I have attached the readings
On “Vodou and the Haitians’ Struggle” and “Serving the Lwa” by Nathaniel Samuel Murrell in the Week 14 Module
1. On pages 58-59, Murrell discusses the accepted spelling of the religion: Vodou. In part this is due to phonetics, though there seem to be other reasons for this to be the preferred spelling. What are some of the negative conntations one finds when thinking about “voodoo,” “hoodoo,” “vodun,” and so on?
2. What is Vodou, according to Murrell? What does it do for practitioners?
3. What role did Vodou play in Haitian slaves’ successful fight for freedom?
4.What are some of the causes of all of the negative information about Vodou, according to Murrell?
5. What is the relationship between Freemasonry and Vodou?
6. What does “serving the lwa” mean, according to Murrell’s account?
7. After reading about some of the major lwa, discuss one figure that you find interesting and explain why it stood out to you.
8. What is a zombie, according to Murrell?
9. What is involved in initiation ceremonies for Vodou practitioners, according to Murrell?
On “Haiti and the Distortion of its Vodou Religion” (be sure to watch the video at the beginning, then read the article)
10.How does Reza Aslan characterize Vodou, and what are the opposing viewpoints about the slave revolt of Haitians, according to Aslan?
11. According to Polyne, why was Vodou considered a threat by French slaveholders, and how has this affected the current perception of Vodou?
12. According to the article, why is Vodou a more appropriate spelling than Voodoo?
DISCUSION QUESTOIONS 13,14 REPLY TO THESE TWO PEOPLE
13 Habiba: The Vodou and the Haitian struggle reading was interesting as it pointed out the inaccuracies of the statistics in Haiti regarding religion. There is more of an equal distribution between Roman Catholicism and the traditional African religions. More specifically, Voduo is a very prevalent religion in Haiti. Vodou has been incorrectly associated with black magic and sinister rituals. The religion in actuality has more connection to the major religions than one would initially think. Why is it that more people are not aware of what Vodou really is?
14 Matthew: The readings were true eye openers. It was something to see people of the same tribe very much divided do to religious backgrounds. Christians were against the Vodou practitioners and blamed them for Haiti’s decline in living and financial stability. Murell explained Voodoo has been falsely associated with witchcraft and black magic which has given it a darkened identity. Vodou relates much to the freemasonry, the handshakes they use are the same and also the secret passwords. Many of the Vodou priest are also members of the freemasonry. Symbols such as skull, crossbones, and the all Seeing Eye are regularly used among them both (Murell 73). The Vodou religion is well respected among those who comprehend it well.
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