw explain the geographical problem I just pointed out?

I don't doubt the Peruvians had dolls that they used. I just doubt they directly influenced the places that Voudun is practices in the Americas.

BTW, from my understanding the Voudun practice comes mainly as practiced in the Americas from the Dahomey area(ewe people) and Santeria and Ifa are practices from the Yoruba people largely from Nigeria and Benin. Of course each practice has influenced each other in the Americas, as well as having other African influences(Congo and Angolan) and Native American and Catholic influences, because of the different ethnic groups merging, but there are still distinct differences between dominant Yoruba and domminant Dahomean practices. And as Henry 38 pointed out the "pure" form is still practiced and originates at home....

Henry 38,

I have a question....Are the Ewe a large ethnic group in Benin? I ask because I thought the people of Benin weere largely Yoruba and an Igbo mix...Yet Benin is mainly where Dahomeyland was and it's official religion is Voudun...So I'm now getting a little confused as to what ethnic group and what traditional land area Voudon "originally" hailed from. Did it spread to other ethnic groups outside of the Ewe? Did the "homeland" of the practice shift with migration patterns and populations effected by slave raiding on the continent? I'm curious at your perspective on this.

I know migration patterns have a lot to do with it. This is my ancestry hence my questions...

The Kahouni Tribe. The whole village was wiped out in 1643 and shipped accross the great expanse, first to the Carribean Island of Haiti. 12 of them(the last alive by then) made it to the New world and thus is where my link is. This is in my father's blood. Originally the tribe came from Ghana after the tribal wars there to settle in a village called Mashinsi in Dahomey.

Sierra Leone,

Do you practice Voudun or Ifa? (I'm assuming Ifa since you keep mentioning the Yoruba) And welcome to the board.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Henry 38,

I have a question....Are the Ewe a large ethnic group in Benin? I ask because I thought the people of Benin weere largely Yoruba and an Igbo mix...Yet Benin is mainly where Dahomeyland was and it's official religion is Voudun...So I'm now getting a little confused as to what ethnic group and what traditional land area Voudon "originally" hailed from. Did it spread to other ethnic groups outside of the Ewe? Did the "homeland" of the practice shift with migration patterns and populations effected by slave raiding on the continent? I'm curious at your perspective on this.

I know migration patterns have a lot to do with it. This is my ancestry hence my questions...

The Kahouni Tribe. The whole village was wiped out in 1643 and shipped accross the great expanse, first to the Carribean Island of Haiti. 12 of them(the last alive by then) made it to the New world and thus is where my link is. This is in my father's blood. Originally the tribe came from Ghana after the tribal wars there to settle in a village called Mashinsi in Dahomey.



That is the classic mistake most of our brothers across the Atlantic make. Benin was once once ruled by the Yoruba and because a large number of slaves were taken from the place many erroneously assume it was the Yoruba that was enslaved instead of the opposite. The people that were enslaved were the dispossessed immigrants that were looking to settle in the West African region.

The Ewes are like the black people in the Caribbean who ended up being the dominant race after slavery because of the large number of slaves in the area. Around the period of slavery the Ewes were migrating into the west Africa region and huge tribes were constantly enslaved by the locals. Sadly Ewe history in contrast to other native Africans in the local are peppered with such sad stories of captivity. After slavery because of the large numbers of Ewes they ended by being the majority ethnic group in Benin (Dahomey), Togo and the Volta Region of Ghana.

In Benin despite the Ewe being the major ethnic group, the Oba's(kings) are still taken from the Yorubas who were the original rulers.
It is no different from some Caribbean countries where despite being predominantly black are stilled ruled by the Queen of England.
quote:
Originally posted by henry38:
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Henry 38,

I have a question....Are the Ewe a large ethnic group in Benin? I ask because I thought the people of Benin weere largely Yoruba and an Igbo mix...Yet Benin is mainly where Dahomeyland was and it's official religion is Voudun...So I'm now getting a little confused as to what ethnic group and what traditional land area Voudon "originally" hailed from. Did it spread to other ethnic groups outside of the Ewe? Did the "homeland" of the practice shift with migration patterns and populations effected by slave raiding on the continent? I'm curious at your perspective on this.

I know migration patterns have a lot to do with it. This is my ancestry hence my questions...

The Kahouni Tribe. The whole village was wiped out in 1643 and shipped accross the great expanse, first to the Carribean Island of Haiti. 12 of them(the last alive by then) made it to the New world and thus is where my link is. This is in my father's blood. Originally the tribe came from Ghana after the tribal wars there to settle in a village called Mashinsi in Dahomey.



That is the classic mistake most of our brothers across the Atlantic make. Benin was once once ruled by the Yoruba and because a large number of slaves were taken from the place many erroneously assume it was the Yoruba that was enslaved instead of the opposite. The people that were enslaved were the dispossessed immigrants that were looking to settle in the West African region.

The Ewes are like the black people in the Caribbean who ended up being the dominant race after slavery because of the large number of slaves in the area. Around the period of slavery the Ewes were migrating into the west Africa region and huge tribes were constantly enslaved by the locals. Sadly Ewe history in contrast to other native Africans in the local are peppered with such sad stories of captivity. After slavery because of the large numbers of Ewes they ended by being the majority ethnic group in Benin (Dahomey), Togo and the Volta Region of Ghana.

In Benin despite the Ewe being the major ethnic group, the Oba's(kings) are still taken from the Yorubas who were the original rulers.
It is no different from some Caribbean countries where despite being predominantly black are stilled ruled by the Queen of England.


Thanks for clarifying Henry 38, I greatly appreciate it. You have ended my confusion.
Henry, something you said in this thread I find interesting enough to break the silence and actually ask you two questions. If you don't want to address me, I'll live.

1. Do you really liken the difference between Yoruba and Ewe as being as large as the difference between Caribbean blacks and white Englishmen? COnsidering the linguistic similarities, I'd like some insight on your views on that.

2. Are the Fon a different ethnicity from the Ewe, As Germans are different from Dutch, or are they a group WITHIN the Ewe, like the Swabians are a group within the German ethnic group?
Vox to answer those questions would take many pages long so I have tried making it short and sweet.

The Yoruba are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa maybe even in Africa. I don't believe there is any linguistic similarity between Ewe and Yoruba. If you think there is I suspect it might be due to the presence of Ewes in Benin and Benin's traditional rulers are Yoruba, therefore it is logical you might think the language spoken is Yoruba.

The language spoken in Benin is 'fon' sometimes mistakenly known as Ewe. This is where it gets interesting because I being Ewe partly understand fon, not completely but enough to understand when spoken to in fon. But I do not understand Yoruba yet the Yoruba's rule the fon speaking people of Benin. Very confusing you can see, I hope I am not giving you a headache.

Okay lets see; the fon language is the main language of Benin so if we say the fon language is EWE then actually the main language of Benin is EWE. But hold on the fon language is a mixture of Ewe and some other language, a language I an Ewe don't understand. I supect this is the Yoruba aspect so the Fon language is a mixture of Yoruba and Ewe. Well that would explain the linguistic similarities. So from that deduction the linguistic similarity is with fon which is the meeting ground of Ewe and Yoruba. I hope that helps.

Well actually it doesn't because fon was there before this mixture of ewe and Yoruba took place. Weren't the fon an ethnic group in itself. Uh huh! What a head-ache. The answer is from my knowledge the fon trace their ancestry to the Yoruba while the Ewe trace their ancestry to East Africa. But if the Yoruba enslaved the fon how could they be Yoruba? Personally I suspect the fon were wiped out by being shipped to across the Atlantic alongside the Ewe and later through intermarriage by the survivors with the Yoruba these ones think their former masters are their ancestors. OOOhhhh I can feel my brains getting hot again. All I can say is this is a long and complicated history lesson that would be wasted in this forum.

We need to write a book on all of this but i wonder if it is necessary. Shouldn't we forget the past and move on?
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Okay ... now I guess I gotta throw my .02 in! Big Grin

quote:
We need to write a book on all of this but i wonder if it is necessary. Shouldn't we forget the past and move on?


Henry38 ... why would you say that? Or the better question, why do you think we should do that? Confused


Let me see how to put it for you to understand.
Okay look at history, it is full of one group of humans pillaging, exploiting and killing another group of humans. The victors see it as a glorious and proud history while the victims usually scurry off into a corner in shame and don't like to think or talk about their past. A good example is the history of America of the native Americans and the Whites. If you look at the history all you feel is PITY for the native Americans and they in turn have nothing to be proud of so they keep quite.

Well it is like that. I would be damned to want to dwell on the history of my people which generally feels me with embarrassment.

To show you how embarrassing it is. A section of the Ewes which I came from known as Anlos have a main festival which they celebrate every year. It is called the Hogbetsotso festival. This festival is in recognition about how they the Ewe Anlos escaped from slavery and slavers. I ask you how can anybody see that as a proud moment in their lives so much so that they turn it into a national celebration? To me it tells me my people have no proud moments in time to fall back on.

The past is humiliating and one comes to the west and see the survivors of these dark terrible times in America and the Caribbean and one expects to see them doing well but rather what one sees is many choose to waste their lives and languish in the white man's jails or being shot like dogs in the streets of Brazil and all one feels is double humiliation and bitterness.

I hope you understand where I am coming from and why it's better to forget the past.
TARA ENI LO TO! (That which concerns us is more essential)
TARA ENI LO JU! (That which concerns us is more important)
The history of Africans; the knowledge and return to African spirituality, the path Of Africans in the world's history is to important to be swept under the rug for relief of guilt. Lack of this knowledge is,in my opinion,part of the reason for SOME of our folks being in the conditions you describe. If for example all of our youth had esataye(Destiny reading at birth) and it was divined before our communities that little Peanut was destined for Awo study how many would tolerate him doing coke? In the US and home? I disagree strongly with respect, hiding ones head in the sand is never a good solution. It gives the illusion of safety when in reality your a** is exposed to all.
You make very good and persuasive arguments my brother Fagunwa. The problem I see is what is happening with our people in Africa. If you take most of the conflicts they are has a long history. A good example is what happened in Rwanda. Because of the smoldering tension based on the long history it exploded in a massacre. The same story is repeated again and again in all over Africa.

My suggestion is why don't we work to integrate our brothers across the Atlantic heavily into Africa and African affairs, when we achieve this then we would have a stable platform to start digging up all the history - good or bad. At the moment I believe tribalism is an ugly monster that rules supreme in Africa and once in a while it raises its ugly head and the result is conflict among the people. Under this sort of climate I believe it would not be wise to drag up anything that makes one group of our people feel superior over the other and vice-versa. I believe the only way to counter these underlying tensions that hold us back is to heavily integrate our people across the Atlantic back into African affairs on a grand scale, when we are able to do this then we would have the necessary stability to tell it all.
Henry 38,

I see your point but why is shame upon the enslaved and oppressed? Shouldn't the shame be on the enslavor and oppressor? Whos' and what value system are we working with here? It sounds like people are confusing might with right...The Native Americans aren't "quite"...There voices have been systematically "silenced". Two very different things. They are a very proud people, as they should be since they survived a genocide. I am proud my ancestors survived the brutality of the Slavery and Jim Crow...If anything it speaks to our strength and resilliance as a people, not our weekness.

Tribalism that has been exasperated by colonialism is something we must get past. Adn it would be nice to tr-integrate the Africans abroad into the continent, politically, spiritually, economically, and socially. But how can that be done by ignoring the past? The only Africans/Black abroad that even associate themselves with Africa have to know there history...Otherwise they usually identify more with their oppressor than there fellow Africans. We must know where we come from, or we don't know where we are going. We must study and know the past so we know what to do, and not to do in the future.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Shebakoby,

You can't trust everything you see on TV as fact.


I know that fact well enough.

BTW the program I saw on the Discovery Channel didn't even mention Voodoo at all. It just talked about the Peruvian culture and practices. It talked about these little effigies (essentially "dolls" but they did NOT call them "Voodoo dolls") and how they were used, and it was practically identical to what most people have heard about "Voodoo Dolls." I'm sure the producers and the researchers never even made the connection in their heads. So what's the point in telling me that?

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
You always must look into who is doing and paying for the research, that often predetermines the outcome of such research.


Of course that's often a possibility in terms of bias. That's why I don't believe everything the Environmentalist Whackos say.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Especially when it comes to non-European and specifically African cultural/spritual practices.


Africa and African practices were not even alluded to, let alone mentioned, on that particular program.

However, I have seen a lot of pseudoscholarship being used to prop up goofy theories just because people want to beleive whatever. (Such as citing the works of Gerald Massey when the dude was a total incompetent and his theories were garbage the minute he thought of them--so out of date that modern scholars think he was full of it.)

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Please explain how and why this subject appeals to you.

Why do I have to justify that? Is it not enough that I have insatiable curiosity? Especially when some form of exclusionism pervades the subject matter? Secrecy makes me suspicious and if I'm "not allowed" to know something, damn it I WANT to know! I do believe in knowing the unknown (as long as I don't have to go into a trance and listen to "spirits" live and audibly) or stuff that I usually wouldn't find out about during the normal course of education and what have you. A fingernail of Hamitic descent should suffice, but hell, it shouldn't be required.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
You seem to have a total aversion to anyone's spirituality other than conservative Christian.


"Aversion"? LOLOLOLOL. "Spirituality" is a broad concept that is open like a trash can--anything goes into it. BTW hardcore fundies annoy me, and are as bad as "liberals" in some cases. I do have an "aversion" to deception, let's put it that way.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
So I'm at a loss for your hidden motives.


Why do you search for that which is not hidden? My motives are right out in the open, baby. Cards on the table. Secrecy makes people suspicious. I hate secrecy. I hate hidden $#*T. Therefore I do not have "hidden" motives, as I don't believe anything like that should be hidden.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
You could not have posted to simply "inform" us.


And why not? Most people prolly didn't make the connection. It's not common knowledge. Most people don't even know where the idea of Voodoo dolls came from (inapplicable as it is to Vodun).

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I hope you don't think that pointing out something like Voudun dolls not having African but Native American origins somehow discredits them to Voudun initiates in the Americas...


LOL no, any more than pagan "similarities" to Christ or Christianity has any bearing on whether Christianity is true... Wink

And I was under the impression that Vodun didn't use dolls at all, for real...

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Those in the West accept and have incorporated all the influences in the "New" world into the religion....They don't have spiritual/cultural tunnel vision like yourself.


ROFLMAO. God Himself stated that practices used to worship OTHER gods MUST NOT be used in worship of Him.
Deut. 12:[30] Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
[31] Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.


This is why we don't pick out goodies from other religions and incorporate in that way. It's not unreasonable "tunnel-vision". It's a direct command of God. A good case in point is the Israelites. Often they incorporated the practices of the Canaanites in their worship of God. God did NOT like that at all. Their "open-mindedness" got them a severe @$$kicking each time they did it.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
By the way...How would a Peruvian practice reach Haiti and New Orleans in particular?


They never said that it did.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
The Arawak were the natives of the isle of Hispanola, and Peru had no direct contact with the Southern U.S. or Haiti during slavery. So I don't see the connection. Did the tel-lie-vision show you saw explain the geographical problem I just pointed out?


The Television didn't say anything about that at all. But your objection is very easily explained. Ancient Peru was a lot longer ago than slavery. We're talking about BEFORE CHRIST, ffs. Their belief systems and practices had plenty of time to make the rounds. It's not as if nobody travelled back then. The similarity is just too coincidental to be coincidence.

The fact that even some European cultures had some sort of effigy-sorcery (akin to the dolls) points to a common origin for the practice--perhaps almost as old as Humanity itself. Since these belief systems rely on "spirits" to act on their behalf, perhaps the same spirits told different groups of people how to dooooo that.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I don't doubt the Peruvians had dolls that they used. I just doubt they directly influenced the places that Voudun is practices in the Americas.


Actually what I thought was that the dolls of Peru (unbeknownst to anyone) were the "true" dolls, and that the idea that they grew up in Voodoo was bogus.

quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
BTW, from my understanding the Voudun practice comes mainly as practiced in the Americas from the Dahomey area(ewe people) and Santeria and Ifa are practices from the Yoruba people largely from Nigeria and Benin. Of course each practice has influenced each other in the Americas, as well as having other African influences(Congo and Angolan) and Native American and Catholic influences, because of the different ethnic groups merging, but there are still distinct differences between dominant Yoruba and domminant Dahomean practices. And as Henry 38 pointed out the "pure" form is still practiced and originates at home....


If you isolate groups for long enough, their practices will begin to diverge and become vastly different depending on the opinions and preferences of the people left in the groups.

It is not improbable that several hundred years of time passage and people-travel could convey the idea of effigy "dolls" (in the manner ascribed to "Voodoo Dolls") to the eastern half of the Americas.

I know better than to believe that real hardcore honest-to-pete "Vodun" has anything to do with "Voodoo Dolls".

[/QUOTE]

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×