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Haiti

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Animal Sacrifices - the black pig (page 62)

During the Bois Caiman ceremony, when the slaves gather to plan their revolt against the whites, they sacrifice a black pig. Animal Sacrifice is a very important element of Vodou belief. Making an animal sacrifice is an offering to the gods. 

Birds are usually the animals used in sacrifice rituals, but it can also be a goat, sheep, chicken, pig, or dog. While most people think of this as a savage ritual the animals have been pampered, are kept calm, and killed as quickly and painlessly as possible. Only highly trained people should do animal sacrifices for it is unacceptable for an animal to be subjected to excess pain or distress.

The blood of these sacrifices is then splashed on the Altar, which is meant to carry the prayers of the congregation to the Loa. The animal is then cooked and eaten by the congregation. This ritual is actually one of the points of similarity between Vodou and Roman Catholicism, as Catholics (due to their belief in trans-substantiation) consume flesh and blood as the centerpiece of Holy Communion.  The purpose of animal sacrifices is to obtain help in the form of more abundant food, a higher standard of living, or improved health.

Sacrifice of a black pig during the Bois Caiman ceremony

For further information, and pictures, go to:

http://www.npr.org/programs/re/archivesdate/2004/feb/voodoo/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1019666

http://www.eaec.org/cults/voodoo.htm

http://churchmousec.wordpress.com/2010/01/28/vodou-and-the-haitian-identity/

 


Carpentier
Haiti
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