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Vodu

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History

Origins


Ancient History


20th Century

For centuries tribes in the Congo worshiped the Vodu goddess known as Mamalu until the 1950's when white settlers convinced the tribes that Mamalu did not exist. Furious Mamalu blamed the jungle adventurer Lorna the Jungle Queen as being responsible for stealing her worshipers. She influenced a tribesman named Kabu with offers be her mate if he performed a sacrifice to bring her to Earth. Lorna attempted to stop Mamalu but it was not until that Mamalu decided to take Lorna's companion Greg Knight as a mate did her plan fail as the jealous Kabu seemingly slew her.[1]

Modern Age



Powers and Abilities

Powers

Enhanced Strength
Enhanced Endurance
Immortality
Immunity: To all terristrial diseases
Invulnerability
Healing Factor

All data is based on Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1[2]

Abilities

Additional Superhuman Powers[2]: Every Vodu has his unique ability -often connected to forces of nature.

Average Strength level

Average male god can lift about 25 tons, a female goddess about 20 tons.[2]

Weaknesses

None known.

Habitat

Habitat: Orun

Miscellaneous

Type of Government: Council of the Vodû[3]
Representatives: * Anansi, Avlekete, Buluku, Dam-Ayido, Damballah, Eschu, Ghekre, Legba, Lusa, Mawu, Moondog, Nyambe, Ogun, Ezili, Oya, Baron Samedi, Shango, Mamalu

Notes

  • The name "Òrìshà" is pronounced "oh-REE-shah"[4] and can be used synonymously to the word 'Vodu'.
  • The term 'Voodoo' is a malapropism of the word 'Vodun', the correct spelling of the Òrìshà based religion. It is pronounced as 'voh-DOON'; the last part (-'doon') is vocalized nasally.
    • The term Voodoo is connected with the 'Western' misbelieving that Vodun would imply Black Magic, Zombies and cursing people (often by 'Voodoo Dolls').
  • In West Africa the Òrìshà or Vodu religions are not gathering their gods in pantheons like we know for ancient European believe systems like Thor's Asgardians or Hercules' Olympians. Instead every family has one special Òrìshà or Vodu they worship. Said fact leads to the result that there are unmanageable accounts of Òrìshàs and countless variations in stories, origins, manifestations and interpretations in West Africa.
    • After their deportation to the West Indies the displaced people from various locations of Africa started to organize their religion around the most important Òrìshàs under the influence of Catholic hierarchy system. (God above Angels and Saints)
      • Alongside the influences of Christian missionaries the Òrìshà believers included ideas of the indigenous people which led to special implementations from island state to island state. In Haitian 'Vodun' (better known as 'Voodoo') this resulted in the building of two so-called 'Nations' of followers, Rada and Petro. Rada centers around the 'white', 'caring' aspects of the Loas (Haitian 'Vodu' term) whereas Petro centers around pain, fight and resistance. This results in two different 'personalities' of said Loas, the 'white', 'caring' side and the 'dark', 'aggressive' one. Ogun's Petro incarnation may be shown in Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #3.[5]


  • In the Marvel Universe 'Vodun' is depicted as some kind of magic[6][7] -especially as 'Black Magic'.[7][8][9][10][11] It is also suggested that 'Vodun' has or had human sacrifices a couple of times[12][13], but in reality 'Voodooists' sacrife production animals, alcohol and even vegetables. It is also shown misleadingly that the oracle uses bones to predict the future.[14] In fact the oracle uses kauri mussels.


Trivia

  • There is no institutional cannon about the stories, names, gender, hierarchy or family relations about the Vodu in West African tradition. Those were mostly influenced by the contact with the Europeans, Muslims and other ethnic groups.
    • The concept of One God Above All was influenced by Christian and Muslim belief systems.
    • The gods Mawu and Lusa interchanged their gender in their history.
      • Obatala is sometimes shown as female.
    • Eschu (trickster deity) and Legba ('god' of crossroads) are one and the same Vodu.
    • The importance and the role or manifestation of the patricular Òrìshà varies from city to city in Nigeria.
      • Olodumare may be the highest deity in the belief systems, but Ogun appears as the most popular one in many West African cities.
  • Due to the experiences of Trans-Altantic slave trade (triangle West Africa-America-Europe), the oppressing by the white slaveholders and missionaries and the contact with indigenous Caribbeans the Vodu/Òrìshàs transformed differently from place to place which led to the many various Afrocaribbean belief systems like Santeria, Candomble, Umbanda or Louisianan Hoodoo.
    • Sagbata, Òrìshà of pox, became the cemetery spirit 'Baron Samedi'.
    • Shango, tyrannic ruler of 'Old Oyo' (Oyo Empire), became father-like 'Papa Shango'.
    • Eshu Ellegua was equated with the devil through his appearance as trickster.


See Also


Links and References

Footnotes


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