Events > 2011 > November > Presentation: The Irish Influence on Voodoo loas/ saints

About this event:

Created by Mary Diggin, Ph.D.

Mary Diggin will give a brief talk at 7pm Monday November 14 in the Dixon community center next door to the Embudo Valley Library on the Irish influence on Haitian Voodoo saints or loas. The talk should be no more than 20 minutes long, with a brief discussion time afterwards. This talk is a rehearsal for her presentation at the AAR conference in San Francisco on November 19th.

SUMMARY: Both St. Brigid and St. Patrick are represented in the saints/loas of voodoo. St. Patrick is used to represent Damballah, the snake god while St. Brigid is incorporated as Maman Brigitte, a full voodoo saint. it is also believed the Voodoo tradition that one can achieve good luck by grasping Aido Weyo’s (goddess/saint) diadem (the Rainbow) is linked to Irish lore. How did Irish legends penetrate vodou tradition? The presentation attempts to answer this question looking at by the position of the Irish in the Caribbean in the 17th C and their relationship to Spain, France and Britain both at home and in the colonies. It examines the evidence for alliances between the Irish and African peoples in the Caribbean as well as exploring what made Irish religious beliefs compatible with African religious tradition.