Servants of Spirits: Photographer Explored Voodoo in Haiti for 20 Years
Categories: NationsBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/servants-of-spirits-photographer-explored-voodoo-in-haiti-for-20-years
“The first time I saw the voodoo ceremony, I was in awe,” says Les Stone. “Now, after over 20 years of photographing in Haiti, I think it's safe to say that I'm addicted to it. How else can you explain that I have returned to Haiti more than 100 times over the past two decades.”
Voodoo is the official religion of Haiti, where over 8 million people practice it. This Afro-Haitian religion is based on the belief in spirits and that people exist to serve the spirits through various religious rites and prayers. It was formed among West African slaves as a result of a mixture of folk beliefs and elements of Catholicism.
Voodooists often go into a trance during rituals, and one of the traditional practices of voodoo is animal sacrifice, another way to make an offering to the spirits.
(Total 22 photos)
1. Souvenance, Haiti. The village of Souvenance hosts an annual Easter festival that attracts thousands of spirits.
4. Festival of St. Anne (Bord du Mer Lemonade). After swimming in the mud, the pilgrims go to the city of Lemonade.
5. Sucre, Haiti In a sacred pool on the river, a priest douses the dancers with clarine, a strong Haitian moonshine. Sometimes the dancing lasts the whole night until dawn. This is one of three annual ceremonies in this northern region of Haiti during which the spirits are invoked.
7. Sacrifices and rituals dedicated to the spirits in the cave of Saint-Michel in northern Haiti.
8. Hungan (voodoo priest) licks the blood from his fingers.
9. Souvenance, Haiti “When I arrived in Haiti two months after the magnitude 7 earthquake in 2010, little of the surroundings had been restored, but people seemed more excited than ever.”
12. Sucre, Haiti. Every evening, the intoxicating sound of drums during a ceremony in Sucre attracts the spirits.
16. Gantier, Haiti. The annual Calvaire Miracle (Miracle of Calvary) is a Voodoo and Catholic pilgrimage to the hilltop above the city, near the border with the Dominican Republic. Every year, thousands of believers come here to climb the steep road and pray at the crosses on their way to the top.
Keywords: Voodoo | Haiti | Rite
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