The history of mankind is full of many belief systems, some of which still exist today, and unusual rituals that arose in this direction. However, some of these ancient beliefs are recognized for various reasons as completely different from their original form, “misunderstood.” Here is one of the misunderstood ancient beliefs in history, the voodoo belief that originated in Africa. Through the “biased contributions” of various works of popular culture in modern times and especially some Hollywood films, the West African belief in voodoo today is associated with many negative concepts such as evil and black magic. However, the reality is very different from what it seems. The process by which belief in voodoo became associated with negative concepts is quite interesting. Here’s what you need to know about voodoo, an ancient African faith that has been mistakenly associated with evil and black magic.
Voodoo is a belief system that originated in West Africa and has spread over the years to many parts of the world.
However, the voodoo religion widely known today is a faith that originated among Africans who were enslaved by various European civilizations and brought to today’s Haiti as part of their slavery activities. Thus, although the origins of the faith go back to much earlier times, today’s belief in voodoo flourished in Haiti in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The missionary activity of the Christian clergy in the 16th century saw various Christian narratives spread to the voodoo faith.
The efforts of missionaries to “Christianize” voodoo played an important role in the “enslavement” of European civilization. For example, the characteristics and even the names of some saints and important people in Christianity have become identified with some of the sacred beings of the voodoo faith.
So much so that today some experts argue that belief in voodoo should be accepted among Christian sects. Although this ancient African religion contains many important elements of Christianity, elements that existed in their original form have also survived.
According to some experts, the belief in voodoo that originated in Haiti was an act of rebellion by enslaved Africans.
Africans brought to Haiti to work on the sugar cane plantations and trying to survive in harsh conditions faced inhuman treatment. Belief in voodoo was a response to this inhuman treatment…
Sacred beings called loa hold a special place in voodoo belief.
Because in the Voodoo religion, every area of life and all elements of life are associated with Loa. These holy spirits are considered to be the organizers of many different elements, from birth to death, from life to the universe.
Loa are depicted in different ways as they are associated with different elements. These holy spirits, believed to play a dominant role in all walks of life, are sometimes depicted as snakes and sometimes as humans.
The voodoo religion has no spiritual leader, center, or written source!
This gives the ancient African religion some very interesting features. For example, it is impossible to know how many loa are included in voodoo beliefs. For this reason, every person or community that believes in the Voodoo religion establishes a close relationship with the sacred loa, which is related to the more important issue of their daily lives.
For example, Loa, who is believed to be in charge of activities in this area in communities that make a living from fishing, is of much greater importance compared to other sacred beings. Voodoo rituals are also formed in this direction. For example, among the offerings to the holy spirits associated with the sea and fishing, materials used in fishing predominate. It is also believed that the holy spirits, believed to be in charge of the seas and other sea-related elements, love colors associated with the sea, such as blue and white. For this reason, these colors are mainly used in religious ceremonies dedicated to kindred spirits.
Dancing, sacrificing animals to holy spirits, and many other elements are among the important rituals in the belief system.
Many of the rituals developed in this ancient belief system are of great importance to voodoo. On the other hand, these rituals are also at the heart of Western efforts to show that the Voodoo religion is different from what it is.
Voodoo rituals are used in some black propaganda campaigns coming from the West.
Dancing is one of them! This ancient ritual has made the faith associated with “evil”. Because this dance ritual involves a kind of trance state. This leads to unrealistic claims that voodoo believers have a “devil-possessed soul”.
Other voodoo rituals, which resemble a kind of theater play and in which some ancient narratives are brought to life, are one of the elements due to which faith is associated with “evil” in Western sources.
Evil, cruelty, obsession, and black magic are the most common accusations voodoo faces. However, the real purpose of these “interesting” voodoo rituals is to “find a cure” and contribute to the working order of the universe. For example, the purpose of sacrificing animals to the loa is to energize the holy spirits that are responsible for maintaining order in the universe!
Voodoo belief is now associated with evil and black magic.
In the emergence of this situation, there is a colonial understanding aimed at devaluing the religion of the “African slaves” and, if possible, at its abolition. This historical black propaganda has been perpetuated in modern times by products of popular culture and especially Hollywood films. For example, nowadays you can find many films in which the central element is “voodoo dolls” used for black magic.
Whereas, voodoo dolls are an object used for witchcraft and magic of African origin called “hoodoo”. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, practices such as black magic, human sacrifice, and the glorification of evil are not part of the Voodoo religion.
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