Vodou Archive Gonayev: Fèt Gede

Vodou Archive
Map of Haiti: Gonaïves
Map of Haiti: Gonaïves
Gonaives: Vodou Heartland
Gonaives: Vodou Heartland

by Claire Payton Gonaives, the largest city in the Artibonite region of Haiti, is considered by many to be the heartland of Vodou traditions in Haiti. This reputation comes in part from the presence of three prestigious temples: Souvnans, Soukri, and Bajdo. Each of these three temples preserve a different strands of Vodou tradition that […]

Interactive Vodou Altar
Interactive Vodou Altar

  Move your mouse around the picture to learn about some of the things included on an Vodou alter honoring Gede, the lwa of death and sex.  

Lakou Souvnans
Lakou Souvnans

by Claire Payton Lakou Souvnans has the largest and grandest temple in the Gonaives area. At Souvnans, practitioners honors and preserves the Dahomey (or Rada) traditions, which are traced to the African kingdom of Dahomey, or present day Benin. Loa associated with the Rada tradition include Danbala Wedo, and Ayida Wedo. When we arrived at […]

Lakou Badjo
Lakou Badjo

by Claire Payton Lakou Badjo is the lesser known of the three major Gonaives Vodou temples. Badjo maintains the Nago traditions, which are traced to the Yourba people of West Africa. The Nago pantheon is mainly the Ogou family of loa, which are known as warriors and leaders. The temple at Badjo was dedicated to […]

Lakou Soukri
Lakou Soukri

by Claire Payton Our first visit was to Lakou Soukri, outside of Gonaives. Soukri preserves the Congo traditions. The festival of Soukri, one of Haiti’s most important pilgrimages, begins the night of August 14th and continue for two weeks. The celebrations include rituals, dance, meals, ritual baths, music and artistic expressions of all sorts. Like […]

Gede Bal nan Gonayiv
Gede Bal nan Gonayiv

by Eric Barstow Our first night in Gonayev was preceded by a four-hour long drive from Port-Au-Prince where I was crammed into the back of an SUV with all the bulging equipment poking me in every which way imaginable. The road was full of bumps, holes, and a general unevenness which made me think the […]

Lakou Granchirè
Lakou Granchirè

by Eric Barstow The Gede ceremony held at Société Grandizè proved to be a pivotal experience both in this trip to understand Haitian vodou and in my personal experience. Haiti is often represented as “the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere”. It is true that poverty exists and must be addressed, but it is detrimental […]

Gede nan Simityè Gonayiv
Gede nan Simityè Gonayiv

by Eric Barstow The morning of our trip to the cemetery in Gonayiv, I had envisioned a peaceful and solemn outing where Haitians approach the grave sites of the dearly departed to commune with them and connect with their ancestral dead. Everyone loaded up in the same war horse of an SUV that got us […]

About the Vodou Archive
About the Vodou Archive

The Vodou Archive: Gonaives, November 2012 Our small team of researchers came to Gonaives in November 2012 at the invitation of Oungan Michelet Tibosse Alisma in order to document Gede ceremonies and Vodou practice in Gonaives more broadly. Michelet was born and raised in Gonaives and has since relocated to Miami where he runs a […]

Links
Links

Learn more about the Vodou Archive Project The Digital Library of the Caribbean The Vodou Archive : Curating and sharing the sources of Vodou religion and culture The Haiti Lab The Haiti Lab on Facebook   To learn more Haiti and Vodou, check out these books: Brown, Karen McCarthy, Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in […]

Vodou Terms and Concepts
Vodou Terms and Concepts

Drums/ drummers: Drum beats are used to invite the lwa to visit a ceremony. Different drumming styles and rhythms correspond to distinct Vodou traditions. It is used in conjunction with songs, dance, and prayers in the lwa’s honor. Lakou: A compound or courtyard where families live communally. Vodou temples can be  associated with the lakou […]