2005/10/04

Chickens? Will there be chickens?

Most Memphians know that our city is stepping up and taking up the slack by hosting several New Orleans events. So far the Ponderosa Stomp and the Voodoo Music Experience have temporarily relocated to Memphis. It’s the latter’s name that is causing some of our citizens worry. Some have a problem with the word voodoo. They feel that we are risking ruin and damnation by hosting this event. They say, look at what happened to New Orleans. Bless their hearts.

Wendi Thomas says,
If you think that the Voodoo Music Experience includes classes like Evil Eye 101, or Advanced Curses and Hexes, or How To Create a Home for Demons in Your Heart, then you've allowed one word to crowd out your better judgment and the facts.
Well said. But just what is voodoo?
Voodoo is a derivative of the world’s oldest known religions which have been around in Africa since the beginning of human civilization. Some conservative estimates these civilizations and religions to be over 10 000 years old. This then identify Voodoo as probably the best example of African syncretism in the Americas. Although its essential wisdom originated in different parts of Africa long before the Europeans started the slave trade, the structure of Voodoo, as we know it today, was born in Haiti during the European colonization of Hispaniola. Ironically, it was the enforced immigration of enslaved African from different ethnic groups that provided the circumstances for the development of Voodoo. European colonists thought that by desolating the ethnic groups, these could not come together as a community. However, in the misery of slavery, the transplanted Africans found in their faith a common thread.

They began to invoke not only their own Gods, but to practice rites other than their own. In this process, they comingled and modified rituals of various ethnic groups. The result of such fusion was that the different religious groups integrated their beliefs, thereby creating a new religion: Voodoo. The word "voodoo" comes from the West African word "vodun," meaning spirit. This Afro-Caribbean religion mixed practices from many African ethnics groups such as the Fon, the Nago, the Ibos, Dahomeans, Congos, Senegalese, Haussars, Caplaous, Mondungues, Mandinge, Angolese, Libyans, Ethiopians, and the Malgaches.
Now read Wendi's column.

For more info on voodoo >>

For more info on the Voodoo Music Experience >>

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