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African religion which is located especially in the former Dahomey and Togo, voodoo has, in the same way that other religions found today in America, transported, with the migration of slaves and prices of certain transformations, to Haiti. Folklore for some, for all other superstitions, voodoo (or voodoo) Haitian been viewed mostly as an African heritage endangered. He could have survived in spite of all prejudice and all the persecutions, only history of concrete men who experience may help to understand it. What is there in Haitian society where it is most developed? How can we identify its own originality?

In the southern region of Benin Yoruba population keeps alive the tradition of masks Gelede. These masks are used to honor female spirits called "Iya Awon" and living in the sea

The term voodoo (vodou), or voodoo, means Dahomey (now Republic of Benin) and Togo gods or unseen powers that men trying to reconcile, individually or collectively, to ensure a happy life. The term corresponding Yoruba Orisa. We can consider that the prevailing religious system of Nigeria in Togo, the Yoruba, Fon and Ewe, is somewhat similar, although local variations are numerous.

The term voodoo can be applied to deified ancestors (including the royal families), but its most common refers to the forces of nature such as land, sea or lightning. Often gathered under one heading (Hevieso, god of thunder; Sapata, god of the earth) gods families the skills and powers sometimes redundant, sometimes mixed.

The output Zangbeto masks, large masks covered with straw colored. Zangbeto represents non-human spirits, the forces of nature and the night that inhabited the earth before man. The mask wearers belong to a secret society and their identity is unknown to the uninitiated, the mask must remain an independent entity with its own life.

The gods appear differently in different political contexts. Thus, in Dahomey there were some real struggles between the voodoo of the royal family and those in large public worship. The prestige attached to the office of priest varies, too, region and from one era to another. They symbolize the impersonal powers and play such an important role in preventing or treating diseases or epidemics, voodoo gathered in a pantheon that is reminiscent in many respects that of the ancient Greek: by the functions performed and the powers represented on the one hand (Hevieso is the god of heaven and the Lightning; Sapata that of Earth; Legba perform all the functions and sometimes conflicting roles of Hermes), and secondly and, above all, by the structural logic that they seem to obey.
As the gods studied by Jean-Pierre Vernant (Myth and Thought among the Greeks, 1965, Myth and Tragedy in Ancient Greece, 1972), the Gulf of Benin voodoo are "powers, not people", and present some remarkable features : existence of divine couples, ambiguity of each divine figure, and impersonal existence either singular or plural gods. And they provided an ideal material for elaborations syncretism which has emerged in Haiti and Brazil. But, although certain gods, rituals and symbols have crossed some damage without the ocean, thus testifying to the wonderful memory of mankind, we must not confuse the ritual events of "voodoo" or Brazilian with Haitian voodoo religions African gods who testify on the contrary a remarkable resistance to all forms of inspiration syncretism.