Friday, November 13, 2009
Now we come to the appearance of some of the aspects of Vodou that may appear so much more frightening ... for here we have Manman Brigit,
"Ma'man Brigit (Grann Brigitte, Manman, Manman Brigit, Manman Brijit) is the mother of cemeteries, the loa of money and death, and the wife of Baron Samedi. She may be related to the "triple" Celtic goddess of poetry, smithcraft, and healing, Brigid/St. Brigit, as her name is Irish in origin. She is usually depicted as a white woman. The first woman's grave in a cemetery in Haiti is dedicated to her. Her colors are black, purple and white, her number is nine, and her particular days of service include Monday and Saturday. Her sacrificial animal is a black chicken. She drinks rum laced with hot peppers - "gaz lakrimojen Ayisyen" (Haitian tear gas), and like her husband and the rest of the Guede Spirits, she is a "potty mouth" and uses profanity. Ma'man Brigit will protect gravestones if they are marked properly with a cross. Ma'man Brigit is known to rub her private parts with hot peppers, and those who appear to be faking possession by her in a Vodou ceremony may be subjected to this test, which they obviously would not pass if their possession is not genuine. She is a very sexual dancer, and her legacy is the banda dance.
A very powerful Lwa, Manman Brigit rules the Ghede and transitions of life and death, major life changes, cemeteries, money and children. Ma'man Brigit is invoked to cure those who are near death as a result of magick. She is known to be very wise, and swift to respond to petitions for help!*
How she, or the Irish, got to Haiti, is still a mystery, traveling perhaps through the holds of the slave ships where the Irish, as well as Africans were sold into slavery.
It is not difficult to understand why the slaves were so attached to death and the promise of life beyond the grave which would release them from the torture of their present day misery. Many times they tried to escape bondage on the ships to throw themselves into the ocean on the crossing to escape their fate.
Haiti is the first nation which released them from this bondage.
Are you following this story, classmates, on how the Irish came to Haiti?
Because I think that is going to be a really whopping good Celtic tale of liberation with lots of drumming and ale and a rollicking good time.
Could I have a show of hands, please?