Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Voudoun Song

Vodoun songs are the walls, carrels and books of the great Vodoun public library in that we don't just let them be stored and retrieved occasionnally, rather we live them, we live in them and we live through them. Ask any question of one the Vodoun people and he or she is liable to answer with a song. Snippets of songs are in ordinary conversations, even songs that other cultures would call "sacred" songs.
Not that these songs are not sacred to us, but the particularity of Vodoun Culture is that there is no clear division between the sacred and the ordinary, whether in time or space. Instead we have "Régleman", and régleman rules the religious or ritualistic aspect of Vodoun Culture.
A case in point is Lapriyè, the ritual prayer that opens a ceremony in its long or short form (a 5 minutes to 5 days span). That is Régleman in its purest form. There is a precise, pre-ordained manner to conduct a ceremony (within each ounfò tradition of course) and every member of the community knows it. The religious feeling stems out of following the Régleman, the only true, if invisible, church of Vodoun.

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