Anthony Karen is a freelance photojournalist; specializing in documentary and humanitarian projects with a background in the personal protection/security field, both domestic and international. His passion for photography began in Haiti, where he...
A Houngan is overcome by a spirit while dancing the Banda.
The Banda is a dance that closely mimics the bumps and grinds of sexual intercourse. The Banda is accompanied with drumming and songs, which honors the Ghede (the beloved spirits who serve as an intermediaries between the living and the dead, they are also the spirits of fertilization).
Vodouisants offer a sacrificial goat food in the hopes that it will eat. If an animal refuses to eat its non-participation is taken as a sign that it is not willing to give its consent to be killed.
Animals are sacred in most African traditional religions, and are used as offerings to the Lwa and ancestors in healings, initiations, cleansing ceremonies, in thanksgiving for a favor granted, as payment to a promise made to a Lwa and other Vodou related rituals.
Once the animal is sacrificed, the meat is prepared and eaten by the congregation. Some remains, such as the hide can be used to make ritual objects such as drums skins or simply left as an offering to the Lwa.