RARA Vodou, Power and Performance

Rara as a Religious Obligation in Vodou
Related Media: Images | Audio | Video

Images

Rara queen salutes a daughter of the spirits

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The Rara walks to ritually salute the lakou (compound).

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Rara leaders do spiritual work over a bonfire

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Rara Queen and Kings receive instruction on how to dance before the ancestors at the cemetary.

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The cape and the tomb

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Rara Majo Jon metalwork sculpture

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Fire in the crossroads

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Video
Video Screen ShotRara band arrives a large lakou in the Artibonite. They salute the spirits who live at the gates with large circling dances called vire (turn). (This means that this Rara is also part of a religious society.) Later that night, the patriarch of the lakou will come out to receive them. This is all part of the politics of patronage, both of the human and spirit worlds.

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Video Screen ShotThe Rara has arrived in the cemetery and is saluting the cross of Bawon Simitye. He lights a fire lit below the cross, and leans brooms against it, for future use.

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Video Screen ShotAfter lighting a fire on top of the veve, the priest activates the veve even more with salt and rum, and throws salt to the four directions.

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Video Screen ShotVeve drawing before the Rara. The priest traces the veve, or sacred drawing, for Simbi. See the Fieldnotes section of this website for details

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Video Screen ShotRum flares up the fire for Bawon, to activate this energy and heat it up.

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Credits    |     Elizabeth McAlister's Hompage     |     Learning Objects Studio    |     Wesleyan University