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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Ritual Altars   Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:39 pm

Altars are arranged to honor and invoke the lwa. They may be located in temple sanctuaries or in private bedrooms. Wherever they are found, they mark a sacred space where the natural and supernatural worlds meet. On the altars, worshipers assemble images of the lwa, together with offerings-jewelry, mirrors, liquor, perfume, cigarettes, sunglasses-known to please divine tastes. In return, the lwa are expected to answer prayers for health, love or good fortune.

Each altar has a particular identity: lwa and objects are grouped according to spiritual 'nation' and 'family'. The three altars shown here represent the Rada, Petwo/Kongo, and Bizango nations.

Rada honors lwa inherited from West Africa, using many images borrowed from Catholic worship.

Bizango altars, the most secret, are full of intimidating objects appropriate to their judicial functions.

Petwo/Kongo honors creolized lwa with fiery, assertive imagery inherited from the Kongo.

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/vodou/ritual1.html

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