The most popular Caribbean gods
- 1st: Baron Samedi
- 2nd: Bondye
- 3rd: Erzulie
- 4th: Baron La Croix
- 5th: The Loa
- 6th: Aida-Wedo
- 7th: La Sirene
- 8th: Agwé
- 9th: Ogou
- 10th: Azaka Mede
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This covers the islands of the Caribbean, particularly Haiti and Cuba, plus The Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Much of the slave trade was directed to these areas, especially Haiti, from the Dahomey, Ebo and Yoruba tribes in Africa. Unknown to their captors they took their Gods with them.
Traditional beliefs were mixed and stirred with the prevailing Roman Catholic rituals and Vodou became a powerful influence. Especially in Haiti where the slaves eventually had a successful rebellion against their oppressors and have been independent ever since. Not always happily.
‘Vo’ means introspection, ‘Dou’ means the Unknown. Although possession is said to be nine tenths of the law and the Catholic Religion claims 85 per cent faith, this is not always what it seems — not even with syncretism. Vodou has spread and various brands have taken hold on other islands and other deities have drifted in from the nearest parts of South America.
Principally the Gods and spirits in this section will be Santería and Vodou. But not the Voodoo of Hollywood with Zombies and pin-ridden dolls lurching all over the place. Vodou does have its unsavory aspects, but the populist Hollywood version is a highly sensationalized fiction based on stereotype and brute ignorance. A myth based on myth, if you like.
REGIONS COVERED: The Caribbean (West Indies), including Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.
Many Gods are spread across different regions, cultures and tribes. We’ve tried to pin them down to a particular area if possible. But corrections are always welcome, especially from people with first-hand knowledge. So if you know the region and would like to comment, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.
TRIBES, CULTURES AND PEOPLES COVERED: Cubans, Haitians, Jamaicans, Puerto Ricans...