December 28, 2010
Vodou Nights: waiting for gods
The spirit comes, mounts and rides the dancer. If a Vodouisant is possessed by the scandalous Baron Samedi and humps a tree, it’s just the Baron doing his thing. If your friends see you humping a tree, they may smile but they won’t mention it in the morning. They know it is the ornery Baron speaking with his lascivious spirit.
A woman draws in the dirt with a stick. Her movement is fluid, sure, following a path traced a thousand times and each time anew. A fine stream of white flows from her hand as sure as the sand in an hourglass trickles from one realm to the next. A filament of fine white curlicue lines emerges from the dirt like a snowflake. A snowflake that will take all night to melt into the ground. She pours another handful from a box of cornstarch into her palm. She’s making veves.
Veves drawn, candles lit, red cloth festooned, sequined bottles arranged, food lain, the slow patter of drumming… as if an anxious romantic preparing a bedroom for seduction. Which it is, a seductive call to spirits… who will come tonight?
…to be continued.
The seventh installment in the Goudou-Goudou series will appear next week, after the holiday break.