Voodoo[Footnote 1] (among multiple spellings) indicates a series of similar and interrelated religions originating in West Africa and spread into Central America and southern U.S., along with the Atlantic slave trade.[Footnote 2]
Description[edit | edit source]
Voodoo is a sincretic religion,[Footnote 3] combining the world creators of both original religions, and the system of spirits originating in West Africa with the Catholic[Footnote 4] hierarchy of angels and saints in entities called Loa. Worship, including to ancestors, is often mediated by high rank initiates, if not full priests, under the name of houngan[Footnote 5] and mambo, which practice white magic.[Footnote 6] Practitioners of both white and black magic are called bokor (caplata if women).[Footnote 7]
Prominent in the Haitian and Louisiana Voodoo is the worship of the Loa,[Footnote 8] which are both prayed to and served, and who can possess a human host, during the ceremonies in their honor.