VODOU EPIPHANY: Coupez Gateau

Voudou Epipahny – Coupez GateauHere’s a program from our archives.ambience: Vodou musicEpiphany is a Catholic feast day which commemorates the arrival into Bethlehem of three Eastern kings, who’ve come to see the newborn baby Jesus. Celebrated on January 6th, it’s a holiday that’s been incorporated into the traditions of Haitian Vodou with the ritual of Coupez Gateau. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We’re listening to Vodou music of Haiti, recorded at the Lakou Badjo spiritual compound.McAlister: January 6th is celebrated with a ceremony that’s called Coupez Gateau, or Cut the Cake. And the Magi, the kings, are fted. There’re three cakes that are baked for them, and during the course of the ceremony, the cakes are cut with a machete and they’re honored that way. It’s a very ritualistic cake-cutting service.”Liza McAlister is an Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Wesleyan University.McAlister: The cake is baked on the Day of the Three Kings, and it’s then cut with the ritual machete and distributed out to the congregation so everyone can enjoy it at the very end of the service. It’s quite beautiful. The priest will dance the machete around the room, and dance to the cake, and then proceed to cut the cake. And dancing here is a kind of a way of breathing life into the ritual. It’s a kind of a way of animating the spiritual work that’s going on. Because in Vodou, the spiritual work takes the form of music, of dance, and of ritual action all together.We’ll hear more about Vodou Epiphany in future programs. We’ve been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast.

VODOU EPIPHANY: Coupez Gateau

The ritual of coupez gateau is one of the ways the Catholic holiday has been incorporated into Haitian Vodou.
Air Date:01/08/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

Voudou Epipahny - Coupez GateauHere's a program from our archives.ambience: Vodou musicEpiphany is a Catholic feast day which commemorates the arrival into Bethlehem of three Eastern kings, who've come to see the newborn baby Jesus. Celebrated on January 6th, it's a holiday that's been incorporated into the traditions of Haitian Vodou with the ritual of Coupez Gateau. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We're listening to Vodou music of Haiti, recorded at the Lakou Badjo spiritual compound.McAlister: January 6th is celebrated with a ceremony that's called Coupez Gateau, or Cut the Cake. And the Magi, the kings, are fted. There're three cakes that are baked for them, and during the course of the ceremony, the cakes are cut with a machete and they're honored that way. It's a very ritualistic cake-cutting service."Liza McAlister is an Assistant Professor in the Religion Department of Wesleyan University.McAlister: The cake is baked on the Day of the Three Kings, and it's then cut with the ritual machete and distributed out to the congregation so everyone can enjoy it at the very end of the service. It's quite beautiful. The priest will dance the machete around the room, and dance to the cake, and then proceed to cut the cake. And dancing here is a kind of a way of breathing life into the ritual. It's a kind of a way of animating the spiritual work that's going on. Because in Vodou, the spiritual work takes the form of music, of dance, and of ritual action all together.We'll hear more about Vodou Epiphany in future programs. We've been listening to a program from our archives. If you want to hear more, check out our podcast.