Voodoo, with its mix of West African mysticism and French Catholicism, plays a vital role in the lives of Haiti’s rural poor, but it gets a bad rap elsewhere. For the faithful, the communion of saints and shamans offers even the most piteous peasant his own sliver of paradise. But to outsiders, voodoo only conjures up images of curses, chicken blood and pin-pricked rag dolls.
Voodooists’ personal spiritual journeys the religion’s name is derived from the Creole wordsvou (“introspection”) and dou (“into the unknown”) begin and end with drums. Because they are viewed as conduits to the supernatural, practitioners treat these instruments with intense reverence. During ceremonies, people kiss the ground in front of the drums, which are often treated like members of the family or better by their owners.
Read the entire review at The Japan Times Online .