Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Vodou

Photo Credit: Canadian Museum of Civilization



Vodou – that is the Creole spelling of the word voodoo, and the spelling that the Canadian Museum of Civilization chooses to use for their year long exhibit on Haitian vodou (ending February 2014).  Mary suggested I spend a  full day there, since it is a collection of artifacts that are rarely seen.  The first two rooms are straight forward.  The third contains some skulls and bones used in voodoo practice.  I read the texts under the artifacts and watch the numerous videos many times: processions, healing ceremonies, secret societies, native celebrations as recent as last year’s gathering of Haitians in Montreal.

As Mary and I rode home on the bus, I told her that I could hardly wait to get home where we have many of the items needed to practice voodoo:  drums of all sizes, shakers, rattles, empty bottles and containers and religious artifacts to put into the mix. A quick stop at the Dollar store to get some feathers and sequins and I could have a lot of fun with the kids tonight.  Mary told me absolutely not.  She wants her kids to sleep tonight.  Too bad – a lot of potential.  I was even going to use the bone that the dog gnaws on, artificial as it is.

The mystery and reality of the connection between this world and the other/next world was no more apparent than on our drive in.  Mary and I were sitting facing each other.  We were at the back of the bus.  The driver swung to the right and then did a quick left.  I could feel myself slipping off of the seat in slow motion ...  to the floor ... as did Mary.  I don’t know if she did it to make me feel better, but we were the only two who landed there.  I was surprised and then laughing so hard, and having a hard time figuring out how to get up.  The man on the seat across from me was giving me some pretty heavy shoves,  pushing me to my feet after she had scrambled up.  “Quit laughing,” said Mary, “I am mad at that bus driver and tell me if you are hurt”. 

“I am fine.  And I am pretty sure it was my dad driving the bus because I can hear Doral laughing right now,  too.”

Arta

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